Friday, 25 December 2009

Day 242 - Christmas run in snow and ice

Type - Steady run

Distance - 6 miles

Time - 45 minutes and 54 seconds

Stuffed with a Christmas dinner to surpass all Christmas dinners and topped up by a constant grazing on the seasonal surfeit of sweet things that come with the holidays, I felt overfed and languid. I wanted to go on a run, to try and shake off the Christmas ennui.

The only thing making me less than certain on setting out was a thick covering of snow that had frozen into ice across the pavements for miles around. A thaw had started, melting the snow on the roads, but this had not yet gone as far as clearing the ice from the sides. Still, it wouldn't be too hard to run on the road and hop on to the pavements whenever a car went past? Right?

I set off at 7pm after watching the Doctor Who Christmas Special. Is it dedication to running that forced me out of a warm house into a frozen, dark world with the rain starting to fall? Or simply a desire not to return to London weightier than I had left? Or perhaps wanting to ensure I started 2010 on the right training foot? Possibly it was just to avoid the Strictly Come Dancing special. I would run down Croston Road as it became Leyland Road into Leyland, and follow the road through the bottom of the town to the main roundabout. Three miles there, and three miles back to make it six miles in total.
I was also motivated from having read Donol Og Cusack's biography. An Irish hurler, who has earned global fame for having come out as openly gay, his story was inspiring not so much for his candid admissions but for the dedication he had to training. One particularly memorable section described his Christmas day training as the day when you felt you were going further than others simply by being out training.

It was chilly outside, but not horrendously cold. Warmer than the biting, Siberian winds that pinched Sunday's long run. The weather is turning, hopefully dispelling the worst wintery conditions which are hardly condusive to running. I was in my new winter running clothes, and felt warm enough.

The run was solid, an even enough performance despite having to hop every so often onto ice-covered pavements to avoid oncoming cars as I raced along the snow-free road. Given the extra effort of running along uneven ice and snow it was a decent enough time, and certainly helped me feel more virtuous after a day of indulgence.

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