I ask myself this every time I’m doomed to run on my own. Usually I get Poppaloo trotting next to me, yakking away and keeping me going. But, occasionally, I have to run ALL BY MYSELF. And I tell you what – it’s deadly boring.
I run around back roads, with no pavements, no streetlights and very few houses around – and the ones that are around are set back from the road. This means that it’s too dangerous for me to listen to music as I run – I can’t hear cars on the blind bends (of which there are many) and if anyone comes up behind me, they have to be shoulder-to-shoulder before I notice them.
For the most part, I enjoy my runs around the roads. If you go out at the right time of day, you can smell the wild garlic and warm earth, and spy deer grazing, or woodpeckers (of both green and spotted variety) in the trees. Extra lucky days we see Mr Fox*, the kites wheeling up above, and the hawk sat on the fencepost (and eyeing me very suspiciously).
For the other part, it can be very boring. I remember when running used to be so exciting! I used to want to run EVERYWHERE. I used to try to run all the time. Do you remember when you were a kid and the thrill of just running?
When did running become such a chore? When did it become a serious form of exercise, trogging around a road without any joy? I remember the heady days of pelting around a field, screaming at the top of my lungs and having an awesome time.
Not so much anymore.
I try to occupy my time by making up stories in my head. Unfortunately, they’re rather filmic in idea, so by the time I get home – if I remember them at all – I generally can’t get them on paper. Today’s pondering revolved round a certain character’s death in A Game of Thrones and if he HADN’T died, what would be different. (I’m not going to say who, as I’m sure some people don’t know he’s dead yet, and it wouldn’t be fair. Suffice to say I CRIED MY EYES OUT). But even then that doesn’t help. I get distracted by having to concentrate on breathing (essential, but a very boring occupation), or some idiot trotting past me calling “keep up!” when he’s just starting his run, and me on the last leg.
I also have the joyous task of dealing with idiotic drivers who clearly don’t know the road. This means quite often climbing in to the verge because they refuse to go past you on a country road wide enough to fit two cars side-by-side. This also means girding myself up to go from a flat stop to a run again. Also a very boring thing to think about.
How do you make running more interesting? (Without running like Phoebe from Friends).
*Mr Fox is a big brute of a fox who saunters through our garden in bright sunshine, and will even stare you down as you approach him in your car. In honesty, he terrifies me. He’s massive! Imagine my worry when I come across him on a run, and he just sits and watches you go past his nose.