Our holiday down in Sedgefield is slowly coming to an end. This morning I set out to do a 21 k training run. Sedgefield is a small town, so you need to get out on the main road which links Knysna to George to get that right. I chose to go in the George direction. There is a petrol station on the route which allowed me to pop in and buy a bottle of water to drink along the run. It started to rain just after my petrol station stop.
Three points from this morning’s run –
- I normally cancel a run if I see it’s raining. Why, I don’t know. It started to rain 4 km into the run and I was rained on for the next 13 km. Running in the rain was fun. I got soaked, but it was great. It’s easier to cope with a situation when you are in it, than contemplating the situation from afar. It is safer to run in the rain here because you don’t get the thunderstorms that you normally get in Johannesburg, so, if it is raining and you can safely go for a run, do it. Running in the rain beats running on a treadmill – every time.
- Running is primal. It is meant to be. I was reminded of a quote found in the book, “Running with the Kenyans” by Adharanand Finn.
He writes, “Perhaps it is to fulfill this primal urge that runners and joggers get up every morning and pound the streets in cities all over the world. To feel the stirring of something primeval deep down in the pits of our bellies. To feel “a little bit wild.” Running is not exactly fun. It hurts. It takes effort. Ask any runner why he runs, and he will probably look at you with a wry smile and say, “I don’t know.” But something keeps us going. We may obsess about our PBs and mileage count, but these things alone are not enough to get us out running… What really drives us is something else, this need to feel human, to reach below the multitude of layers of roles and responsibilities that society has placed on us, down below the company name tags, and even the father, husband, and son labels, to the pure, raw human being underneath. At such moments, our rational mind becomes redundant. We move from thought to feeling.”
Running does that for me. That was magnified by running in the rain. A few cyclists passed me. Each one with a smile. While others were inside, trying to keep out of the rain, we were in it. As nature intended. It’s one of the reasons that I run and ride through winter. I want to experience the change of seasons, the rain, the wind, the biting cold.
- On my way back I saw a runner up ahead. Because I spend my life helping athletes, I noticed that:
a. she was running with an off-road shoe while on the road.
b. that she was pronating badly.
I greeted her and with that she mentioned that she was suffering. She explained that her calves were really sore. I explained that she was in the wrong shoes for road running and that she was pronating badly. Her answer is one that I have heard a thousand times from runners with calf problems due to excessive pronation, “I have a built-up inner to sort that out”. I tried to explain that you can only jack a foot arch up so much and that her solution clearly wasn’t working. The look on her face told me that my assessment was going to waste and so I wished her a good day and moved on.
Get outdoors, get the basics right such as shoes, muscle balance etc and get moving. You will feel all the better.