09 September 2014

The supermoon

LORD MURUGAN - The LEADER of DEVAS - LORD SHIVA and GODDESS PARVATHI'S AGNIPUTRA - Artist AniKarthikeyan,Chennai,TamilNadu,India

I've been having trouble sleeping, the way you do when you start getting up early to work out. I felt this way when I was training for the marathon in 2012 and getting up at 4 in the morning to run. I just wanted to sit in a chair in my trainers all night, waiting for the alarm to go off.

The gym membership has got me up and moving now every day early in the morning. They open at six, and on days that I want to be out and working earlier, I go for a run before they open and stop off on my way to work. This morning, the alarm went off at 5 and touched Yoko's head to say goodbye and ran out, up through Edgbaston, through the hospital and University campus, and then back up towards the city centre, all the old money houses still sleeping. There aren't any cars on the quiet streets, so I don't have to run on the pavement and I can slip into my inner world, flipping through thoughts like an old Rolodex. This one to the next to the next to the next.

This morning as I came up Harborne High Street, my smartphone announcing through my pocket that I had been running for 40 minutes, I caught sight of the moon — the supermoon — just setting down our way, behind War Lane. I pushed myself harder and harder towards the end, trying to get the splits to be closer to seven and half minutes, something I could brag to myself about.

Coming back to running is such a gift. In Malaysia, in the heat, I would run a couple of miles at most, around the hill outside of Taman Sri Minang, the azan coming over the hills, but the heat still intense even so early in the morning. My body felt so fat — my father-in-law wondering outloud how I could run when I was so fat.

Up Victoria Road, it's different. My body responds much more quickly and I am, in a mile or so at pace and pushing and pushing into the night, the darkness of the trees where the supermoon hasn't quite reached.