January 01, 2012

Starting 2012 with a 27km run

Tim, doggy Luka and I began the year with a family run. The three of us did a peaceful 15km lap along some of the quiet forest service roads between Valleycliffe and Quest University. The remaining kilometres of my long run were up to me alone. As Tim and Luka got home to stay, I made a quick stop for a drink of water and a gel.

It's always tough to do that, and I typically try to avoid it, as the willpower melts as soon as the cosy warmth of the house envelops the sweaty runner. Even on a beautiful winterday as it was today, with temperatures just cold enough for a brief flurry of tiny snowflakes, I needed to gather myself before I was able to head back out again.

There were another 11km left for me as my plan was for a 26km run. As I mapped the distance of the route I had in mind as an excuse to postpone my departure, a route where I wouldn't be able to give in to laziness and turn home early, I wondered if I could avoid a final uphill back to Valleycliffe. A silly question, as I know I cannot.

It was time to go. I grabbed my iPod and pressed play; Adele's Set Fire to the Rain greeted me, spurring me on to head out the door now before I'd give in to the inertia of sitting behind my computer checking a distance to avoid running it.   

Grabbing the New Balance REVlite 890s, I retied the laces. As soon as I hit the road, a second wind came over me. Without a watch, I listened to Adele's great voice and the muffled sound of the rhythm of my feet hitting the ground, and strode into a separate universe.

Certain songs, a certain pace and a certain willingness can do that to a runner; especially in the latter half of a long run. It's one of the many things I love about running; you can disappear into another world that's competely your own.

That's where I lingered in the final 12km (yes, I ended up covering an extra km) of my run today, and Adele was right there with me the whole way, as I marvelled at the amazing strength that dwells in our bodies if we are willing to invest a little time regularly to find and cultivate it.

As much as I sometimes seem to struggle to head out the door, I am time and again reminded of the joys that lie ahead when I do. 

There will be plenty of couch time!
I spent the rest of the day happily and contently tired, realizing I have never started an 18-week marathon training program with a long run already at 27km. (I also resigned myself to the fact that I am going to stay tired, in varying degrees, for the next 18 weeks.)

A new year is always a great incentive to embark on positive changes, no matter how small as those too can snowball into something big. It's a clean slate, full of aspirations and dreams, not unlike the start of a new marathon progam; mine officially begins tomorrow with an 8km recovery run. 

A Happy New Year and I hope 2012 brings you everything you hope for!

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