I really didn’t feel like it this morning. I had a day off, and lots of jobs to catch up on before going to a meeting this afternoon. And it was cold outside. The weather forecast had hinted at sleet. And I wanted to be lazy.
I reluctantly put on running clothes, and took the dog out for a walk to warm up. It was cold, but the sky was the bluest blue imaginable, which made me smile. We did a quick dash around the block. Then I dropped Archie back at the house, swapped my hat and coat for running belt and jacket, and set off up the hill.
It was just too cold. As I pounded up the hill, I sucked in the air, feeling like I was going to freeze my lungs. My legs didn’t want to play. The bluest of blue skies was rapidly disappearing behind dark, heavy clouds. I tucked my fingers inside my jacket, thinking about how I’m usually sweating by now.
At the top of the hill, I treated myself to a run around the playing field – a rare piece of level ground. When I came back onto the road, I realised that I prefer running on hard surfaces. I think there’s just something satisfying about the feeling of a solid road beneath my feet.
My goal today was 6K and I’d planned a new route with fewer hills, and lots of potential for longer runs. It took me up through the village to Burton, a little hamlet. Then I turned left towards Lilstock, another tiny hamlet, with an interesting pebbly beach. Lilstock is about 5 kilometers from home, which would make a nice 10K round trip. I had no intention of running that far today. But it is a goal I’m working towards. I’d worked out on Map My Run how far I needed to go for my 6K run today. I plan to go a little further each week until I reach the sea (and then turn around and run straight back home).
Warming up (jacket around waist time), I ran down the narrow, muddy lane to a point I’d picked out on Map My Run – a brook passing under the road. It would have been easy to miss, except I’d also noticed that the ground starts to climb again after the brook. This marked my half way point. I turned, and started back up the lane.
It was as I started to run back home that I realised how strong I felt. My legs felt strong, my breathing felt good. A passing horse rider called out ‘I’d rather do it my way.’ I laughed and said, ‘I don’t blame you,’ but thought to myself – no, I’d rather do it this way.
As I neared home, I checked Strava: 3.7 miles. I couldn’t remember whether 6K is 3.7 or 3.8 miles. Or maybe 3.9? I looped around and ran a little further to make it 3.9 miles. Then it seemed silly to stop, and I went just that little but further to make it a round 4 miles. I stopped, triumphant, and bumped into a neighbour.
The thought of being seen running no longer terrifies me, as it would have done in the past. Instead, I shared my excitement about my run. My neighbour complimented me on my weight loss, and I glowed with pride (as well as heat and sweat).