So the sensible thing to do after a fairly intense 10k on Monday night would be to take a couple of easier days to allow the body to recover and to refresh itself.
As I said, that would be the sensible thing, but I think we’ve established by now that I’m sometimes a stranger to the world of sense.
That was why I found myself setting off from the car park over beside the shop this morning with Iverene for what we had intended would be an 11-mile run. We ‘only’ did 10.3 in the end (I know, right?), but more on that later.
Bored of the same old same old we thought it’d be a good idea to mix the route up a little so after running alongside the football pitches we turned right through the estate to head towards Tesco’s. The plan was to go there, and then onto our local parkrun which would take us up to five miles.
The only problem was the route we took was one I haven’t been along for years and in that time it had changed quite a bit. So much so, in fact, that instead of coming out near Tesco’s we eventually emerged in the middle of the industrial estate!
It wasn’t exactly a comfortable run either. There were a couple of unexpected little climbs but, if nothing else, it was still good to run somewhere different.
Finding our bearings again, we eventually ran past Tesco’s and onto parkrun via an alternative route, joining the normal route at around 1km in, but that also included some more unplanned climbs.
The actual parkrun portion was grand. It’s always good to get a run around the course, it helps familiarise yourself with it so that on a Saturday morning you can plan your run a little better.
After that we turned to go up the Fry’s Road, a regular on a club night, and then down the Cushendall Road before cutting across at the bottom to head towards the Peoples’ Park.
Often on the Fry’s Road it’s a case of digging in a little and that proved to be so today. Turning onto the Cushendall Road we took advantage of the single lane due to the extensive roadworks and ran unhindered down the closed lane without the hassle of going on the footpaths with their little dips and kerbs and so on.
Cutting across to the park, it was time for a little comfort break. It had been raining lightly up to this point, we were already wet, but around now the heavens really opened.
Undeterred, we ran up to the top end of the park. This was steeper than I remembered and, at one point, we just ‘stopped’. It was quite humorous, we were moving but not really going forward.
Thankfully, there was a pretty drastic drop down the other side so it was good to let go a little.
From here, at around eight miles in, we headed onto the Galgorm Road and had planned to go down Leighinmohr Avenue towards the riverside path.
We had come along the path the opposite way during a walk on Sunday so we could find it pretty easily, right? Wrong! Whether it was the by now heavy rain, or just a general lack of direction but we couldn’t find the entry onto the path.
By now we had clocked up nine miles and were soaked to the skin. We agreed to just turn back and head towards our starting point. It was still over a mile away and would mean we’d still get into double figures.
Back we went, back past the bus station before turning right past the fire station. I know we were already drenched and all that, but we could really have done without some idiot of a bus driver steering his vehicle right through a roadside puddle and adding to our already extremely soggy state. That was nice of him, wasn’t it?
Almost ‘home’, a lap of the football pitches would bring us up to the 11 miles we had planned but we didn’t really have the heart for it by then … on a dry day, maybe, but not now. There’s nothing an extra kilometre would really have told us about our running.
Despite the conditions it was a pretty good run. I felt strong and was glad to have gone out even if I did have a fair few reservations beforehand. I don’t intend to run as long as that for at least the next seven days but, after my quiet week, it was good to know I haven’t lost any fitness or stamina.