<span style=”font-family: Helvetica;”><p><span style=”font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, sans-serif; “><span style=”font-family: Helvetica;”>For obvious reasons, I have dreaded my long bike ride this week (see </span><font><a href=”http://mouganie.typepad.com/ironman/2009/12/my-wall.html&#8221; target=”_blank”><span style=”font-family: Helvetica;”>My wall</span></a></font><span style=”font-family: Helvetica;”>). So, this morning, I decided to to go for my long run instead and swap my bike ride for tomorrow morning, after swim class. Now, this doesn't throw a spanner in the works as it was decided that for the time being, I will ride on my own around Richmond Park before building up endurance again and joining the team to Box Hill.</span></span></p></span><p><span style=”font-family: Helvetica;”>It was a sunny morning, entering the park through Sheen Common and running in an anti-clockwise direction, a muddy and cold ground began to seep through my shoes and freeze my toes. It was bloody cold. 2 miles into the run, things warmed up, especially after a Chocolate Outrage. My confidence was coming back, overtaking one runner at a time and getting smiles from those running clockwise.</span></p><p><span style=”font-family: Helvetica;”>Then, 6 miles into the outing and in the distance ahead of me, I saw him; the man with the red top. A challenge, about 400m ahead of me. Run faster, Tarek. And so I did.</span></p><p><span style=”font-family: Helvetica;”>It was not in the plan and it was not wise. But I continued to do it, the thought of him ahead of me taunted me, fuelled me to run faster. 9 miles into the run and I was closer to him than I had ever been. I can do this, it is a 10 mile run and he's only 100m away. But why? Risk exhausting myself, losing focus and ruining the sport that got me into all this in the first place? No. I pulled off to the right and went home, just shy of my 10 miles.</span></p><p><span style=”font-family: Helvetica;”>For the rest of the day, I kept thinking back at the carrot dangling in front of me, my temptation. Glad I resisted it eventually; hope I have learnt my lesson.</span></p>