20 Miles

At one point this post was going to be called ‘I hate running’ and it was going to consist of just that one simple sentence. But let’s start at the beginning. Because of various bits and pieces like the hilly Simon’s Seat adventure or the run we cut short last weekend, the most distance I have covered has been 17 miles. It wasn’t entirely successful either. According the the plan I should have been at 23 miles now but even with the modified plan I should be at 20. I wasn’t. I now am. That’s the good news.

We decided that we would put in a 20 miler today. No back to back running or anything, just a 20 miler instead of the 6 on the plan. We both felt ok and not still tired from last week. We decided to run Sunday rather than Saturday because the weather forecast looked better and it turned out to be the right call – Saturday was windy and wet, today was lovely, sunny and dry. We woke up at 5.30, had a cup of tea and a bagel with butter (much better than with peanut butter – fuelling is the same I think but the peanut butter repeats). Then we slowly got up and organised and set off.

We ran down the hill the long way round and when we reached the bottom road we dropped into 2 minute running and 30 second walking intervals. We had decided to go along the road to mix things up a little – it was early so there was almost no traffic and it gave us a little more light than the canal towpath would have done while we were waiting for daylight to take hold properly. It was all fine. We ticked off Crossflatts, Bingley, Nabwood and then Saltaire where we dropped down onto the canal. It was all fine without any problems at all until about 6 miles. At 6 miles I had a little niggle in my right hip, tightness more than a niggle really. It never went away again but it wasn’t too distracting

We went along the canal to 8 miles, saw a kingfisher just beyond Salts Mill and then turned round to avoid the section in Shipley which just isn’t that nice. Somewhere around 9 miles I got  quite a sharp pain in my right foot, just below the ball of my foot. I ignored it to ten miles and then we walked an extra interval and I stretched my feet and then my hamstrings. The pain was still there but it wasn’t too bad so we kept going. We saw a heron at the bottom of 5 Rise Locks. Miles 11 and 12 weren’t easy but ok and Kath suggested that to re-set a little and make sure that the doubts that were creeping in didn’t take hold, we could walk up the hill at Morton Lane and then go back down Swine Lane and continue along the canal. That made sense to me so we did that. 

Half marathon covered and onwards. I was struggling with the two minutes. My hips had set tight and my foot hurt. I wasn’t doing that well mentally, too much negativity. After another mile and a bit of struggling through 2 minute running intervals we changed it to 1 minute runs. That felt a little better. Now coming to 15 miles and for a couple of intervals it felt like I was going ok. We had to go past a series of options for going home and it was so tempting to sod the miles, walk up the hill and soak those aching legs, hips and feet in a hot bath. I lost it. 

We walked on and I tried not to cry. I stopped and we had a brief chat and Kath wanted to know what was going on. I didn’t really know. I just knew that I wasn’t sure I could keep putting one foot in front of the other. We walked on a bit and then I asked Kath if she’d walk the rest of the road with me towards the ‘bottom road’ so that I could reset and then we could maybe pick up run walk again. As we walked I was trying to breathe and not cry and then Kath said that she knew it would sound harsh but that I either needed to get my head together or we needed to head home because walking along like I was wasn’t healthy. At that moment I felt utterly abandoned. I was trying so hard to get my head together and my breathing was getting better and I had just asked for help which I don’t find easy. It felt like a complete betrayal. I told her she just didn’t get it and I never wanted to run with her again and walked off in the opposite direction (Yep, I do drama well!). She called after me to stop being pathetic which just felt like more evidence that I shouldn’t even bother trying with this running thing. As we agreed on later, as far as running meltdown tantrums go, this was one of my better ones.

Anyway, we figured it out (and continue to) and I repeated my plea for help and we kept going. We ran for 1 minute and walked for 30 seconds and somehow made it through 16 miles, then 17 and eventually 18. There were some additional walk breaks but we kept moving. 19 miles came and  we were now closing in on the last canal bridge I would have to see today. I was willing it to come and it did and I continuously ran the last bit to it and then we walked the hill home. 20.38 miles in the bag. We had a Tailwind Rebuild recovery drink and then did 15 minutes of yoga before having some food. Then we had a bath. I am tired. I genuinely enjoyed the first 10ish miles. I feel confident about the first three Dopey runs. Half marathon distance is ok. I’m not sure how I feel about the 26.2. I’ll do it. I hope I can enjoy it, or at least more of it than this run would suggest and I hope I can do it without taking my emotions out on Kath.

The best thing about having done it? Well obviously hot chocolate from my moomin mug curled up on the sofa with our Ernie-cat. 

In other news – Sunday weigh in. I have lost roughly 5 pounds since I last posted about it I think and the 2 pounds since last week just nicely drop me into the next stone bracket. Ernie cat is continuing to put on weight so we’re all going in the right direction

5 thoughts on “20 Miles

  1. Good job getting it done! As I was reading your post I found myself wondering if you are using any type of fuel on your long runs? It sounds like you “hit the wall”. I, too, have had this happen many times. I have played around with fuel during my long runs and found that if I make sure to take in enough calories it can help to avoid hitting the wall. Not sure if that would help! I am also training for Dopey and will be doing my 20 mile run next weekend!

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    • Thanks for your comment! It’s not a fuel issue- it’s all mental. I’m pretty on top of my fuelling ( I use Tailwind) and I know what hitting the wall feels like- this is different. I’m getting better at finding strategies to work through it.

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