05 August 2015

Running to the end

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Matthew 6:34

The feeling that autumn has come won't seem to go away, despite all my feelings that the summer never really appeared. I have been on series of personal crusades since my father-in-law left to make myself a better person, or at least a more in control person. This all started with the decision to try and control what I was eating and has now cascaded into trying to improve my typing accuracy and speed. Really, at some point, I should just accept that some things in my life can't be perfected, but these two things, my weight and my use of my right hand when typing seem like easy successes, if I can somehow manage them. 

Remember in Malaysia when there was no autumn? Now, you can have it all the time.

And then my own father came this last week. We ran a very slow ten miles together, and I have now been wanting to run again to feel myself move in the silence and stillness of the canals of Birmingham. On Monday I went for a long run alone, 14 miles, up the canal towards the M42, a run that I had never done before. The canal tow paths are perfect for running: you can start to follow them and trust that for the next 10 or 15 or 20 miles, you will not need to think about anything but your pace. You just go and go and go.

Running without thinking or obsession. I arrived at a long tunnel, one without a tow path on the side. In the past, in the days when the canals were not just an escape for the burnt out middle class and the travellers, they would pull the boats with horses and when they came to the long tunnel, they would take the horses over the top and the boatmen lie on their backs on the narrowboat roof and push along the tunnel with their feet. There are no lights in the tunnel. I ran up to the road above the tunnel and immediately got lost, not sure where to go. I followed the road the wrong way, and then, like a sign, the right direction was clear and I was back on the tow path. 

I ran 7 miles and then turned around, feeling good until I hit the eighth mile. I started to lag, the smart phone app telling me that I was losing seconds on my average speed with every mile. I made it to the final hill by the house and had to will myself up it, the whole of my body saying that it was time to stop. I made it back, sweating and shaking, but happy that I had persevered. And now I am dreaming about doing it again.

I'm on my holiday but taken up by little tasks that I have left undone. Writing to get done and planning of different things coming up and part-time work. We have less than 18 months left, if you trust the visa, and there are so many things to do to make that time worth it. I need to make more money to pay to stay here. I need to continue to look for other opportunities. There is no end to the things that one can push oneself towards. I get up and read. It's been so long since I just sat and read.