Well this is going by fast!
This week I was very pleased with a total of 9 hours – three runs, 1 swim (4x500m), 1 indoor bike ride, 1 yoga class, 2 strength classes and a short bit of cycle commuting.
Run 1 – the long run. I wanted to make my tempo run Park Run this week, which meant the long run had to be accomplished before work. 10 miles before work? But the pace I had to run was slow, so I gave myself an extra 20 minutes and had no problem at all in heading out the door – despite the fact it was still dark when my alarm went off at 7am 😦 (yes I am lucky that I can run 10 miles before work and still not get out of bed before 7!) I had a banana but was effectively running semi-fasted, not for any fancy running reason but more because I can’t think of anything worse than getting up even earlier to eat and then waiting in the dark while the food goes down…..!
The run was hard. I knew I was in for a comeback after last week. It was cold. I was stiff and not warmed up properly at first. I was trying out different trainers and my feet felt funny. My legs were heavy from the beginning. It wasn’t because I was running a long way as I was slow right from the start, and I don’t think it was mental as I was only running 1 mile further than the week before. But my body didn’t like it.
I ran to and through Battersea Park, past a number of people dog-walking and on early morning workouts. Then I set out towards Wandsworth Bridge on the Thames Path, going in the wrong direction from the steady trickle of walkers (did any other Walking Dead fans automatically think ZOMBIE then?!) runners and cyclists going past me in the opposite direction. I perked up a little bit and had a few of those moments where I was like “wow how incredible is my body, look what it’s doing, I am literally running with one foot in front of the other for a long time, human bodies are amazing” but along with a few moments of “my whole body hurts why am I doing this to myself can I stop now? Oh wait if I stop I’ll be late to work better keep running……”
I arrived at my office only to discover I’d misjudged the route and still had only run 9.2 miles. Well, I wasn’t giving up so then began a mad dash around St James’ Park tube station, dodging commuters, trying desperately to run EXACTLY 0.8miles in a way that wouldn’t take me too far from work. That final 0.8 was by far the fastest of my run – I was just so desperate to get it DONE!! Overall time of 1hr 41 for a slow ten miles so I wasn’t displeased with that.
Run 2: intervals – On a treadmill after work. Many things conspiring to make it easy for me to sack it off – leaving my iPhone behind and going to an impromtu talk on immigration detention in North London. But I went and I did it and it was fine. The intervals were 3 minutes long this time instead of 1minute long as in previous occasions. But I was okay. I had David Attenborough on iPlayer and so even the three minute intervals went past quite quickly as I watched. My heart rates at the end of each interval were already lower than when I first did my intervals a few weeks ago so that’s good news!
Run 3: the tempo run
The day before the tempo run two things happened:
1) I looked at the training program in detail up until the race itself. Oh god some weeks are going to be hard.
2) my bike was stolen while I was in yoga.
I was in such a bad mood – completely grumpy and everything was crap. How on earth was I going to afford a new bike before Christmas? How on earth was I going to afford a month’s travel card before Christmas?!! I would have to get the tube… Goodbye savings… And I have to make the decision on a new bike which is stressful. Yes even the thought of choosing a shiny new bike was a negative in my mindset on Saturday morning!
I didn’t want to get out of bed at 8am. I did. I grumbled to myself about how horrible the run was as I ran a slow 2 miles towards Brockwell Park. I don’t want to run, running hurts, my legs are tired, I can’t do a marathon, maybe I should just give up on it now. Why do I even think I can do it? Running hurts. Ugh park run isn’t going to be fun.
I grumbled and grumbled and then I pressed start on my watch and set off around the park on Park Run with hundreds of other brightly dressed runners. I still grumbled and then I overtook a few people going up the hill and started to realise I was enjoying myself. The sun was coming up and the sky was blue and the second time round the park I looked at the other runners as I made it up the hill and I remembered that I do quite like running really and how wonderful park run is.
There were people jogging up the hill, people walking, a mum in her 100 park runs t-shirt walking up next to her lanky teenage son in his 10 park runs t-shirt. There were dads with prams and older couples. Towards the finish a tiny little boy jogged along, looking over his shoulder for his parent, but everytime I almost overtook him, sprinting off. He barely came up to my hip. At the last corner a teenage boy in a 50 park runs Tshirt was waiting for his friend, he then joined in and ran with him before peeling off just before the finishing chute – obviously he had finished earlier and was just coming back to support his friend. As I left I heard a woman say “it’s just so much fun”. It’s that but not just that – it is inspirational as well.
Then I took the shorter route home for another slow 1 mile and the tempo run was done. A phone call with my mum later, she had reassured me that at least nobody was ill and extremely kindly offered to get me a new bike or at least most of a new bike for my Christmas present. Plus telling me a story about a parking-fail she had last week where she badly dented someone else’s car which made my sense of self-disappointment about how I’d locked up my bike lessen slightly!
Bad mood banished. I finished off Saturday by sobbing uncontrollable in the cinema to the Imitation Game – GO AND SEE IT – and then stuffing my face with lebanese takeaway from our favourite, Dalila. Yum.