I wasn’t supposed to go for my morning run on the morning of Saturday July 25th. When my eyes slammed shut the previous night, I had closed the door to a morning run. I never go for this morning run during weekends because I have always been convinced that there are fewer people out that early, meaning that it’s not safe.
When my eyes flicked open at 1.30AM to start writing, the morning run was still out of question. Its only when I retreated back to bed at about 3.30 for some brief relaxation that a thought occurred to me - Saturday mornings are not as deserted as Sunday mornings, so maybe I could go for my run today. Hot on the heels of this thought was the feeling that this one run could make a world of a difference to my overall running and fitness progress.
Just like that, the morning run would now take place for the first time, on a Saturday morning. I felt good. Even as I sat at my desk and typed away ‘Green Decisions,’ a book that am currently writing, there was some confidence both in my body and heart, that this would be a good run.
At 5:01AM, I stepped out of my living room into the sweet embrace of the morning breeze. As I walked, my thighs felt rather tense, as if running would be a problem. The quadriceps muscles at the front of my thighs were in a lousy mood and rather tense. Maybe I should just go back to the house. I pushed away this thought and decided that I would know the real state of my body once I began running.
As usual, I began running at Kamuti’s Butchery. It took me only seven steps to know that my body was just fine. But out of caution, I ran at a slower pace than the usual one. Little did I know that this caution was going to usher me into a sweet, fast run. My slower pace inadvertently pushed me into the controlled, even breathing that is advisable while running. I had once watched a YouTube video on this, in the ‘Run Experience’ YouTube channel.
“Breathing is a muscular and mechanical thing that can be trained and improved,” Coach Nate had said in the video.
I covered the first kilometer in 5:27 minutes. This was more than 10 seconds slower than my fastest speed over this first kilometer - 5:15 minutes. But I felt good and so I decided to continue running with this even pace and breathing evenly. I completed the second kilometer in 5:20 minutes; the third kilometer in 5:22 minutes; the fourth kilometer in 5:37 minutes and the fifth kilometer in 5:27 minutes.
I won’t bore you with the actual times of the remaining seven kilometers. Suffice it to say that by the time I landed back at Whitehouse my usual finish line, my average speed was 05:38 min/km a brand new record. Five Thirty Eight Bliss. For the first time ever on this route, I had run below 5:40 minutes per kilometer. Oh Happy Day! Five Thirty Eight Bliss.
To think that this morning run wasn’t even supposed to happen because of a very convenient excuse! Indeed, in the words of Bwak the Bantu Poet, “when you make excuses, you pave the way for failure.” He also added that, “the road of triumph is lined with slain excuses.”