For the last few weeks I have been limited to running for short bursts of ten to fifteen minutes on the instruction of my physio. To be honest it has been pretty boring, pounding away in the gym or running round the streets of my suburb, trying to up my cadence and ensure my feel fall just so. While I can feel my technique is improving, and I am getting faster, these runs don't really do it for me. I run because of the feeling of gratitude it releases in me...something I haven't been able to achieve in 20 minute stints.
Thankfully, over the last week, things have picked up as I have found something that has helped me get back that feeling.
It shocks me a little that I have never tried run commuting before. I had always thought that I lived too far from work, that the logistics were too complicated for it to be a possibility. Then, a few weeks ago, as I travelled home from a particularly sweaty session on a treadmill, cursing the gym's broken aircon, I re-evaluated my options. I worked out that I could cut my route up, get off the tube early and run part of the way. Suddenly everything became achievable.
Stepping out of London Bridge station on Thursday night, layered up against the cold and glowing in my rather pink running jacket, nerves hit my stomach - what if I got too cold, what if my newly acquired backpack rubbed, and, terrifyingly, what if I body slammed a pedestrian?!
I tentatively trotted down through the market, getting stuck behind a pret delivery, watching each step I took on the uneven cobbles as I navigated the narrow streets leading down to the Southbank- my very favourite part of London. Emerging on to the bankside I was met with the most beautiful view of the city, Saint Paul's lit up, super-imposed on the skyline. It all looked so beautiful, I regret not taking a picture, but I knew I couldn't do the beautiful scene justice.
As I ran I was lifted, all at once my love of running and my love of London collided, gratefulness swelling in me in a way I can't describe, pushing me on along towards my destination, past so many sights I can't list them on. Through the whole thing I kept thinking - this is why I run, so I can feel this. I don't run to win, or for a medal (although I do like a bit of bling). I run for the feeling that I get that reminds me I am so lucky, and so grateful for that luck.