All by myself

My last post was all about revolutions and, in a way, so is this one. But revolutions of a different sort. This time I am talking about running revolutions; laps of a field. Not, as you may imagine, as some sort of penance for crimes committed upon my fellow man, but as a form of enjoyment. I know, sounds unnatural doesn’t it?

This week has not been a great example of the art of running but, if we glance just a little bit further back across our shoulder into the recent past, then you may well have a good view of my sweaty countenance puffing around a field, casting nervous glances behind me but also fixing a gaze on the person in front. Both chaser and chased.

Much of my running is done on my own. Even when it isn’t. I parkrun when I can (is ‘parkrun’ acceptable as a verb?) and that will obviously involve other people, but we are all really running against ourselves. Just with other people all around us. But I have recently started running (occasionally) with a group of people at work. Whether this is traipsing along the country lanes or running around a field in a timed challenge then this has given me a different dynamic within which to run.

Take the running around a field example. If it was just me then it would be a dull plod, but with the challenge of trying to chase down the person in front whilst staying ahead of the person behind then it turns into a fun time in the sunshine.

And as for the running around the lanes, well that it is an exercise in determined perseverance. I am benefiting from my colleague’s experience of the local lanes, which are a labyrinthine complication of crossroads and turnings. They know where they’re going, and I don’t, and for the first few miles this didn’t matter. But when we started back towards the office and my stamina began to wane then this became a bit of an issue. Where on earth was I? If I lost track of the people in front – who were, at this very moment, beginning to open up a worrying gap in front of me – then I was going to be adrift in a sea of similar-looking lanes. If I needed any encouragement then it was the simple fact that if I were not to keep in touch with my running companions then I would soon be all alone and a little lost. So I huffed a little more heavily and puffed a little more purposefully and just about kept close to my colleagues. And I turned in a quicker time for the distance in the doing. Which was nice.

So if you ever feel as though you are just going around and around, well sometimes that might be exactly what you need.