Back in 2010 when I first thought up Jesus Was A Road Runner, I was smashing 40minute 10k’s, cruising through sub 1:30 half marathons & laughing at 20 mile training runs. Running was a pastime, a way of keeping in shape & above all else, a fantastic social event. Two years have passed and since my 3:55 London Marathon collapse, I have struggled to find consistency.
We touched down in Melbourne back in October. I had every intention of using our “travelling” as a means of getting back into running & training in the tropical heat that the Northern Territories had to offer.
I flirted with a comeback, thanks to the “We Run Melbourne” club at the local Nike store. Meeting some great people, I had rekindled my love with the sport. It was liberating to be running on the other side of the world, sharing stories with people from completely different backgrounds. However, the life of a traveller dealt a cruel blow. After just three sessions with the Nike team, it was time to move on, continuing our travels along the East Coast.
The next time I ran was in Kuranda. A tiny little town based just outside Cairns in Northern Queensland. The beautiful rainforest setting was the perfect place to clock up some miles, whilst enjoying a little calm away from the mango farm. Don’t get me wrong, I loved running in the tropics, but my partner was not a runner and although this in itself didn’t bother me – I couldn’t talk & the pace left a lot to be desired.
Another month or so passed. I was finding it hard to find a rhythm, between the long hours picking fruit and absence of a stable running partner – I was struggling. I ran twice more in Emerald (the location of our second stint of fruit work). Once alone in the 35degree heat and another time with a friend from home who just so happened to be working on the same farm. By the second run, I could feel my breathing syncing and my legs less laborious. Things were definitely improving , but I had not been running nearly enough and it was time to move onwards and back to Sydney.
We love Sydney. It’s a city full of beauty, opportunity and an abundance of foursquare users.
After an evening spent at the Opera House Bar, we decided to split and head back to our accommodation. On our journey back, we were passed by the winged runners who had flown from their nest at the Westfield Shopping Centre. The Nike team were in town! I had to join them, maybe not that night, but the next time that they were set to pound the streets. That night was tonight (7/3/12). We ran a steady 7k, though I fear a slight detour may have seen myself and one of the team clock up closer to 8.
If my experience has taught me anything, it’s that a sense of belonging goes a long way. Back home in England, the team at Southend Athletics took me on as one of their own and within a couple of weeks, I felt as though I had been part of the group for years. I miss the guys at SAC, they helped me progress from a fairly standard runner, to a competitor at regional level. Each time I slipped on the red singlet, I felt a sense of pride – the kind I’d imagine a superhero to feel when they set to save the world. I feel a similar bond with the Nike team already, each new recruit receives a club tee and a warm welcome upon arrival. I look forward to running with some awesome people, and sharing plenty of stories with them. I’ll keep you all updated with my times via my Garmin & hopefully share a few more running tips in my coming posts.
The Nike team meets every Monday & Wednesday – 6pm, at their store in the Westfield Shopping Centre. Read more about the group in the Nike running blog.