To "throw down the gauntlet" is to issue a challenge. A gauntlet-wearing knight would challenge a fellow knight or enemy to a duel by throwing one of his gauntlets on the ground. The opponent would pick up the gauntlet to accept the challenge.
This evening I saw a picture posted on Duncan's Facebook page of his Vibram Spyridons with the caption "Again!" and then a subsidiary picture of his muddy finger socks. To Duncan it is a celebration and not a snub or gloat but to me he had thrown down the gauntlet for me to rise from the sofa and get out for a run.
The weather outside is best described as cool at 2°C and to make a point I posted back a picture of my gnarled feet to him and stepped out in the evening with my head torch tucked in my pocket and my door keys jingling around my neck. I was in for a surprise when I discovered the pain in my lower back I had on Sunday was hardly there and so decided to drop off the pace and enjoy my run to the club. I stood around in the cold having arrived 10 minutes early and joined in, if only half-hearted, with the others and then started to run with a group and after about a mile realised I wasn't enjoying the company so waved good bye making some excuse.
In a strange way I felt relieved that I was by myself and so grabbing my torch from my pocket I entered my favourite woods for a about half a mile and then ducked out into the park for a quick circuit and out to my home.
I am so pleased that the Monkey [sock] Gauntlet was thrown down tonight and let me do what I love doing, night running off road.