Last night when I was driving to the start of a nine mile run, I started thinking about how tired I was. How I really didn't need to do this run. How I could really use a day off. I pulled into the parking lot, turned off the car, and fell asleep. When I woke 30 minutes later I knew this run wasn't going to happen. So I talked myself into just walking up the hill a ways. It was a relief, once I decided it was ok not to run, and that just getting out and walking would be fine for today.
I put my shoes and shorts on and started moving. I could feel the cold air on my skin. I moved for no other reason now than to stay warm. My gait gradually quickened to a slow jog. I felt the fatigue in my legs from all the miles I'd run the last several weeks. My body was tired, confirming these miles would have to be another day.
I made it to the top of the small hill, then turned down a bike trial with a gentle descent. I'll just go around the block and call it a day, I thought. Then I crossed the road and turned toward the drinking fountain another half mile away. Sure, I need some water I thought, so I'll just jog up to the fountain and then turn back. That would give me three miles. After taking a few micro sips I just continued up the trail, lost somewhere between a day off and a run with no known destination or distance. I just kept ambling along, noticing the sky changing colors as the sun began to set.
When I looked at my watch 90 minutes later it told me I had gone nine miles. I just shook my head. I started this knowing I wouldn't run at all, and I finished not knowing how I ran 9 miles. I guess, sometimes, you just have to fool yourself.