Only twelve weeks to go till the Gold Coast marathon.
I say 'only' a little facetiously because 12 weeks is still a pretty long time and it feels like I'm only just starting to up my weekly kilometres.
I hit 28k for my Saturday long run last week. Actually it was 28.5k - all those extra 500m's count don't they? It's a little daunting knowing that that will be my shortest Saturday run (minus the couple of half marathons I have scheduled) for the next couple of months. It's lucky that I actually really enjoy doing them.
For most of you this would seem really strange. How is it possible to enjoy something that involves you getting up before 4am in the morning, running for two and a half, three or three and a half hours, the very real chance of blisters, chafing or black toenails and the desperate need to spend the rest of the day either eating or sleeping? It's a strange and wonderful paradox.
I was actually pondering that precise question on Saturday morning when I woke up at 3:10am. My alarm was set for 3:45 but I'm a bit of an over-achiever. It would have been so, so easy to switch the alarm off but I'd arranged to meet a couple of people at 4:30am and it would be mean to not turn up at that hour.
And that was the only time that morning when I had any regrets or negative thoughts about the run. The morning was crisp and cool. The roads were quiet and dark. We ran through them like we owned them. Then the skies gradually lightened as dawn broke. There's a little bit of magic for the runner who is out at that hour. The stillness, the peace, the beauty, the birdsong. So worth pushing through the lure of the warm bed and a few extra hours sleep to give yourself the best gift.
We ran and talked. Or didn't talk - especially up Dornoch Terrace. We stopped for water, to go to the loo and for more water and then we'd get going again. For 28.5 kilometres. For over two and a half hours. And by the end my feet were tired. My shoulders were tired. My legs were tired. But I felt really, really satisfied.
Another good session at the end of a week of good sessions.
Not every week will be like this. I know that. I'm going to get tired and cranky. I'm going to need to miss sessions and that will frustrate me so the weeks that go right I'm going to appreciate. Just like I appreciate this strangely beautiful smile.