Tonight’s run was once again without a plan. I had decided to go with Kasia back to the running group, but she managed to pull a muscle in her back yesterday whilst at work, so a text message as I left work killed that idea. Instead, I decided that I would go home, and then run once I got there. This was just one of my many mistakes.
Once I got home, we decided that we needed to go food shopping. So we did. Nothing interesting. Except maybe apricot falafel. They were nice.
Anyway, back on point, I went running while Kasia cooked dinner. I know. This all sounds horribly sexist, but it really isn’t. I do my fair share. Dammit. Stop distracting me.
I was running. Once again without a plan. I wanted to see how my calves would hold up in the transitional shoes, and after Sunday’s rather epic fifteen mile run. Well, as it happens, I found out straight away.
A pain shot up the back of my left leg with possibly only my second step. I spent the next thirty seconds deciding whether to keep running or just turn round. As always, a Scott Jurek quote fluttered into my consciousness.
“Run until you cannot run any more. And then run some more.”
So, taking this as sensible advice from someone who knows running, I kept running. My brain picked a route for me. I think it realised that if I did the one mile circuit, I would stop after the first mile, so it gave me the four mile park circuit to do. Thanks, Brain. I owe you one. Surprisingly, the calf seemed to just put up with this, and while it grumbled, it never had a full on hissy fit. Which was nice.
The park circuit is one I have a love / hate relationship with. The first time I ran it, it ended in a humiliating turn of events when Kasia sailed past me with about a mile to go as I stood coughing my lungs up by the side of the road. How times have changed.
The last time I measured the time it took me to run from home to the park, it was exactly nine minutes, which I was running at 7m30s per mile. Tonight, at my mile marker, I checked my time. 6m30s. I stopped and took a breather for 30 seconds, deciding that I should this quicker pace for some speed training. At eight minutes, I was in the park. Insane.
Every 6m30s I stopped for 30 seconds. I say stopped, I walked. Never stop moving.
I checked my watch coming out of the park. I figured that I could do the entire course in under 28 minutes, and I willed myself to do it. I ran fast, and hard, feeling myself gliding at times over the paving stones, and past pedestrians intent on tripping me up or just standing idly in my way as I hurtled towards them.
You see, one thing about changing my plans for the evening was that I was now running much later than planned. If I had run with the running club, I would have finished earlier and my next problem would never have materialised.
It’s kind of the unwritten thing with runners. We all know this, but we never speak about it.
Running makes you poo. And now, only half a mile from home, I needed to go. Urgently.
I looked at my watch and did some quick maths in my head. If I could just do this last half a mile inside three minutes, I would be ok. I don’t know why I thought that. I had no scientific evidence to back that up. I think what I normally would have thought is “The quicker I can get home, the less chance there is of me crapping myself in public”, but I was in run mode, so I had to set myself a challenge.
Well, I know you’re all keen to know what happens next, and there is a happy ending. There were no accidents, and I managed to launch myself through the front door and into the bathroom in one smooth move.
The best part though? Only after I’d sat down did I remember to press my stopwatch.
It read 27:55.
oh yeah. That’s some fine motivation to run fast. I don’t recommend it though.