December 07, 2011

Reluctance turns into 75-minute run

There's a type of weather in the Netherlands called veranderlijk, also wisselvallig, which means changeable. Today was exactly that. As I had my morning coffee in my parents' sunroom reading Zandloper by Abdelkader Benali at about 8am, torrential rain pelted down on the ceiling window.

The clouds were too thick and heavy for the sunlight to arrive as it should by this time in the morning. I couldn't help feeling reluctant towards the 10km run, an easy jog, that was on today's schedule. Even when the sun had made it through the cover, also scaring away the rain, I had that familiar sense of the blahs about today's session.

It happens, for various reasons. This time it was in part because of the early rain; it felt like a day to stay inside. 

I knew that today's struggle for motivation to head out the door was probably also because of the pace at which I had run my recent sessions, faster than I should right now to keep up with my mom's bike speed. Even a few seconds per kilometre too fast for a couple of workouts can make the body and mind resist the next session.

But I need to run; I want to run. It's time to commit to the program again. In three weeks, I'll be running a 104km week, and my body needs to prepare. So I promised myself that I'd head out for an easy run, and that I could limit it to 6km if the mental weariness failed to disappear once my body was warmed up. That thought felt much better; I can always deal with a relaxed half-hour jog. Mentally and physically.

With a few things on my mind, as I headed out under moody skies, it took only 26 minutes for the mental chaos to transform into the peaceful apparent nothingness that each runner knows and loves. I never stop marvelling at the way that simply happens.

With my mind at ease, my body was too. A smooth rhythm and a pace only a few seconds per kilometre slower than in the past few sessions, I felt like I could run forever as I followed an unpaved path around the outskirts of Dronten.

Dark purple skies and tall trees planted in neat rows were lit up by the sun. Crazy clouds piled on top of each other were part of the beautiful vista. By then I decided that instead of the 10km I was meant to do, I'd run the 13km on tap for Friday, swapping the workouts.

Not long after the rain came down again, long enough that I could feel the water on my skin through my clothes. I ended the session with eight 100-metre strides, and felt completely reenergized towards training by the time I arrived back home after the 75-minute run.

Tomorrow is a day off, and I am almost sad about that. I guess that means more energy and enthusiasm for Friday's run.

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