Running is a peculiar form of exercise.
I went to running club this evening, but I just wasn't feeling it. I got up early-ish and had a decent cycle into work. I tend to track all of my exercise using my new Garmin, and as I track these things, I'm naturally aware of the time that I usually take cover my normal route. Over the course of the last couple of weeks, I've worked out my average time for my commute into work. FOr some reason it's always slower cycling to work than it is coming home. Anyway, knowing my normal times, of course, means that I try and beat it every time. Well, this morning was a record for the outward commute. Around 18 minutes (my fastest ride home is under 17 minutes... go figure).
That burst of activity just after 7am this morning was pretty much as good as it got, and I've felt tired and sluggish all day since. I wasn't much looking forward to my cycle home, never mind a run. Still, I was always going to go running, wasn't I? So, I cycled 4 miles up the canal to the gym and joined running club for a 4.5 mile run around.
My feet were numb and my legs felt weird, but you know what? I actually really, really enjoyed the run tonight. The route took us out along the River Trent and then through the little nature reserve at Lady Bay and then back along the canal. It was nowhere near as nice a day as we had around here on Sunday, but it was still pretty humid for running. With about a mile to go, I actually felt good enough that I even picked up my pace. I ran it a few seconds slower than I ran the same route last week, but it felt really good.
I've been running for a long time but I always hesitate when someone asks me if I actually enjoy it. The honest answer is no. Not really. I enjoy the feeling I get from having been out running, but there's very few runs where I would actually say that I enjoyed myself as I was running. One in ten, perhaps. Well, today was that one run in ten. It was great. It was practically dark by the time I finished, and winter is definitely coming, but it was great.
It's runs like that that keep me running. I'll have to dig my fluorescent kit out for next week, I think. Winter is coming.