Weekends are often a mixed bag for me, but there is normally a run of some kind thrown in. I am meant to be ramping up my running in preparation for my March Half Marathon but its not working out so well!
Yesterday saw my first 2019 attempt at a sub 40 minute Parkrun, I achieved it once before in 2017 when I was really running well, but it just happened to be the day when the timing went down at parkrun and everyone over about 30 minutes ended up with the same time, they used my Garmin time as my parkrun time but in hindsight perhaps I shouldn’t have asked them too, (at the time I was so elated to have beaten 40 minutes) now it just feels like I cheated and that the parkrun time is the parkrun time and my Garmin time is different. Anyway, Anette (the bitch) had offered to pace me to my sub40 attempt, she loves pacing, and loves pacing me even more, its just about the only time I don’t give her any shit and don’t try to weasel my way out of anything. I take each attempt very seriously and always put 100% into it. I WILL chase this dream until I reach it.
We set off (Annette and I) at a comfortably hard pace, up the long sloping start and turned onto the canal, I was already puffing and panting, it was a fast (for me pace) and the bad language in my head was already building up. As we crossed the bridge just before the zig zags I saw Annette (the bitch) look at her watch and mutter something about pacing, and time, and not got the average pace on and …. ( I stopped listening, its too hard to hear over the steam train impressions my breathing was doing.) The top of the notorious zig zags was approaching and I was hoping (praying) that the pace would let up. (it didn’t) as we made our descent Annette (the bitch) was impressing on me the importance of using the downhill to recover my pace (fuck me, haven’t I just run my arse off going up, now you want me to run it off going back down the other side too?) We reach the half way point and I’m still sounding like a locomotive, She is doing all the talking, she can talk some bollocks this woman! I have no idea what half of the conversation was about and I had very little input which is unusual for me, but she seemed happy to talk for two and thank the marshals on the way round, which is useful because I could barely breath, let alone speak.
As we got nearly to the underbridge, probably 1.75 miles in, I had to stop. I hate stopping, it feels like I have lost a battle with myself, sometimes the person I am running with is able to keep me going, but this time, it wasn’t going to work. I literally felt like I could not breath. of course as is always the way, the minute I stopped I felt ok, and was pissed off at myself for stopping, but at that very moment, the moment of “I can’t” I genuinely felt that I couldn’t.
Just over 2 miles in and Annette (the bitch) issues those immortal words ” I hate to tell you this, actually do you want me to tell you this” but I said no, I already knew… I had blown it, my sub40 was gone for this attempt. I felt that I had run my hardest, run my fastest, run my best running, and yet still I couldn’t actually run 2 miles without needing to stop.
I had two more ” I can’ts” in that run, seriously, 3 walk breaks in a fucking 5k run, how unbelievably shite is that. As we approached the pub I had a sneaky look at my watch, 38 minutes….. OMG I might not get my sub40 but I still have a chance of a PB. That was all I needed, a little bit of hope, lengthened my stride just a fraction, see if you can up the pace just a tiny bit, I had 2 and a half minutes to reach the end, I waited for the 3 mile buzz, I decided to go for it, and try to manage a sprint from there (just over .1 of a mile) and calculated i had about 90 seconds to do it in, I wanted something good to come out of this run.
We crossed the line, me first, her right behind me, I hated her so much, I had hated her for the last 40minutes and 31seconds, but I loved her too. She had just got me my fastest parkrun time in over a year, in fact my fastest parkrun time in almost 2 years. I have told her to fuck off more times that I can remember and she still gives up her time to help me. My hardest and yet my best run of the year (so far) ok, so its only my 3rd run of the year, but its still my best and it will take a lot to beat it. I beat my best parkrun time of 2018, in fact if you take out my “dodgy 39.38 when the timing went to pot” it was my best parkrun time ever…… I was elated
Roll forward 24 hours, my plan says “long run Sunday” oh how I hate Sundays, woke up this morning feeling “meh” hadn’t slept well, it was warm in my bed and I was achy after yesterdays monumental effort. BUT its Sunday, step up day, a new run lead, a new route and I needed to get some easy miles in (not that any miles are easy but I’m sure you understand the sentiment) One of my running buddies was going to be there so I hauled my fat behind out of bed and into some overly figure hugging wicking material and off I went.
We met somewhere new to me and I had literally no clue what I was letting myself in for. The run started up a hill, literally up a hill, I mean who the fuck plans a run that starts UP a hill, I was dead before I even started! and my running tourettes was in full flow before I reached the top, left turn at the top and it flattens out a bit (not much but a bit) cross a road and right turn up a gravel path, all ok now the worst is over, except…… its not, not by a long way, we did about 100 yards on the gravel and then turned right onto a mud trail, seriously wtf, if I wanted to get muddy fucking trainers I would have entered a fucking cross country run. The club is called “Redway Runners” not fucking woodland wanderers I thought as I picked my way along the muddy mulchy path; that of course just to add insult to injury, was up hill.
I moaned, and I complained and I bitched through the whole of the mud section, which appeared to last forever but was in fact only 20 minutes and out we popped onto a path again, rounded a corner and lo and behold there’s another bloody hill. I was not going to let the run beat me, I didn’t care if I was on my knees at the top I was running that fucker (my determination left me about half way up) we are stopping at the bridge the run lead announces, for a photo, (what bridge? where? how far? oh fuck, I can’t run that far, god this is shit, why did I haul my arse out of bed at the crack of dawn on a Sunday to do this? )
Only 10 minutes left to run, we can do this I encourage my fellow ploddy sweary sweaty running colleages, well the few of us at the back who were in the same boat as me, we were back on path and heading downhill a bit.
40 minutes in, 5 “ish” minutes left, not that I was looking forward to this run being over, but it was not a route I had particularly enjoyed, and if I am totally honest many of the people on the run I didn’t know and had never seen before and they just ” didn’t get me” so yeah, I was pretty keen for this run to end. We crossed a road and I looked up, another hill, physically exhausted, mentally drained I was done for, that hill can go screw itself, the run lead can fuck off, the bouncy man who is like Tigger on speed can fuck off, running can fuck off, everything can just FUCK OFF.
I hate running, running is shit……….
see you on Thursday for intervals !!!