The Scribbler

18 February 2011

That’s much better, thank you

Filed under: run — The Scribbler @ 12:18
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On Tuesday I planned to run 10k after work. But by the time I finished a little later than usual, it was dark, blowing a gale, and quite frankly, I just didn’t feel like going for a run.

And that’s not like me, so I knew that I wasn’t feeling like my usual self. I was tired. Mental tired, rather than physical tired and that always makes me a bit grumpy.
So, time to rest. To eat a second helping of home-made cottage pie and enjoy some chocolate marmalade cake for pudding, then tuck myself up nice and early for a good sleep. Not forgetting to set the alarm for an early wake up.

Because a very kind and thoughtful online running pal suggested a little motivation and encouragement for an early morning run. Knowing there would probably be someone else heading out early before work was a great incentive to delve into the darkness armed with my high viz.

I still wasn’t completely sure of myself and what I was expecting from this run. I set out telling myself a minimum of 6k, but that 8k could be deemed a good run if I was still feeling a bit grumbly. And it would give me a chance to break in my new orthotics.

Almost immediately I set off I had to stop and extract a stone from my shoe. Once I got going again I took some time to find a rhythm. A light smattering of rain and plenty of puddles for unwary feet. But a still, calm quietness in the lightening morning that encouraged me to breathe, relax and ease my thoughts and body into the day.

A couple of other runners and a solitary dog walker passing by, but I do not feel lonely. Like an invisible, silent companion, I imagine those other runners on other shores, in other landscapes who are breathing in this quiet solitude.

At 3k, I know I can do 4. I’m settled now and enjoying this. At 4, it takes no convincing to make it 5 – just a run to the bus stop and back. It’s an out and back route, so distance out is the distance I return.

It’s really raining now, bouncing from the pavement and splashing around my feet. For once I’m glad of my jacket which I’d worn for visibility, but which usually makes me feel over warm; and my cap, grabbed at the last minute to keep water droplets off my glasses.

The wind bites a little as I turn towards the sunrise. The dark clouds hide the brightening morning, but there’s really no choice now but to run back. My right leg starts to niggle a little and feels cold, but that could just be the breeze, and I push on through it, making more effort to push off my left leg.

Balancing my pace, I hold it where I can sustain it without too much of a struggle, but without slowing so much the cold will catch me. Just easy running this morning. No fretting, no worrying, no over-thinking. I make an effort to ease a little more length from each stride. Imagining my tendons like chewing gum – warming up and stretching just a little further.

Edging towards home and the buses go past more regularly as cars start to rumble on journeys to work and school. And I’m Dumbledore, snuffing out the illumination of the lampposts as I pass. Pushing on and picking up the pace a little for the last half kilometre until a breathless stop by the shelter for a stretch.

The calm satisfaction of another run completed sits easily with me all day, although my legs prompted me to take a little stretch now and again.

My company may have been imaginary. But the right words at the right time and a good rest made a morning run feel all the better.

Stats and stuff:
10k 56:00
avg pace 5.35/km
km splits
1. 05.08
2. 05.37
3. 05.32
4. 05.34
5. 05.37
6. 05.42
7. 05.43
8. 05.48
9. 05.38
10. 05.30

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