This weekend just gone I had one of my first ‘long’ runs of my half marathon training plan. Now when I say ‘long’ run as I’m in the first few weeks of my plan the distance isn’t overly long but I’m mentally trying to get used to running long for when the mileage racks up so I’m calling my long run day just that even now.
My long runs are usually going to be done on a Saturday morning mainly to get them out of the way for the weekend (like I’ve said before running isn’t a pleasure yet) and I also do Park Run on a Saturday morning so my plan is to run Park Run (5km) and then continue running afterwards until I’ve hit that week’s distance target.
I did this the weekend before for my 4 mile run and although it was tough, park run always is for me for some reason, I got through it and because I was already in my running kit and sweaty I was less inclined to not do it, knowing that it’d bug me that I’d wimped out and would have to attempt the distance on the Sunday.
Like I said though it was tough, the park run I go to is basically three mile long loops so although I’d kept telling myself that I only had to tag on an additional loop to get my 4 miles, that ‘extra’ loop felt like a huge distance! My brain and legs have obviously gotten used to the three loop deal because they really didn’t want to go round again!
Anyway, this weekend my plan said to run 4.5 miles (or so I thought I’d read – more on that later!) so my intention was once again to go to Park Run and then do an extra 1.5 miles after finishing and getting my barcode scanned. However Saturday morning my silly nonexistent stomach had other ideas. I woke up feeling really sick with a churning stomach and there was no way I was gonna be doing any form of running at that moment in time. S decided to use this as an excuse to not go to Park Run either and have a bit of a lie in, he had 9km on his plan (he’s done a couple of half marathons before so he’s adhering to a more advanced training plan as he has a target finish time in mind)
So we both stayed in bed longer than planned, me feeling ill and S being lazy!
About mid-morning once I was feeling a bit better, S headed out for his 9km run while I got ready for the day.
This meant that I had to tackle my ‘long’ run on the Sunday and woke up dreading it – I really wanted to skip it but I know that I’m only going to hurt myself on the day and be disappointed in my performance if I don’t get the miles in now. And let’s face it if I can’t stand the thought of a 4.5 mile run now then how am I going to feel when it says 8 miles on my plan?!
I got dressed into my running gear and went to turn my watch on and it beeped at me to tell me it was low on battery! I knew, the way I was feeling, that if I stayed to wait for it to charge I wouldn’t go at all so I decided to risk the battery life and just go.
S and I had run a 4.5 mile run back when we first met, yes we are one of ‘those’ couples who go for runs together, so I decided to follow that knowing that if my watch conked out on me I should, in theory, have still covered the distance required.
I set off and things seemed to be going ok for me – yes it was tough, yes I wanted to stop and walk every five minutes and yes my breathing still needs work but other than that I was putting one foot in front of the other and covering ground at a fairly decent pace, for me.
Then things started to go wrong – my watch died at 5km so I had no idea of my pace or how far I’d gone and then I was running down by the river near where I live and I must have forgotten to make a turning at some point because the route I was running down was looking less and less familiar.
Just ahead of me I saw a road bridge over the river so I climbed up the stairs to get to street level in the hopes that I’d see something familiar from up there. Nope. Just houses. I looked left up the street and that’s exactly what it did, it went up and quite sharply so I looked right and it sloped downwards ever so slightly. Never one to take the harder route than necessary I decided that right was the way for me. And off I went.
Luckily (kinda) for me, going right took me onto a main road which I know very well – in fact I know it so well that I know it’s a lot further from my house than I should have been had I taken the correct turning down by the river. Oh well, there was no pressure on pace as my watch was dead so off I ran up the road towards home.
This wouldn’t have usually bothered me but I’d been my usual petulant childish self that morning and refused to take my phone with me. I’d told S the route I was taking and that it’d take me about 50 minutes to an hour but no, I didn’t need my phone. I’d gotten the stink eye for that one from him as he worries about my blood sugar levels and I think he wanted me to have the ability to call him if I needed to. The reason this bothered me was because when I’m running I lose all concept of time i.e. I think I’ve been running for ages and its only been minutes and because my watch had died I had no idea how long I’d been running for, the only thing I knew was I was further from home than planned and not on the route I’d mentioned so if S had started to get worried that I was late and gone out to look for me I wouldn’t have been anywhere where he’d be looking.
I got home, incredibly, sooner than expected (48 minutes) early enough for S to utter the words ‘that was quick!’ which then sent me in a panic that I hadn’t actually covered the required distance – I’d have been annoyed with myself if I’d gone out and fallen short.
It took me until that evening to plot my route online to see how far I’d gone, taking into account me getting lost. The route actually plotted out at 4.73 miles! Woo hoo! I’d gone longer than needed, not ideal in terms of burn out but better than not covering the distance at all! So not only did I cover more than my planned distance, I got round faster than S and I expected too.
Maybe the run wasn’t such a disaster after all…
Until I got to work the next day and looked at my training plan and saw that I only needed to do 4 miles!! Ha ha, I’ll get the hang of this training thing one day!!