I was really up for this run today. I had my new shoes, short sleeves and new tunes on my iPod. The sun was warm on my face as I walked to the seafront and began my warm up stretches. But as soon as I saw the sea, the wind whipped up a reminder that Spring is only beginning.
I set off into a headwind, bouncing along to some upbeat rhythms. But my breath was soon whipped away and I found myself fighting into the wind. This was feeling hard and I was only a few minutes in. I slowed down a little, focused on getting into a breathing rhythm, trying to banish the nagging voice and self defeating doubt.
I’d brought music along to distract me, in the absence of a running buddy, but it wasn’t hitting the right note and I tucked my headphones back into my shirt and ploughed on.
All the runners were going the other way. I kept on pushing through the wind, feeling my shoulders tense and fighting it mentally and physically, eyes streaming. I kept asking myself what I’d do if it was like this on race day. I have to be able to cope with this.
Somewhere along the front a mini gust swept sand and dust right into my face. I stopped to a walk and wiped my eyes, giving myself a bit of a shake and a talking to.
Part of me wanted to do a deal there and then, to turn around earlier than planned to get out of the wind and run a shorter distance. But I did another deal. I chose to slow down. To get my breathing where I could manage it comfortably and just to run and enjoy it.
At the turning point I treated myself to some dried mango and relished the relief of turning out of the wind. For once I picked up the pace for the second half of my run.
But my legs were tired. First quads, then hamstrings and glutes. I could feel myself drifting, strides getting short, starting to shuffle. So I kept on pushing, trying to stretch out, determined that if I had given myself the comfort of slowing down, the least I could do was manage the distance.
The sugar boost kicked in and things picked up a little. Soon it was only 20 minutes more running, then 15 and it didn’t make sense not to complete it. But I think I was still paying off the effects of yesterday’s weight training session as my legs never felt fresh. I managed a short spurt with only a few hundred metres to go, kidding myself I could make up for my earlier stop.
So not the fastest run and mostly a good way off the pace I need for that sub 50 min 10k on Easter Sunday. But I really can’t be too displeased with that. It’s training after all, not racing. And my legs are definitely telling me that today, that was probably the best I could do.
11k in 61 mins
4. 6.12 (dust in my eye)