I set out at 9am Saturday morning for a three mile run, having tracked a route on Google Maps beforehand, and knowing I still had to go into work afterwards.
Stretching fully in the kitchen, a normal morning routing for me all of a sudden, and chowing down a banana, I felt great. One of those mornings where you know it’s going to be a good run. Maybe it was down to the rest day on Friday, but I was itching to hit the road and test my body in a short(ish), fast run.
I headed out the door, Kasabian’s ‘Shoot the runner’ playing in my earphones (It’s a great pace setting tune, and the title adds a little irony to make a smile). The first few hundred metres of this route being slightly downhill, it’s all too easy to pick up a fast pace and peak too soon, so I was acutely aware of trying to run a little slower (see my previous entries for more on this).
Hitting my stride and the hill bottomed out, I turned the corner onto the longest straight run, which, incidentally also runs slowly back up hill in a gentle climb. Done. Round the bend, and onto the high street, past the café, with people eating full English breakfasts at street tables. I offer them a glance that judges them as a sprint by, in full stride now. A couple of kids watch in awe as I blur past them as they wait with their mother outside the bank. I imagine one of them says “wow”. He probably didn’t. I don’t know – The Charlatans “Forever” is way too loud for me to notice.
At the other end of the high street now, and round another bend and into one of the worst sections – it’s next to a main road, with nothing but residential houses, and no real feature or landmark to push towards. Through that, round another bend, and past a few shops. My bus home goes this way, so I know every building. This helps.
A pub, on the left, then a group of builders taking up the entire pavement. I dodge into the road, and narrowly avoid a car creeping up behind me. Maybe I should’ve turned the music down a little.
At the crest of another hill, I go straight down the other side, round another bend, jumping over a guy sprawled out on the pavement, head under his car and tools spread haphazardly around him. I doubt he even noticed me. Into the final straight, about two hundred metres slightly back up hill and I’m home. Opening the door. I stop my watch.
Just less than 21 minutes. Its way off my personal best, but boy, it felt good.
Sunday’s four mile run with Kasia was a different story though…