It’s a long one – sorry!
Sunday dawned bright and sunny – a great day for a run.
Was apprehensive about upping the mileage to 12 but 10 had gone ok last week and I’d really enjoyed Friday and Saturday’s runs so headed to the gym with a spring in my step
The running club, on a Sunday, meets once a month. Today there was a 6 or a 12 mile option – 3 people doing 6 leaving just me doing 12 (with Gray) there was also a mystery person potentially due, but they’d booked into the running club at 1.40am and the gym part of the session started at 10am….. they never arrived – a great drunken idea that they’d completely forgotten about or just slept straight though?!
So compared to last month when there were about 12 of us it was a nice intimate session – 1 girl who’d been chi running for a while, 1 guy who had done a 1 day course last weekend and another girl who was completely new to chi running – so a nice mix
We spent 1 hour in the gym going over technique, the posture stance, 1 legged posture stance, a great exercise for strengthening the muscles used for keeping the knee aligned over your toes for landing while running – it flew by
With the sun still shining we headed into the park – 1 lap Finsbury Park, there and back along the Parkland walk, a reverse lap of the park and back to the gym – 6 miles, then off to unchartered territory for the next 6 miles – that was the plan…..
What happened? We all set of together, I was feeling good and chatting away to a lovely lady for the entire lap of the park and off to the walk, but then I realised that I’d been going far too fast to maintain that pace and as we were out in front of the others looped back to meet them and I dropped it down…..
I was also running with a hydration rucksack – I figured with 12 miles ahead some water would be needed and knew that for the 1st 6 miles there was nowhere to get water….. I’ve run with it on before, but that was in Borneo in 30 odd degree heat and for 4 miles max. This was completely different and I hated it – sloshing around without the jungle scenery to distract me – I decided what with the sloshing and my setting off too fast that when we got back to the park I would skip the loop of the park and go drop the bag off at the gym, have a good drink of water sort myself out and run the last 6 miles without it.
Was a good decision, it turned out there was a water fountain in the next park, so all water worries solved! Also sneakily had a wee, washed my face and treated myself to a Clif shot and felt oh so much better.
The next 6 miles were hard, but good, had a great chat with Gray. He asked me how I was feeling – tired, asked what I’d done Saturday – 2 miles, Friday – 5miles, 3 mile tempo, Thursday – had I been to kettlebells?? He knew full well I had as he’d seen me! Wednesday – disastrous 4 miles – I wonder why I was tired……
So we headed up to Clissold Park, Stoke Newington and the cemetery – Park – lovely, Stokey – busy, cemetery – beautiful old graves, well worth a visit, but a little muddy……
By the time we reached the cemetery I was losing control of my pace, so we had a brief walk so I could pull myself together – when I walk I speed walk, I like to keep moving – turns out I walk way faster than Gray – he couldn’t keep up – if only the same was true with my running!
We turned back and ran round the rest of the park, back to the water fountain, over a bridge just to see where it went and then back to Finsbury Park.
On the way back Gray let his PT guard down and commented on a ‘couple of spray tans’ that walked past – he then apologized, but I thought it was an awesome comment and told him to carry on – they looked more like they’d had a couple of spray tans each – remember Ross from Friends?
Anyway, we hit the park, I checked my garmin and we had 0.8 miles to go to reach the magical 12 – quick mini loop and it would all be done….. I checked the distance again a few minutes later…. 15 miles to go, I stopped instantly, swore, apologised and explained. Then moaned that I couldn’t do it any more…. Gray was fab, turned this (at that time) massive disappointment into a positive learning experienced – this is good practice for the end of the marathon when you’re tired and have to keep going, so I sucked it up, walked until the next tree (fast, Gray said he’d catch me up running – it made me feel a little better) then ran the next 1.5 miles without a problem!
So strange how much psychology plays a part in my running – we’d been talking about it earlier in the run, how gutting it is to think you’re nearly at the end of a run (or in my case doing the 3 peaks) only to find you’re not, there’s still further to go…. But it showed me that I could do it and that was a great feeling
Next week 14 miles……