They contain sharks and monsters too

  • Wednesday, September 26, 2012
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Why is that long rainy runs always seem to involve a long climb into a stiff headwind?
After spending half an hour crouched on all fours in the rain with my hand up to the elbow in a blocked drain I decide that I should go straight out on a run. After all I was already cold and soaked. And frustrated.
So after a quick change I ran off into the wind. Upwards and clockwise in the rain, to the summit of the woods on a day that even the dog walkers couldn't face.
I don't mind rain running, I embrace it like a monk, it shapes me and teaches me. It is something uncomfortable but oddly beneficial, instructing my character and transporting me into a more surreal world. I wouldn't want it to be my default running weather day in and day out but there is an exhilaration that I get from being out in the elements. Perhaps it's the last faint echoes of the caveman in me. I love the sombre mood of the wet darkened tree's, the burnt umber colour of the earth and it's heaviness. I love the deep black, inky puddles. Standing to catch my pluming breath I peer into them, imagining they are like Alice's looking glass. I imagine vast, mad and colourful worlds that lie through and beyond them. I feel fear, they contain sharks and monsters too. They are too black. Perhaps the rain shrinks my physical world too much, narrowing it to a few feet. Maybe I am too alone. Whatever the reason I force my imagination back into it's box and get on with running. This is something tangible and true, this is my embrace.
Irony being what it is, I return home after 12 miles and discover that I have to put my hand up to the elbow in the toilet. Someone has put a wad of cardboard into it. Possibly, just beyond the U bend, sharks and monsters live too.

"As ugly as a bucket of vomit"

  • Thursday, September 20, 2012
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I left work this afternoon to run home. As I left I had the ribald cries from my colleagues of "Comedy feet" ringing in my ears. Another co worker seeing the pictures on Facebook recently said, "Dunc, you're as wacky as ever. Thank God!" These bits of gentle ribbing caused me to wonder about the other names that I get thrown at me because of my Vibram Five Fingers.
I get Monkey feet the most. Gorilla feet a few times. I've also had Skeleton feet, Frog feet and Duck feet. When I ran in black KSO's the standard comment was Ninja feet.
When I first started running in them I read a review that described them "As ugly as a bucket of vomit"
I don't think they are that bad but I do understand and really enjoy peoples curiosity. As a conversation starter these shoes can't be bettered and I've had some good chats with people. I've even been stopped while out running by fascinated folk who want to know more.
I try not to be a barefoot evangelist but I do like satisfying peoples interest - and most people are genuinely interested.