Running longer and faster… a few thoughts…

Story of “the Head which said stop and the Body which did not follow”

Once upon a time (all fairytale starts this way, correct?), there was a runner that opened her eyes and well-rested wondered who on earth could have set her alarm clock to 4:45am. Brain alert (already!), she recalled she did this the evening before and even faster thinking this time, the brain recalled this was intervals on the morning menu for the day.

The runner left her warm and cosy bed, fixed her hair quickly, traded off her pj for her running gear (which she often (if not always…) prepared the evening before planned morning runs), set her music ear-plugs, bonnet, started the watch and left the building quietly. Nice in the air, a bit fresh though, she had decided to wear long tights and regular long sleeves and wind-jacket despite the temperature indicating 2ºC only. It was nice and refreshing as said earlier.

Her first few steps were careful, multiple stars-lights illuminating the pavement. But after those prudent minutes, she felt relieved and got into a nice easy pace for warming up. Met the delivery truck as well as some poor dogs-owners needing to get out for their lovely animal. By km2 the road was no longer dry and the small star-lights on the pavement meant this time icy parts. The runner decided to reduce the lengths of her steps…just to be on the safe side. Still it was fine to run. km3 she paused for some stretches, setting her favorite music and then it was time to unleash the legs for a serie of long intervals.

Already at the start of the first interval it was a bit slippery, but the runner was careful to run on the gravel and where the few bikes had already passed. The last 3-500m were however too slippery and she opted for running on the ground beside the bike path (this choice was not optimal nevertheless as it mean running on wet mud…). And the first interval was completed. Easy jog then, but more and more, the runner noticed that the bike road was in reality a ice-ring in disguise. Fast thinking she moved herself towards the car-road. There it felt better. Well, the Head did not find it smart at all. Ice is ice, and this is dangerous (especially without adapted shoes on). But the body did not want to listen. She turned back to get a little downhill with an easy jogg, crossed carefully an icy roundabout and then happily saw a bus coming into the street she had chosen. Happy why? because the bus would pass just ahead of her as many other buses must have done earlier this morning, i.e. the road was fine to run on…at least on this side!

And off she went, this second interval started greatly and even though she had to jump on the pavement because nasty car-drivers coming from behind were flashing their lights, she still could keep a nice pace as she wanted… until it arrived. THE ICE-RING! in the middle of the road…here it was. No need to say that this was not without a bit of fear she crossed this ice-ring…RUNNING! Once again, the Head was shaking and not happy, but really the rest of the body would not mind. Just continuing to run but really carefully she took a few seconds at a crossroad to evaluate the situation: right? not possible too icy and back on the bike path. Straightforward? same same. Left then? and running up the hill? well all was better alternative than turning back! So uphill it was and thanks for the gravel on the bike path, she was able to keep up the running until the end of this interval as well. A bit of rest after that and a bit of evaluation again before the third interval.

No change this time: careful running downhill on the car path, then turning and turning and more turning… yes, the runner was not entirely happy as all those turns as well as the downhill and the ice-risk was killing her pace. She felt she could push way more, but the legs this time did not want to push more as being very conscious (!) of the risk it would be if any icy part would pop-up unannounced… This third interval was not satisfactory…Well, in a way it was as it remained in the range expected, but way slower than the two first (yes, but considering the risk of falling…bla bla bla… the discussion and argument between Head and Body was getting along!). Reaching soon the stretching place, the runner knew she was having now a better place to run with better grip. A bit false insurance here as it had probably become slightly colder since she had passed earlier and the road was actually slippery there…as well!

No pain no gain… the final interval had to be completed. Down the road which has warmth under (perfect for running!) and after a few sec of breathing, she did her best for the last 300m. And finally a short rewarding cool down back home…

Still night when she opened the door, time to get rid of the running gear, get a hot shower to remove the warm-warm-warm chilli gel on the legs and…6:50am – time to start with the morning pancakes 🙂


Perfect to start a day, ok – not for the icy and dangerous part. It felt quite easy to do those intervals despite the early hour. Got energy for the rest of the day definitely…and was tired by 7pm in front of the 3rd episode of Narnja… 1hour nap and of course, not possible to sleep again until late. But this is another story…

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