Janathon 2012 Day 14: Walk - 5 miles, Time - 1hr 30min, Weather bright winter sun
Today felt like a proper winters day of the best sort: crisp with a clear blue sky and a low sun casting long shadows. Yesterday morning there had been light frost but this morning it was heavy. All around there was a whiteness to reflect the light and make it brighter. Yet the sun was bright and there were interesting patterns where it was melting the frost (as can be seen in the picture of the car).
Wonderful it is exactly the weather to encourage you out, to stomp around and feel the sharpness of the air in each breath. The park was full of plenty of people with the same idea and plenty of dog walkers. Some of them gathered together to talk about their animals. The owner of a magnificent irish wolfhound was telling the owner of close shorn poodle how expensive it was to get the dog shampooed and whatever else they do at a dog’s beauticians. I thought of the observations that if ever you got a group of poets together the main topic of conversation would be money. Perhaps it is the same for every special interest group?
But no! That is not the case. Runners are a special interest group and money is a topic we rarely bring up - perhaps because it is not a barrier to entry and you can spend as much or as little as you like on shoes and outfits without it having the slightest effect on your ability, status or inner validity as a runner.
I was thought about this last week when I passed a woman who was most elegant in her running gear. Everything matched - trainers, leggings, top and jacket were all Asics. Everything was this season. Everything was perfect. It would be impossible for me to be so coordinated (even if I was coordinated it would be impossible for me to look elegant, but we will let that pass). In my wardrobe there is a random collection of shirts and shorts from a variety of manufacturers, accumulated over time that are arbitrarily worn together. It makes no real difference. The only questions I ask myself when I get dressed are: ‘long or short sleeves? one layer or two?
The thing is that it makes no real difference. Being scruffy or elegant might say something about the sort of person you are but nothing about you as a runner. That’s as it should be and when runners get together as like as not they will talk of statistics (mileage, times, that sort of thing) or experiences and that is also as it should be.