With a voice like the wind blowing through dry reeds.

  • Wednesday, August 25, 2010
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Tuesday nights club run. a cold and indifferent wind was blowing across the field. mirroring it we broke into groups of two’s and three’s and hunched stony faced like bad Clint Eastwood impersonators. zen ken joined me, a diminutive samurai in a dayglo jacket. i spoke of my battle during the Sunday morning run he hosts, how hard it was right from the off. i asked him why these runs from hell come along from time to time. the lamplight flashed of his gold rimmed glasses as he cocked his head toward me. there was a silence before he intoned that it is all in the mind, a cruel physiological trick and the only method of dealing with it is to speak sternly to the mind and push on through. i blinked, digesting the thought and he nodded sagely before wondering away to meditate.
setting off for a run i found myself floating at the front with andy the squirrel and richard, the club patriarch, tall and lean and with a voice like the wind blowing through dry reeds. it was the opposite to Sundays leaden legs, light, effortless and free. my mind did not need any rebuke and even zen ken was behind me. the moon rose, full, golden and magisterial and we ran in silence, pilgrims in our moisture wicking shirts, strangely and beautifully quiet apart from the soft thud of our feet marking off the passing seconds of our lives. transcendant.

Conversation passed around like a joint at Woodstock

  • Sunday, August 22, 2010
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Sabina arrives for our Sunday run on one of those English bicycles, black steel frame, three speed gears and a wire basket on the front. Jerry ran. he is wearing union jack shorts that make anarchists reach for their cigarette lighters. he has new shoes. zen ken qualifies for free bus travel but comes in his slinky black BMW. there are less of us than usual, the elites are away in wales racing the train. we confer. how far do we run? more crucial, how fast. several runners have hang overs. for a while i run behind zen ken and Sabina, they both flow when they run, zen more so, it may be because he is a Buddhist/wiry/naturally gifted. either way it inspires. Sunday runs are normally loquacious affairs, conversation passed around like a joint at Woodstock but today hang overs and humidity mean a lot of grunting and farting instead. for most of the run i run at the back with Jerry, normal for me but unusual for him, we speak of his recent holiday in Montreal, Canada where he was bitten by canuck insects and rained on whilst exploring their trails, as well as his next 24 hour ultra next week end. his wife is not happy, he runs to much and spends too much on shoes. his running gear smells in the boot of the car when he forgets it there for two weeks. i nod, grunt and laugh. i silently wonder how much credibility he has in his shorts, he silently wonders how much credibility i have in my vibrams. because we are old friends and anti social buggers we slide off the back of the group and run for home, when i get there my gps tells me i’ve run 12 miles.
This is not Jerry. He looks nothing like this and neither do his shorts.