Sunday, 8 November 2015

Wandering thoughts on a wandering LSR

Today was one of those days when any plans just had to go out the window. The unravelling began yesterday when I noticed my tonsils had turned into golfballs. I didn't feel ill; maybe a bit tired but no fever or aches or anything. Nevertheless I prepared myself for the eventuality of having to ditch the week's long run. The thought of only having completed 11 slow miles for the week wasn't a happy sort of thought but if I've learned anything on this marathon training journey it's that you've got to listen to your body and do whatever it's telling you.

I woke this morning feeling ok but a bit tired and I really didn't want to get out of bed. Once the clocks go back I do struggle with mornings so the early start for today's run just didn't happen. We decided that even though I felt fine we'd not have any plans other than to see how I felt with an hour's run then take it from there, so no set route, no target mileage or time on feet,  just the intention to run 9:00 pace.

Coffee, fruit toast, out the door. Yuc- it's raining and cold and dismal. The worst kind of November morning. Now I feel really bad that not only have I made my fella start the run 2 hours later than planned but I'm making him run in the most uninspiring weather. He doesn't need to be doing these long runs with me really. But we set off anyway grumbling a bit, both of us thinking probably we'll be turning around soon and heading back for coffee and cake in the warm and dry. However the rain stops, we settle into a relaxed pace and grumbling turns into chatting.

I don't really know where we ran. Just out and about. Lots of lakes and some of the canal. A bit of mud. Oh yes, and steps! A few sets of steps just for me! We talk about all sorts of stuff and also run in silence quite a bit, both of us lost in the gentle meditative rhythm of relaxed running. I am so fortunate to be able to run with my fella and share the sheer pleasure of running. I love his sense of play when running and I do think when you run with someone who is having fun it's infectious. And anyway we're not athletes, we run because we want to so there's not much point if you're not having fun.

It's also a wonderful thing to run with someone whose pace seems to fit with your own. I think I might have said this before but very often when running with others it's a constant battle of trying to keep up or trying to stay slow so you stay together, but we just seem to be able to run together without that. It's a great gift and I treasure every moment of it.

As for the physical process of this run, it felt good. Mostly a really consistent pace too which is great and shows I'm learning a bit of discipline at last! The usual aches set in, perhaps a little earlier than before but they didn't get as bad and I felt comfortable running through them. (I think once this marathon is done I'm going to spend a month in the gym really working to make sure my muscles are well balanced and strong.) I didn't eat so much this time, and had decided to try Mini Cheddars rather than my rocket fuel flapjacks. Nice, but not so easy to eat on the go. I'd also decided to listen to advice and added electrolytes to my water. High 5 Zero Citrus flavour I think I tried. Still didn't drink enough but managed a lot more than normal. Hormones were beginning to settle too (I can say that some of last week's fatigue and reduced endurance was due to hormones). So actually there were so many changed variables compared to last week's LSR I can't say which (if any) made a difference but there was a difference for sure. We got back and my fella wanted to round up another half a mile to 15 miles but I felt really up for rounding to 20. So I did. And there was definitely a bit in the tank still when I finished: 2hrs 58min for 20 miles.

I'm happy with today's run. Very happy!

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