13 weeks, 8 bars, 3 hydration sources and 1 stereotypical driver

During the first 10 laps today, I was certain this blog would be positive and along the lines of “not as bad as expected”. I planned on describing my efforts like the difficult conversation with partner/family member which turns out to be OK after all.

Unfortunately life doesn’t work that way.

My favorite part of running is when it is subconscious. I could let my mind wander and was taking on food and drink as planned, while maintaining a good but not suicidal pace without focusing on doing so.

After this my run turned into a sort of inner struggle which would more resemble an argument from those Rihanna music videos verging on domestic violence. Although I’d be very surprised if Mumsnet complain about me glorifying anything!

My master plan to take more food and drink backfired. After lap 12 I started feeling full and my heart rate went to around 85-90% of my max, refusing to settle. While this would be a positive sign of me pushing myself in a 5k, my pace slowed considerably and I couldn’t seem to acquire anything resembling the void from earlier.

I powered through to lap 14 but about 1km from the end of this lap I started to get an intense headache and realised I had drank all of my water. This left me 2 options. I could refill using the water at the bottom of the woods or use the vanilla coke I was saving for the drive home. I have only drank flat coke once in 5 years of running and now was not a time for misadventures.

Since my heart rate still hadn’t settled and I wasn’t sure of the cleanliness of the water. I decided to drive home and rehydrate before doing the last 4 miles.

My drive home was uneventful other than the spotless Range Rover driver “cutting me up” (insert your own crude joke here). Probably karma for me not finishing my run in the woods.

I was happy with the final 4 on the streets. I used the GPS feature on my watch and my muscles had realised nothing would change based on my response to their earlier complaints so nobody “threw their cups” (another Murakami reference for those unfamiliar with the book from last week).

The lack of elevation from this route compared to the woods meant I finished the 32 only 5 mins slower than my target time.

I remembered during my run a book I read last year about Tiger Woods. His last major win was in 2008 on “one leg” as his knee operation a few months earlier resulted in excruciating pain every other shot.

According to the author, it never occurred to Tiger that the 5 day event would have a different outcome to him winning. While my achievement today pales in comparison, I can honestly say that at no point today running less than the 32 miles crossed my mind.

I’m optimistic my next long run will be easier than today and glad that the 44 miler is visible on my horizon.


Now read this

27 weeks remaining, approx 51 miles and a battle to run through my first complete night

My week began with 2 laps of 5.4 miles, one each on Monday and Tuesday night. These were both at a reasonable pace without jeopardising any speed I’d need for over the weekend. I took the rest of the weekdays off so I would be well... Continue →