Given the week that’s in it, allow me to misquote a former US President. After all, January’s new arrival at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue isn’t exactly adverse to bending the facts a little so I’m not doing anything he wouldn’t do himself.
But, back to one of his predecessors. In 1962 J.F.K. gave his famous ‘moon’ speech, outlining America’s ambition to reach our satellite, long before John Lewis had any notion of opening up a delivery route there.
Anyway, as I said, I’ll misquote him because it was this that got me out on my run today.
“We choose to run, not because it is easy but because it is hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills.”
I woke up this morning intending to go on a run early on, to get it over and done with for the day but it was still dark out so I thought what harm would it do to go back to bed for a quick nap.
Three hours later I woke up with a start. Was that the time? Damn. Arse biscuits. Buggers and shits.
I didn’t want to go out. I had to go out but I really didn’t want to. Turning to Twitter in a feeble attempt to put off the inevitable I spotted one of those inspirational posters, a picture of a sunrise, runners, a start line and some quote about that scene making all the hurt and pain that comes with running worth it.
That was me sold, so out I went and as I left the house I remembered J.F.K.’s original quote and occupied myself during the first few minutes of my running trying to adapt it to running, my running.
I always forget that it hurts for everyone. Everyone. Not just me. I often convince myself that it *is* only me that feels the pain, that I’m the only one that wants to give up, that I’m the only one that questions my sanity.
Today I didn’t forget. I accepted the pain. And by accepting it I pushed myself on to produce my best performance for quite some time.
Given that I hope to be making my first appearance as a running club member tomorrow night I wanted to leave something in my legs so settled on just doing 5k. Not a massive distance but doing it would have meant I’ll have done my most miles in a week since Portsmouth so I was happy enough.
As I said, it was my best performance for a considerable time, I went a full 20 seconds faster per mile than I had done on Friday (and on Friday I’d gone 20 seconds quicker than the run before that!).
I felt pretty strong throughout, kept a consistent and pleasing pace all the way round, not really slowing and set a new record on my watch over the distance.
At one point, running around the estate, I was joined by a police van that was slowly cruising along clearly looking for some malcontent or t’other so I allowed myself to imagine that, instead, I was leading a marathon or some other race of note and they were simply my ‘security’, making sure the crowds lined ten deep along the route were held at bay whilst admiring and hailing my talent!
In reality, it was just me and them, and I couldn’t think of any reason why they’d want to lift me, other than for crimes against running!
Still, it was nice to dream.
Anyway, tomorrow night, joining my running club. Gulp! Will I go through with it? Will I be woefully out of my depth? Will I be politely taken to one side, reassuring and comforting arm placed around my shoulder and advised that, perhaps, this isn’t for me?
I suppose I’ll find out soon enough.