It’s 7:30 am, Christmas Eve, and I’be been awake for well over an hour. My mind is preoccupied not by Christmas preparations but by parkrun. 

I’ve listened to the weather outside. I can’t hear the forecast strong winds. I flex my muscles. A really serious, experienced runner would know what they were all called and be able detect every nuance of fatigue, nascent injury and strength. I just know, that despite the echo of a little tenderness from earlier in the week, they feel a little better than yesterday. Maybe that PB is a possibility after all. Or maybe I haven’t slept enough?

Tea and a slice of toast. It’s become something of a Saturday morning ritual, but it’s half an hour or so earlier than normal today. The Garmin buzzes and beeps. I don’t usually use the pacing feature, but I’ve set it for 4:10 m/km. I’m trying to visualise being ahead of it 2, 5, 10, 15 seconds, but the prospect of a headwind on the outer leg forcing me to fall so far behind that I’m demoralised on the return insinuates itself. 

I don’t want to be too ambitious: that way disappointment lies. 

As with life, so with running. 

But still, I keep wondering if this time, at last, I’ll turn it around.

(If writing it will make it happen

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