Does running fit into my life or does my life fit into running? Well I think it is a bit of both.
Nick’s training plan is stored on my Iphone, in a folder, next to my work roster. Each week I have to compare the two and plan ahead. I will make a note of where I’ll be in the world on a particular day and which run I’m marked down for. The days ahead this week will consist of easy and long runs in the UK, threshold running in Miami and continuous hills in Brazil. I’m never usually in the same place on a particular day of the week.
A common bond
When I’m out running I quite often see other runners and, regardless of race or language, we have a common bond. I always greet an oncoming runner with my international wave.
I remember a run in Mauritius. Exploring the tracks and trails I came to a crossroads at the same time as another runner. We took the same turning and ran beside each other. There was a language barrier but we were both grinning and enjoying each other’s company. After 2 miles or so we went our separate ways.
I also have to think about the timing of my runs. An overnight flight into London leaves me as tired and drained as my passengers feel. My body will be urging me to sleep and I will have to find the resolve to ignore that sometimes sickening fatigue and get out there and train. As soon as I have landed my aircraft safely at Heathrow and completed the shutdown checks I am thinking about my next run.
My training took place in Sweden recently. One day I was up early and explored the island of Djurgarden near Stockholm. It was a beautiful, tranquil morning and what followed was one of those ‘glad to be alive’ runs.
That very same evening was the Midnattsloppet. It was not so tranquil but buzzing with excitement and full of life. It is an organised 10K run through the streets of Stockholm. Thousands of runners converge on the city and there are over 7 starting groups, with up to 2000 runners in each group. The groups start at 5 minute intervals.
No numbers are worn, just a blue T shirt and a timing chip. I was one of those runners, lost in a noisy sea of blue. The first start is at 9.30pm and the race continues until after midnight.
The Swedes are an outgoing, fun loving bunch of people and the late start means the runners and spectators have ample time to consume a few pre run ‘drinks.’
The twisting turns and loops through the streets are a fun filled cacophony of lights, live bands and cheerful (well oiled!) spectators. The runners are offered food and drink by the crowds and I turned down at least one swig from a wine bottle!
The following day we travelled back to the UK. I felt content. My training was fitting into my busy life and I was still buzzing from my Midnattsloppet experience. The weekend was not quite complete however. After the aircraft had landed we made our way through arrivals and hopped on a bus to the airport car park. At my car I quickly changed into my training gear, ran out the car park and kept going until I arrived home in Twickenham!