Sunday Day 21
Our epic 10k beckons. It is wet and windy and freezing cold. N has promised to take us to the start point and after the monumental faff of loading children into car seats, we are on our way. We pick up V on the way who greets us with a grimace. Without saying anything, I agree, and she knows it.
N drops us off and we make a show of stretching and suchlike until they leave the car park. We are not keen on an audience. V has come up with a new mission statement, lifted directly from ‘Splash’. Quite possibly the worst television show ever made, and therefore compulsive viewing.
Many of the celebrities have words of wisdom to bestow both before and after their dives but in this episode, the oracle Keith Duffy, (formerly of Westlife, or possibly Boyzone…I’m not sure there is a difference) uttered the following immortal words;
“Pain is temporary, failure is forever.”
This is our mantra – for this week at least.
The trail feels much better on the knees and legs that the road running does so despite the weather, which is once again absolutely foul, we’re feeling pretty good. We pass lots of walkers, dog owners and other runners and everyone is cheery and friendly, it really does warm the cockles. Shame it doesn’t work anywhere else.
We meet L on the trail, a fellow half marathon participant. She has been running a long time and in training for much longer than us. She is doing an 8 mile run today so we feel heartened that we are doing only slightly less than that whilst still “beginners”.
N and the rugrats meet us at about the half way point with water and motivational cuddles which helps a great deal. We carry on after the briefest of stops and a torrential downpour hits just as they reach the most open part of the trail. I am sure he is now regretting being supportive. If he has no jelly babies, all hell is likely to break loose.
The wind as we pass the loch is ferocious, V relishes this kind of thing. I do not.
But, we press on to the end and calculate we have completed a total of 11.5k in 1hr 18mins. I have no idea how this compares to an average time for this distance but feel immediately disappointed. V is upbeat. I am hoping that the fact I am soaked and aching has something to do with the rather negative response I have had to our performance.
By the time I’ve got home and exchanged uplifting text messages I do feel a certain sense of achievement. Until I realise we have to do double that in the actual race.
Monday Day 22
Day off. Thank god. My legs ache as do my shoulders, hips and strangely, wrists.
Tuesday Day 23
N arrives home with a gift. A Garmin 10 GPS ready watch! I am thrilled with it. My phone is bulky to run with and the running app we use to map our distance, route and pace regularly drops GPS signal. There is no feeling more soul-destroying after nearly an hour of running for the stats page to show your distance as half a mile and total calories burned as 17.
I feel sure this will improve my performance no end. Putting blind faith in technology is a particular speciality of mine.
Tough going after a long work day and a run start time of 8pm. V has had a terrible day and we spend the first 20 minutes or so exchanging gripes and venting. It’s a kind of therapy. Although given the choice, I would still prefer to vent through the medium of alcohol and Green & Blacks.
My legs are still aching and heavy and I have a shooting pain in my right shin. It gets so bad I have to stop and hop/limp which isn’t good. Particularly as we are passing all the parked up lorries in the bypass and speculate that axe-murdering couriers no doubt lurk behind their shabby tartan cab-curtains.
This thought alone is enough to get me to the up the pace a good bit until we are in the warm glow of streelights and main roads once more.
Given how quickly I moved, we discuss whether hiring someone recently released from prison to chase us during the actual race may be an idea.
Wednesday Day 24
Rest day. No drinking during the week rules are for pussies.
Thursday Day 25
Run with G. Again slightly nervous due to her vast experience. Weather is again…. Scottish.
Plan a longer route this time, pushing ourselves a little as we have a set time to get back to pick up rugrat No 2.
We complete about 7km or so in 50 minutes or thereabouts and the last downhill push to the finish is exhilarating. Endorphins are wonderful things.
Friday Day 26
Day of rest and recuperation. Feeling decidedly rough with a head cold and blocked sinuses. Decide the best remedy is 5 hours of housework and then drinking enormous amounts of prosecco and eating chips with work colleagues. Fabulous.
Saturday Day 27
Not fabulous. Feel like my head is going to explode due to the head cold. N thinks the prosecco may have more to do with it than I am letting on. He may be right, although I feel progressively worse as the day goes on and calling on vast hangover experience, I don’t think it’s supposed to work like that.
Sunday Day 28
Lie in until 11.30am. Everything aches. Feel awful. And very, very sorry for myself. A little niggle of fear tells me I have to be back running tomorrow and I know it’s going to hurt.