So a friend and I thought it’d be an awesome idea to head to Virginia Water for a scenic run after work yesterday. Given the weather we’ve had recently, we originally planned to have a bit of a picnic afterwards .. But England had other ideas, and rain was forecast on and off from 1pm.
We decided to go anyway.
We slightly regretted our plan on our way there, stuck in traffic as the heavens opened. But we told ourselves it was just a shower, and besides, after sitting in traffic (and getting lost), we figured we’d invested too much time to bail!
When we got there, the skies had cleared and the lake looked beautiful:
We headed out for our first loop (the plan was originally to try for 2 loops at just over 4 miles each, but we decided to just see how we felt once we got there). We got about 2/3 of the way round before the sky turned an ominous grey and the drizzle began, but we agreed to suck it up and keep going. Think positive thoughts, right?
To begin with, the rain was quite refreshing, and the breeze was at our backs so we almost welcomed it. The scenery was gorgeous, and the terrain (for us at least) was challenging and varied enough to keep us distracted. It was a mixture of smooth tarmac, off-road sections, and quite a few short, sharp hills. When I started to walk up one of the nastier ones, my friend ran past with a ‘F*ck this hill! WHO’S THE BOSS!?’ so I got myself moving again. After all, you only feel like throwing up until you get to the top – and the downhills were awesomely fun.
When we got to the end of the first loop, we hid under the shelter for a few minutes to regroup and look out at the torrential rain. The wind had picked up by this point, and we were getting pretty cold – and being soaking wet and shivering, it didn’t seem quite so fun any more.
We discussed the merits of heading back to the car to blast the heater and eat sandwiches and chocolate chip muffins (the muffins very nearly decided for us), but instead of bailing, we headed back out – into the rain, and the headwind, and over the stupid hills. (I think the general consensus was ‘Oh sod it, we’re not going to get any wetter’).
In the end, we hit a full 10k, and were rewarded with a beautiful sunset as the rain eased off again:
I guess the lesson we took away from that run was that it’s always worth pushing just a little bit further. Pushing through the rain, the cold, the aching legs, the burning lungs, and the little voice in the back of your head … and coming out the other side.
Because at the end of the day, there’s nothing worse than giving up, looking back and thinking – ‘I could have done more.’