Breaking the rules of the Beginner Half Marathon Bible by swapping our rest days. Childcare and family life are getting in the way so no run tonight. Spend the time googling stuff about running injuries and adding more and more unneccessary items to my online shopping basket.
Day 10 Wednesday
Feeling fantastic! Apart from the small issue of soaking feet and terrifying a man staggering back from the pub. I am fairly sure he though he was being stalked by a serial killer as I kept what I like to call sniggering, but what probably sounded like the hysterical keening of a psychopath to him. Details to follow.
We managed an epic 8.8km tonight with no stops. Need to plan our routes better though as we aren’t tackling very many hills. A great feeling run though, it turns out the strategy of lowering the pace to a more manageable level until we can comfortably do a 10k, is a winner. It’s when we come to add in speed and elevation gain that we’ll be screwed.
Back to the stalking incident. We come back to our starting point at about 7.5k and decide to press on for a bit longer. V is a native and therefore it would be safe to assume that she knows her way around these parts. Apparently not. Our throbbing metropolis – pop. 4200 – may as well be twinned with Beirut when the way is led by someone with the navigational skills of a teaspoon. We take a turn into an area I don’t know at all but which she assures me she walked through to get to school…FOR 7 YEARS. Her memory is clearly in need of a little something from Paul McKenna, as we take not one, but four wrong turns down dark lanes and blind alleys, as well as one memorable jaunt across a pitch dark, boggy, dog doo laden park. Much hilarity ensues. V confides that her pelvic floor is not what it once was and admits she… “may have wee’d a bit back there”. While joyfully reliving the moment on my run home, I inadvertently scare a chap half to death by yelping and snorting while I am two steps behind him. The noise he made was even funnier.
Day 11 Thursday
Frustratingly, no run again. Children and family life really are getting in the way of my training schedule. The freezing temperatures and the fact I’d be running alone had absolutely nothing to do with it. At all.
Day 12 Friday
Again no run. Had hoped to get out today but all it took was a call from an old friend and the offer of a lunch date to wipe the thought from my mind in favour of a couple of hours of calorie laden pleasure. N is out tonight so no chance of an evening jaunt. Instead I pour a gin and plan our route for tomorrow. We have a one hour window between hungover husbands and children’s activities. We’re aiming for a 10k in that time.
Day 13 Saturday
Hungover husband staying in bed. Children plonked in front of telly. Wife and mothering duties complete. Absolutely lashing rain and freezing. I hate this. Am losing ability to form proper sentences also it seems.
Our plan is a 10k – ish, around the loch. We power on through to the park and are hit by icy wind as we turn the corner to meet the lochside trail. Curses! Charles Charley Charles and the Admiral of the Fleet (or other similar toffs) are visiting the big house and spending their leisure time killing stuff. Path is closed for estate shooting. Damn you landed gentry!
We are cold, soaked, losing the will to live and both have other places to be in an hour. Have definitely found that having a planned route in advance is highly preferable to faffing about during the run trying to ascertain which route would give us the best distance/gradient/challenge. Feel free to interchange the word “best” with “easiest”. We plough on for 8k or so and head home a bit deflated and very wet. There are many more highs and lows associated with running than I ever imagined. Today was a low.
V is still recovering from her calf strain and I from excessive gin intake. 10.30am Metafit class. The class is about 1.5 miles away and it’s pissing rain, freezing and I have a headache. I choke down a Berocca and go before I change my mind. I get in to the zone pretty quickly and my breathing – which is always a struggle – seems to regulate more easily. I start to think that this crazy idea might just be possible after all, I could learn to love this running malarkey and that the finish line on 10 May may actually be in my sights. Dog walkers smile encouragingly at me and everyone says ‘Good Morning’. I’m so knackered I can’t reply, obviously, but it makes for a very pleasant start to the day.
I manage to make it all the way there without stopping and I am thoroughly pleased with myself.After taking a moment to calibrate the difference between a mile and half jaunt and a 13.5 mile slog, I feel slightly less confident. So much so, I neglect to check the time and blunder into a weight loss management class. It’s upsetting that the group take one look at me in my running tights and immediately assume I’m just late.
Metafit accomplished without any nausea or wishing for death. I wouldn’t go as far as saying I loved it, but I didn’t hate it either. Progress of a sort.
It’s really lashing rain now but I decide to try the run home. My legs feel like jelly after 30 minutes of non-stop squats, lunges, burpees and squat thrusts but the fact that my fellow class members have seen me preparing to run whilst getting in their cars, makes me feel I need to put on a show.
I take off at a ridiculous pace and make it about 40 yards or so before I start to feel faint. They are just passing me on the roundabout and I display an outstanding commitment to road safety as I wait at the kerb for several minutes in pretence of checking that the achingly slow Nissan Micra full of pensioners has definitely seen me before I jog/walk across the road. By that time they are gone, thank god, and I can continue on my hobbling, breathless way.
I have had huge amounts of advice from people much better qualified than me on things I need to do and buy to make this experience slightly less painful.
I am assured I need twin-skin socks, Gore running gloves, special blister plasters, immodium and high quality foot moisturiser and regular pedicures to stop my toenails falling off. As I have already spent half the household GDP on Compeed, (the Hello Kitty plasters just didn’t cut the mustard) I put my online shopping spree on hold. To be honest I can do without the gloves if it means keeping my toenails.
Day 7 Sunday.
Rest day. Just as well, the high from my run the day before left me feeling invincible so I drank a whole bottle of cava and ate a huge steak dinner. I feel like shit today.
Day 8 Monday.
WE ARE ON FUCKING FIRE! Just completed a 45 minute/6km run without stopping, cramping, feeling sick or gasping for air. Have sorted out the pace I think and the strategy is to get a 10km run under our belts comfortably and then work on upping the pace and adding in a bit of tempo and more gradient. I sound exactly like I know what I’m talking about. I don’t, but that’s never stopped me talking before. Feeling pumped and know we are going to do this. No question.
Have reworked the mission statement from “We don’t have to be fast, just not last” to, (in the unforgettable words of JLo) “GO HARD OR GO HOME”.