I knew something was different tonight from the moment I splayed my toes in one of the regular toe drills (lovingly dubbed “Toega” by many who try them). My feet were strangely rubbery, the spaces between big toe and the other toes remarkably wider than normal.
Then I hopped on my treadmill and after a few adjustments, I felt like something clicked. Suddenly any pace felt easy. I grabbed my almost dead headtorch and pair of VivoBarefoot Breathos: three millimetres of hard rubber with a set of 2mm studs underneath but nothing else. No insoles, no socks, no impediment.
From the stride, everything was different. I could hardly see, but it didn’t matter, the ground just existed under me and I was above it, caring nothing that I could barely see. Who needs eyes when you have feet and sense of space. Speed felt fast, so I looked down to check my watch and found my wrist was empty. Indifference. I didn’t need it.
The wind was blowing a gale down the rocky Kevin’s Way. I cursed the person who had opened the Coillte gate as I had looked forward to vaulting it in the dark. Things were never this easy. If there were rocks on Kevin’s Way, I barely felt them. As I turned back homewards, suddenly I felt like floating. It was like an explosion of joy inside, so strong that I became entirely irrational and began muttering strangeness to myself: “It’s the hunter, it’s the hunter!” Like if my brain had picked up that this is how running must have felt like in primeval times.
A different creature
A herd of deer stared at me three metres to my left, I could see their shining eyes glitter in the light of my head-torch but they didn’t move. Perhaps they have learned to only fear zoo-humans and not the strange creature I felt like as I thundered silently over the rocks and puddles of water.
The stride continued to hum perfectly beneath me, I felt like I was master and commander, bending the laws of nature to my will. Gravity was my slave, Swooping down a hill felt easy and as I returned to my drive way, gravity was almost suspended for a moment as I rushed up the hill with a stride I have never known. Was this ancient software reasserting itself, taking its rightful place and ousting the modern version planted there by shoes, sitting, PE teachers with outmoded beliefs and a medical profession who have lost touch with what a natural human is and can do?
Death of the marathon-marcher…
What an end to a tired, wet and dark day. This was running. Not the years of jogging I have been doing. Not the 2:55 marathon-march I suffered through in Copenhagen. Now, to continue the journey…