Confession time … I haven’t run much this week, not since club on Monday night.
On Tuesday I went out to do my scheduled intervals session and only lasted 47 seconds. I just couldn’t be bothered. Physically I felt ok but, mentally, I had nothing left. I know that is precisely the time to dig deep and push through but I really couldn’t do it.
I decided to take Wednesday off. I reckoned there was no point even trying because I knew I wasn’t in the right frame of mind for it. I’ll try again on Thursday I told myself.
And I did … for a whole 17 minutes! I went out at 7am (well, it was supposed to be 6am but it took me an hour to persuade myself to go) and intended to do the intervals session I bailed from on Tuesday. But it was still better than nothing, right?
Again, my legs felt grand but my mood just wasn’t right for running.
I ‘rested’ again on Friday but by now the old doubts were starting to creep back in. Too much rest isn’t a good thing for me. My legs might thank me but my messed up mind definitely doesn’t.
Ah well, surely parkrun would ‘fix’ me.
Today’s event wasn’t originally in my plan, but because I’d more or less discarded it this week I reckoned I’d at least go, get a decent run in my legs and salvage something from the week.
Going into it I knew my legs would freak. They always do after a few days of next to no running. I expected this. I tried to offset this a little by going for a brief run around the car park but I knew, deep down, that they’d still object in the strongest possible way.
I had Bronagh for company all the way round, and it was just as well I did otherwise I could very easily have stepped off.
She cajoled, encouraged, supported and dragged me when I just wanted to give it up as a bad job. She insisted on staying with me when I wanted her to go on and enjoy her own run. She’ll say she was only repaying the favour from the Dark Hedges a week ago but, in my mind, that was different. That was her first half and I wasn’t for leaving her but this is parkrun, something I’ve done lots of times so there was no need for her to ‘waste’ a run on my behalf. But, thanks Bronagh, it’s been a while since I moaned and groaned so much during a run so maybe I was overdue one!
So, what about the run? I made the classic mistake of going off far too quickly. So quick, in fact, that Strava tells me my first kilometre was my fastest ever on the Ecos course.
That’ll possibly explain why at around a mile in I felt the power totally drain from my body, especially in my arms. They felt like jelly, as if they were just hanging from my shoulders, and painful too. I couldn’t use them to help push me forward which, of course, meant that I had to rely on my legs which, in turn, put extra pressure on them.
Things were quickly falling apart. My body wasn’t responding well, my mind decided to follow suit and …. well, you know what normally happens then.
Thankfully my arms began to recover again. They don’t usually suffer like that – the last time I remember it was back in January – but the pain in my legs remained throughout. Nothing out of the ordinary there. I’ve become better and better at coping with it, usually with the help of a strong mind, but that wasn’t the case today.
I battled on. That first mile took a lot out of me but there was a group of three men a little behind me so I decided that if I could keep them there then I won’t have done too badly.
That’s the thing. I wasn’t doing badly. After two miles my time was more or less as it had been for the past few weeks, it just hurt a lot more today.
In the end, after the obligatory Bronagh inspired sprint finish, my time turned out to be my fifth fastest at my local course and, using age grading, my sixth best ever including my tourist runs. Weird, huh? It just felt so much tougher than that.
But, hopefully, that means my blip this week has been put behind me. A rest was probably what I needed when I think about it logically, I just wish I could have enjoyed it more than I did!