Friday, 14 December 2012

Why a tough run is good for me

I went for yet another run after work today, third time this week.  Really needed it and I must admit I skipped off early, feeling a tad guilty but I'm sure it all balances out in the end.

I covered the same ground as I did earlier in the week with my colleague Chris, except I went about a mile further and got back to the office in under an hour.  Felt quite pleased about that as I wasn't aiming for a brisk run.  The actual run is of little consequence really but what was important was the weather conditions.

The weather was horrible.  By that I mean it was cold, getting dark, about 5C, wet with a complete mixture of drizzle and a squally shower in blustery rain.  I was in an urban environment and mostly on cycle paths but I wished I was running somewhere else for a bit.  In my mind's eye I was in the Black Mountains for a while: that was good.

I know this might sound crazy but I wanted the weather to be horrible - almost to raise the game, give myself a tough run and have my face pelted with sleet and get really exhausted.  It wasn't that bad but I wanted it to be.  I had serious things to work through in my mind; dealing with work anxieties and rising above those issues.

Then I remembered from some other runs I have done some time ago.  Running in difficult conditions can have a magical effect - the challenge, the discomfort, the aching legs, cold hands, the miles completed and the miles to come - but it really works.  Although you hate it at the time, there's just something about it afterwards that you savour, something to make you feel good about yourself.  You get that sense of achievement.  Don't care what happens because I can handle it.  Thank God for running, for helping me keep things in perspective, for helping me to eave work at work and not bring it home in my mind.

So I wanted the weather to be horrible, to give myself an unpleasant, tough run in order to maybe test myself or prove I could handle anything like that?  Makes sense to me.  Does this make any sense to you?


  1. Sounds good,Doug. A tough run really concentrates the mind.
    On Saturday, I did my cross-country run, part of which takes you through waist-deep flooded valley.
    Great stuff.