Last Friday night, just outside of Nobleton, Ontario, I ran for 45 minutes through a forest in a lightning storm.
Those who’ve known me for more than a few years know that I’ve always been into trail running, but until recently I had stopped. Last Friday, I ran the 5peaks NocTerra run.
The run began at 9pm. The trail was marked with glow sticks. We wore headlamps to light the way. We ran 7km through field and forest, navigating over roots, around fallen trees, around hydro towers and across streams. We ran over uneven ground and overgrown vegetation. We ran uphill and downhill. All of this in the dark, during a storm.
I’ve never felt better.
I think I’ve discovered what it is that I love about running – the rhythm. My stride is even and my breathing structured and steady. It’s a state of physical exertion; certainly not calm in a relaxed sense, but there’s still a state of focus and concentration fueled by the underlying stability and structured bodily movement. Concentration is paramount; if you don’t look to the ground, you lose your footing, but if you don’t keep your head up, you lose your way.
And the experience is musical. I was listening to Audioslave all week and, let me tell you, the song Shadow of the Sun is absolutely epic in a lightning storm. Running through a field with only a small beam from the headlamp shining down onto the path, feet pounding on the uneven ground, seeing a lone orange glow (stick) across the way beyond the silhouette of a hydro tower while Chris Cornell’s haunting voice from The Last Remaining Light is echoing through your mind was nothing short of a defining moment for me.
What a feeling.
If you don’t believe the sun will rise,
Stand alone and greet the coming night
In the last remaining light…
ps Yes, I’ll admit that the thought of blogging crossed my mind during the run. I’m not quite this bad though… yet…