Dipping my toes

It’s been a quiet week.

You’ll have read in my last blog that I suffered feeling ill during the Rock ‘n’ Roll Dublin Half Marathon. Unfortunately those bugs went on to write off any possibility of running this week, meaning I missed my 5k recovery, a 7 mile endurance run, an intervals session and a 15 mile long run.

I just didn’t feel capable. I had a bad head cold, sore throat, dry cough and a crackle in my chest. Any thought of physical exercise was impossible. I was out of breath going up the stairs so how could I cope with even attempting to run?

As you can imagine this didn’t do much for my confidence. After my second half collapse in Dublin I really wanted to get out again to put it behind me but I couldn’t.

More positively, however, it didn’t mess with my mind too much. Advice from infinitely more experienced runners than I’ll ever be kept me from worrying as much as I normally would. The gist of their argument was that I’ve done so much lately that I won’t have lost any fitness, nor will I have ‘forgotten’ how to run. My next race is a week away and I could do nothing between now and then and still be ok.

But I couldn’t do that. I needed to get out and, so, feeling better – but not 100% – this evening I thought I’d go out for a mile. That’s all. Nothing more than that. The bare minimum.

The idea was to test my breathing and to test my legs. I still felt bunged up, my hearing was still muffled but it was the neck down that concerned me. I made sure it was ridiculously gentle, and I picked the flattest route I could find which was around the football pitches beside my house.

I also haven’t had a completely free from running week since the 2017 London Marathon and so an easy mile tonight would at least mean I wouldn’t repeat that.

So how did it go? Pretty well, actually. I know it was only a mile but my breathing settled quite quickly, I’ve certainly experienced worse in the past. In fact, my legs caused more issues … not that they hurt or felt uncomfortable, it was more of them having done next to nothing for a week and then suddenly having to ‘work’ again. Rusty is probably the best description of how they felt but that eased towards the end of the run as my pace increased.

There’s not really an awful lot I can write about a solitary mile, but it was very reassuring that my body didn’t freak on me. Hopefully that means I’m back, although I’ll obviously be sensible over the next few days not to try to play catch up. Last week is gone, forget about those runs and just follow this week’s pre-planned schedule.

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