Long Run Saturday, or Why I am No Good at Writing About Running

So, yesterday I ran for 17 (fairly) lovely kilometres down the Thames Path – 7.5km west from Hammersmith Bridge and back, plus the 1km each way from my house to the bridge. I have been running sections of the TP for a few years now and I really love it, but I have not traditionally been a morning runner and so I often missed the period where the path is brimming with other runners, and cyclists, walkers and hikers, dogs, families, teenagers, lovers, and other assorted persons. I have done my long run in the morning a few times now, going both west and east along the river from Hammersmith Bridge. This has come about by necessity more than anything. I get Neon Toddler at 5 on Saturdays and I want to spend the evening with her rather than showering, tidying, washing, and all the other bits and pieces that there are to do on the weekend. So, I have started running in the mornings, even though it is not at all my preference.

So yesterday I ran.

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It took a long time before I could get a shot with no people in it! This photo really captures the thing I like the most about running the TP. It’s peaceful, for the most part. It’s shady, for the most part. It’s much nicer than running around the streets.

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This one is from the way back, when it was a little less busy.

So, this brings me to why I’m not a great running blogger. It’s not that things don’t happen to me on my runs, but that weaving thoes things into a structured narrative becomes difficult after the run is finished. It’s like every kilometre happened at the same time, even though there is movement and temporality in my memory, I find it difficult to weave each individual element together comprehensively.

Instead, here is an annotated list of things that occurred on my run yesterday:
1. I had to stop at about 3.5km to unlace and relace my shoe after my entire right foot went numb. It’s not very pleasant running with a dead foot. I’ve had to weirdly lace all my running shoes, so I am used to it. The Brooks Pure Connect 2s, my favorite trainer, are a simple dropped eye at the bottom so I had laced the Pure Flow 2s the same. Fine on the left, numb on the right.
2. I waved at a little girl – maybe about 4 – who was waving furiously at runners going passed her. She was being pushed down the path in a buggy. I waived back, perhaps not very enthusiastically, but she seemed very pleased. It looked as though she almost fell out of the buggy. It made me start thinking about my own little terror and how inspiring I find her. I often do think about her while I am running, and it does get me through some tough patches. I want her to know that being strong and healthy is not just for boys, that girls can do whatever they want and that there’s no contradiction in playing princesses in the morning and train-drivers in the afternoon. I hope that her dad and I can inspire her to achieve and be confident.
3. A bug flew into my eye, which I rubbed. Then my contact lens fell out and hit the dirt. Never have I been so thankful to have water with me. It’s so, so bad to do but I did it. I picked the lens up, rinsed it off and put it back in. I meant to change it as soon as I got home but totally forgot. So, I walked around all day with a dirt-lens in! Gross.
4. My headphones died about 4km to the end. I run with thoes mp3 player in headphones things. I really love them, but I hate charging them and they are a pain to connect to the computer. As such, I haven’t updated the music in a long, long time. Maybe that’s a job for this week.
5. I got cat-called and, worse than that, touched. On my bum. As I ran by a “gentleman” who clearly thought he had a right to touch me and comment on my legs while I was out running. This kind of thing does not happen to me regularly. I was so shocked that I really failed to respond appropriately.
6.I didn’t fall over. And I haven’t for a long while. This is a big achievement for me.

So. That was yesterday’s run, roughly in the order it occurred. Today, some foam rolling and rest. New training week starts tomorrow!

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2 thoughts on “Long Run Saturday, or Why I am No Good at Writing About Running

    • Neon Anonymous says:

      I know. What goes through a person’s mind when they reach out to touch a stranger – particularly in such an intimate way?!? I will never understand it. I can only hope that this particular person (who was only around 19-20ish) will grow up to better understand their own privilege and not to take advantage of it. Until then – that’s why we (still!) need feminism, and thing like the Everyday Sexism Project.

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