April 2017 Archives

Midnight Run Through London

| No Comments

I haven't been posting here for a while as my writing efforts have been focused on creating a book. There's still work to be done, but I have over 35,000 words sitting in Scrivener (a really great editing and organization tool for writers) and it is starting to feel real. I've sent a short piece in to the editors of Like The Wind Magazine in the hopes that it will make the cut for the next issue, and that is a piece of text that will grow into a longer version for the book. In the meantime, here is a short kinetic piece I wrote earlier this week which I hope you will enjoy.

 

London Marathon is always a big event for Run Dem Crew, and the Tuesday night session afterwards is filled with stories of people's marathon journeys. This year was especially emotional as we not only had three of the participants from the BBC 'Mind Over Marathon' project present to receive their marathon medals, we also had two young men who had run the marathon in honour of our fallen comrade Pace. There were tears, applause, deep emotional sharing. We celebrated the futures of people who are struggling and celebrated the memory of our friend who lost his battle with depression. After nearly three hours the last speech had been made, and it was far too late for a group run so everyone started heading home. I was exhausted. I was emotionally drained. Yet I didn't feel right going home. I got out my gloves, tied my jacket around my waist, turned on my watch and headed out into the night. 

It was cold. The air was crisp. The sky mostly cloudless. I set off at a savage pace. Driving my legs hard, flying through the the late night Shoreditch crowd. Quick left onto Commercial road and down to Spitalfields, Petticoat Lane. Aldgate. Stopped for the lights. Panting and feeling the burning of the cold air on my throat. Not for the first time, and certainly not for the last, a voice in my head told me I needed to slow down. Then the lights changed. And I resumed my speed. Pushing myself. Reveling in the pain. Words from the evening echoing through my head. Thoughts of how lucky I am to be alive. How fortunate to feel this pain and to know that I can make it stop but I choose not to. The Highway. More panting. Tower Bridge. Across the river. Down the stairs. Look across at The Tower, a glistening jewel on the north bank. Stop to take s selfie, big grin on my face. Then off again. Past City Hall. Reveling in the clear night sky. Deep breaths of cold air. My mind still with my Crew. An almost overwhelming sense of vitality. Every step an affirmation that the stars above are here to watch over me. This dark and cold an embrace, an affirmation of life, not an abyss. The Golden Hind. Stop and catch my breath. Millennium Bridge. Loving the stillness of the city. All this space with so few people on the embankment. Consider crossing the river and heading home. But I haven't run far enough yet. 

Blackfriars. Oxo Tower. Darkened pavement. Trees. Stars. Waterloo Bridge. Walk up the stairs. Fast across the bridge. Down the stairs. Brief pause. Now coughing is mixing in with the panting. This cold air is burning my throat. It's glorious. Past Somerset House. Almost to Blackfriars. Detour back onto roads as construction has closed the path. Every pause to catch my breath renewing my need to take off at speed when I go. My legs feel battered. My feet sore from slapping against the cold, hard pavement. I'm now sweaty enough that stopping means really beginning to freeze. Yet the cold is not my enemy. The cold is here to remind me what it feels like to be alive. Keep pushing. Feel. Blackfriars again. Back down to the river. Cruising, the speed coming that little bit easier now that my legs  are warmed up. Reminding myself to keep my arms high and steady. The burning in my throat and chest. Millennium Bridge. Up the stairs. Sprint. Wait for the light. Pant. Cough. Sprint. Wait for the light. Pant. Cough. Sprint. Race past St. Paul's. Through the shopping centre. Five miles gone. Twists and turns. Through the Guildhall yard. On to London Wall. Moorgate. Last push. A slight detour to eat up my remaining minutes. Past 10k. 45 minutes done. At my front door. Legs aching. Throat burned. Wracked by coughing. Home. Alive. Exultant.

 IMG_7535.JPG

 

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from April 2017 listed from newest to oldest.

September 2016 is the previous archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.