Saturday, December 03, 2011

2011 Streak Day 297: (Thursday October 27th): Travel

2011 Streak Day 297: (Thursday October 27th)
Walk 3 miles, Time 1hr, Weather - dark and wet when I set out bright when I arrived.
The picture is of people milling around Paris Montparnasse station. It is like any station: so many people, so many reasons for travel. My reason is pleasure. I am on my way, once more, to the Charente and am catching the train to Angoulème. A couple of months from the summer holiday and I am going back again but this time I am going there to offer a little help to my brother-in-law with the eternally ongoing building project that is his french house.
I take a childish delight in long training journeys and almost like the prospect of arrival as much as actually getting there, especially if you have to get up early and the day stretches out before you - it seems more of an adventure. For this journey I had to get up at 4:30 (plenty early enough) and set out in the dark and damp to walk to the station (pleasure doesn’t come from things being easy). As I walked I thought myself lucky because serious rain and soaking trousers would not a happy rail passenger make.
On the Eurostar I sat alongside a grandfather, father and child. All three were train enthusiasts, something I gathered from the adults reading railway magazines and having the odd conversation about high speed points and the boy getting excited about seeing a TGV painted the wrong colour. It was reassuring to see a family sharing an interest, a reminder that the world was still a decent place. 
The bit of overheard conversation I liked the best was not about trains at all. The father was showing the grandfather a GPS app on his iPhone. “Look”, he said “it shows you exactly where we are on our journey.” “Well where are we then?” “In the middle of nowhere.”
I sometimes feel like that when collecting stats about my runs. The technology is all very clever but all it shows me is that in running terms I am in the middle of nowhere.

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