So… it’s a beautiful day; bright and crisp, slightly chilly and still. You’re well rested, you’ve been eating and drinking healthily, your running clothes are clean and make you feel sporty. Your running playlist kicks off with a classic, inspirational tune – PiL’s Rise perhaps, or Katy Perry’s Firework, whatever your preferred, er, ‘jam’ is – it seems like it’s all too good to be true, but your run just flows. Before you know it, you’re home. Your stretches feel like a spa treatment, and you feel good for the rest of the day.
Or… it’s a dog of a day; freezing rain blowing in sideways. Last night’s dinner’s sitting heavy and the weather kept you up half the night. You haven’t really got time for a run, and you don’t feel in the slightest bit like going outside, let alone exerting yourself, but you go anyway; the supposedly inspiring music on your playlist just gets on your nerves and the earphone wire keeps going in your mouth. Something aches. You want to do 10k – or 20, or 30 – and your body fights you for it from the first one. Your stretches are a boring chore and as a result of the whole slog you’re tired and hungry for the rest of the day.
The magic of running is that there’s no real difference between these two; transcending that personal challenge is a win, whether it came easy or not, and distance running, from the training to the fund-raising, is an alchemy that turns negative energy into positive. On either of these days you can – you will – go to bed pleased with yourself.
And you will probably sleep well.