When you try to open the door to your flat with your car key, then you're tired. My current exhaustion informs me that 26 km was maybe a bit ambitious for my level of fitness right now.
It all started well enough. I was rested. The sun was shining. My spirits were high, despite this morning's philosophical musings. A group of 7 gathered in Skatås. It's always nice to meet new people, but it was also very nice that I had run with most of these 7 several times before. The conversation flows more easily when you know someone.
We set off towards Jonsered. It felt easy at first, as we ran out of the Skatås forest and among Sävedalen's houses. I had debated briefly before leaving home if I should wear my jacket or my vest and decided it was still too cold for a vest, but now that the sun was shining with no clouds in sight, my black jacket absorbed way too much heat for my liking.
After a couple of kilometres' noise from the near-by motorway, we turned left and followed the river. This was much better. There wasn't much traffic or people about, and before we knew it we were in Jonsered.
Someone then said that Lerum was only 8 km away. Mia's face lit up. She wanted to run the marathon distance today. I immediately started shaking my head violently, as if I were having a seizure. Maybe I'm getting a bit smarter, because I can't deny that I was tempted to add some extra kilometres to my run. But I didn't.
Our group split up. Mia, Johan and Christian made their way to Lerum, whereupon Christian would take the train back, and the other two would leg it to marathon glory. I joined Hans, Carl and Therese on the run back to Skatås.
It could be the ghost of long runs past that was haunting me as soon as we left Jonsered. I remembered how tired I felt at exactly the same place when we ran from Alingsås, and I almost felt sympathy pains towards my past self. I could feel how the tiniest little hill had started to challenge me, how lactic acid threatened to establish itself in my thighs.
By the time we had run 22 km, I was completely quiet. Not really observant of my surroundings either, although my Garmin informs me that we ran through Kalltorp. I started looking wistfully at all the convenience stores we ran past. I wanted to go in and buy some water. Clever me had inexplicably decided against bringing water today, and I was paying for it. For some reason I also wanted to buy ice cream. But I didn't want to hold the others back, and I didn't want to let go of them either, as I had no idea where I was. So I kept running.
The final hill up to Skatås made me walk. It came precisely after 25 kilometres, so I could walk up it in good conscience. The others continued to run up the hill and waited for me at the top. I went to the ladies' room in the Skatås gym and drank the most deliciously cold water. I felt refreshed enough to want to join Therese for an extra kilometre.
My foot got the ice bath treatment when I got home. The rest of me deserves an ice cream. And some really cold water.