It was one of those runs, I could just feel it in my bones. Saturday morning is our long run. I have been getting up to speed again after my knee injury and my usual plan for the week is…
2 to 3 runs during the week of about 6 mile or so followed by long weekend run to gradually increase my mileage for the half marathons that are looming ahead of me and 'the' marathon in now actually 4 months’ time (why on earth did sign up for that one!)
I do find Saturday morning better as then it’s done and I don’t have it in my mind all over the weekend. I tend to build it up in my mind and then I can’t sleep on Sat eve in anticipation of not having the traditional lie in on Sunday morning!
Anyway, Saturday dawns and long run is due. In my training schedule I was set for doing 13 miles but I was battling with the really heavy duvet and the equally heavy cats who have literally pinned me down to the mattress and God Forbid if I even try and raise my head off the pillow. The way I was not bounding gleefully out of bed means I might have a mental running challenge today.
The usual diversion tactics came into play. Coffee first then breakfast as I can’t run without breakfast. Obviously then I can’t run on a full stomach so that delays the run by half an hour. Now what? I know, lets clean the house first before the run so I can come home and not to have to worry about housework. Can’t find my sports, bra, what trainers should I wear? The route was road and trail so a lot of pondering on which of my increasing amount of trainers would be the most suitable. Actually should I drive to the bit where it starts trail and hide my trail shoes in the hedge? That will put the run of for a bit longer.
Finally, my other half dragged me of the house and then as luck would have it we passed our neighbours who were getting into their car. Nice little chat that lasted longer than what was really necessary.
Then my last diversion tactic before I know I have run out of excuses. My Garmin – takes ages! This means at least I can start at a walk. Chau tell me that it picks up satellite quicker if I put my hand on my head. Is that true or is it just for his and the car driver’s amusement?
No more excuses and we are off. I always struggle the first three miles until I get my rhythm and breathing in tune and its mind over matter to keep going. I know by mile four I change into a different runner and practically gazelle like (we can all dream!)
While running I had planned a few short cuts I could take if the mind could not deal with the matter and call it a bad day for running. Labouring on I had made the pre-planned excuses to Chau and was planning to cut it short and let him carry on.
Mile 4 arrived and I became that different runner – Wow, this is easy and look at me go – what was I wittering on about? Off I went and overtook Chau to show off a bit. Don’t know why I do that as when he runs with me he is practically walking but likes to humour me!
Off I stride and empowered by my new found energy and remembering that I love running we decided to turn right instead of our usual left and do a little diversion. All good so far and enjoying the sunny morning and gaily ‘Good Morning’ to everyone whether they like it or not.
Then I remembered that this route would take us over the Cookham Bridge. Dear God, I totally forgot about that. As you may have read in previous blogs I have an adverse and totally irrational fear of bridges. I can occasionally drive over them with a lot of mental preparation but on two legs it’s virtually impossible. I managed it once in a race but that was adrenalin and competitive spirit which was not quite with me now. Shall I tell Chau now 2 miles before we get there or shall I keep going and see if my lifelong phobia is cured? Doubt it. My constant chit chat stopped and running in silence as I psyched myself up. Bridge approached as did my heart in my mouth and I ground to a halt. ‘Can’t do it’ I gasped.
Chau then realised the issue and did try and reason with me a little and entice my over the bridge a bit like a donkey with a carrot but no, it was not happening and I just made myself get vertigo. Nothing to be done but turn around and back the same way adding on an extra 4 miles of my shortcut run.
Feeling guilty that I have been messing him around (I am a woman) at the source of our diversion I told Chau to resume the normal run and I would go home as I would have actually done my allotted miles with our bridge incident.
‘See you at home’ I say as I would be first back as just 3 miles left. Onward I go, it was trail which I love and striding away dreaming I was in the leading group of some famous trail run. A few styles to negotiate but all good. Not long until a cup of coffee now.
Did not envisage that the heard of cows that are normally in the middle of the field decided to have a little lay down in front of the style I needed to climb across. Now I have no issues with cows if they are in the distance but I would have had to literally step through them. I did tentatively try but it would have been impossible without touching them and annoying them and then what – so many comedy situations could have come from that little scenario!
The only thing to do was turn round and follow the route that Chau took. Yes, that meant not only had I increased my mileage due to the bridge incident but now I had to do it again. Head down and remembering the mantras to keep me going.
Not sure if I should admit this may I do love singing ‘Nothings going to break my stride’ by Matt Wilder. Embarrassing I know but it works for me.
I ended up running further than ever despite every effort to forego this run. Morale of the story is just get up and do it rather than fart arsing around and procrastinating. I knew right at the beginning I was going to run so why bother with all of the faffing around?
Did I feel better after running and really chuffed I put in the extra miles? – yes ☺
Will I use all methods to delay runs in the future? – Oh, I am sure most definitely!
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