September has been a miserable running month really. It started so well. It started with relatively happy running and a decent build up to the Great North Run and then overall a solid GNR and an awesome post GNR run and then I got this hideous cold/flu/chest/throat thing. Then I thought I was getting better and got out for a 5 miles come-back run which I loved and then I wasn’t better so I have now had 3 weeks with hardly any running and it is annoying the hell out of me.
I will finish September on 31.2 miles – my worst mileage month by over 10 miles. I am stuck on 532.51 miles and my hope of reaching 800 miles for the year is slipping away. I am behind on my Dopey Challenge training plan, I am losing fitness, I’ll be putting on weight (I haven’t bothered getting on the scales this morning for my Sunday Weigh-In because I actually just don’t want to know today). I have spent three weeks mostly on the sofa and trying to push through to get work stuff done and keep things ticking on as best I can so I don’t get even further behind. In short, I’m grumpy.
I’ve had two back to back nights of 11 hours sleep and I think I am beginning to feel a bit more human again. I’m working at home tomorrow so will aim for the same again! There are still extraordinary amounts of snot but I don’t feel poorly today. Tempting as it is to pull the trainers on I am resting today. Tomorrow evening I’ll be off to my yoga class for the first time in what feels like forever and then on Tuesday I am back on the training plan – 45 minute run. I should be ok. I was half marathon fit for the GNR and I have only missed one long run of 13 miles so while it might not be pretty I should manage the next scheduled long run of 15 miles if I take it nice and steady. I know I have time, I know I don’t have to go the full distance as dictated by my training plan and that I could afford to drop back to the previous long mileage on the plan but not running is playing havoc with my head. The enormity of taking on Dopey is there in the back of my mind and I don’t want to just drag my butt round, I want to enjoy it. Or at least most of it. Chances of enjoying ESPN Wide World of Sports are pretty minimal – it’s the part of the marathon I am least looking forward to – though if I can make it through that I’ll finish!
So, it’s 100 days until we fly out to Florida. 100 days to get Dopey fit. I’ve just been looking back and in 2015 I had flu a little later than this cycle and I still got myself Dopey fit (ish). I should stop worrying and just get on with getting better and then get the training done. I know I can do this, now I just need to believe it.
I’m curled up in bed feeling miserable. It’s quarter to twelve. But it’s been quarter to twelve for weeks, so long in fact that I can’t remember how long ago the alarm clock stopped. I have no idea what time it really is. Afternoon sometime. Kath is out for a run. I’m not. I have what feels like razor blades in my throat and tiny creatures with pickaxes attacking my tonsils (why do I imagine them like minions?), my ears feel vaguely painful and muffled like I’m under water, I’ve got an annoying pathetic cough and a nose that can’t decide if it is blocked solid or setting a new record for most snot expelled in a 24 hour period. Yes, I have a cold, yes I am being dramatic, pathetic and far more miserable than is really warranted but I am totally crap at being unwell. I could just ride it out with raspberry sorbet, hot chocolate and crap TV but instead this is a disaster.
This was not the plan at all! You see after the Great North Run (which I’ll tell you about when feeling less meh) I was looking forward to a relatively easy but active week with Yoga on Monday (wow, legs, ouch much) and then a run on Tuesday to stretch the legs (it worked, it was a fabulous 4 miles) and then another run on Wednesday (never made it out, sore throat was kicking in, I was quite late back and soooooo tired), London on Thursday with walking routes planned rather than tube (never made it to London though thanks to a rather high temperature, almost no sleep and those little creatures with pickaxes), a run on Friday (hahahaha – barely made it off the sofa and someone gave the pickaxe creatures caffeine and sugar or whatever makes them work double time and steal your voice) and today I was meant to be going to the first ever Cliffe Castle parkrun, our new local parkrun which is close enough to run/walk there and which I am actually quite excited about. Well, given that a move from one room to another results in a coughing fit that lasts so long that by the time it’s over I’ve forgotten why I moved, even walking 5km wasn’t really going to work.
I am not happy. I know in the scheme of things resting and getting better is important and won’t derail my training but in my head the GNR is now out of the way which means Dopey training has started and now I’ve missed my Wednesday race pace run, my Thursday (which I was going to do on Friday) 45 minute run and my Saturday 3 miles run. I know, I know. It’s fine. It’s early in training, there’s plenty of time, rest is important, getting better is important. BUT I’ve missed Dopey training runs. I’m struggling with that.
So excuse me for a day or two while I wallow.
…it was awful and wonderful all at the same time.My plan was to get up this morning and go for a run. I woke up, dozed off again, felt tired and sluggish and decided there was no way on this earth that I was well enough to run. I had a fairly productive work morning instead. Then, about 11.30ish I started running out of steam. Marking formative student work took longer than it should, I was unfocused… I decided I’d go for a run. Then I procrastinated a bit and mulled that thought over. Then I got changed. In my head I had this notion of an amazing, easy, evenly and fast paced 5k that would see me coming home in glorious sunshine barely having broken a sweat and certainly not huffing and puffing. Well I knew that was fantasy – the sun’s not shining for a start. So for once in my life I thought I’d be realistic. My aim was run to see the sheep and back. Not even the furthest field, just the first field. A round trip of 1.6 miles.
After a few minutes doing battle with the Garmin (I seem to have forgotten how to set it up) I set off at a gentle jog down the hill. Hm, not too bad really. Then I turned right and started up the hill. Oh bother. There was a bloke walking quite fast just ahead of me so I focused on catching him and as I nearly had him it occurred to me that I couldn’t possibly stop now. I mean how silly would that look. So I just tried to keep running a little faster than he was walking. Shit, are your lungs supposed to burn like that?
I turned left and gratefully waddled down hill. I was struggling to get my breath back and recover. I saw a friend of ours who was just loading his van for a trip to his caravan and was more than happy to stop for a quick chat. I stopped the watch, had a brief natter and then carried on. Bugger, forgot to start the watch again. I arrived at the sheep. 8 very pregnant ewes lying in the field looking thoroughly fed up. One ewe is possibly due tomorrow and she was separated. I watched her for a bit but no sign of anything imminent so I plodded on a little bit, said a quick hello to the tups in field 2 and turned round. I stopped for another breather at the ewes again and then set off for the long slog home. I made the first slope. Walked a few steps and then kept running.
I had to walk again a couple of times coming up the next slope and when I finally got to the top and turned right to go downhill my head was pounding with every step. I decided I wouldn’t try to run Ilkley Road, I barely manage that on a good day, but would instead power walk that. Just as I got to the last corner with the last nasty little slope our friends, the ones I’d seen earlier, came up the road in their van – I set off running and the beep of encouragement and their wave gave me the last bit of energy to power up the slope and round the corner into our road. It was hard, horrible and slow but it was so good to be out. I feel better than I did before I went and am having a pretty productive afternoon. All assessments marked and teaching for next week prepped so I have the weekend free to do nice things – like maybe that 5k in glorious sunshine that leaves me glowing rather than a sweaty whimpering mess? Yeah that.
Day 1 of ‘lurgy might be going’. It hasn’t yet though but I am getting better. I slept better for a start which has got to help with getting better. Kath went for a run – she’s been doing that a lot lately and she’s doing well. I’m really proud of her but I also find it hard to watch her go out while I can’t and then hear about the runs and how much faster her pace is without me and how much further she can run without using intervals when she’s out on her own. I knew this of course, but seeing it is still a bit hard. I don’t want her to stop going out running or telling me about it because mostly it makes me happy.
This morning Kath drove me to Bolton Abbey and we went for a walk. Not a long walk – up to the Strid and back which took a long time. About an hour. The we had a bacon sarnie at the Cavendish Pavilion and then we drove home. I have been wiped out for the rest of the day. I should not be this tired after a slow walk.
I’m going to head off to bed very soon and try and get another good 10 hours sleep to try and recover and heal. I almost feel like I did at the beginning of all this – sore throat, snotty nose, achey head… Sleep, that’ll sort it.
Mentally of course none of this is helping. I’m in the shadows and I think possibly expending quite a lot of energy on not spiralling. I need to run, running will help.