Tuesday 11 November 2014

Thames Path: So...?

So, I ran the Thames Path.

So what?

Snippets... memories...

"The threads of ten thousand spiders" - the first couple of days: starting out in the morning, wading through dewy grass and getting soaked feet, and breaking the threads of ten thousand spiders as the first living thing to cross the path in hours, the first human to set foot on it in days.  Sticky threads that collect on your bare skin; arms, legs, face... at the end of the day I'd be scraping them off the rubberised parts of my TomTom and run pack.

What you can't see it the thousands of micro-fine spider threads that drape across from the bushes and plants
"The smell of the purple wildflowers along the path" - there's a really distinctive-smelling wild flower that grows near rivers. It's a strong smell and the flower blooms for a few months; I first smelled it out on my training runs in August.  It's all around along large sections of the route and the scent takes me back.

"The solitude of the trail" - for much of the first 5 days, and almost all of the first 2 days, I didn't see another human being.  I didn't have to talk to anyone for hours and hours.  Just me and moving forwards.

Just me, and this.
"The incredible beauty of the countryside and the river" - dearie me, the Thames is pretty.  Sometimes on the path you don't get to see much of it, but sometimes it's utterly stunning and you get views that just look like old masters paintings.

"A slightly odd feeling" - I know I ran 184 miles over 6 days.  I know that's a long way for me.  I know that's not a long way for a good number of people.  I have no medal or t-shirt to show for it.  I know multi-day works for me.  I don't know what any of that means.

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