Search This Blog

You never can tell

Sunday morning, before my 28km run, was spent helping
at a drink station for Terrigal Trotters Bay to Bay
Running Festival.

When the alarm sounded at 5:00am, unusually for me, I lay in bed for a couple of minutes pondering whether I would get up.  I was tired, it was very cold and dark, and I dreaded putting my right foot on the ground, sure that the heel and Achilles tendon would be painful.  But, my car was booked in early for some repairs and I knew that if I was to get a run in this morning, I needed to get up.

The first runner through in the Half
Marathon was Olympian, Martin Dent.

I lay in bed rationalising.  It was easy to justify giving the run a miss.  Instead, I could go for a walk while the car was serviced.  After all, it was only nine days since I ran a marathon and there was nothing to lose by missing another day's training, especially after labouring through a 28km run on Sunday following the tempo 11km Trotters run on Saturday.  Also, my right heel and Achilles tendon have been particularly painful the last three weeks and would benefit from another day of not running.  It wasn't hard to come up with reasons to roll over for another hour or two of sleep, and the advice I was giving myself was the same as I would have given to another runner in my situation.

The leading runners in the later-starting 12km event
(yellow singlets) catch one of the slower Half Marathon

But a little voice in my head told me I was being soft.  That if I stopped thinking about it and just did what I needed to do, I would be home, with the run done, before I knew it.  I rolled out of bed, went through my usual exercise routine, did a few small chores and was out the door soon after 5:30am.  It was dark and cold, and in the far distance I could hear the surf pounding on the Copa beach.  My first few steps weren't as hard as I expected, nor was my right heel as sore as anticipated (I had switched to some older Nike Pegasus shoes that I hadn't worn for a while), and my spirits lifted.

I wasn't running very fast, but I was moving OK.  As the kilometres passed, I felt better and better and was actually enjoying the run through the dark suburban streets with just a glimmer of light beginning to brighten the eastern skies.  My heel got a little sorer, but was nowhere near as painful as it had been on the weekend runs.  I finished feeling refreshed and glad that I had run.  It's easy to justify a day off, and maybe it wouldn't have made any difference if I had missed the run, but I have seldom regretted forcing myself out the door.  And I know I will be happier today for having done it.