Treadmills and Mud

It has been one of those weeks. I mentioned in my last post that the black puppy has been hanging around and I have struggled with depression all week. I’m not all that good at acknowledging it and often don’t until it’s too late but running and writing about it seems to help me realise that it’s sneaking up on me. So I’ve tried to be careful, early nights, no booze, good food, lots of water, trying to reduce the caffeine. And maybe that has worked because I’m still standing. At the same time though I have too many unfinished things on my desk at the moment, I don’t feel in control and I am struggling to prioritise.

Anyway, after my 8 mile story last Saturday, I managed another 8 miles on Sunday. I woke up on Monday, opened an eye and slowly slowly moved a toe, then my ankle – nothing. Hm, ok. I sat up. Still nothing. But I ran 16 miles over the weekend – why does nothing hurt? The running gods work in mysterious ways, best not question it. I enjoyed my rest day. I was also looking forward to running on Tuesday. I felt on top of the world.

Tuesday I missed my chance. I just couldn’t make myself get out of bed early enough to run before work and by the time I got home it was slippery – the sort of slippery that doesn’t bother most people but makes me curl up in a ball and cry. No matter, I thought – I can use the treadmill at work tomorrow. Oh what an idiot I am.

Wednesday – meetings at the different campuses and then evening teaching. Basically a 12 hour day. Really the perfect candidate to take some time out in the middle and head to the gym. So that’s what I did. Here’s how it went:

  • Me: Hi, be nice
  • Treadmill: *raises eyebrow
  • Me: 5km – we can do 5km
  • Treadmill: *angrily flashing – programme your pace in woman
  • Me: Ok ok, let’s go slow – 7.5minutes per km
  • Treadmill: *sniggers
  • Me: *sets off running
  • Me: Why is the treadmill so uneven?
  • Treadmill: I’m not uneven, you’re wobbly
  • Me: Urgh, hate this, this feels tooo fast
  • Treadmill: *Sniggers
  • Me: Surely I’ve done a km by now
  • Treadmill: Hahahahahahaha – NO
  • Me: Urgh, can’t do it
  • Me: Oh ok, Bon Jovi ‘Have a Nice Day’, thanks Ipod
  • Ipod: You’re welcome
  • Me: 1.5 km. Really. WTF is this?
  • Treadmill: Get off if you don’t like it
  • Me: I don’t like it, I don’t like it, I don’t fucking like it but I need to do 5km and some hills
  • Treadmill: *sniggers
  • Ipod: How about Kelly Clarkson’s Stronger?
  • Me: Thank you, yes, that’ll help. Good
  • Me: Right, some hills
  • Treadmill: *sniggers. Are you sure?
  • Me: Hill repeat 1 – OMG; Rest – yay; Hill 2 – FFS
  • Treadmill: Oxygen?
  • Me: Fuck off – Hill 3 – that was more than 30 seconds up!
  • Treadmill: Nope
  • Me: Last hill – bring it
  • Treadmill: OK
  • Treadmill: Sorry not sorry
  • Me: Bitch. Right, 3km done.
  • Ipod: Excuse me but my battery is a bit low
  • Me: Ipod, don’t you dare die
  • Ipod: Sor…
  • Me: Stupid fucking electronic piece of fucking junk
  • Treadmill: Concentrate, you nearly fell off
  • Me: what do you care
  • Treadmill: I don’t. Wanna slow down?
  • Me: Yes, Yes I do but you’re not winning this.
  • Treadmill: *raises eyebrow
  • Me: 1km to do. Just 1km. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming
  • Me: Oh look suspected drug deal outside the building opposite – oh actually I think they’re just sharing sweets. Mmm sweets. Wonder if I have any chocolate in my desk
  • Treadmill: Stop wobbling
  • Me: Nearly there, nearly there, nearly there
  • Me: Done it!
  • Treadmill: 5 minute cool down
  • Me: Go fuck yourself, I’m off
  • Treadmill: Suit yourself but I’m telling you – cool down 5 minutes

So the 5km with the 4 hill repeats took me 40 minutes and 45 seconds. And every single of those minutes was pretty miserable. There just wasn’t anything fun about it. It felt like hard work, really hard work and it was so utterly boring. Anyway, I had a quick shower and got changed, did my teaching and headed home. I phoned Kath to ask her to pick me up but she couldn’t come out. She’d introduced her foot to a rabbit hole on her run in the morning and was in agony. So once I got home we headed for A&E where we spent the next 3 hours to find out that her ankle isn’t broken (thank goodness – she’s already walking almost normally for short stretches). So Thursday I was tired, really tired and every single bit of my body was properly pissed off with me. My ankles were so sore, my feet hurt, my lower back niggled, my hamstrings were more painful than post marathon and everything just felt achey. 5km on the treadmill seemed to have broken me – the running gods and their bloody mysteries.  Friday I was a little more with it but a bit tired and by the time I got home and my ankles felt like they might snap. I didn’t run thinking it wasn’t too bad because I was doing two long runs at the weekend anyway.

Saturday I felt like I had been hit by a truck. I don’t think I ever really woke up. By the time I’d got up, helped Mum buy a new washing machine and then done our shopping I was ready to go back to bed. Running just somehow didn’t happen. Today I was going to have another go. I woke up quite looking forward to it and then between getting up to get a cup of tea and taking it back to bed to come round, our road was covered in snow. My heart sank. I can’t run in snow. I thought I would just see how it went, made some porridge and went about my morning. Eventually it cleared and looked nice out with the road clear and wet rather than snowy and icy. I was stuck on the sofa though. I didn’t think I could move really. But I did. I put my gear on and decided I’d just see how I got on, no pressure for miles. I really enjoyed the first 4 miles or so. I was happily plodding along looking around and was lost in my thoughts yet not really thinking about anything. Then I had to make a decision – carry on along the towpath into the mud or turn around. I have mentioned before that I am really struggling with slippery. It’s not rational and it’s not a normal, healthy sort of fear. I actually panic, I freeze and hyperventilate. Anyway, I thought I’d practice. I decided I would try and walk a section. Just as a crossed under the

Me, Sleet and Mud

bridge into the muddy bit it started sleeting like mad. I stood for a minute, gathered myself and then walked as purposefully as I could. I didn’t stop, I kept moving forward, at times my instinct was to freeze and it was stupidly hard to keep moving but move I did. After about a third of a mile or so I turned and headed back. I was happy with that. I had managed to negotiate a really muddy stretch without having a meltdown. (Yep, I take my wins where I can get them).

I started my run/walk again and realised that I was getting quite cold and that I was starting to feel a bit miserable. I’d had enough. I decided to stay true to my promise of not being miserable and the #MyRunMyRules philosophy. I decided to take the next bridge off the canal and head for home. So I set out for 10miles but I’m happy with my 6.5. Only 9.6 miles of running this week. I was a bit disappointed with that when I put it on the chart but given that getting out of bed has been a win this week, I’ll take it.

Oh and Sunday Weigh In – who gives a toss! No idea. Haven’t been near the scales.

Happy Sunday.

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