Dipping into the Dark Side

17 11 2010

I’ve dipped into the Dark Side.

And it wasn’t pretty.

Since we returned from our holiday, Katie has been in a bit of post-marathon run funk. In fact, she hasn’t run at all. And she’s been getting increasingly dismayed about it.

I know what that’s like. I’ve gone through riding funks myself. Usually after completing some sort of epic ride. While the first few days of such a funk may be physical, allowing your body to recover from a big effort, anything after that is usually mental. You start to find excuses to dismiss your commitment; it’s cold, it’s wet, it’s dark, your favorite socks are in the laundry.

But at some point you’ve got to crush those excuses and just get out there.

So on Monday, when Katie said she really wanted to run, but she was worried about heading out alone into the dark, cold, windy night, I volunteered to accompany her. I volunteered to put on my sneakers and run with her…

Ooooh, the sacrifices I make...

Pause here to appreciate the significance of my sacrifice.

I’m not a runner.

It’s way too freakin’ hard, all that pounding on the feet and knees, all that standing up, all those sidewalk hazards like cracks and slippery leaves puddles and dog poo. And for all that effort, you don’t really get too far; give me a 100 km bike ride over a five km run any day!

But if Katie needed a little support to get back up on the running horse, by golly I’d suck it up and lace ’em up.

Fortunately, she wasn’t planning to repeat her marathon distance, or even air it out for 10 km. She just wanted to get out there, a limber up run of about three km along the waterfront and back.

Twenty minutes later, I was winded and sweating. Running fitness is different from cycling fitness. I felt like I’d just played two games of road hockey without a break. I also felt a bit exhilarated; the little burn in my lungs and legs felt great, the cold night air tickled my skin. I’d kept up most of the way, and I didn’t trip or step in dog poo!

But most importantly, Katie was smiling. She’s back!

...but they're worth it!