The skies are clear.
The winds still.
And the grounds devoid of ice and snow.
On this morning, Mother Nature has flinched. The inclement conditions that hampered me for months have relented. And I find myself strikingly emboldened as a result.
I am like a prisoner whose shackles have been loosed. The key to my cell mysteriously pressed into my palm. My Sauconies, the ones without the ice spikes, glint at me like recently unsheathed weapons.
An ominous bloodlust for speed storms within me and my legs rage at the chance to gallop as I steal away into the dark.
Glowing from the heavens, the moon shines its assent on my efforts and 32 kilometres are vanquished with reckless abandon. Though hills would threaten me in the second half, they too fall easy victim to my stride. All 9 consecutive kilometres of them.
In my mind I return home a gallant and victorious gladiator. The slain gorgon head that was my morning run stares vacantly after me — the spoils of my triumph.
The first race of the season is at hand.
I am ready.