Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Also refracted by running

I am also refracted by running
turned and returned
rainbow radiated
Westward whirled;
running's foot-crunch
echoes long, on and on.
Being curls through me
glossed, glistened
its longering song-beating

my heart feet.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Risen by running

I am risen by running
footpath kneaded
effort warmed
star-glow fired
foot-flip quickened
soul fed, spirit spread
Fill fully fed.
Risen through the risings of running
grass songs
cliff whispers
profusion perfumes
newal and renewal aches
cycle and recycle chafes.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Photographs of running

I like to take pics while I'm running.
I also like the way 
running is etched, chiseled sometimes into my memories; 
into my runtan;
 polished into the moon-glints from my eyes

Friday, 4 October 2013


Run measures once: hours, minutes, seconds, parts of seconds passed; kilos and metres crossed. 
Run measures too: waterfalls rainbowed, puddles splashed, silence forested

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Steeled by running

I am steeled by running
blue-sprung calves
grey-hardened feet
alloyed mind-body 
folded and refolded
reheated, rehammered,
quenched in life's stream,
moon polished, 
dawn etched, 
starlight inlaid; 
finger-tips, tongue left to tingle,
eyes to glitter.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Beginnings - an affection

Once I couldn't run. I could chase a ball, dash across a road, play with children. But not run consistently even for just a kilometre; still less every day.

Even if I could have, the plain fact was that I didn't. Physical effort, besides the odd hike and moving furniture, even though I was strong and healthy enough, wasn't part of my life.

Had to change. Degenerated too far, fattened, lungs clogged. There was no “I” in this, it wasn't me deciding. A deeper drive engaged. Run.

Snuck survival

Into late nights I sneaked. Flung myself at a road, at my ignorance. Sounds serious. It was. It was also quite funny. I did it as lightly as I could; laughed maybe half as much as I gasped, more after. A circular route  took me over a hill; so once going, it was the same effort going back as going on. No going back, I forced myself through a long, long kilometre and a bit. I wheezed lots and, well, always felt beaten. 

My shins flared. I had to stop. Then start again. Didn't feel like it. Start again. Felt like I was making no progress. Start again.

Even had I known about a running group, a coach or guide who could help, I wouldn't have gone far too embarrassed to display me-like-that.

A year later I could run maybe three kilometres with a rest halfway. That made me feel okay enough to run in daylight on a road where others ran. I couldn't believe how they chatted into the foreign lands past my limits. 

In my defence, and with more than a hint of affection, I offer that this running, between walks and gasps, was done at around 4 min/km. I ran as far as fast as I could. I didn't know slower was also running. I was just doing my school-days running.

Six more months got me through five km, later to the end of a ten km with just a water break halfway, just a little slower than 4 min/km most likely. Got me glory no less, like Christmas tree lit from dark to magic,  a city at dusk when the lights come on.

New beginning

As a somewhat-runner, I joined a running group. First thing I learned: getting somewhere is just a new beginning. Two, three years after I first tried roads, I began again, stumbling behind runners who could chat and joke their way through twenty-two km.

Second thing I learned was that maybe it was an idea to buy proper running shoes and shorts. 

It was okay. I knew how to wheeze and stumble and get somewhere. As all starting does, my running start grew step by step run by run. 


Many miles later I still have this deep affection for those first floppings.
Beginning is just the hardest part of running.
So too do I have an affinity for the very real people who start or restart running; those who want to lift themselves to a higher level. I know what it it takes. I am that hum; it still thrums in me. 

I also know it helps for someone to be there with them. I had spent much time being with myself to get going. 

Once I spent time leading a beginner running group. It was easy for a Saturday morning three-hour fun runner,  a regular marathoner and more, to be with them for forty or so minutes which mostly became an hour, a couple of times a week. He just went out and got in a few more miles on his own.  

A great privilege it was to see them grapple then grow; to see them animate and glow; to be part of their first 5 km run, their first 10 km run, in a small way.


Maybe my affection is just that often I had to re-start running: after not being able to run because of a knee-problem; after knee-cartilage surgery to resolve the problem, after the second knee was cut and trimmed too; after an illness.

A harder restart was after doing too much running and losing interest. Not much running for 6 months. Driven out again, I started, a beginner once more, jogging as much as I could through just one km out, then after a deep breath that huge km back, three times a week.

At the start of my first 100 mile run I felt David Bowie's sung-idea of being an “absolute beginner”.  Being a relatively seasoned short ultra runner helped little - the longer distance was completely daunting; the other runners looked terribly body-mind tough while I wobbled and ran inside. 

Hardest was starting again after five years of little running. My life had changed, I thought I filled with running enough. It was hard: start, stop: cold or 'flu. Start again, stop: knotted calf. Start, stop, grit my mind, start again. 
Running promises that you get stronger the longer you do it. 
I did know,it was possible, I had done it all before. I knew I didn't have to run at even 5 or 6 min/km. But know is know and do is do and the doing was hard, until it was done. Three years later if could run as I pleased again. I won't stop again.

And so

So I have this absolute affection for beginnings of journeys. 

Beginnings redeemed me. Got clean lungs, empowered heart, thinner sometimes. 

Got a richer life from those first dark, retching steps.  I even got to run mystical miles.

Beginnings are always there in what I do, beginnings, restarting. I am just a begun beginner.
As I run more years, my first steps are still there, affectionately wrapped in a corner of all my runs.