An ellipse of sepia tones. Leaves, mud, rock, roots, puddles, trail. My eyes strain in the artificial light of my head torch. My mind tries to fill in the gaps, it sees things that aren't there, I stutter and falter and slow down. I forgot to eat when I got home. I can see blobs in my eyesight and feel lightheaded. I know this feeling, I know it will pass and I will soon feel a surge of strength as my body settles into working its way through deeper reserves. I don't need to fear the bonk, I will be home in 30 minutes.
For now though, I feel clumsy, slow and heavy. I have barely run in weeks, and when I have pulled on running shoes it has been socially or isolated sprints. These are not the ingredients for strong running legs, speed or moving efficiently. No matter, I am out now and I have the woods to myself.
Gradually I find my legs. I touch type my way through the trail. I no longer need to see exactly what I am placing my foot on. I read a few steps ahead and improvise when my foot hits ground an inch before I expect it, or sinks deeper in wet leaf mulch. I stop expecting and just react. I keep flowing, finding acceleration and momentum.
I'm a long way from perfection. I'm a long way from my own high expectations. I don't really mind. I'm moving. Then I'm home. Eating. A lot.