Tuesday, 23 November 2010

The icy grip of winter

It's funny. Some months ago - some weeks ago even - I couldn't have imagined myself running two sessions in one day. I thought it was just for elite runners. Turns out it's just a matter of perspective. If you, an average amateur, do it, then it's not just for elite runners. If you see these two sessions as an alternative way to get to work and then home, it doesn't seem so advanced any more.

Some people cycle to work, some people walk, some people take their cars and some people use public transportation. Using your own two feet to get to places is really no weirder than any other way. Forget about the fact that you're putting in valuable kilometres in your training; on run commuting days, think of it only as transport, a way to get from A to B, and lower your expectations about your performance - save those quality sessions for some other day. Just run because you were meant to, and I promise it will make sense.

It wasn't quite so beautiful this morning, but almost
Picture taken near VargfjÀllet last year

I woke up to new snow and thought it was Ground hog day. Wasn't this the same picture I saw before me when I went out for a run last Saturday? I'd planned on running both to and from work. I didn't have to be at work until 9, so I headed out towards the local church, completely in the opposite direction than work, wanting to get in some extra kilometres. It was easy, it was fun. People were gathered at the bus stop, probably thinking I was crazy running in the snow. I on the other hand thought they seemed to be freezing their butts off, waiting for a bus that was obviously late.

When I turned to run back towards work, I was met with a freezing headwind. I picked a less trafficked route. I finally came to work after almost 11 kilometres, took a shower and then enjoyed a buzz of energy and absolute bliss. It was as if my cheeks were on fire; the contrast between the freezing wind and the indoor warmth was striking. This buzz lasted for the better part of my day.

The wind had picked up when it was time to go home. The plough had scooped away all the snow from the roads and pavements leaving a treacherous layer of grey ice. I land on my forefoot when I run, which is probably why I didn't end up on my butt several times on my way home. I ran straight home, adding a few more kilometres to the tally. Total kilometres run today: 15,5!

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