It takes all sorts..!

I am sitting in ‘The Larder’ coffee shop, waiting for Anadi who is making his way from a meeting in central London…

I have had a wonderful morning which has involved running round and around in circles… A joyous delight for me; as I say at the end of my vlog… ‘It takes all sorts…’!

For me running without restriction in my body, feeling fluent and enjoying the sensation of the wet grass under my feet, the familiar rubber of the track on my soles is how I paint, draw, create a tune…
I remember meeting a professional musician who had been playing in different orchestras and arrangements all of his life…He was 58 years old to my then 48 years… I met him at Heathrow airport in baggage reclaim, when there was a three hour delay before our luggage appeared… He told me how his music was there and then gone… How he would spend months practicing, rehearsing and performing, and then the concert or run of concerts was done, gone, finished, no record… But that was how he liked it…Always making something afresh, new, no attachment to how good the past was, or not so good…  Then he would begin all over again.

And as the years have passed, I have discovered this is the same for me with running…

Today felt creative, powerful… I liked the picture made up of loops and laps, coloured green and red under a grey, streaky sky, only hints of blue…

I had found my way to another track, and then… It was locked… No way in.

There was a groundsman busy with weeds on the central area, but he never lifted his head… And anyway he was a way off from my side of the locked gates, too far to attract his attention…

But the other side of the road to the track was a vast expanse of green, damp grass, all wet from a night of rain; so I didn’t much mind that the track was shut and I lapped the grass instead… Huge fields; a mile and a half to loop the edge. Twice round I ran when I spotted that the door of the track clubhouse was ajar…

On closer investigation I found two men on their knees, locked in Wednesday morning dialogue – scrubbing the floor…

‘Hello’ I said, as I approached… They both looked up, smiley men…

‘Is it possible to use the track?’ I asked… ‘Come on, I’ll let you in…’ One said, getting stiffly off his knees and straightening up slowly…

We walked together to the gate, he unlocked the padlock and let me onto my track…

I had no real plan of what to do, I had had some thoughts this morning that I might run some 1000 metre reps… And so that is exactly what I did…

In my bare feet!

And how my body loved it…

I felt relaxed, fluent and I didn’t run too hard… 5 x 1000m with a 200m jog recovery…
All the while the man who was digging up weeds on the grass in the interior of the track kept digging up weeds; he did not lift his head once. It was like I was a ghost runner who he could not see…

I averaged 4.21 for my intervals… I am a good coach, I know what is possible and probable and so coach Julia said to athlete Julia… ‘I reckon 4.30’s will be what you might expect today… Especially as you haven’t done anything like this for some time, and you are in your bare feet…’

My bare feet snorted at this, at being considered a hindrance…

They know they are setting me free…