Well, last week was a bit of a disaster so I’m not going to dwell on it too much. Having suffered from a nasty flu bug over Christmas, I think I tried to get back into running too soon and even 3 miles was a struggle. Given that I was doing 7 miles before the bug I was pretty demoralised to say the least.
After words of encouragement from fellow runners on Twitter I was feeling ready to face week 2 with renewed gusto.
I agreed to meet my running buddy on Wednesday morning. The wettest day of the year yet. Brilliant. This, however, is exactly why I love running with a friend. Neither of us dared text the other to cry off for fear of letting the other down. With the little ones safely dispatched in crèche, waterproofs (or, in my case, showerproofs: note to self, buy waterproofs) firmly secured, off we went.
Somewhere on the streets of Bradley Stoke, the most unlikely of places, I found my running mojo. Oh, how I missed you! We managed 4 miles. A small victory but a victory over the energy-sapping, morale-stealing running demons of the previous week. Perhaps I run better in the rain?
With my regained enthusiasm and a rest day behind me, I set my sights on a longer run on Friday and set off from my Mums in Weston with another running buddy, this time of the four-legged variety. I find I better well if I don’t know the area well. I guess the thought that goes into figuring out where I’m going and trying not to get myself lost stops me thinking about how hard the run is and how long until it ends. True to form, getting myself lost in Weston did the trick and I had an easy 5 miles in the bag. My companion, Barney, however, was not so enthusiastic. Dripping tongue lolling after a good slurp of cold water, he spent the rest of the day, um, spent. Think I’ll stick to the shorter runs with him in future.
I was then planning to do a longer run Sunday but also had a plan to run the 5 miles into work today, Monday. That, and the lure of toast, pints of tea and gorgeous cuddly Sunday morning toddlers was enough to dissuade me. I settled for a long walk with the family instead. Much less effort, arguably not very advantageous to my training but fun none the less (and better for Barney :))
So that brings us to today. The start of week 3. My plan to run in to work this morning was only briefly in jeopardy when I dropped the children at nursery in the pouring rain, but for once, my steely determination kicked in and spurred on by the fact that I hadn’t run yesterday I put my water (shower) proofs on and off I went.
I took it steady, knowing I had a big hill to negotiate out of Hanham. The rush hour traffic was building. To my advantage, I was to discover. Pride prevented me from stopping and walking, knowing there were people watching me as they sat idling in the traffic on the way to work. As I reached the brow of the hill I was tired but knowing I had a lovely 1/2 mile or so down Troopers Hill kept me going.
I powered down the hill, the familiar feeling of euphoria coming over me with Florence in my ears (“run for your children, for your sisters and brothers”, one of my favourite running tracks). This must be the elusive runners high.
This carried me the rest of the way into work. Cold, wet, and waiting for Andy to arrive with my clothes I sit here feeling tired, but great. 5 miles in 52 minutes. Just a few minutes to shave off, but no matter, I’m feeling good, I’m back and ready to bring on the week.