I still haven’t done the 9 miles. I’d rather not do them on my own and Kath’s knee has been niggly and somehow we’ve been busy. I’m not quite sure how but there’s always been something, probably an excuse, that means we haven’t run at all yet this week. So spurred on by my team mates in the Too Fat to Run Clubhouse I decided to go and get out this morning.
In my head, particularly when curled up on the sofa watching the Olympics, I am of course a running hero and I can get up in the morning, pull on my trainers and knock out a quick nine miles before breakfast. Of course I can. Even though I do quite often think along those rather over ambitious lines I am actually more realistic when it comes to what I can and can’t do. So I thought 5 miles was reasonable. I was going to just see if I could run it all without walking. I have been getting to 45 minutes without walking and covering well over 3 miles doing that and feeling fairly comfortable so I thought well why not. The plan was to end at the dreaded golf course from sheep loop backwards fame and walk up that and feed the sheep so I don’t have to worry about doing that later.
I should perhaps also mention that this was my first solo run in absolutely ages. I don’t really do running on my own (for a start chances of me going are so slim!). My alarm went off, I had cuddly cats so inevitably it was another 40 minutes or so before I actually got up. I checked Facebook and wondered about wimping out and not going but lots of people were already back from their runs. I got into my gear and set off. I settled into a rhythm quite well I thought. The first part is all down hill so that was quite speedy but then I settled at just about 12 minutes per mile pace. I know this isn’t fast by most people’s standards but this is a pretty good pace for me and the nice thing was I didn’t feel like I was pushing or trying to go fast. I was looking around, watching the swans and their slightly grumpy ‘teenage’ cygnets, wondering why all the ducks were congregating in one area this morning and trying not to trip over ridiculously silly little yappy dogs.
I turned round once I’d done about 2 miles along the canal one way. I still felt pretty good, smiled at a very speedy runner coming the opposite way who gave me a big smile and a thumbs up which was lovely (he was really motoring – a proper runner but one who was still clearly having fun and wasn’t being all serious, lovely). At about 2.6 miles I started being aware of my hip. Nothing major, I just knew it was there and in my experience, when running you shouldn’t really be particularly aware of any one body part. If you are something is probably not quite right. I ignored it for a little bit but then there was a definite niggle. Not pain, just (as my osteopath would say) my hip saying ‘oy you, you’re not looking after me here’. For the next 100 metres or so I debated what to do. I had really wanted to push for the 5 miles. I thought I could do 4 instead maybe but that was still a little over a mile to go and if I was totally honest my hip had gone from politely asking if I may consider stopping to being rather assertive about that request. I was still debating when I got to the next canal bridge and had to stop for a car. As I pulled up to stop it was actually quite painful – just a sharp pain as I put the brakes on – so I walked across the road and then stopped the watch. Sense prevailed although I was really tempted to start running again because I felt fine otherwise.
I stretched a little and then decided to walk the rest of the route – hip was fine when walking (although it protested a little on the uphill sections later on) and the sheep needed to be fed anyway. I walked a more direct route than the one I had planned for the run but added a 2.22 mile walk to my 3.31 mile run so I achieved the mileage I set out to do and I have done some yoga and the hip feels ok now. I feel pretty good about the run and with my ability to deal with it not going quite to plan today – so often that sends me into a negative spiral making me think I can’t do it. Today it just felt like listening to my body and going with what felt right. It’s all good. Happy running!