I’ve just started an 18-week training plan for next year’s Palestine Marathon. This is a season of hours spent with Pfitzinger and Douglas, of lugging clothes between home and work, of Sunday nights planning where to fit my runs in. And I love it.
My best moments running recently are when I’ve been able to run to work. Last week I had a board meeting at Tearfund in Teddington. I dropped my clothes off at my friend Ginny’s the night before so she could take them in for me. And then instead of a passive hour on a bus and train, I ran along the river from Kew, through Richmond to Teddington Lock. It was a misty morning with the sun just breaking through. There were rowers on the river and herons keeping watch. I shared the path with dog walkers and cyclists, and parents taking children to school. The air was rich with the smell of earth, and I splashed through puddles and squelched through mud. And every moment I felt alive and alert, completely present, aware and slightly in awe of the strength of my body. It enabled me to bring my best self to that meeting.
I do my fair share of sitting on tube trains, of being distracted by the triviality of the Metro, of being glued to my phone to pass the time. It’s impractical for me to run to work more than once a week. But I only have to think of that run along the river and it takes me to a happy place.