Last week I had my favourite kind of run. You can keep your interval sessions and your LSR’s, and you can stick your tempo runs, your fartleks and your Albanian cheese-sprints1 where the sun doesn’t shine; the best type of run by far is: the Errand Run.
Earlier in the day my car had been dropped at the garage to have some work done, and I expected it to be ready in an hour or two. Unfortunately, they needed to keep it overnight (I’m no mechanic, but I think it had a poorly electric or something) and so offered me a courtesy car. Problem was, the garage was situated at the far side of the next town and there was nobody free to drive me over to collect it.
Years ago, this would have been resolved with a £15 taxi journey.
But years ago I wasn’t a runner.
An hour later I arrived, slightly sweaty, at the garage. I collected the car and drove home with the warm fuzzy feeling that I’d just completed a mighty quest.
(I hadn’t completed a mighty quest; I’d just picked up a courtesy car. Haven’t you been paying attention?)
There’s something immensely gratifying about running for a specific purpose. Nothing makes me happier than going out for a run with an empty backpack and returning home with jam. Most of the time when we run, we tend to do it for a wider goal (such as fitness, personal achievement or raising money for charity) or simply because it’s what we do, but now and then it’s great to use running as a tool to achieve a day-to-day task. Our ancestors used to do it all the time. They ran to catch their dinner, or to avoid being dinner, or to pass on a vital message to the next village (probably something about dinner).
These days we don’t really have that any more. I did see something about running couriers in London, but that’s just a bit weird. I imagine they’re all called “Zak”, “Cooper” or “Travis”, and have painfully interesting haircuts.
Right, I’m off for a run. Does anyone want anything picking up?
1 I made one of those up. No, really.