The best-laid plans, and all that.
I had a hard session lined up for Tuesday night- a 5-mile beach run. This has been really working for me, giving me strength and a better running style. Plus- I was really enjoying it, as it was something different from running around the block which 99% of my running life has been so far.
A cold has been going around work, and it hit me on Tuesday. It’s no big deal; in fact, if you did not speak to me in the first couple hours of the day, you would not even realise I had it.
But the key thing is has done is make me feel like doing nothing at all- even laying on the settee of an evening was hard work. This made me feel worse- I know that I could run, and would live to see the next day- but the motivation was down to 0%.
So I have not run. In all fairness, Tuesday was Storm Aileen night, and the run would have been troublesome anyway; but I could have gone out Wednesday night. Or Thursday night. Or, indeed, Friday night.
Anyway, here is a film I made with my Drone Friday night of the local fair.
Saturday 16th September
My original plan was to run down, run the park run, and then come home the long way- making about 8 miles. Because of my malaise this week, I thought I would drive down, see how I go, and if I felt fine, add an extra run in tomorrow.
The run itself was interesting. I started far too quickly, determined not to undermine my finishing effort by an over-cautious start. This strong start was followed up by pain in the bucket loads, and the week of no running and resting soon biting me firmly in my arse.
Parkrun is a bit like a school reunion, where everyone is judged externally without knowing what is happening internally. As you are running around, you measure others by how they look, all the time being basted in your own internal juices. You have no idea how they feel inside- they look so fresh! And them- “yes, him over there- he must be half as heavy as me again- so why did he just bomb past me? God, I am RUBBISH at running!”.
Anyway, the third mile came and went, and I am pleased to say that the key thing I have taken is my strong finish. My posture feels better following all my stretching, and I can feel some real gains from my stretches. Result.
Sunday 17th September
I was still not feeling 100%, but I wanted to give myself a reasonable enough test to base a decision on for next Sunday. The verdict? A definite maybe.
I had some banging tunes in my ears, so as a consequence, my speed was lead by the sounds, not my pacing. I stopped a couple times for a drink and to take pictures, and the last mile was destroyed by the worse gastric problems I have ever had running.
The bits in between were fun. It was on the hot side, which does not suit me, but once again I felt solid and reliable. At 4.5 miles I found a side path so went off road for a bit, forgetting that it had been tanking it down all night so I could barely manage a walk through the mud. Still, it made me smile and allowed me to feel fresh.
A real positive, seeing I have spent most evenings laying down moaning. Not quite where I wanted to be, but not too far off. This week is key ahead of next Sunday.
Next Sunday is the Barnstaple Half Marathon so this week will be based around that. I aim for a 5 miler Tuesday, a 3 miler on Thursday or Friday, and then go for it Sunday. The plan for the half marathon is simple- to finish with no injury, and treat it as a training run, ahead of the next couple months racing. If I had to pick a sensible timing schedule, I want to try and average 11-minute miles for the first 10, and then see how I feel. Truth be told, I would be glad to have it behind me now, with the fitness benefits it will give me.