It's Saturday morning but the alarm clock wakes me up at 7:00AM. "Why?", I think.
As soon as my feet touch the ground, two knives stab my calf - a "gentle" reminder of the effects of over-exertion after a little experiment I did on Thursday. "Why?", I think.
When I leave the apartment wearing only shorts and a t-shirt, it is a gloriously sunny morning but the air hasn't lost yet its chilly bite. "Why?", I think.
But I know "why"; it's because I promised to @Oldfloss to run my first parkrun for her and to do the best I can. I cannot go back on my word, can I?
Thankfully the 1.5km walk to the local parkrun is an excellent warm-up and by the end of it the pain in my calves has greatly decreased.
So here I am; my first parkrun, my first morning run, my first run among other people... I am a bit nervous but that's not too bad as few weeks ago I would have been terrified.
Not knowing what to expect from me and the other runners I place myself at the very back of the group. 1... 2... 3... GO!
The first kilometre is tough; I set off faster than usual but I seem unable to control my speed, furthermore I am not used to negotiate my space in a running crowd and surpassing slower runners is difficult - next time I might try to start from the middle of the group.
After the first kilometre the "traffic" situation improves but then my first real battle with the Gremlins begin. I am still running faster than I intend to, my breathing is still ok but just ok and seeing other runners stopping or walking is disheartening and tempting at the same time.
I make a point to smile and wave to all the volunteers and the "spectators" along the route and this helps a bit. Nonetheless I have to push myself harder than I've ever done and I am constantly on the brink of giving up... but I made a promise. So I keep running, even on the short but very steep killer hill at the end of the route.
When I cross the finish line, I've given everything I've got; I've run the best I could, as I promised. So much so that, according to my tracker, I set a new PB, with my first 5km under 30min: 29min 21sec. Now I am waiting for the official result from parkrun.
That's all your fault and your merit, Oldfloss; thank you for having been my inspiration today.
[update] The official parkrun result has arrived:
30:06 - still a PB but not nearly as impressive as what I thought ... well, I'll have to do better next time