The more astute amongst us (and more northerly and westerly based) will have noticed that the weather has taken somewhat of a turn for the worse recently. The glorious autumn colours and bright sunny days suddenly seem a rapidly receding memory as the leaves of the trees are battered to the ground by heavy rain. That, coupled with the clocks changing last week has given my training runs an altogether different feel. A much darker, wetter one.
So it's now much tougher to motivate myself to get out there, but I've learnt that the best approach is to not think about it. Going out for a run in the evening after work, when it's dark? Then head out immediately after getting home. Whatever you do, don't give yourself any excuse to procrastinate as every second you delay will make it harder to go out the door. Long weekend run due on a rainy Saturday morning? Same rule applies - out as soon as you can. Don't look at the weather forecast and tell yourself you'll wait until the rain stops at three o'clock, like the BBC says it will. It might not. Here in Cumbria, it really might not.
I've also learned that it's never as bad outside as it looks from inside. Being in a nice warm house staring gloomily through the window at the rain and wishing it would stop is much harder than actually running in it. I think it's the difference between being depressed because things aren't as perfect as you'd like and accepting things as they are, and making the most of it.
It's also strangely comforting running in the dark. Following the circle of light from a head torch is almost meditative, almost like the whole world is reduced to you and the immediate surroundings. You do need to keep yourself from drifting off too much though - I went out on Tuesday night in the dark, drizzle and fog and found myself having to stop and examine the ground for signs of a path across fields I've walked many times in the day. Who knows where I'd have ended up if I'd been too far away with the fairies? (Answer - running into a drystone wall probably).
In a way, current conditions play into my hands. The whole thought of running 68 miles is a bit much really, but if I don't think about the end goal or even individual days I might just find myself doing it before I've even realised what's going on ...