What I was planning on doing this beautiful morning was to run 25 kilometres. The air was slightly chilly at 06:30, but after running a couple of kilometres, the temperature felt just right. I ran relaxed, easy, with a huge fat grin on my face. Most of the people I met returned my goofy smile, and even threw in some hellos and good mornings. Everyone seemed to be in as good a mood as I was.
It wasn't just humans who enjoyed the warm early morning light. The birds were singing ridiculously complicated melodies which would put Mozart to shame. Horses turned their heads toward the sun, eyes closed. Cats rolled on their backs, stomachs exposed. Sheep, well...sheep just ate grass. But I'm sure they loved the sunshine too.
I was lapping up this multivitamin for the soul. Kilometre after kilometre disappeared under my feet, hills were conquered, records were broken. Problems were forgotten, future plans were formed, and all the while my pulse was kind enough to stay at an appropriate level.
The feared 16-km dip never came. 21 easy kilometres brought me to a crossroads. If I turned right, I would be heading straight home, according to my initial plan. If I turned left, I would be heading towards the sea and a detour. My hesitation only lasted for a second. I ran to the seaside.
I kept waiting for the inevitable wall to hit me but it didn't come. So I ignored the bridge that I usually cross to get home and ran straight forward instead. I had run 27 kilometres, I couldn't stop now! I extended my detour. At precisely 28 kilometres, I started feeling the first symptoms of weakness in my ankles and knees. I went on regardless. Garmin showed 30 km, and the grin on my face got bigger. But I remembered how experienced runners recommend running by time instead of distance, and I was only 6 minutes away from 3 hours. Running these last few minutes uphill felt less challenging than it usually does on my puny 5-km runs from work.
At 3 hours, I stopped my Garmin and started walking. 31 km never felt easier.