It has to be coffee.
As I make the short drive from work to my youngest’s school to pick him up, my only thought is of coffee. It is Friday 24 March and I am exhausted. I feel a physical exhaustion and a mental fug; it’s just plain old being tired.
And I feel plain old too, if indeed that is a thing. I’ve spent the day summoning up what has felt like supernatural levels of enthusiasm, and I’m about to crash out as soon as I get home.
The coffee helps. I don’t crash out. I go for a run.
The park is wet, windy, cold. I am pleased to be out though because being out means doing exactly what I need to do: put one foot in front of the other and move forwards. Ironman is about forward motion. Life is about forward motion. Keep moving or get worse. There is no staying the same. I know, at heart, that stasis is an illusion.
I manage an easy hour and, by the end, feel slightly more optimistic about staying awake while we watch a little of something, anything, on Netflix.
On Saturday I wake early anyway, despite not setting an alarm, and head out to run for a couple of hours with Bolton parkrun somewhere in the middle of it. I’m practising eating and drinking and this has being going really well. However, today I can feel it sloshing around and just adding to the idea that is slowly starting to form: life would be much more comfortable without this stuff.
Except, of course, it wouldn’t be more comfortable. I’ve been there. I’ve woken up without purpose in a previous life and have spent days trying to burn off energy in ways that aren’t sustainable. So my moment of self-pity recedes and I gratefully tick of each steady lap saying hello to faces that I’ve not seen at parkrun this year.
At the finish, I jog with Chris back to his car and we chat excitedly about the Wanderers’ trip to Wembley next weekend. I turn and head back to the park to get another hour in and watch the tail-end of the parkrun make its way towards the finish. One of the runners says to me that she’s looking forward to a coffee at the end and, not for the first time this weekend, I admit that it really is all about the coffee.