Thursday Doors – down the road

Just a quick one this time.

The other day (well, almost a fortnight ago now) I went for a run along my usual route through the parks near my place. Usually I run in the late afternoon when it’s not too hot (and also so that I’ve had sufficient digestion time since lunch), and the sun is usually on its way past the horizon by the time I’m heading home.

This time, however, it was still pretty bright out when I finished my run. I decided to take a scenic detour on my way home, and call it a “cool down walk”. My ulterior motive, of course, was door spotting.

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better than

Perhaps it’s part of human nature to underestimate one’s abilities…

Today I ran 5.4km in under 32 minutes. I ran/jogged continuously for 5.4km, and I’m pretty sure that’s the first time I’ve ever managed to do that.

Previously, I’d go for hour-long runs, but I’d stop and walk after every 1-2km. A few weeks ago, I ran 4km in about 25 minutes, and I thought that that was going to be my limit. Shows how much I know.   Continue reading

what I think about when I run

At the end of last year, coming into the start of this year, I read Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running; and I’ve left the book sitting by my computer since then, both for inspiration and also because there are a number of things I’d like to talk about from the book.

Within the first chapter, Murakami mentions that he’s often asked what he thinks about when he runs, being a long distance (i.e. marathon) runner. Since I’m not famous, and no one really asks me anything about my running except to ask where and/or for how long I run, I don’t think I’ve been asked this before. I have, however, pondered the question in my own time, and it seems that my answer is more or less the same as Murakami’s:

On cold days I guess I think a little about how cold it is. And about the heat on hot days. … But really as I run, I don’t think much of anything worth mentioning.

He then goes on to talk about running in a void, or running to create a void, and that, I think, is one of the truly marvellous things about running.

This afternoon*, however, I went for a run, and I tried to make mental notes about what I thought about, just for interest’s sake. It’s still nothing really “worth mentioning”, but this is my blog, and it’s already filled with plenty of pointless ramblings, so one more surely wouldn’t hurt…   Continue reading

hit the ground running

I can hear the NYE fireworks from my home. We’re not close enough or in a good enough position to be able to see them too, but that’s alright.

There seems to be an increasing trend of people not wanting to go out for NYE. Either that, or it’s just the people I know “getting old”. It seems that people just don’t care as much about New Year’s as they care about Christmas. Not that people stay out late for Christmas, but there’s more of an inclination to make some sort of effort to be around loved ones and celebrate. For NYE, however, a lot of people kind of just shrug it off as “just another night”.

I still like NYE. I might not go to parties or go out drinking or watch the fireworks, but I still like NYE. It’s the general vibe, and all the symbolism, you know?

It’s kind of interesting, though, that if there was some global (or even just national) consensus that the New Year would start on, say, the 1st of May, then April 30 would suddenly be a hundred times more significant. Yeah, I know, that’s kind of stating the obvious, but what if we decided to extend the length of one “year” to 24 months? Let the Earth do two laps of the Sun before we change calendars. The significance is not in the day itself, but in what it’s signposting.

Ok, enough waffling, let’s get serious (kind of).

I’ve been reading Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running this last month. It’s not really an autobiography, but a “running memoir” of sorts (or just a collection of his thoughts). I’m really enjoying it because, although he mostly writes about running, he also talks a bit about writing (in relation to running), and the whole thing reads like a blog, so it’s essentially combined three of my favourite things – running, writing, blogging.

I also like that it’s inspirational. Murakami kind of made it clear from the outset that he wasn’t aiming to teach others or inspire them, but I’m sure he’s achieved that anyway. At the very least, he’s inspired me. I’ve still got about 15 more pages to read before finishing it, but I feel like it was a good book to end 2015 on, and perfect for greeting 2016 with.

In this book (which I’m just going to refer to as Running because the actual name is too long), Murakami also talks about his training and preparation for running marathons and triathlons. When he talks about this part of running, he talks about pushing his body to the limits – to its limits. He also talks about his own character and how it suits running. And although he never talks about NYE (unless it’s in the last 15 pages that I haven’t read yet), Running inspired my choice of NYE activity: running.

Pretty much the only thing I deadset wanted to do for NYE was go for a run. In effect, reading about Murakami preparing for and running marathons really made me want to run. And to push myself to my limits.

The run was completed in the early evening (up and down one of my favourite routes along the river), and now I’m completely exhausted. But,  you know what, I feel fantastic. It’s a deep sort of satisfaction.

Ok, I’m probably way too exhausted to keep writing this right now. Can’t wait to write a post on Running when I finish reading it, though. Might even give it multiple posts.

reading, running, reminiscing

Today I was packing my bags. On Monday I’ll be at a different pharmacy, up north. Just for three weeks, but even that seems like a long time, especially considering that I haven’t been out of town for that long since I first started working at the pharmacy. I paused a lot during the packing process, overwhelmed with the enormity of this trip I’m making, and thinking of all the people I’m going to miss while I’m gone.

Next on the agenda today was to finish reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which a friend/colleague had lent to me. I only had about 50 pages left, so I decided that I had to finish it before my trip, so that I could (1) return the book, and (2) take a new book with me.

Finishing the book today by early/mid afternoon also had the added benefit of allowing me to return the book today, and thus visit another friend/colleague at the pharmacy. Yes, ok, I am possibly a bit too attached to my work and my work family… But they are great people! (most of them)

(I was actually going to write this post about One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, but it seems that that’s just not going to happen… I’ll publish a separate book post tomorrow or the day after.)

To be honest, though, I was a bit conflicted about whether or not I should make the effort of going to the pharmacy today just to return the book and see someone very briefly. I mean, I’m going out for lunch tomorrow, so could easily drop by then instead, and then I could have stayed at home all day today to do productive things like write posts I can schedule for the next few weeks. But then I thought about the other pharmacists I’ve visited over the years, and I thought about whether or not I would regret visiting today, and the decision was easy.

(The “what would you regret?” test is my go-to strategy for decision-making.)

Also – side note – I kind of planned it so that I could then run home from work. I caught the bus/train in, as I usually do, hung around to chat for a bit, then ran all the way home. I’ve wanted to try it out for a while now, so I’m glad that I can cross that off the list. It took less than 80 minutes, which is alright considering I walked a lot (it is so hot and humid!), and I kind of made up the route as I went along.

Well, anyway, people who I’ve spoken to over recent weeks (particularly work friends) all know that I’m super excited about this upcoming trip. Still, me being me, you can’t eliminate all apprehension and anxiety with excitement alone. Not to brag or anything, but I’m pretty good at worrying about everything that could possibly go wrong, which, of course, includes the possibility that there are many possible scenarios which I have not considered but will occur when I’m there.

Yes, ok, that is probably overstating it a bit. I’m pretty amateurish at worrying sometimes.

And I’m sorry that I can’t reveal the actual name of the place that I’m going to – well, I don’t think I should anyway. I mean, I don’t know… Maybe I should review my pharmacy’s policy about social media… Then again, I’m pretty sure that no one I work with reads this blog. But who knows… I seem to have a number of “silent readers”.