Yesterday's run - in the zone
Nothing unusual with me having a decent run on Saturday but what seemed odd was it being during the afternoon, instead of the early morning. It meant I was having to be half alert to cars whereas I don't normally concern myself with that at all.
Once again I found it hard to get going - getting changed and getting out there for the first mile or two. Even after a 10 mile run, the first always seem to be the hardest. I don't like being spotted by my neighbours: they look and stare at me, sometimes a hesitant smile which is okay but not the curtain twitchers.
Anyway, I made it into the countryside and had a lovely long run. I found it quite easy to be "in the zone" but you might wonder what that means. If you're a runner, you probably know. It can probably mean different things all kind of things but I think of it as being in harmony as you run - your body working well and and mind working well probably with good running form. It is also the point where you don't have to think too much about the running, it just happens naturally mile, after mile. It just happens. It's sometimes nice when you go onto a kind of autopilot and a few miles tick by without even noticing.
At one point I stopped and then I listened to the countryside for a minute or two. It was virtually silent. Even more so than normal and I think the reason was because it was lightly snowing - the air was still and I was a fair distance away from any roads with nobody around at all. There was a certain beauty to it and as I carried on running, I ran as softly as I could so as not to disturb the silence. This run took on a very beautiful quality because of the stillness.
Then once I'd got back onto the roads, reality seemed to return with the sound of cars not far away. I realised I was getting a blister on my foot - something which rarely happens - only once or twice a year. It tends to happen when I'm tired and taking slightly smaller steps. That didn't explain it but I realised the problem soon enough - I had some ordinary socks on, not running socks!
My "ordinary" socks are just plain cotton socks that I'd wear to work. I think I was in too much of a rush to get out that I hadn't put on any running socks as I was in too much of a hurry to get changed. Serves me right!
The superficial moral of the story is always wear running socks when running. The overriding memory and point of the run was the sheer beauty of the quiet countryside and being a part of it for an all-too-short while. Running "in the zone" was good; rising above the challenges lying ahead at work and yet still being troubled by the awful happenings in the world. I do like the way running has a good effect on my mood and helps me think things through. I love cycling but somehow running has the edge for me because of all this.
Please leave a comment below if being "in the zone" means anything to you or is it like the Runner's High for you - something you've heard of but yet to experience?