Tuesday, 23 February 2010

On perfection

Is there such a thing as a 'Perfect Run'? I pondered this on my little trot out last evening. I'd been hunched over my computer all day and was dying to get some exercise. So I went out and had one of the most beautiful runs in a long time. 
I'd recce'd the route the day before, trudging through the sparkling snow, (joining a small girl throwing snowballs at her Dad who was sledging down the field) to link up some footpaths that I'd spotted last year.  Now, 24 hours later, a lot of the snow had melted and the ground was just beginning to get squidgy, making it lovely to run on. The sun was just beginning to set, suffusing the air and remaining snow with a soft pink glow. It was cool and still. Perfect. I ran as strongly as I have since before Christmas and glided up the hills almost without effort. Perfect.  Inevitably, runs like this - from stile to stile, gate to gate - turn into interval sessions and I rang strongly across the fields. Perfect. 
I got back and looked at my watch:  26.15. And my first, instinctive, reflex, thought was 'Pity I didn't break the 26 minutes'. And that is why I think there is no such thing as a perfect run. It's not the run, it's the essential dissatisfaction we all feel whenever we do go for a run. We always want to do that bit better. So, not perfect, but then no run can ever be (discuss). But it was pretty damn close.
Smileyrating 9.8/10


  1. ok you said 'discuss' (red rag to a bull for me yes?)
    a lovely run it sounds. pleased youre feeling better about it all
    but..i have to disagree about times. how could that ever intefere with the elation you were feeling..you just stole away added happiness for what? 16 lousy seconds.
    the perfection is in the feeling not some external parameteres people want to impose on themselves
    last year i ran to the watch. it was a disaster. i hated it and went downhill with every race
    this year im running for fun, using my watch (to measure time) only for tempo/interval sessions. the result? i cant think of a bad run i've had. i dont care how fast or slow i've gone so long as i come back with a smile on my face and in my soul. the journey enjoyed, the destination merely a fait a compli.
    sorry hf..you know me..you did say 'discuss'!

  2. haha, remind me never to title a post with 'discuss..' ;) however, i have to agree and disagree slightly. each run is different and for me has a purpose, some need watches, some need maps, some are just escapism's. i recon it's probably better to get a near perfect run and keep getting back out there.

  3. is that you sitting on the fence kate ;)

  4. sitting? no, i built the fence ;)

  5. Hi uc: So for you a perfect run is one without a watch - the experience is everything.As one who, kast year, was exhorting you to run without a watch and 'find the fun' I can't disagree with that. But I still don't think there's such a thing as a 'perfect' run. There are wonderful runs, uplifting runs, spiritual runs if you like, but perfect? I don't think so and I'm not sure I'd want there to be; because the next run might be. And all the time there's a next run, Life's OK. I must admit I was slightly cross with myself that my instinctive thought was 'Could have done better'. You're right about the happiness being sacrificed for 16 seconds! Stupid of me.

    Kate: Hello fellow member of the 'Next Run is going to be Perfect' Club! Hope the leg's behaving itself