Run commuting: Awaken my senses and set me up for the day ahead.

The evenings are dark, the mornings are dark. What’s a runcommuter to do? Or maybe you’re not a runcommuter yet. It’d be a stupid time to start, right? Wrong. Let me tell you why…

Over this last year I have clocked up 3,000 miles in my various pairs of trainers and of those, I reckon at least 75% have been runcommutes. Have the dark mornings been the hardest ones to haul myself out of bed? Yes, but they’ve also been the most rewarding. When you can say you’ve done 50 minutes of exercise before breakfast, when you’ve felt the seasons change against your skin, when you’ve seen the sun rise even the morning after what seemed like the worst day ever (and we’ve had a few of those this year) well, then you can say you’ve started your day well. 

Even though by its nature a runcommute route is repetitive, the experience itself is far from that. Take the last couple of weeks as an example. On one day I ran past a new piece of street art which showed a person spray-painting a wall. The spray in the picture turned into a swirling cloud of colours and then into flames. It was beautiful and arresting in an otherwise grey street and either it was new or I’d not noticed it before. 

Spray-painted wall

That said only days beforehand the weather had been so foggy that it was hard to see much further than the end of your toes. As I climbed the hill from Golders Green to Hampstead the low lying fog shielded the normal London panorama from view and dampened all the sounds around me. With the normal horizon unavailable to me I looked to the foreground instead. I stopped to take a picture of frosty leaves under my feet and noticed that the path I run along every time had little tree stumps lining the edge of it. On this day some of these were meshed with icy spiders webs which would normally go totally ignored. 

Frosty leaves

That’s just two days and two small ways in which the runcommute has woken my senses and set me up for the day ahead. December is a great time to join the fun as we’ll be treated to Christmas lights and festive sights on our run. Don’t wait until the new year to start!