It is Tuesday, my first midweek run of the week, following a 60k ultra marathon competition I took part in at the weekend. More about that competition – I mean event – in a future post.
As it’s a recovery week, it’s an easy 5k. After pressing start on my Garmin, I decide to switch to my watch face. I’ve recently turned off audio prompts so effectively I’m running blind, uninterrupted by statistical data. Yes, knowing your heart rate or pace is useful, but it has it’s time and place.
I set off running around Stamford Bridge, the village I live in, feeling remarkedly good all considered. No major pain or niggles. An immediate appreciation for how lucky that I have the ability and freedom to run.
Now normally within a minute or so I’m looking down at my watch and would proceed to look down every few seconds thereafter for the whole duration. What is my heart rate? Why is it so high? Am I stressed or have I overdone it? Today, I could not care less because it’s not important right now.
I look up and see a runner. We exchange a nod and an assertive hello. On a roll and full of confidence, I say hello to the next runner gliding by me. The same for a duo of teenage runners, making a gestimate 4 minute kilometre pace look like an easy jog. Then a couple of more runners with their individual running journey untold. I have never seen so many runners in a single session, or in a single day for that matter. Or, have I not been paying attention.
I look up and see a hot air balloon. It accompanies me for the whole run until I reach my destination, my home. I rush to the back garden to take a – bad – photo, then another, by which time it poetically merges into the tree canopy where it cannot be seen any longer.
The balloon could be a message. Do I need to look up more? Pay no attention to technology that claims to be more intelligent than “feel”. Say hello to every runner I see and pay attention to my surroundings.
Before technology we looked up.
Look up, you might see a balloon. You might see a a runner who’ll appreciate acknowledgement for their efforts. You’ll definitely remember the enjoyment of running and the simplicity of it all.
What did you see on your run?