The 12k After

Daylight Savings Time has returned in my neck of the woods and with it the return of darkness for my morning training.

You can hide a lot in the darkness. Like my slow stride. Like my stilted gait.

Today is a recovery run. 12 kilometres nice and easy after yesterday’s 38 kilometres. My first kilometre is agonizingly slow. My movements awkward and clumsy. But I am in actual fact, moving.

Fitfully I amble up the slight incline. I am like a toddler shakily learning how to place one foot in front of the other in a valiant effort of locomotion. And like a toddler I find myself tempted to crawl.

My pace is a full minute per kilometre slower than yesterday’s long slow run. One day’s easy pace becomes the next day’s Herculean effort. A bitter irony every runner has tasted.

Yet I soldier forward. Random thoughts bouncing in my head. What time is it? When are we meeting our friends for breakfast? The most random of all being strands of Jackson Browne’s Somebody’s Baby setting up camp within my cerebral cortex.

The latter induces smiles for nary an apparent reason. But the run gets easier the more Jackson sings. The run gets easier the more I smile — despite my tortured quads.

Eventually I forget about the pain altogether and I just run. The random thoughts and oddly endearing 80’s soft rock lyrics fade as I dial into my stride. 12k after 38k begins to feel easy.

And this realization coaxes yet another smile from me. A smile not because of Jackson Browne. A smile because I know that as race day nears I am getting stronger.

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6 comments

  1. razkristi · · Reply

    Well done Rod! I can barely run 5k after a long run. 3 weeks to go! Will you do one more long run or was that the last one?

    1. Thanks Kristi!

      I’m in Hamilton this Saturday to do a recon mission for ATB. So I will likely run a long-ish 25-30k there.

      How’s your training going?

      1. razkristi · ·

        I did 27k last week, one second per km slower than I did at atb in 2014. I think I will do 27 or 28 again in a couple of days and then the long runs are done 🙂 Not sure I am ready for the hills, haven’t done specific hill work much this time around but have made sure all my routes incorporate hills. If I can beat 3:04 I’ll be happy.

      2. That’s a great pace Kristi! With the pace you just hit you sound more than ready! Wanna meet up at the expo?

      3. razkristi · ·

        Yes, let’s definitely meet up at expo. Let me know what time you are thinking of going and we will coordinate. There will be 4 of us there, including Karen who you met while running road2hope with me.

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