After much wine was quaffed at my friends' 40th Wedding Anniversary in France - they had a sangria fountain, so cool! - and huge quantities of cheese were downed, I was faced with the Monday morning run.
Of course France runs an hour ahead of UK time and we hadn't really had time to adapt to that in the course of a weekend of drunken debauchery, so my 5:45 alarm was very hard to respond to. However, I dragged myself out of bed and picked up my pile of running gear and staggered to the bathroom. There was no light coming through the thick wooden shutters over the window. However, once outside, I discovered that this was because there was no light - it was still pitch black out there and quite chilly. The lights of the small mediaeval French town are all switched off at night. I walked out into a night lit by only starlight and a small crescent moon.
The star-lit town was deserted. It was as if I were the only person alive after some non-destructive to buildings apocalypse. I walked uphill away from the house and around a block of shuttered houses with the occasional night-light making a soft golden glow of humanity in the silent darkness. I began to run, and it was easy and light and magical; my attention fully taken off any effort by the new environment, the need to make decisions about where I would turn next. I followed roads until they ran out of houses and pavements, and then turned back and found other roads. I ended up running the last 5 minutes of the cooldown in the local park, and then having run 35 minutes, further than ever before, I dropped back to a brisk walk and made my way home through the slowly awakening town.
A second immensely enjoyable run. I think this run was easy because I had none of my usual visual cues that mark my usual 5 minutes in, 10 minutes in, etc on my usual route, so nothing that caused me to be tense or try to hurry. It was also quite cold which meant I didn't overheat. Back on my usual route this morning I pushed on to 35 minutes and it was much harder work, but an achievement none-the-less.
Happy running everyone.