4 mile week to 8 mile Monday

I started a grumpy blog post yesterday but because I was grumpy and unfocused I never actually finished it. It has things in it I want to talk about but not right now. I’m not grumpy today. I finished last week on a grand total of 1 run and 4 miles. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to run as such, I just never made it my priority and then missed my chance. Monday was a genuine rest day and that was fine, Tuesday I thought I’d go at the gym and run as that was the only chance I’d get and I was at the office early and instead of going then I thought I’d use the quiet time to get some work done. Well after the quiet came the crazy and I never got another minute to pee never mind go to the gym.  Wednesday, can’t remember. Wednesday was icy. Thursday we went to London (for work IMG_8375.JPGfor me) so didn’t get chance to run then. Friday though was a day off and we had planned a long tourist run through Hyde Park, St James’ Park and down to the river…. Yeah, well that kind of distance requires getting our arses out of bed and that just didn’t happen. We both felt lazy and content having a cuppa in bed and slowly waking up and then having a slow breakfast… We didn’t run in the morning as planned. We went to see the Winnie The Pooh exhibition at the V&A instead (it is just gorgeous).

However, the weather was stunning, Hyde Park was just there across the road from our hotel really, it was crying out for a run. So at lunchtime we got ourselves out there and plodded our way to 4 miles. Neither of us really feeling great but sort of enjoying running somewhere we didn’t know, stopping to take pictures and hurdling tourists, geese, ducks and pigeons. I also nearly trod on a squirrel who misjudged my pace, or its pace or both. We saw loads of runners, loads, and not one of them said hello or smiled or nodded in acknowledgement. What is that all about. People seemed actually quite freaked out when we said hi. In fact, I think we got most of a response from a couple of herons who at least gave us an acknowledging sort of look.

Saturday was more work and then home and Sunday I really just felt like I had been hit by a truck. I vaguely toyed with idea of a run. Kath went but when Kath went it still looked icy – you know me and icy. When she got back and I thought I might go, I was hungry and by the time we’d eaten and my food had settled enough it was snowing and the road was slushy. Slushy is as bad as icy.

So Monday. I had a research meeting this afternoon. The nice sort, not the admin idiotic sort. I also needed to deal with my once again almost full mailbox and prepare for a pretty important thing I have in London tomorrow. I was trying to figure out how to get a run into what was promising to be a slightly mad Monday in terms of work. Then it occurred to me that I have to travel to the meeting and that actually it wouldn’t take *that* much longer to run the 6 ish miles there than it would to walk down the hill and get a bus or drive and spend ages finding somewhere to park (which is what happened last time).

So once I dealt with the most urgent crazy in my inbox I transferred what I needed from work laptop to MacBook (so much lighter!), packed the MacBook, lightweight fleece, hairbrush (why???), money and phone into my little backpack and set off. I didn’t pack deodorant – I had it in my hand at one point when I was getting sorted so goodness knows where I put that down. Anyway, the route is, as it turns out, exactly 6 miles and after the initial downhill is flat along the canal towpath. I started running continuously. Silly really! I should have started run/walk. I felt good for mile 1. After mile 1 not so much. It felt like I was running out of fuel (but I’d had porridge) and my legs were heavy and lungs not really playing. I kept going a bit but annoyingly kept stopping to walk. So just after 2 miles I gave in and set my watch to run/walk alerts and kept plodding along at 1 minute runs and 30 seconds walk.

This was not a fun run. It was bloody hard. Every time there was an opportunity to come off the canal and get a bus instead I had to force myself to keep going. At half way I was knackered – in spite of having taken over 40 minutes to get just over 3 miles. I walked down the 5 Rise Locks (because I’m a wimp and because I love my knees) and kept plodding along. 4 mile beep, 5 mile beep. I went through 5 miles in an hour and 8 minutes – slow but I’m not arguing, I was amazed I hadn’t had a tantrum and gone for a bus or gone home. The last mile seemed to pass quite quickly (it didn’t actually) and before I knew it I was there. ‘I enjoyed that’ I thought. WTF? I did not enjoy a single step of that but my brain seemed dead set on telling me that I had. Who am I to argue with my brain. I took a selfie with an Octopus and headed to our meeting place.IMG_8422

So we had a productive few hours and then I heard myself saying that I might set off back now because there was still enough light to get at least part of the way home along the canal towpath. What? When exactly had I decided I was going to run back, at least part way? That was news to me as I said it but there we are. My brain had decided that’s what I was doing. Well if I had known I may not have had the last coffee and I might have eaten fewer chips with my baguette. Anyway, I set off on run/walk and was actually having a nice time until I started needing the loo, badly. I made it to just over 2 miles before running became so uncomfortable that I decided to call it a day – no real toilet stop options on the route. I was also running out of light and unusually for me I was feeling cold. I walked the last half mile with a few little jogs thrown in, jumped on a bus and walked up the hill home. Total miles today 8.66.

 

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