Some runs you enjoy while you're out there. Others you don't enjoy until after you've come home and had a cup of tea.
We tried to look around us and admire the beautiful winter landscape surrounding us. Some of us had strength left to lift their heads and rest their eyes on the falling snowflakes. Others tried as hard as they could to will the lactic acid off their legs instead.
Okay, so maybe it was just me. The lactic acid had accumulated after 10-odd hill repeats up a short slope. It started off so easily. Yesterday was, uncharacteristically for a Sunday, a rest day and my legs felt strong. The first couple of repeats went great. Then, my inevitable transformation into a wheezing potato commenced. The repeats felt progressively harder and more and more people started overtaking me. My shoulders tensed, my breathing got shallower and my posture withered like a flower that hasn't been watered in weeks. And, of course, lactic acid flooded my legs and refused to leave.
The thought that I might actually die, my last breath wasted on the obviously insane act of trying to move my aching hamstrings up this little hill for the thousandth time, did cross my mind. And still, I somehow managed to survive. I was just as surprised I had as I was all the other million times I'd thought I would die while training. I am starting to think that my brain is just lazy and trying to trick me into going home and eating chocolate instead.
Curiously enough, I enjoyed this run both while I was out there (despite the near-death experience) and afterwards, when I had jogged home and had a scalding-hot shower. I am sure that, once the lactic acid drains from my legs, I will feel stronger, too.