Whilst I’m still struggling to fit in all of my training sessions each week, I’ve had a few decent runs recently. On Sunday, I had 2h30 on the schedule, which works out at about 13-14 miles or so at my pace. My last long run was only just over 11 miles, so this seemed a little daunting! But with a half marathon coming up this weekend, I wanted to get as close to 13 as possible, as I knew it would be a bit of a confidence boost. I haven’t actually run over 11/12 miles since this time last year!
As always, I went out too fast and ended up clocking a sub-10-minute first mile. Not exactly the slow, steady pace I had planned! Luckily, I was able to settle into a pretty relaxed pace for the rest of the run, though I slowed riiight down for the last couple miles thanks to a combination of a niggle in my right foot, and HILLS. Why did I pick a hilly route? Not only was it hilly, but I had to loop it three times! I’m definitely rethinking things next time ..
Today I went out for a 5k run at lunch. Usually I love running with my workmates – it gets me away from my desk and out into the fresh air, and I feel great all afternoon. Also, it’s brilliant motivation having other people (that I persuaded to start running with me) expecting me to run. How can I skip a workout if the whole office then teases me for being a slacker!? But today it came round to bite me in the bum. My legs were still a little heavy from the weekend, and the wind and rain had picked right up. 27mph wind, and (horizontal) torrential rain. It was freezing cold, too. Horrible combination. But the others were heading out, so I grabbed my trainers!
We had a new runner in our group today, who it turns out used to run with a club, and considers 9:00/mile a slow pace. Personally, I have trouble keeping under 10:00 for more than 5k! But having him picking up the pace was great, and without even realising, I hit 9:36 for the first mile. My fastest 5k only averaged 9:40! Brilliant! The second mile was into a side wind, and the pace dropped to 10:02, but it was still much faster than our group were used to running. The third mile, in a word, SUCKED. We were wading through puddles that were more like ponds by this point, the wind had picked up, the rain was so heavy that we couldn’t even see where we were going, and I genuinely hadn’t been so cold since I hiked the Perambulation last year. Not even kidding.
But when you get to a certain point, you really do stop caring. We started to splash through the puddles, rather than slipping and sliding around the edges. We put our heads down, and pushed into the wind. And it was great fun! We had a few people walk past us and mutter ‘they’re effing crazy!’, which made my day – I laughed a LOT! Because when you’re soaked to the bone and shivering, and your trainers are completely full of water, and you have so much rain in your face that you can’t see where you’re going, what else can you do!? My favourite (!) moment was just along the road from Sainsburys, towards the end of our run, when a bus sped past me and sent a wave of water right over my head. It was so cold that I actually couldn’t get my breath for a second!
We got into Sainsburys to grab some lunch, trailing water behind us, and one of the ladies stocking the shelves took one (extremely worried) look at us and exclaimed ‘is it really THAT bad out there!?’ I laughed again. There were seriously no words. We were completely and utterly disheveled.
But I’ll bet you anything that we all felt much better that afternoon than the rest of the office! (Yknow, after we got rid of the water).
Ironically the rain stopped a little while later. But I don’t think it would’ve been quite as fun with just the wind!