Today I ran the Union Canal. All of it. From Falkirk Wheel to Edinburgh. A total of 32.75 miles. Does that make me a freak? I hope not, but I couldnt help but be struck by the number of old people I passed on the Canal path. They all looked like I remember my parents in their middle age, and the frightening thing is that most of them were probably the same sort of age as me. They were out in sensible shoes, hats and gloves, usually with a nice wee dug and there was me, sweating and spitting while chugging along like an old steamboat. I was horrified by how old they appeared. I don’t grudge anyone a nice quiet life but I couldn’t help but think of Michael Marra’s wonderful song Hermless.
If other people are Hermless, I most certainly don’t want to be. There are way too many new things left to do, to settle for routine and comfort. For me, the song of the day was BB King’s classic Better Not Look Down, if you want to keep on flying, a brilliant song for runners. It came on to my ipod at mile 13 while I was wresting with the fact that I still had another 20 to run. It reminded me that those sorts of numbers are way too big to contemplate, so just focus on the here and now and keep on keeping on.
Oh yes, one final thought. Don’t put salsa music on your ipod. It makes you run funny.