Ten days left until the winter solstice. Ten days until the days start getting longer and the nights start getting shorter again. Ten days left to fight this darkness-induced tiredness. The finish line is in sight.
It takes a little bit more discipline to put your training clothes on this dark time of year. Partly because there's so much more of them to put on, and partly because it's so much easier to stay indoors where it's warm and bright than to head out into the cold. But experience has taught me that it's always worth the effort in the end. That was the case when I went skiing Sunday night. And to the gym yesterday morning, fighting to keep moving forwards on my bike on fresh snow with brakes that didn't work. And it was most definitely the case last night, when I ran up to Norrvalla for interval training with AIK.
I was the first to arrive, but soon enough we were 18 runners jogging to warm up. Then it was time for some technique training, before we formed a line in pairs. This is my favourite interval exercise: the last pair runs past the whole line and becomes the first pair, and so it continues until each pair has overtaken the rest around 10 times. I don't know why, but alternating explosive speed with light jogging (a kind of fartlek) feels more fun and less taxing on the legs than, say, hill intervals.
I left the others just before we got back to Norrvalla and headed home. The town was quiet now, as it was getting late. Whatever negative thoughts I might have had before I left home, that it was dark outside, that it was cold or that I was tired, had proved once again to be nothing but exactly that: just thoughts. Right now I was enjoying the crisp air, the quietness of the evening and the rush of endorphins in my body. I slept really well last night.