20 weeks, 60 miles and my first attempt at running in the woods in 2018
I had a week of annual leave this week and was adamant that it had to include at least 2 runs in the woods regardless of how muddy or waterlogged it was and a long training run of 30 miles as a minimum. To start the week, I chickened out of heading into the woods on Wednesday morning and settled for the usual 7.5 mile route. In keeping with my habit of not making a habit of chickening out of things, I did a 8.3 mile route in the woods on Thursday and Friday mornings. The first of these was abhorrently difficult and I felt I had to watch my step a lot more closely than when I had ran in the same woods last year. After the first mile I didn’t really make an effort to avoid puddles on Thursday’s outing and found that once I went into a mindset where slipping didn’t bother me as long as I didn’t fall, the elevation and terrain was less of an issue I had to focus on. “Luckily” it was very cold on Friday morning and some of the mud had froze. Apart from my hands being numb this was a lot more comfortable than the previous day’s efforts.
I did 6 miles on the treadmill at 8am on Saturday morning, my brother had kindly bought an overnight stay in Buxton for me and my wife as a Christmas present and despite the hotel’s facilities not opening until then, I assumed spending an hour there would be preferable in terms of being able to have breakfast at a reasonable time as opposed to heading out around Buxton. The first 2 miles were excruciatingly monotonous and I added in a 2% hill for 2 miles after this which made it slightly more interesting!
I finished the week with 4 laps of the 7.5 mile route this morning. This was great fun as it was only the middle 2 laps I could generate any momentum in. The last lap in particular was very sluggish and I had to really drag myself through the last 4.5 miles of the route. I quite like that I’ve developed a morbid fascination with my running when it is harder. The highlight of this week in terms of the podcasts I’ve listened to was probably the David Goggin’s interview on Joe Rogan’s podcast. This was quite inspiring where a lot of his sources of motivation came from. He mentioned listening to the one of the songs from the first Rocky film for 18 hours and how he found the “14th round” scene resonated with him. The song only lasts for 2 minutes and 17 seconds. This reminded me of when I had listened to the one song I had on my iPhone during London 2 Brighton, Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” for about 2 and a half hours. The common theme of the discussion during the podcast seemed to be his “no half measures” approach to when he is training towards things. I really liked a quote of his, I found later in the week as well. I think there is a certain parallel with training for a 72 mile race and what he is referring to.