My knees haven't been too happy about the optimistic increase in weekly mileage the last couple of weeks. They haven't been too happy about the wet, heavy snow that has been causing a lot of headaches for the ones in charge of plowing the streets and pavements. My knees aren't too big on thinking positively. They don't see this as a wonderful opportunity to get stronger, like I do. My knees are a couple of miserable, whiny old geezers and they want me to get off their lawn. I can't help wondering how long before those two kick the bucket and leave me to fend for myself.
As such, pain and its implications have been on my mind a lot lately. Why we do what we do even though it sometimes hurts. But more about that in another post. Today, let's focus on the good stuff, and how I ran 23 km without my knees firing any shots in my general direction. They just made some empty threats. No big deal.
One of the other runners in AIK suggested that we should run out towards the sea. I was glad she did. I grew up by the sea, took my first steps on a pebble beach and spent a lot of birthdays there as a child blowing out candles quickly so that the sea breeze wouldn't get to them first. If there is one thing I miss living in central Skellefteå, it is the sense of serenity only a sea horizon can evoke.
|Rocking the bell bottomed pants. Hey, it was the seventies. But that coat is to die for.|
The way there was by snow-heavy roads, framed by fir and pine trees. The conversation flowed freely, aided by the fact that it was downhill most of the way. Our goal destination was a summer house-lined bay, and once we got there we could see that the water had, of course, frozen and the sea was hidden under a layer of ice and snow. Still, at the narrow mouth of the bay in the distance, you could almost make out the point where the sea was too rough to let any ice form on it. Which is just as well, because otherwise it would be too easy for Finns to just walk over to Sweden and drink Swedes under the table.
We turned back the same way we had come, which meant that we were now facing a long uphill slope. My feet struggled to find purchase on the snow-covered road and I seemed to slip backwards with every step that I took. We all grew quiet, not wanting to waste precious energy on talking. That was soon remedied, though, when we rounded the crest of the hill and regained our strength. All that remained now was some easy kilometres back to where we had started.
After I left my teammates, I took the long way home. My knees started grumbling again, but I didn't let that deter me. I was just happy to have another solid long run under my belt.