As I ventured back to the running club on a Monday night, it proved to be an experience where I wished I had a love of carrots more extreme than Bugs Bunny. My first Monday night in months was a little darker, wetter and colder than the last time. With the onset of Winter, dark evenings, high vis jackets and even more attractive high vis gloves you could have mistaken me for an uncool raver, sans glowstick and thumping music.
Surprisingly to all you non runners it was bloody lovely. A whole bunch of runners sporting head torches (except for me) running around the common in the pursuit of fitness, a new personal best, stress relief and without any nervousness at all of being in the deepest darkest woods of Southampton Common.
This time of year the lure of the sofa and a warm red wine is extremely strong, especially when it feels like every breath will create a mini runway of frozen breath straight from your mouth. Luckily I visualise the feeling after a run is far more desirable than the regret of not going. I keep seeing a quote on Pinterest, along the lines of, 'it doesn't matter how fast you go, you are lapping everyone on the sofa', and so I remind myself of this every time the sofa is whispering my name.
The mental battle began again in earnest on Saturday morning when the temperature gauges were showing below 0 and the duvet was showing 'toasty'. I considered my choices, stay in bed, drink tea, have a leisurely morning, or; get up, go to parkrun, get the endorphins going and feel rather chuffed with myself. Parkrun won. And it was brass monkeys cold, but I caught up with some runners that I haven't seen for a while and it's great friendly warm community, which overruled the 'toasty' duvet feeling.
Whether it was the freezing cold, or the considerable weight loss I've experienced these last few weeks, or sheer bloody mindedness, I don't know but I got a new personal best, an improvement of 39 seconds. To anyone who doesn't run this might not sound like much, but seeing that figure certainly provides a mile wide grin across the face.
As my love affair with running grows I've now signed up for:
- The Santa Fun Run for the RNLI on 16th December - so I will now need to find a Santa outfit.
- The Stubbington 10k in January
- And Thunder Run in July which I don't know much about, except it's through the night
But for right now, the heating is on, I have fresh coffee and some warm mince pies and the monkeys are on their own.