Sometimes planning a run in advance seems like a good idea. The whole “Yeah, let’s do this! It’s going to be good!” vibe … until you wake up, hear the rain, look out the window, feel the cold and think, “Ugh! WTF am I doing?”
That was my mood this morning. I’d been asked by Bronagh, one of my running buddies, to help her run up to 10k. She’s a lot faster than me but hadn’t gone as far as that distance wise before and therefore lacked the belief that she could do it.
It was nice to be asked, and I was only too happy to help although I did warn her it’d be a lot slower than if she’d gone on her own, or with someone else. Nothing like having a bit of faith in myself, is there?
It’s been raining a lot lately so, in our wisdom, we decided to tackle the local parkrun route which is based in a nature park/conservation area on the edge of the town centre through which the River Braid flows. I mean, it’d never floods here, would it?
In theory, a couple of laps of the route would bring us up nicely to the desired 10k but, given the layout, we decided to start backwards and do the second part first. Hey, it made sense at the time!
Anyway, not long after starting we encountered this woman out walking her dog who stopped us to tell us that parts of the course were flooded and whilst it wasn’t deep we would get our feet wet. My trainers needed a good wash anyway so, after thanking her, we continued on our merry way.
Pretty soon we encountered the first flooded part, a good 20-30 yards of it … brrrr, the water was cold. Not long after that came the next one, and the next and the one after that – you get the idea – each one seeming deeper than the one before it. By this stage my feet were soaked through and I was squelching as I ran but it was fun.
Surprisingly, the second part of the parkrun course – the section we expected to be flooded – was clear so we finally got going for an uninterrupted spell, eventually getting up to 5k.
Given the flooding we elected not to bother with a second lap so decided, instead, to head out of the park and into the town, running part of the course covered by the club on Monday night … this meant going up the Fry’s Road, down the Cushendall Road and then the Broughshane Road before bringing us back to our starting point.
This would take us away from the park, and would mean no more flooding. But, as if we weren’t already wet enough, the heavens decided to open. Yeah, thanks for that. I’m sure we looked more than a bit bonkers running along in the torrential rain!
Unfortunately, the fluid in my legs began to flare up around the 5k mark and, much to my frustration, this continued for the next couple of kilometres or so. I had to stop to shake them out a few times which wasn’t in my plan. There seems to be no rhyme nor reason to it, if it’s going to happen it’s going to happen. I kept apologising to Bronagh but, bless her, she was fine with it and stressed the distance was the important thing today.
Happily, my legs began to settle again so the run for ‘home’ wasn’t too bad. Getting back into the park we reached the car just 400 metres short of 10k so there was only one thing for it – a couple of laps of the car park in time honoured runners tradition!
Timewise I would have really liked to have gone quicker but – on reflection – given the conditions, which I’m sure didn’t help my legs, I’m not too disappointed. It was within my target 10k time range even if I would liked to have been faster for Bronagh’s sake.
But I enjoyed myself and I enjoyed the company (thanks!) … more than that, I’m pleased to have shown Bronagh she can run 10k and that was the objective at the end of the day.