Whenever I try to rationalise what it is about running that I like so much, I come up with the usual array of explanations: it keeps me fit; it acts as a release of the tensions of the day; it gives me a sence of accomplishment. While all along, the truth probably is because it lets me experience days like the Sunday past:
The annual Livingston Relays were on (a team event of 4 x 3m running, mostly in park paths) and, truth be told, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to them, despite the enthusiasm with which I had entered… That began to change on the day however and by the time I reached the start area, where all the club tents and standards were, I was slowly getting in the mood!
I was a bit unsure about running the first leg, as that meant that I would have to endure the stampede at the start, but it didn’t turn out too bad either: it gave me the opportunity to get my run out of the way and enjoy the rest of the day and it meant I didn’t get lapped by any of the faster teams. Indeed, it felt more like a normal race, reeling in slower runners that had started ahead of me, enjoying some little duels of my own, while not getting in the way of the faster lot coming from the back.
The course itself was quite fast, with only one 1/4 mile incline (can’t really call it a hill) after the 2nd mile, which however I really felt – probably because it was in contrast to the rest of the course. I consciously slowed down there to recover a bit from the fast pace (I’m not used to short, fast races) and then picked it up again, before putting in a little kick for the camera:
My time wasn’t anything to write home about, but a reasonable performance nonetheless. But the day was just starting – there was an hour and a half of running still to watch, including some great intra-club competition, like Ryan chasing down Andy on the final leg of the race:
What I like with the 3m – 5k distance is that while it translates into 21′ of agony, it at least leaves me much fresher and energised for the rest of the day (compared with a half, or even a 10k race which, though they don’t leave me so much out of breath while I am running, I feel it for the next day or so). I’m sure the sunshine and party atmosphere in the park contributed to my buoyant mood greatly, and the suggestion that some of us meet at the beer festival at the Exchange was just the finishing touch to a great morning!
Never one to turn down a gentle cooldown and hydration session, a great morning’s running was followed by an equally great impromptu evening out, getting to know a bit more of the people we run with every week or so, tasting some decent ales… Can’t complain really!
So a massive thank you to all Harriers, but especially Andy Ball and Marie Wilford (men’s and ladies’ captains, respectively) for all their hard work organising us for the even, coming up with very well balanced teams (in terms of the runners in each team, but also setting up some decent races between them). Also Chris, Ledders, Trudi, Sam, Stuart, Lesley, Sarah and Jen for the night out. And as ever, Demi for… where do I start?
(yep, still on a runner’s high!)