This is sunrise on the Thames River in Oxford. As it’s a wet winter the river is darn close to busting its banks and, in some areas, it has hit the flood plains turning fields into lakes. I took this picture standing on the Osney Lock, noting that the brilliant pinks and oranges and yellows would likely not show up in the hastily taken photo, but I took it any way.
I decided to take the photo because I had a crap run into work. It was muddy, icy, and I was slow. My podcast wasn’t loading. My pack was rubbing against my running tights in such a way that they were slowly inching down and I had to stop and pull them up periodically. I had not eaten breakfast as early as I should’ve and I could feel it uncomfortably turning in my stomach. Pedestrians were wandering around in the dim dawn light towards me, likely attracted to my violently coloured pink hoodie, making my pace erratic.
I was angry at everything and angry with myself.
My pace was more like around when I first started running. And, since I’m not known for speed, you can guess that my pace was well outside what I am hoping to achieve. I was cursing myself, cursing how I would allow myself to run so horrifically, despite the fact that today is a purposely designed slow run to set me up for my long run on Saturday.
I had given up at the lock and turned off everything. I was attempting not to slide across the ice at the lock when I looked up and saw the sunrise.
And then I remembered: I shouldn’t be kicking myself.
Any seasoned marathoner, fast or slow, will tell you that so long as you get out there and put in the miles you will cross that finish line. Sometimes the training isn’t what you want, but you do it. You go out there and you do it and that means you are inches closer to achieving the finish.
As I looked up at the sunrise I realised that I am doing it. Lots of people don’t. Lots of people never try. I am out for myself and my causes and I will keep going.
So if you ever find yourself in a similar situation remember you are in this for the long haul. Keep training. I believe in you.
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