Saturday, June 16

The therapeutic nature of running

Following a fortnight of relatively little running this was my first week back in the saddle. I wasn’t surprised then when after three days of successive running I stepped out of bed Thursday morning with the agility of a very aged individual; my hamstrings were taut and the left heel was tender to the touch. What I was surprised with was my decision to spend five minutes stretching that morning? I was pleased then when later that day Hicham called to tell me his back was sore and rather then head out for an steady hour he suggested we relive the past. Despite growing up on opposite coastlines, we lived remarkably parallel lives and with that, he suggested head out along the waterfront on our bikes. It felt like years since I’d been out on a ride and this one didn’t disappoint what with some rare warm sunshine, beautiful vistas and an out-of-the-way coffee shop on the way home.

After a whirlwind day at work and with Ally’s mom flying in from Saudi that evening, I headed out yesterday evening determined to absorb as much of the late afternoon sun as possible. I wandered through the neighborhood without paying much attention to where I was going, moving instead like a roadside leaf getting brush along with each passing car. I bumped into an old friend, now expecting, and continued through a local park and back to a favourite street where I decided to run a few strides. It’s amazing what a lack of stimulus and trying too hard can achieve. That afternoon, I cruised down a 150m stretch of asphalt with the coordination one might experience running a five-legged race (a person attached to either side of you). I warmed into the first three, felt good on the fourth and decided five was enough for the day, the strides having achieved their purpose.

This morning was the second medium long run with the clinic and after leading my group through some of my favourite local haunts last week, today I’d decided to head out of town on the Goose. The seven of us crossed the blue bridge, turned right over the old trestle, right again at the switch bridge and headed north. I was amazed at the ease with which conversation flowed, seven people who having not known each other for more then a few weeks talked with the comfort of years. Perhaps it’s the sharing of a passion, or the therapeutic nature of being able to carry a conversation without having to look the person in the eye, but I enjoyed it.

Thursday: aprrox. 1h30’ easy ride
Friday: enjoyable 28’26” with 5x 20” strides
Saturday: easy 1h33’02”