I took a giant leap towards a good run today by not drinking in the pub last night. Although it was quite a late night (with a chinese thrown in for good measure) it felt glorious not having a hangover this morning. Waking up around midday, I looked out the window to see a wonderful blue sky and not a cloud in sight. How wonderful it would be to get out into the sunshine and ward off rickets for another day.
But life is never that easy, especially when there's a tasty FA Cup tie on TV just waiting to be watched. Promising myself that I would go for a run straight after the final whistle, I used my pre-match time to plan my route. I chose a route of about 3 miles and then settled down to the football safe in the knowledge that I'd make up for it afterwards.
But then ITV threw a spanner in the works by announcing that the FA Cup 4th round draw would be on immediately after the final whistle. This was a horrible dilemma; keep my deal with myself or stay on the couch for an extra 20 minutes...
After the 4th round draw, I started to doubt my deal-making skills. It was now around 16:00 and starting to get dark. The sunshine that had promised to provide me with much needed vitamin D was gone and it was replaced by a bright moon and a dark sky. My session on the sofa had also stiffened my body to unprecedented proportions and also sapped the motivation I had this morning. But as a dedicated Janathoner, I took to the streets.
Going for this run has been a revelation and so many good things happened that I actually returned with a smile on my face. You may be asking yourself how this can happen but I have no answers for you. Its a miracle. It started within 20 strides of my front door. The route I planned was quite a regular route for me, which was putting me off. I've done it so much I'm getting bored of it. That can only mean I'm going running too much, so that was the first good thing.
My legs were quite achy from football yesterday so after changing my route and stopping to have a stretch after 1/2 a mile, I set off at an unusually steady pace. Getting to the end of my improvised route, I thought to myself "I can do better than this", so I added an extra mile on the end of my run. This was amazing. This was more than a miracle. I can't even find words to describe how I felt at running an extra mile.
Towards the end of this extra mile, I was starting to flag a bit, with my legs dragging behind me. This is where my other recent revelation (my iPod) came in handy. As I was thinking an extra stretching session would be a good idea, The Spencer Davis Group starting serenading me with the words "keep on running". The miracles just didn't stop today. With those words in my ear, I picked it up a gear and finished my extra mile with a sprint.
I defeated quite a few demons with my run tonight and now I just want to go running again. I have a feeling this new motivation will dip a little tomorrow when I realise I can hardly move my legs but with the Grim Challenge coming up next Sunday, I'm more optimistic of having a good time than I was last year.