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  trailrunning > trailrunning blog > 23.11.2011

23.11.2011 – 10.17 / 40:00 Sweatshop running group
      The darkness is encompassing us all. The shift from autumn to winter is very strange. Basically all of a sudden it gets dark at 4pm and very (ok, not that) cold. Serotonin production ceases, melatonin production increases (good old pineal gland) and your body and mind change. RAGE and _MYTH possess you. (This is probably overly dramatic, because I don’t feel depressed, or lethargic, I’ve just become what can best be described as an energetic insomniac). Overall, this just makes me appreciate that we, as human beings, accommodate, and bow down to natural cycles. In such a ‘world city’ as London you expect everything to be state of the art wonderful, soft, engaging. London is perceived as being a personification of mankind’s taming of nature..... Apart from the fact that it gets dark at 4pm that is!
           Wednesday night is Sweatshop running club night. Based in Clapham, this running group is full of incredibly friendly, fun people. It’s very easy to motivate yourself  to go running on a cold, dark Wednesday night when you know you will warmly welcomed be (thank you Yoda).  The spiritual leader and force behind Sweatshop running club is an entity know as S.A.M. (or Sam). Some people worship him, others admire his running getup, but most people are just in awe of how fast he runs, and how he binds the group together with effortless friendliness.  Tonight’s task was to run as far as possible in 40 minutes on a roughly rectangular route of about 2km. I like this idea because it means everyone finishes at the same time, and you can say hello to various people along the way. And..... ready, steady, run – wahoooooo!! Everyone trotted happily off, and I started slow and tested my still annoyingly sore achilles (f**k you achilles. Or more accurately – FUCK YOU ACHILLES) . The route passed residential housing, and main routes through Clapham, but was easily runnable at all times without too much congestion (I’d like to say something about the architecture here, but don’t have my Pevsner handy – next time!). It was fun just running, the streets floating by, just fun. I ended up just behind Sam, and it is always a pleasure to run with him, because his pace and form are so consistent. But at the same time, it was pointless accelerating, because Sam will always go either at your pace or faster than you if you try to overtake him. It’s like trying to catch a bullet, or a rainbow, or an idea. So 5m behind Sam became my modus operandi for the rest of the run and we lapped several cheerful runners on the way and exchanged niceties (none of them tried to trip us up). I ended up running 10.17km at a pace of 3min 56sec/km. Which is excellent, because there is no way I was expecting to run this fast tonight. I had envisaged myself hobbling around near the back whereas actually, it was a pretty decent run. OK, need to go now – I want another beer and the fridge is nowhere near, here.

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