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My next instalment of Marathon-Megs, from 2011, had me thinking…a lot.

 

I think some people would see running as quite a lonely and boring thing, especially when training for a marathon. My training involves hours and hours with just myself, the pathway, and my iPod.

For me running is the time of day I love most – it’s the time I remove myself from all conversational interaction and get a lot of good, hard thinking done. I find myself clear headed, happy, and ready to take on anything, or I may just be confusing this with pure exhaustion.

 

I’m not the sort of person that gets bored

I very much like spending time on my own. My sister used to tell me I was the only person she knew who could sit and do nothing for hours. When I travel, I rarely read books or play games, I just sit and get lost in my thoughts. It’s a bit the same when I run. I spend a lot of time thinking and having little conversations with myself in my head, particularly about the things I see or notice while out running.

Have any of you ever run on the footpath that runs along the Broadwater Parklands on the Gold Coast?

Well if you have, you may have noticed the smiling suns that are printed into every fourth or fifth concrete block. They very politely tell you to ‘Have a Happy Day’. I usually am having a happy day when I run over them heading north, it’s when I am running back south and getting to around the 18km mark that I’m not having such a happy day.

If you look closely though, you will see that some of the suns are really not that happy themselves. In fact, there is one sun that is missing its face completely. There is another that’s missing one eye. I always think to myself ‘poor little things’.

I have been running the same track between Surfers Paradise and Southport, then around the back of the Marriott Hotel to Budds Beach, for around 5 years.  Yes, I know I should really try a new route but I like the familiarity of my track.

It doesn’t seem to matter whether it’s morning or afternoon or where along my run I am, I always see this lady walking her poodle. I see her along the Esplanade, on Macintosh Island and on the boardwalk at the Marriott. She is a very well-dressed older lady and her dog is equally well groomed. I often see her chatting to people along her walk and I always think to myself ‘one day I will stop and introduce myself’. I wonder if when she sees me she thinks ‘there’s that girl running again’. Maybe she has never noticed me at all.

 

I’m an expert in running

I consider myself a bit of an expert on knowing exactly where every water bubbler is located between Surfers Paradise and Runaway Bay (again because I regularly run this track). But don’t be fooled, one water bubbler is not the same as another, even if they look the same. There are only a couple I will actually stop at and attempt to drink water from.

Broadwater Parklands have great bubblers that have good water pressure and deliver a nice even flow of water. Up near Charis Seafood at Labrador however, it is a different story. There is one bubbler that has such bad water pressure you practically have to suck the tap to get a drop. Note – do not be desperate for a drink if you are stopping at this one. Go just 50m up the road and there is a bubbler whose water comes out so hard and fast it nearly knocks you off your feet. Back down in Surfers Paradise a bubbler in the new foreshore redevelopment is already missing its button which turns the water on, so again do not be dying of thirst if stopping here, you won’t survive.

 

Runner types

I love analysing the different types of people I see running. There are those super fit people, usually the guys wearing no shirt and the girls wearing tiny little shorts and an even smaller running top. These are the people I would like to look like. When they come bounding past me I think ‘yes, if I had a body like yours, I too would wear skimpy little outfits’.

Then there are the older runners, the ones that overtake me and disappear into the distance quicker than I can take my next breath. The thing about these older runners is they are not just a little bit older than me – they are considerably older, by say 20 or even 30 years. How on earth can they be running that fast at their age? Are they out to try and make people my age look bad?  Well, they do a good job.

Then there is my least favourite runner, or should I say a group of runners. These are the people that run in groups of three or four people and think they own the footpath. I shouldn’t discriminate, these groups can also be walkers. They make absolutely no attempt to move over and I often spend the next couple of kilometres writing the Runner’s Book of Etiquette in my head.

The longer my runs get, the more interesting things I see and the more thinking I can get done! By the time the marathon comes around I’ll have spent so much time thinking and working things out in my head I won’t have to think again for another good few years.  I’m looking forward to getting out on the weekend so I can spend another 2.5 hours lost in my own little world. Imagine the things I can think about on race day – I’ll have a whole 4.5 – 5 hours to talk to myself.

Read my next instalment of Marathon-Megs, Where Did The Love Go?