The Best Bits About Running

Good morning!  And what a good morning it is.  After a week or so or sub-zero temperatures feeling the warmth of the winter sunshine was marvellous, even if it was only a few above zero!

Sub-zero running
Not today, but was the temperature for my midweek run!

My running since the Oxford Half has been a little hit an miss to say the least.  The weeks of running 3 or 4 times a week seem very distant.  Despite all the reasons not to run I mentioned last time I’m still dragging myself out once or twice a week.  I guess there are two reasons for that: the first is that it really does feel great to get those endorphins flowing and the second is that in the back of my mind I want to set a good example for my yet-to-be-formed running group, Run England Cogges!

Today’s run reminded me of a few more reasons why I love running.

The fresh air really does make me feel more awake and is a great alternative to the stale air of the offices I spend most of my week in.

Blue sky and sunshine is inspiring.  How could I not go for a run with the vibrant colours tapping on the windows.  It probably sounds stupid but the winter sun puts a smile on my face.  And combined with the fresh air, I allow my mind to wander and think about everything and nothing, all at the same time.

I was able to be helpful too.  A car pulled over and with a polite “sorry for stopping your running” a Dad and his son asked for directions to the rugby club which I gladly shared.

The sunshine also seems to make people more open and friendly with fellow runners and dog walkers alike exchanging a “Morning!” or two.

And towards the end of my run I saw a fellow runner in the distance.  It seemed like we were going at about the same pace so I used it as a bit of motivation to up the pace a bit.  It’s a technique I’ve tried to use i races to little effect but I upped the pace in an effort to real him in.

As I was close to catching my target there was an opportunity to push myself a little more.  Could I turn left into the housing estate and follow the snakey road round at my increased pace and come out on his tails again at the bottom of the hill?  There was only one way to find out.

Now with my lack of recent regular running I was struggling to keep the effort going and as I turned back onto the main road there was no sign of my fellow runner.  Oh well, perhaps he had turned off somewhere?

The route I take then takes a number of twists and turns and to my surprise I turned a corner to see my target reappear!  I upped my pace again to catch him up and soon he looked over his shoulder and greeted me with a smile.  Unlike a lot of other runners I pass, he seemed open to a friendly chat so we exchanged synopses of our respective current running efforts.

The Target (we didn’t exchange names so I can only apologise if he reads this and is offended – it’s not meant with any negativity) was getting ready to run his first marathon in London in April next year having ran the Swindon Half on the same day as I ran the Oxford Half.

He’d also just joined Witney Road Runners and seemed to be positive about it helping his running.  I mentioned my own running group that starts in January.  I hope I can help people with their running in the same way as an established club might.  Would I be naive to think that a smaller group may be able to benefit people even more?

Anyway, it was soon time for us to fork off in our separate directions and we parted with a friendly “Goodbye and good luck”.  From my running earlier in the year I know the crossroads was just one kilometre from home which took my run up to 10km.  I finished in a respectable 55 minutes with a smile on my face, despite a whisper from the niggle in my right foot.

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