After the Chippenham Half, when I pushed myself so hard I would have cried if I’d had the energy, it was hardly surprising the very next day I’d go down with ‘The First Cold of Winter’. This meant no recovery runs, the worst DOMS ever, three thousand tissues and a general air of self pity around Black and Tabby Towers,
By Friday I pulled myself together and dragged myself out for a run again. It felt hard. It was an ‘Easy 3 miles’ and yet my Heart Rate was up and I coughed my way round. I gave myself the weekend off.
On Monday I set off down the lane from my house that leads to a killer hill. The lane slopes gently for a mile, then plunges down to a brook. Coming back up It’s is a short, but steep hill (the road sign warns “25%”) and I’ve never managed to run all the way up it before. Technically I’m not sure it was running it was that slow, but I didn’t stop and I made it back up. I then added a loop up through a field to make it just over three miles. Wednesday I ran some intervals, and on Friday I added a Long Run. This week I attacked ‘The Hill’ again on Monday, sneaked in a Tuesday Tempo run, and eased in an Easy run on Wednesday. I am planning a Long Run for Friday.
So where did this motivation come from? Was it from some amazing Sports Supplement, available from all good retailers (and some shady ones) for an extortionate amount of money? Was it a secret I read in an old copy of Runner’s World? Did I come across it in my late night perusing of the internet? No my friends, I’ll let you into a secret. Its something we all know, but be warned, it is very powerful. It has the power to get me out running in the pouring rain. It has made me tackle THE hill twice. It has made me wear my short shorts even though summer has definitely gone. I even ran intervals under its influence. Are you ready for it? Come close whilst I whisper it to you…
I entered a race. Not just any race, but an off road, multi-terrain race with a shocking hill in the middle, lots of mud, and last time even a field with a bull in. The Marshfield Mudlark. Apart from huge respect for the marshal who had to stand in the field with the bull, I also remember how much fun this race is and also how hard it is. I’ve run it in the rain (when they had to move the car parking off the cricket field because it was too wet) and I’ve run it in blazing sunshine (when I took my water bottle with me because I knew I woudn’t last between water stations without a drink). It was still muddy that year.
Oh and a week after that, I’m entering the Wadsworth Devizes Half Marathon. Well, its not far to travel, it’s sponsored by the local brewery and last year the goody bag contained an engraved pint glass. It’d be rude not to.
Races, races, hang on – I feel the urge to put on running shoes and tackle that hill again …