Nearly 6 miles solo

I’ve got some demons to outrun. I also have a book to finish which requires a far clearer head than I currently have. I need to run. I need to run for sanity and for clarity. But I haven’t been able to really. Confidence has gone, disappeared.

The day after the last blog post I was going to go for a run in the morning. I got my kit ready the night before and laid it out next to the bed. When I woke up I couldn’t move. I couldn’t breathe. I just couldn’t see how I could possibly get my fat arse out there and run. I just couldn’t. Kath gently nudged me towards calm and shaking like mad I put my running socks on. Then the rest of my kit and by the time I was dressed my breathing was almost under control and the tears had stopped. I managed a mile, stopped to say hello to the sheep that are now in the field ours used to be in. There were a few more tears and lots more doubt about running and being fat and being fat and running. Then we headed back, mostly walking but some running.

Today we were meant to run at Bolton Abbey in their organised event for Manorlands, the Sue Ryder hospice. I was signed up for the 10k and Kath for the 10 miles. But this morning Kath wasn’t feeling well and the idea of 1000+ runners at Bolton Abbey which is her safe running place was too much, so we didn’t go. I’ve been wondering about going for a run all day. But the negative voices telling me I can’t actually run have been quite vocal. I’ve also been ridiculously emotional and tearful all weekend. At about 3.30pm though I decided that I should just go. I’d feel better for getting out, Kath was happy watching something on tv I wasn’t fussed about watching and I was making no progress with the book. So off I went.

I hadn’t really decided where to run or how far to go. I ran down the road and through the little housing estate and to the canal, then I just kept going along the canal. The autumn colours were stunning. I was hoping to see a kingfisher but it wasn’t to be today. The ducks were out in force though and one of the fields that comes right down to the canal bank on the opposite side was full of geese. I had a vague sense of working quite hard but the good sort of hard. I was deliberately not looking at my watch. I didn’t want to be disappointed. I passed what we call the stone bridge and moved from well maintained towpath to muddy track and pushed the pace. This is where I’d be likely to slow down. I still felt strong so I pushed a little more. The watch beeped for 3 miles and I ran a bit further to hit 5k and then stopped. 11.58 pace. That’s basically the speed of light for me. I seem to have accidentally run a fast 5km, trying to outrun my thoughts maybe. I had a little breather, checked my phone and wondered what to do about the way home. The light was fading quite fast so I decided that crossing the canal and going home through the fields and woods wasn’t sensible so I’d go back the way I came.

I set off back, much more slowly now and aware of my bad sock and trainer combination – blisters, ouch. I must remember that those socks with those trainers doesn’t work. Once off the mud I realised how dark it had got so tried to speed up again a little – the first mile was 13.40 pace, the second 12.20. I ran 2 miles to the first canal bridge I could use to head home and decided that it would be safest to come off the canal and head home on the road. So in the end I did just under 6 miles with the last 3/4 of a mile walking up the hill home.

I do feel better. I feel good about having got out and about actually being able to run a total of 5 miles with only one little breather. I enjoyed the moments of clarity as I was running, those moments where you’re not thinking but you just know. The clarity isn’t lasting today but it was nice to have it while I was out there. So from barely making it a mile at 14 minute mile pace earlier in the week to running 5 in under 13 minute mile pace -the first three in under 12 minutes per mile – welcome to my rollercoaster.

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