Sometimes a run can be awful and great at the same time.
Yesterday's run was.
I'd missed Wednesday's run because the weather was so awful. We've had some pretty heavy rain in the last few days. My throat's been sore and I've been putting in long hours of work - it just seemed like the sensible thing to stay in bed, get a bit more sleep and stay dry. I went through the usual internal argument at 4:15am and debated the pros and the cons. And I must have drifted back off to sleep mid-argument (proving my point that debates are boring) still holding my alarm clock because the next thing I knew the clock had crashed to the floor and it wasn't working. The Gods had spoken - no alarm means that I'm not supposed to run and who am I to defy the Gods?
Thursday is Hills day and there was a very strong chance that the trails would be in bad shape after all the rain. We were warned that the session might be cancelled but thinking isn't my strong point at 4:45am so I got up like I usually would, made the bed, had my banana and got dressed all before I checked on my phone. Yes, the trails were bad and the session was cancelled and our instructions from Coach Chris were to go back to bed. Of course it was too late for that. I was dressed for a run so I was going to have a run. What a defiant little runner I am.
Right from the start it felt hard. My legs were heavy and didn't want to move. I told myself it was going to just be an easy run and I could cut it short if I didn't start to feel better. And then I went through all the reasons that it was feeling so hard just to reassure myself that this wasn't the start of a trend. My throat was sore. I'd done leg work the day before. I've been working lots of hours and haven't had a full day off in 3 weeks. I'd had a very disturbed night's sleep the night before. No wonder I wasn't feeling it.
A couple of kilometres in, my MP3 ran out of battery. It was around that point that I remembered that I'd meant to charge it a week ago. Oops. And it was at the first water stop that I realised that I hadn't worn my spibelt so I had no fuel. That wouldn't matter if my run was short but this one was supposed to be 16k and I'll generally have a honey or two when I run that far. I was really starting to wish that I'd been a good GaleForcer and done what the coach had said. It wouldn't kill me to make the bed twice in one day but running 16k might.
But then a little miracle happened. The skies started to lighten. First there were pink streaks in the clouds. Then the pink turned to orange and yellow and the whole sky exploded with colour. Of course I didn't have my phone with me to take a photo. So I captured them in my head - the city as a silhouette with an amazing technicolour backdrop, colours reflected in plate glass windows, silhouetted runners in single file across the bridge. It didn't matter that my legs were heavy any more. My spirit was soaring.