Sometimes you just need to know when enough is enough.
That’s the case after tonight’s run. In one sense it was a success but I’m left feeling somewhat deflated after it.
I hadn’t run since Tuesday. It was my birthday on Wednesday but since then I’ve been feeling very sluggish and lethargic, sleeping far more than usual, suffering from the occasional bout of dizziness amid a general sense of feeling spaced out. I’d missed my second Loch Ness training run of the week on Thursday/Friday and now, with it being Saturday, I knew I had to go out to salvage something from the week.
To further complicate matters in my head I had also reached the final run in the C25K programme I’ve been fast tracking myself through, the 30-minute run.
Most people would acknowledge they’ve been feeling ill and postpone the final run and, if they must run at all, take it easy tonight. But I would see that as a failure or a step back. So it was either attempt it or not run at all, yet not running at all would also mess with me mentally.
So, despite not feeling 100%, I forced myself out. Ideally I knew I wouldn’t have the mental strength to continue beyond the 30 minutes as usual so my only target tonight was to hit that half-hour mark.
I’m confident, on any other night, that I would have managed it without too much difficulty but I knew on this occasion that I would have to dig deep, really deep. I knew my body would be screaming at me to give up, or to at least take a walk break.
To give myself as best a chance as possible I had no route in mind, I’d make it up as I went. I also knew that I’d have to go slower than I’d like because I didn’t really know how my body would react. That in itself is a dangerous tactic because if I felt I was too slow I’d just throw my head up and hit the big abort button in my brain.
The first 15 minutes or so were relatively comfortable. I felt slow and stodgy, albeit with only a mild stitch in my side. That sometimes happens and it usually goes. But as time went on, the stitch became more noticeable, I began to look at my watch more and more … always a bad sign.
But I wasn’t going to give up. I kept telling myself if I did those first 15 minutes would be for nothing. 18 minutes came and went, give up now and they’d all be wasted. And so on. 20 minutes, 23 minutes, 25 minutes until I dragged myself to 27 minutes. Then, I knew I’d do it.
My attention then turned to seeing if I could continue on to complete 5k as per my marathon training plan. I was too close to home to make it a neat finish so I knew I’d have to run around a few car parks and fields in order to make the distance but, truth be told, I couldn’t really be bothered with that.
I would just have to be content with reaching 30 minutes and completing C25K on my own. I know I’ve been ill, I know I’ve been running a lot lately, I know one run doesn’t define me, I know I’m too hard on myself but … meh.
Playlist: The Sound of Summer (The Adventures), Chasing Cars (Snow Patrol), Guiding Light (Foy Vance & Ed Sheeran), Goldfinger (Ash), You Don’t Have To Cry Anymore (The Adventures), The Pop Singer’s Fear of the Pollen Count (The Divine Comedy), The Lost Art of Conversation (The Divine Comedy), Chocolate (Snow Patrol)