That’s that then. Dopey Simulation 2 is done. The plan was 45 minutes, 5 mile walk, 12 mile walk and 20 miles. We started Wednesday rather than Thursday so we could have tomorrow with Dad, who is staying with us for Christmas, rather than being out for ages both weekend days. Wednesday was fine. I had a PhD meeting over lunch but close to home so once I’d walked home from that I got changed and headed out. I was still too full really but it didn’t matter too much. I plodded along gently and that was that.
Thursday I was tired and feeling very end-of-term-y. We’d also had dinner with a friend and had gone to bed much later than we normally would. My heart wasn’t in it but I got the 5 miles done. I ran the first three and then walked a mile to see if I could do it within Disney pace. I could. I ran walked mile 5 with a lot of walking and then walked the last bit home. Miles done, not really feeling it though. General underlying wanting to curl up and do nothing sort of tiredness.
Friday. 12 miles. I was definitely not keen on doing this one. We got up, did our Christmas food shop and then I got sorted to head out. I went along the road to Bingley. It was soooooo busy with cars that I was making far better progress towards Bingley than they were but couldn’t get my head around going beyond Bingley. That just seemed too far. Instead I dropped down into Myrtle Park and was going to loop round that. As I was plodding down the hill in the park I remembered the route we did a while back when the 15 miler nearly broke me. I liked the idea of picking up that route for a while. so crossed the bridge over the angry looking River Aire and plodded on. I was wearing road shoes which perhaps wasn’t ideal for the first stretch of this but it was worth it. It was lovely to get off the road for even just a short stretch. I marched up Beckfoot Lane and then jogged back down into Bingley and headed back along the road. The traffic was still not really moving. I had in my head that I needed to buy some soup stuff for Ernie-cat and I remembered that we hadn’t bought any Guinness for Kath but that she might like some so I was going to run to the shop and then walk back. I did that but I miscalculated distances and as a result only did 11 miles, not 12. I decided that was enough though and overall felt pretty happy with the outing.
Today – 20 miles planned. We are both tired. Not so much physically or from the previous runs but just generally and particularly mentally. Our hearts really weren’t in this one. We couldn’t settle at all. We’d got up at 5am to have porridge and then left just after 6am. We made our way along the road towards Saltaire where we looped onto the canal and headed back towards home. It was uneventful, we put in early additional walks and tried to pretend we weren’t both feeling really crap. The noise of lorries and busses coming past was making us both wince so I started shouting out random Disney characters at the top of my voice every time one came past. It made us laugh a bit and while it obviously didn’t drown out the noise it did somehow help. We ran/walked to mile 8 where we saw a Kingfisher just at the bottom of Dowley Gap Locks. Then we walked (within Disney pace) til mile 11 and then ran/walked again to about 12.5. At that point Kath left me to head home. She’d had enough physically and mentally.
I needed to go on a little just for my own peace of mind and to know that I’ve done enough for Dopey. I kept walking within pace and pushed to 14 miles. I often have a complete meltdown when I go further than half marathon distance and that meltdown often comes between 14 and 15 miles so I felt like I needed to go further. I planned to push to 16 miles, then turn and head back and go back the long way round which should take me to 20. However at just over 14 miles I really started feeling the cold and the rain was now soaking through my jacket. I turned and walked back. At 15 miles I briefly stopped to mark the point at which this time I did not have a meltdown and to record a quick Happy Birthday video for my friend Jo. I liked the idea of doing something positive at that point. I walked on. At nearly 16 miles I bumped into Kath’s mum, chatted a few minutes and then walked on. I’d seized up a bit so didn’t get going properly again and my last mile ended up just over 16 minute mile (it was mostly uphill). So just over 17 miles will have to do. Just getting out was a win today so 17 miles is more than I could have hoped for really.
The rest of the training plan has only single figure numbers on it. The taper starts here. Proper rest day tomorrow and maybe Christmas eve too and then come the last few runs and the taper crazies. I think the longest run left is 7 miles. That feels doable now. Dopey feels doable. It hasn’t all gone to plan but I think it’s been enough. What we need now is rest. We’re ready. I trust the training.