My legs eventually recovered after my long run with Lesley and Gareth, and my millage for the week just seemed to grow and grow. For the first time in a long time I put over 50 miles into my legs, something that a few weeks ago I wouldn’t have even contemplated. Isn’t it funny how a couple of good runs can get your mojo back ? Several weeks ago, feeling bloated and unfit, I hated running and could never see myself getting around Trimpell or London. Now, although I’m still not excited, I’m no longer apprehensive.
Friends and colleagues have said “You’ll be alright, it’s only a marathon.” Something that if said to anyone else, just wouldn’t get said in the first place. They think that because I’m a multiple Ironman that doing a marathon will be easy, I don’t think any of them fully understands the amount of effort and training it takes even for an Ironman to run 26.2 miles. Anyone that says marathon running is easy, obviously hasn’t pushed themselves hard enough to finish one. BUT I do see where they are coming from, I get it now, it’s a compliment, they believe in my ability, they know I’ve been there, done that and got various t-shirts…..the thing is now I believe it again. Self belief or the lack of it can destroy you, when you’ve got it though, it’s like taking a minute a mile off your time. I’ve got it and I’m loving it.
Just how much i’m loving it was brought home to me last night when after work I ran for 14 miles. All day I’d been feeling completely wiped out, my original plan had been to just run the 3.5 miles home and collapse in a heap. It was a glorious day, the sun was shining, although descending by the second as I left work. It was crisp but not too cold, my gloves were on my hands more for wiping sweat from my face than for keeping my fingers warm. I could feel my 16 mile run in my legs from 2 days before hand as I set off so I was conscious of running relaxing and not overcooking the early pace. Reading your heart rate is a great way of keeping yourself reigned in, noting that mine said 135 I plodded down the hill into Galgate safe in the knowledge that I was running sensibly.
Crossing the A6 I got onto the canal towpath to head to Glasson Dock, the grass was a little moist but the ground was firm. Running along watching the neon rays of the sun coming through the branches of the trees, whilst lambs, ducks, swans and a massive herron observed me with quiet wonder I felt so alive. A mile or so later I was snapped out of tranquility by the fact that the towpath was reduced to ankle deep mud, sliding from side to side I looked like an awkward speed skater….without the speed naturally. Eventually I made it down to Glasson, my mud caked adidas shoes now bore no resemblence to the white pair I’d laced up an hour earlier. Coming onto solid tarmac I worked hard going up Tithebarn Hill, but was rewarded with the most spectacular view. The Sun was almost setting and it’s vivid red and purple hues made the waters of the River Lune look like they were ablaze. I took a moment I’d like to think to just take it all in, reality was I was getting my breath back after the climb, before dropping down onto the coastal path for the long run into Lancaster. I never saw another soul, not suprising because by the time I’d emerged at the other end of the unlit, wooded path it was pitch black ( note to self – stick headtorch in rucksack for next time !)
Just to finish things off I ran down to the M6 before turning round and running back through the city centre, stopping at the bottom of my hill to buy a well deserved chocolate milkshake. I’d been running for 1:58:22….which was long enough and fast enough, with an overall average Heart Rate of 134. Sensible indeed.
Last night’s run suprised me because as I said I’d had a hard weeks training, including a total of 18 miles on Wednesday. Included in that was 8 miles of interval training with COLT, a leg sapping session if ever there was one. But the main reason for my suprise was becuase I’d done a fairly hilly 16 miles again on Saturday morning with Lesley, and every run with ‘Little Miss Competative’ is a tough one. My heart rate on Saturday had been 156, a marked difference between the two runs.
So last week was a big week with over 50 miles, as the week started on Saturday I’m already up to 30 for this week and it’s only Tuesday. It could be an even bigger week, before I taper somewhat for the Trimpell 20, a week on Sunday.
Whatever the millage though, I’m loving the running, and that can only be a good thing can’t it ?