It was a simple enough question, but for the remaining miles of my long run it rattled round my mind. The man asking the question must be a runner too, or at least he talked like a runner. "Where do you go for your run?" Not "Where do you go running?" A subtle but significant difference.
Running. I am running. They were running. Each statement poses more questions than it answers. Why? Where? How long? Was it a race? Were they being chased? Were you late? It describes only how you are moving, nothing else.
"I'm going for a run." There's a narrative to this simple statement: it has a beginning, a middle and an end. Running becomes, not just the passive action of putting one foot in front of another in order to get somewhere but the reason and the aim, a thing to be experienced and possibly enjoyed.
It's the difference between 'eating' and 'going for a meal'. Going for a meal conjures up images of three courses, a starter, a main course and a desert; good company and conversation. Maybe some candles. It's about more than just the food and the 'eating' but about the experience as a whole.
Going for a run too, has different phases - the first 20 minutes that feel like a huge effort and a bad idea, the middle section where maybe you feel like it's effortless and you're flying along, then the end where are willing it to be over already or don't want it to finish.
And while you might run in Finsbury Park while I'm running in Finsbury Park, and we may even do the same race on the same day, your run will be separate to mine. My experience different to yours, because my run is something that belongs to me and me alone.