The Scribbler

27 November 2010

Not forgotten run

Filed under: run — The Scribbler @ 18:55
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[Found this in my notebook today. It’s about a run a couple of weeks ago that I didn’t write up online. And seeing as my planned run today was snowed off, I thought I’d post it.]

Up early and setting off into the darkness for a rendezvous with my running buddy. Despite doubts and a certain reluctance to leave the warm cocoon of my bed, this feels right.

Cold and clear along the river, our route lit by street lamps, we run. Exchanging stories, sharing insights, listening, responding, shaping thoughts and feelings into narrative.

As the light swells, shapes emerge as landmarks. The heart of this magnificent city is stirring. But for a while longer we enjoy its quiet side. The calm flow of the water, the ebb and flow of breath and conversation, the pattern of footsteps on paving.

Keeping pace, synchronised  footfalls in time. Darting around lampposts and returning to fall back in step together, we dance along the quayside, fleet and fluid as the river beside us.

The effort starts to tell, with fewer tales told on the return journey, but it’s a companionable silence. As the last mile beckons I fight the urge to slow. My legs grow heavy, breathing cough like. I frown and push on. But there is no respite. This does not get easier.

My buddy senses me drifting away from his easy pace and encourages me on. I draw on pride and determination. Here’s one I would not let down.

The last mile is the longest. I block my ears to that wheedling voice begging for a break. Landmarks lengthen  and remain stubbornly out of reach.

But by the width of my pinched and shallow breaths, the road approaches. Just one last push, one last effort up that cruel incline.

I force my arms to propel my body forward, turn off the pain in my thighs, shut out the screaming in my brain. For a second I think I’ve overcooked it, but momentum keeps me going. An arbitrary finish line and I’m gasping, doubled over.



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