Nice Weather for Ducks by Luke Pearson
As you know, when it comes to my exercise schedule, I'm about as flexible as a brick cheesecake: when I've made up my mind what I'm going to do and when I'm going to do it, then that's what I'm going to do... whatever the weather is doing and however I'm feeling. In my head, this is a great strength: I will not allow feeble excuses or imagined frailties (like MS, say....) stop me from getting out there and flogging myself. In practice, this may not always be the case.
I woke up yesterday morning to the sound of beating rain on the bedroom window. Well, actually that's not strictly true: I woke up at about six in the morning when the cat poked me in the face to complain about the weather. Much to the cat's dissatisfaction, I wasn't able to turn off the rain outside either the front door OR the back door.... it was a filthy day all right; lashing it down with rain and blowing a gale. No one - and certainly no self-respecting cat - was going out in this unless they really had to.
....but I had it down that I was going out for a run, so instead of changing my schedule around so that perhaps I went for a swim or something instead, or even - save us - to a day off exercise entirely, I put on my running gear and went out for a run.
It was horrible. It's not so much the rain that wears you down as the wind. I only ran 4.25 miles, and I don't know how this is possible on a circular route, but it felt like I was running into the teeth of the gale the whole way round. At one point, the wind was so strong that it literally took my breath away. It was one of those runs where you wonder what the hell you were thinking. Practically nobody else was outside at all, never mind running, and it really wasn't very hard to work out why.
There are several points on that route where I have the option of bailing out and taking a much shorter way home. Did I take any of them? Of course not.
I got home feeling cold, wet and pretty damn pleased with myself. I woke up this morning with what felt like bricks sitting in the muscles of my legs and have spent all day so far walking around like an old man. I don't think this muscle stiffness is as much a consequence of running into the wind as it is a general accumulation of fatigue: I've been running when I should have been resting my poorly knee and this has had a knock-on consequence into my other muscles.
I'm due to go out running tomorrow lunchtime, according to my own - entirely arbitrary - schedule. Perhaps I might take the opportunity of giving my body a rest instead?
Pfff. Yeah, right.
My prediction? Pain.
I'm starting to think that the reason I do this to myself is that, in the end, maybe that's what I really want. As Metallica so eloquently put it, what don't kill you make you more strong.