So it might have taken my an hour and a half but with that little 6 miler I have equalled December’s total distance. So I am definitely making progress. This morning’s run was an A-B run with a purpose. Kath’s mum was buying us breakfast at Salts Mill. Kath said she wanted to run there and I quite liked the idea but was worried about how my legs would hold up. After yesterday’s relative success I thought it was worth a shot as long as I left myself plenty of time. I set off at 7.30am and Kath set off shortly after me going a slightly longer route. It was still pretty dark so I opted for running the first stretch on the road rather than canal towpath.
I was running 30/30 seconds intervals and that seemed ok. I wouldn’t call it pain free completely but it was all ok. I was a little worried at about 2.5 miles and at 2.75 decided to walk a little and avoid running up the slope to the canal at Crossflatts and then dodging puddles in the run up to the top of 5 Rise Locks. At the stop I stopped and stretched for a minute or two before walking down the slope. Then I picked up the run/walk again
I actually seemed to settle in more after my walk and stretch and the 6 miles seemed completely doable. It was a little bit of a balance because I actually felt pretty good and kept thinking I could run a bit faster or skip a walk break but whenever I tried my left calf and my right foot quickly pulled me back for a reality check. I next stopped for a quick selfie as I crossed the canal just past Dowley Gap Locks. As I took the selfie I saw Kath in the distance and decided not to wait for her but let her catch up with me. She did as we had just over a mile to go.
The last mile was actually quite nice. My calf was fine and I was now confident that my feet would hold up too. We got to the end and got to the Salts gate just as they opened it so we could go through for breakfast. As we sat down my right foot started really hurting and it took a little while to ease. So, Sunday morning run, breakfast of avocado and eggs on toast and good coffee and a look at a good bookshop. What more could you want?
The marathon training plan had a 4 mile walk yesterday and a 10 mile walk today. I was quite looking forward to both of these because walking isn’t scary – I can walk. The 4 miles yesterday we did once Kath had finished work and we fed the sheep on the way – it was just a nice little walk really even though neither of us could really be bothered. We just walked round in almost, but not quite, grumpy silence and ticked it off.
Today we had the 10 miles to do. We walked the 5 ish miles to Saltaire, had lunch and looked round Salts Mill (I bought a pair of shorts!) and then walked back. It’s probably a bit more than 10 miles door to door because the 5 miles were measured from the canal rather than from home when we ran it I think. It was drizzly on the way there but on the way back it was raining quite heavily for most of the way and we got soaked to our knickers. Still, it was nice to be out.
Walking doesn’t help with my depression/anxiety in the same way running does. Running gives me clarity and headspace that I am very conscious of, walking just helps me not think about anything at all. It’s probably at least as valuable because I suspect it is just letting my brain do its thing to get itself better. I noticed that after a little while surrounded by people I was overwhelmed by noise and busy-ness in my head. I was desperate to get back onto the near deserted canal towpath.
It was a good day for seeing birds along the canal. We saw a kingfisher early on and then a kestrel a bit further on. There were lots of ducks, geese and a few swans on the canal and we also saw some gulls. There were the usual blackbirds and blue tits, a few chaffinches and great tits but we also saw goldfinches and long tail tits. I do like them, they’re like little darts whizzing around and they always sound cheerful
It was good to get home and get into a warm bath and thaw out. It is funny how perception of distance changes – walking to Saltaire used to feel like a really really long way. Today walking there and back didn’t feel like such a big deal really. I was ready to be home with about a mile to go but that was just because I was soaked and getting quite cold. We’ve had a lovely tea of pasta with feta cheese, avocado and chorizo and are now both resting and drinking stupid amounts of water ready for our 23 mile training run tomorrow. I’d rather not think about that too much…