A diary entry for the last two weeks. February started off very well. After a restful weekend with family and friends in the lovely forests of Longleat it was back to work and back to running. Although to be fair I did wake my good friend Jack (who is training for a marathon) up at 6am to go for a run around the forest. Everyone else tucked up in bed in there warm lodges whilst we were up out and back before the sun had come up. What a way to start the weekend. (26/01/2019)
The 5 miles around the forest were a good chance to test out how the ankles were feeling after taking a week off to fully recover from previous injuries. It is safe to say (i think) the injuries have recovered, time to push on.
Returning from a great weekend the new wheels turned up. A pair of Inov-8 Mudclaws. They do live up to their name. 9 miles of mud and rain across the mendip hills and not one slip. Take a look at them, they actually look like claws! They seem to be more minimal which suits my running mechanics.(29/01/2019)
The gym is part training facility, workplace and social club, that lead to Joel a fellow member challenging/suggesting his 10kg plate vest to go for a run. There is no good reason or justification for rejecting the offer. To say ‘it doesn’t fit my training plan’ would be the biggest cop out ever, running Te Araroa will inevitably involve running with heavy bags. A tough and slow 7 miles but a lesson well learnt, start running with a bag NOW! Although running roughly 60 seconds slower per minute with the added weight. (31/01/2019)
A fantastic week just got better and better! The snow came, which unfortunately meant no work but seeing the best side of things this meant sledging so happy days! It also meant that the following day would be a huge opportunity to see this amazing countryside in all its glory, the sun shining down on the white rolling hills.
Deliberation and finding pointless activities can catch us all out. It took three hours to get off get out the door. For some reason yesterday's desire was lacking, however discipline prevailed and the benefits as always outweighed succumbing to the warmth of short term gratification. A run that twisted and turned through the snowy mendip hills and continued until the sun dipped below the horizon. Beautiful. Maybe the procrastination was a blessing in disguise as the sunset over the snowy moorlands was a sight to behold. The greatest run yet, a much truer understanding of the freedom in running. (02/02/2019)
Next up was to be a contrast of ‘Snow Run’. In the knowledge the previous run one of the most enjoyable runs to date there was a high chance that this one wouldn’t be so. Therefore this became ‘just another run’. There are no highs without the lows, the reality is that on the trail there will be amazing highs followed by ‘just another day’ days. A flat 10 miles it is.
Unadventurous, flat and slow. It is what it is, just another run. Just put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Run 5 miles away and come back. The barefoot shoes are becoming more tolerable for longer distances, no calf pain although they were flirting with the idea with a 3 or 4 miles to go. This time it would be last mile that would bring the struggle. Is it the psychology of getting close to home or fitness levels that bring on the huge discomfort? Previously in the exact same 10 miles in the same shoes this happened with 3 miles to go. Maybe it is a sign of fitness levels, but there is undoubtedly a psychological element involved. (05/02/2019)
Following the highs of the past week and the 5 runs milage is picking up, injuries have subsided and gym sessions are going ok, room for improvement but ok. Flu, just as everything was starting to pick up, sidelined with flu, no running, no gym, no work for 4 days. Hopefully the cough that is hanging around will subside and a light 6 miles can be completed tomorrow.
Levelling all this off. It is what it is. We are nothing if not adaptable, accept the facts and do what you can do the make the best of the situation. Rest, fully recover, ease back in and pick it back up to better than before.