It was dark at 6.30 this morning as my fellow runner and I started reluctantly on our daily brain rattling, teeth shaking, boob joggling jaunt around the country lanes of rural Devon. We chatted to each other as we ran, and tried, as we always do, to forget the fact that our spouses were still tucked up cosily under the duvet - and the fact that, were it not for our devotion to the temples at which we worship daily (ie, our bodies), we would be snuggled up beside them.
Gamely we chatted as we pounded on and on, grimly ascending the hills, (of which there are many), seizing brief respite as we descended said hills, and desperately flashing our torches at one or two oncoming tractors intent on squashing us. (You can imagine the casual post mortems, held in local pubs. Well, ers shouldna' bin out at that time, runnin' round. Ah wouldn' let mah missis. Would 'ee?')
As we jogged up the final brutal ascent, two or three cars passed us, carrying locals on their way to work. Hearing them before we saw them, my brave jogging pal and I automatically straightened hunched shoulders, tensed flagging leg muscles, flung our heads back and pasted bright smiles on our faces - not forgetting to swiftly swipe a sweaty sleeve over our equally sweaty faces. Waving merrily, as they passed, we continued the enjoying the run charade until we reached the summit - and thankfully the end of the run.
I'd love to say that at this point, the adrenalin rush so apparently beloved by runners, (lies lies) finally took hold, and in a burst of endorphins, we strode glowing into our respective houses, ready to take on the day and all that it could fling at us. Sadly the reality was that our main feeling was one of relief that the entire bloody business was over - at least until tomorrow. There is a bit of a glow, however - of smugness. And I'm happy to report that it lasts all day...