Shadow Runner

The darkness is my running partner, more so now I am forced to be solitary in my stride. I do not hate it, I am very comfortable with my company, we laugh at the same jokes and run at the same pace, so it is perfection. However, it is not unusual for me to run in the unlight of the morn! I am a mother of three small boys and I need to get up and run before the kids open their sleep crusted eyelids and stretch their gangly arms towards dawns first light.

It is my ritual, it is my thing and I adore every dusky edged moment of it. As I steal through the house at 4.30 am, silently yanking on shorts, sports bra, socks, wrist band, hair band, headlamp, HR monitor and FINALLY the “piste de resistance”, my sneakers. To aid in my stealth I lay them all out the night before, clean, in order, ready! I double check what run I have and then choose the run sneaker to match, comfy Saucony ISO 2, 4mm drop for steady and easy, Saucony Kinvara, 4 mm drop , for tempo or intervals and then my Saucony type A9, 4mm for the track or a race. By the way I like Saucony incase you were not sure, well better then that, my feet and ankles really like them.

Faced scrubbed, coffee chugged, “bathroom”, teeth brushed, bed hair clipped back, I grab my hand held bottle and steal out into the gloom.

Stepping into the sepia of a fading night, the blackness and humidity envelopes my already sweating body (I am a Florida flatlander), shielding me from danger. The dim beam of my lamp fights its way through the night, scrabbling to light a safe path for my pounding feet, rhythmic body flow and steady breath as I strike out in time to the beating crickets and hiss of sprinklers.

A hushed calm floats over me, shushing jangled nerves and a busy mind in to silence. Foot plants, arm swings, breath rushes, foot plants, arm swings, breath rushes, again and again, over and over, my morning meditation propelling me deeper and deeper into the waking morning. A grey light starts to warm the sky, subtle reds, pinks, oranges and gold start to paint the sky, the tips of trees and roofs of a slumbering world.

Feet are still ticking over, perspiration running in rivulets down my back, across my face, I rub it out of my eyes, breath rushes in breath rushes out. Birds get busy, softly chirping with the breaking sky as it brightens. The moon softly, slides across the horizon to hide behind a cloud, the birds noise builds and builds, a mounting crescendo of song. Whipping around me, pushing me, driving me like a spectre from the confines of the night in to the day. Losing the phantom, joining my flesh and bone body.

Arms swing forward, arms drive back, chasing the night as she slips away. Shadows are sucked out from the base of trees and stretch to the soaring sun. She climbs higher and higher, the birds oh the birds are so loud, I run faster and faster, heart pounding as each mile passes, like a vampire I yearn for the night, sprinting home. Strike, swing, breath, the momentum, the motion is now a blur, I am almost there, muscles screaming for oxygen, but there is nothing left, depleted, spent. The front door looms, I slow, I stop, head hanging like a weeping willow tree, bowing humbly to the sunrise, my sweat glistens in its newborn glow. I lie down, hair plastered across my brow, the twilight is gone and I am stranded. Left to recover on the concrete, dragging air in and forcing it out, slowing my heart, relishing the stillness, the mild ache of my body as it rests from the pain.

I am still, I am awake, I am a shadow, I am a runner.

Minutes pass, I ease myself up off the warming side walk, drag in a slug of water and open the door, ready to hit the fray of my day.

I close it quietly and begin.

Love, Shadow runner.

Coronavirus Skills

With the unfolding doom swirling around us, as the universe locks up shop and secretly sinks into an oblivion of nothingness. As we start descending in to a dank basement of darkness and gloom, a blinding light breaks through and shatters the night…. The glare of super social media stands strong, as our hero of the piece.

The World Wide Web has exploded. We are now pleasantly subjected to the talents of enthusiastic, slightly out of shape, gin drinking, gorgeously, gyrating mothers in leotards singing “I will survive”. We have been delighted by serenading Italians on their balconies (sadly I am not that talented). There are muffin topped, naked stoners, swinging their dicks in time to a pendulum and not one hair from that saggy scrotum is flashed, as they “expertly” keep in time to the pendulum. All the while, continuously smoking and seriously not a single one of those curly pubes are displayed. WOW, I bow down to his genius!?! Gulp maybe not, that is closer than 6ft and I will then be eye level with a pair of aging, drooping ball bags; I salute you sir I salute you. The stream of videos is endless… We have the, run around the house naked video – POST! Teach fractions with large glasses of wine (loved) video – POST! Juggle small cats video POST! Exploding brain cells BOOM BOOM BOOM video – POST! ARGGHHHH INSANITY VIDEO, POST POST POST! Lets just lay ourselves down in front of the camera and completely lose our shit video… POST the goddam life out of it people. Keep going people, keep at it ALWAYS, because the struggle is real and we are with you on this ride.

Having said all that, I am completely, utterly and deeply in love with the raw exposed talent of all of this. No one gives a crap. It is all, “here I am”, see me jack around and I hope I can make you laugh. I have officially, cracked up, lay on the floor dying with side hurting laughter so much in the last 2 weeks, that I secretly love Corona (light beer) virus for the gifts it just keeps giving, aside from a persisitent cough, potential lung destruction and a small side plate of death.

I am also in awe of the radically new, totally unhelpful skills I too am learning. From staying indoors for what seems like an eternity, dudes I have gained serious SKILLZ and yes the Z means these are awesome. Let me list them and I am sure you will be impressed with my new found prowess across a wealth of topics.

1) Washing hands like a surgeon – man I have that hands up, elbow action down, like seriously down, maybe a video, why the hell not – POST.

2) Opening doors with my feet, yes I can lift my leg that high, impressed? You should be, I am nearly 43 years old. I am practically a grandma (eeekkk and in the high risk category)

3) Making a bleach solution and the ability to speed clean my groceries with said homemade bleach solution in 3 minutes. Just call me Americas top Ninja warrior.

4) I have re learnt the art of the flax egg, you egg hoarders will not destroy my baking, you will not destroy my ability to eat CAKE. We must eat cake.

5) The ability to make dinner from quinoa, my last egg (damn you hoarders) and dead looking veg (truly it was entering the annihilated, limp, manky, death stage) – TA DAAAAAA – Chinese stir fry ala the Rona. No one died eating it, so score on that front.

6) I can do a headstand for a long time, legs straight up and everything – OOHH VIDEO opportunity right there. POST – If naked, I am sure I’ll get at least 5 likes.

7) I can shout really loudly above the “taking off jumbo jet” din of 3 boys trying to kill each other with plastic Lightsabers. Believe me that is loud, like immense.

There are also a million and one completely mind numbing, un-useful skills I can add. Like expert timewasting, plucking my eyebrows for almost 30 minutes, staring at the ceiling for 20 minutes and thinking of nothing. Cleaning door handles everyday, not folding washing and making copious amounts of grill cheese sandwiches; we always have bread and cheese.

I know you are jealous, I am so cool, NOT!! Shit, I may even start dressing up and wearing makeup. So, on that sad note I’ll go back online and indulge in all those other caged, wildly talented folk. I particularly enjoy dancing, gin drinking, lycra clad videos, surely there is a site for that? (PS for you locked up men, the Pornhub is now free for quarantine, you are welcome.)

Please please Send me your SKILLZ (clean) with a Z and make me laugh, or seriously I may just cry when I have run out of eyebrows to pluck.

No one is going to save you Kelly, remember that.


My name is Kelly and I am addicted to 1980s, lycra injected social media.