I got up this morning to find a cool, overcast morning facing me for my run. Still, at least it isn’t raining so I don’t need to carry the extra Gortex layer that annoys me so much. I do however need to carry trousers, shoes etc. as I forgot to leave them in the office yesterday – so it’s a heavy rucksack this morning. My wife has kindly made me sandwiches for lunch – and I just know that they will be squished flat by the time I get to the office – but hey – what can you do?
The train is late unusually – my service from Wellingborough to London is usually pretty prompt – and it runs on the slow line so we hit London even later. I don’t mind so much – but it means that the pavements will be busier and full of people smoking which you have to run through. I decide to take some back routes in order to avoid as many people as possible.
I’ve been reading Haruki Murakami’s book “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” recently and there is a lovely chapter in it near the beginning that explores what the author thinks about when he is running. He explains that he often thinks of virtually nothing with ideas occasionally popping into his head, but he tries to think about very little, and when he does he often cannot remember what it was. Well – I thought about this today as I ran my 5km into the office and wondered what I thought about when I ran. I think this state of mind must be partially down to the individual, but also down to the environment. My mind covered various topics such as “Get out of the way”, “Don’t pull out now”, “Are you really going to just block the path like that?”, “Don’t just stop like that”, “Euch, you blew that smoke straight into my face” and my all time favourite, “Can I go faster than that cyclist!”. No void of the mind for me, just absolute garbage.
I wonder if the zen like state that Haruki discovers in his running is achievable by someone like me. Do I need to run more, longer, elsewhere, without disturbance etc? Who knows. But the important thing is – when I got to work this morning I had a bloomin big smile on my face and felt great.
5km, 32 mins carrying mental baggage and a big rucksack!