I’m sure on that grim day there were thousands of runners who laced up and went out, but in the moment there was no denying the immense self satisfaction that came to me from running at an unsensible hour, in unsensible conditions.
In that sodden moment I was the master of my own universe.
I’ve done it before, and I’m sure there are others who do it everyday (and yes even earlier than that I imagine) but still, when work makes extended demands of me, and it’s not too often, my answer has been to double down on running.
The first time I did it was when the lockdown kicked in. Focusing on my running, getting it done on long days by getting up early. It made me feel as if I was claiming something back: carving out a little slice of time, a sliver of freedom, that I refused to allow long shifts and back-to-back weekends take from me.
It makes me no better than any other runner, any other person, and I don’t necessarily believe that there are any real physical benefits from making my days longer and harder than they need to be, but when I am asked to extend myself in ways that I, frankly, don’t want to do, running is a touchstone.
And these challenges are opportunities, really, with the right perspective.
They are opportunities to find out just how sustainable my running habit is. How much time do I really need to run 5-6 days a week? Will I still want to run when I have less time? Will I still run if it means getting up in the rain at 6am on a Saturday? I won’t pretend to like answering these questions. I would prefer it if I could get up and eat breakfast and drink coffee and go out, leisurely, in the glow of a sweet summer morn, sure. Not going to happen though. So 6am, pouring rain, it’ll happen again, and again, and again, each time an opportunity to gain a little mastery over my own little universe.
Anyway, this is all a bit self indulgent, so here’s some sheep pics from the week’s long run: