Running London …. ish. Work in progress a horrible long run in marathon training. I so haven’t got this! Aaargh.

Digested read:  I had to do a 17 mile long run today. I did it even though I felt rubbish, and did everything wrong.  A lot of it was walking, but probably it was a good test of my mental strength if not physical prowess.  I did at least complete it.  The Thames route was scenic, the royal parks lovely.  I really hope it isn’t true about all the peeing at the Marathon.  Type 2 fun, and a learning curve.  This is scary now.  Aaaargh indeed.

This popped up on Facebook recently, and made me cry with laughter:

anyone can win the marathon

That’s right dear reader.  ‘Anybody can win the race‘, the ‘race’ in this context being the London Marathon. So says last year’s winner, who incidentally, has his family watch the ‘movie’ of the race twice a week or so.   To be fair, if I win, I will expect anyone with whom I have even the most tenuous or fleeting acquaintance to be watching the coverage on a continuous loop between now and the end of eternity.   I will nail them to the spot if necessary in order to facilitate this, but on the whole, unless an unexpected Tsunami from the Thames wipes out all 39,999 runners ahead of me and leaves me as the sole contender  I think the parkrun populus of Sheffield are safe.  And no, I’m not being unnecessarily self-deprecating in stating this.   Methinks reigning champion Daniel Wanjiru is possibly somewhat overestimating the competition across the field – or maybe elite runners never look behind them and have yet to realise the London Marathon is a mass participation event.  They see only the finish line and hear only the pitter patter of their immediate rivals alongside and behind.  It’s another world, another world entirely.

Talking about running alongside the Thames (yes I was), that was my long run venue of a week or so ago.  It was a really tough one, something of a misery to be honest, but in the interests of completeness I feel I should record it here. It can be the yin to the yan of the more positive experience of a long run a week later on the Monsal Trail.  Not sure if that’s quite what yin and  yan are, but highs and lows certainly.  My Thames side long run was more of a low.  Not that it wasn’t beautiful, and I didn’t absolutely regret it, but my goodness I felt rough before, during and for many days after.

The thing is, I was staying in London.  I’d decided I’d fit in my long run whilst I was there, partly because I needed to, and partly because the weather in Sheffield has been so dire (white out and wash out alternating to stop all running fun, races tumbling all around as they got cancelled due to arctic conditions) I figured I’d take advantage of the milder southern climes.   Plus, running round Sheffield is so hilly, I end up having to walk some sections, I thought maybe doing a flatter route would help me hit more of a rhythm and replicate the London marathon terrain.  Also, I thought maybe it would be a good mental discipline to run an unknown route and see how far my legs would carry me.

Reading that back, that rationale makes me sound super organised and equipped for running a London marathon, but I’m just not. Everything feels bumbling and improvised.  I have little idea what I’m doing, and honestly, sometimes I think I just decide what I want to do, and then think up some post activity rationalisation as to why it was a legitimate strategy or idea.  A bit like when you are trying to make a decision, and you seek advice from loads of different people, but really, what you are doing is keeping on asking everyone you meet until someone, FINALLY, gives you the answer you’ve been wanting to hear.  I actually don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing, it at least crystallizes in your mind what it is you want to do, albeit you are seeking some sort of external validation for doing so, but I do think it’s worth being self-aware about it.  Maybe even more so with a physical challenge like this, where actually, if I don’t prepare my body physically and mentally for what it’s up against, then it just isn’t going to happen, as it is, the attempt may not be pretty.  PANIC!

Point of information, as usual, I’m writing up this post belatedly – I nearly said ‘posthumously’ there, perhaps that’s apt – I’m sat at a table looking out on a snow swamped garden, lamenting the fact that this is another day when my running aspirations will not be met.  I have made it out far enough to dig out the bird feeders and put some food on the ground.  I didn’t think they’d found it, but I’ve just noticed a pigeon’s head peering up from out of the snow.

It’s head high for a pigeon. Which probably doesn’t sound all that high to be fair, but it’s high enough to mean running isn’t an option. You can’t see where your feet are landing, and it’s way over my ankles.  Deeper where it’s drifted.  Can’t make up my mind whether or not to risk venturing out.  I’ve been watching the Martin Yelling marathon talks (I’m slightly in love with him, he’s so positive and smiley) and he was saying the other week that you have to consider the risk of injury v potential training benefit and adds in ‘any run is better than no run’ but equally you shouldn’t stress niggles too much at this late stage.  I might try for a walk later.  Surely a snow trudge constitutes cross training, even if it is just to check out the interior of the nearest open cafe?  One way to find out.

Back to where I was, about a week ago, contemplating a long run.  I was aiming for 17 miles, and hadn’t honestly planned a route as such, beyond a vague idea of starting off by parking at The Pheasantry Cafe in Bushy Park.  However, this was one of those runs, where just everything seemed stacked against if from the off.  To begin with, because I was away from home I’d not eaten particularly appropriately the day before, just salad all day and where I was staying the only breakfast option was high sugar kiddies mini pack cereals.  Then I had the most terrible night’s sleep ever, even for me, and I can’t remember when I last slept through the night, and when I did finally ‘wake’ properly I had a raging sore throat and felt dire. I wasn’t sure what to do. I consumed the only available breakfast option, which was a little pack of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, which was vile, and had half a cup of not very nice coffee, which just made my insides slosh about.  I felt shattered, poorly hydrated, ill, and a bit queasy.  I wasn’t sure what to do.  It was definitely not the best preparation for the run, but then again, what if I feel like this on marathon day, I’m not going to bale then surely?  Plus, if I didn’t get my run in this day, I might end up missing it, and back in Sheffield with the weather as it is, it would be another week of really inadequate preparation.  I also needed to drive back to Sheffield after the run, if I abandoned the run and drove back early, I knew there was no way on earth I’d head out for a long run after dark.  Aaaargh.

In the end, I decided I might as well at least start off, worst case scenario I could cut it short.  I just thought if I didn’t try I’d regret it, and I was imagining how I’d feel the next day –  fabulous if I’d succeeded and a worthless failure if I hadn’t.  I decided I’d prefer the former scenario – though in fact it didn’t entirely work out like that.  Running when you are so depleted knocks you out for days afterwards apparently.  So now I know.  Weirdly though, I still think not running at all would have been worse, but worth noting for another time.

Belt packed, naked bars, water, and vague sense of a route.  Even the weather was against me though. The place I was staying, Bushy Park Lodge, had great views of Bushy Park.  Only the day before I’d had runner envy watching people job past in the early morning.

This day it was dark and threatening ‘proper’ rain.  I am increasingly hating this weather. I do still cope better with cold than heat running wise, but there are limits.  This is not fun.  This was the view at the start of my run out:

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Joy.  Not.  Originally, I’d planned to do sort of figure of eight loops around Bushy Park, but then the ground was too saturated for that to allow for even running, besides which I thought it might get a bit dull, I hate running in laps.  However picturesque the setting.  I then hit upon what I considered to be a genius plan!  I’d start in the park, head over to Hampton Court palace, dip down onto the Canal path and then maybe loop through Home park, something like that.  This would guarantee move even terrain and a longer route, with less temptation to abandon the run when the going got tough.

Off I went.  It was sploshy, dark and pretty empty really.  Though to be fair it was a weekday. Even so, it surprises me how you can find space even in this jam-packed area of greater London.  It was wet, even the deer were lying down, trying to keep at least a small area of ground dry. There was a dramatic white stag, which I failed to photograph as I didn’t want to disturb it by going too close, and trees heavy with bright green mistletoe.  I wished my stomach wasn’t heaving so much though.  That breakfast was not a good start to the day at all.

Onwards, I decided to head straight out of the park.  On my way, just walking, trying not to heave, I found a bit of discarded steel wire, where on earth did that come from?  That could seriously damage a deer or horse in the park.  It was huge and heavy, I didn’t really know how best to dispose of it, but I did at least pick it up and put it in a bin.  A small gesture to improve the place I was running in, though not perhaps in the same league as those ploggers who in Sweden, have identified the ultimate rubbish way to get fit, but a start.

Soon, I was at the Hampton Court gate to Bushy park, that’s an impressive bit of iron work right there

and out, over the road, past the separate entrance to the old tennis courts – oh, don’t you have a separate entrance for your on site sporting facilities?

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and towards Hampton Court Palace.  Even though I grew up not far from here, I’ve very rarely done the touristy things, and stopping to look at Hampton Court palace, and the grand statues on the posts surrounding it I have to acknowledge it is really impressive.  Spectacular even.  You can see why it’s such a tourist attraction with it’s grand visage and photogenically sited red telephone box just outside – even if you can’t use that for actual telephone calls any more.  It was harder than you might think to photograph those impressive statue thingies, which is why I appear to have carefully framed a shot right up a unicorn’s arse.  Perhaps this is apt, as I have a unicorn’s arse in hell’s chance of getting round the London Marathon the way my training was feeling on this day…  The selfie also tells me my outfit wasn’t offering up the most photogenic of possibilities, however practical it may have been.   I look like a badly animated lollipop my face is so round. That has to be an optical illusion.  I’ve surely not really been seen out in public looking like that.  It’s not great for my body image to be fair.   I have subsequently inadvertently shrunk my woolly hat in the wash.  Gutted, it was really good at keeping my ears warm, even if it did look like I was wearing an alpaca-fleece giant condom on my head, by choice.  Sacrifices have to be made in running, all athletes know this.  Dignity is just the first of many things that have to go if you are serious about getting out there and running, however ineptly and for however long.  Harsh but true.

I was still feeling headachey and hardly underway, but I often feel rubbish in the early stages of runs, it takes me ages to get going.  I honestly think it’s partly that my body is in denial about the whole thing, so for the first few miles I just pant, and sweat and feel every twinge and ache and find it nigh on impossible to make myself run.  It takes super human strength to force myself to propel my feet forwards.  Once I’m far away from home that carrying on with my planned route is going to take just as long as retracing my steps and going home, I seem to move into the ‘acceptance’ as opposed to ‘denial’ stage and it’s fine. Well, maybe not exactly fine, but so far, I’ve never thought I wouldn’t complete once I get to that point.

Just beyond Hampton Court Palace, there was a really clear sign onto the Thames Cycle path.  This was great, and a revelation.  The path was wide, clearly marked, not very busy and offered spectacular views.  A bit of a contrast to the industrial heritage you view from the canal path in Sheffield through to Attercliffe.  Plenty of runners do use the canal paths in Sheffield for training, but I don’t fancy them, this Thames canal path felt a lot roomier, more open and frankly safer.

Still pretty wet though – I’ve just realised, you can, in theory run this all the way to Tower Bridge!  Wow, I’d love to do that.  Or even take on the whole of the Thames Path, that would be a lovely running challenge.   Well, I say ‘run’ but might be more fun to cycle that far.  Never say never though, if I’m really a more efficient runner than Usain Bolt, and I’m allowed to walk chunks, maybe I will surprise myself one day yet.  Oooh, what’s that overhead?  Is it a bird, is it a plane?  Oh, no it’s just a cloud.  A big black rainy one…

Pigs-might-fly

Inevitably, it being a new route, I had to stop and take in unusual views, and admire the palace from a new angle.

And then there was a yellow submarine, and more mistletoe, and cooing parakeets

I saw hardly anyone, a few cyclists, including one with an incredibly speedy and athletic dog.  That was impressive, but somewhat intimidating, it took time out from loping alongside its cycling companion to chase down wildlife along the river, ducks, swans, geese, nothing was safe.  It annoys me when owners let their dogs do that.  It spoilt my run, plus, whilst it may be true ‘they never catch anything’ they still stress the wildlife, which have to use much-needed energy stores to get away, endless times each day, and in winter especially when food may be harder to come by and they need those reserves just to keep alive in the outdoors 24/7, whereas the dog can go home to it’s centrally heated home and automatic meal.   Then there is the risk of them chasing and stressing deer, sheep whatever to the point of death.  It isn’t funny.  I’m consistent on this, I hate it when adults allow children to chase down birds too.   What is that about?  Scaring animals for fun.  People are weird.   What with that and the bagged dog poo strung up everywhere, I’m really going off irresponsible dog owners, responsible ones are a different matter entirely.  Impressive hound though, my it could run.  It looked really fit and healthy too.  Dread to think what damage it would do in a herd of livestock though.

The path was VERY wet.  But it was also flat, straightforward to navigate and punctuated with unexpected and interesting views.  Crazy amounts of mistletoe and many delightful boats.  Not that I really knew what any of them were, but most picturesque.

I was cold, and uncomfortable, but the miles did roll by quite easily, if not exactly speedily.  I was soon approaching Kingston:

Now, this was something of a cross roads, in a literal as well as metaphorical sense.  I could have gone back through Home Park, but I decided instead to press on along the Thames Walk to Teddington Lock.  Partly as this was a more definitive destination, and partly because it committed me to doing a longer distance, and rough as I felt, I didn’t want to abandon the run just yet.  Also, I was aware I might not get a chance to do this route again, and it was enticing, even with my head aching, my stomach sloshing and temperature falling. When is the sun going to come out.  Is it ever going to come out ever again?  Is this what the end of the world feels like.

Over the bridge, then down some steps to a freezing series of tunnels alongside John Lewis where an unexpected mural cheered up the grey iciness of the route.

I was feeling thirsty by this point.  I reached for my water bottle and discovered to my horror, that I couldn’t get into it.  I washed it in the dishwasher and I think maybe I’d damaged the top somehow (though update, subsequently realised I had accidentally ‘locked it’ which I didn’t know you could do, and was too lacking in initiative to unlock it).  Fortunately I did have another bottle with so not a disaster, but food for thought.  Not great to run out of water on a long run.  I had one of my naked bars, but that just made me feel really sick, and my stomach was cramping a bit, I felt physically awful to be fair.  Light headed.  The cornflakes were too sweet but also just hadn’t provided enough or at least appropriate fuel to run on.  In better news, the sun was at least coming out periodically, and that made everything feel better.  I was astonished how deserted the route was, and how picturesque too.  My run took my past the Hawker Centre, which I think is the starting point for Kingston parkrun, there were pretty parks to pass through, some amazing trees, and at points, two paths to choose from, an upper tarmac and lower mud path. I took the mud path, more my natural habitat and definitely kinder on my feet, even if it did mean they got saturated.  Also not great on a long run, note to self, buy new socks.   I liked the stacked up rowing boats at one point, with their inspiring names upturned vigour was just the attribute I was needing to channel.

If I’d had more time, I’d have lingered more over the notices which explained the history of some of the landmarks and names along the route.  The Elm Tree – which is no longer there, being a case in point, it must have been a mighty tree indeed, as it lives on in the name of the place where it stood for hundreds of years.

Onward I went, cold, bit grumpy.  This run was only fun in parts.  I really needed the loo, but when I found one, and I did find a couple of public toilets en route, I seemed unable to er hem, ‘perform’.  I felt so sick.  I NEVER get digestive problems, so this is/was a first for me, and I really do think it was related to change in diet and too much sugar.  I just have low tolerance for that, I suppose that’s why I can’t tolerate gels, the very thought of them makes me heave.

I tried to remind myself that this run was as much about tackling mental running demons as covering the physical distance.  It didn’t matter if I was slow, what mattered was putting one foot in front of another.  I could learn from this run, however miserable and inept it was turning out to be.  It was great that I’d made so many rookie errors, as I’d learn so much more.  How genius am I for cramming so many ‘what not to do’ learning opportunities into one relatively short, ‘long run’.  Great.  Blooming great.  I had a lot of quite negative thoughts, but kept trying to bury them, and remind myself I was just doing what needed to be done.  It was normal to doubt myself.  Blah de blah.

One mantra that keeps being trotted out by those who know, is that you should try to replicate as many of the conditions of the marathon as possible in training, whether that is practising with gels, making sure your kit is comfy and appropriate, and working through the ‘mental strength’ challenges of putting in the necessary miles in training.   That’s all well and good, but should not be taken to extremes.  I found out a couple of days ago, to my absolute horror, that one dark secret about marathon running, is that you will be showered in pee en route. ‘You have got to be kidding me?’   Apparently, this is a dirty secret that isn’t widely shared but is true.  A fellow marathon runner in training was telling me about a mutual friend of ours who has run the London Marathon twice.  (You know who you are) I don’t know why this ‘mutual friend’ hadn’t thought to tell me this herself.  Perhaps she was just trying to protect me. The problem is, the truth will out. As will a build up of urine in the bladder apparently.   Both are inevitable.

She shared how her first time, a few miles in there is a part of the route where there a few less spectators and it opens up a bit.  She became aware of her legs getting wetter and wetter as she ran, and couldn’t work out at first what it was.  It turns out, it was because many male runners had used the opportunity to relieve themselves whilst running and were happily disporting their assets and in full flow, running onwards, running free.   Really not caring that basically they were pissing on all the other runners in their wake.  I was and am horrified.  I do not intend to replicate this in training by having members of my Smiley Paces running club spray urine at me as I run.  Since when has this been OK?  I really and truly didn’t know if this was a wind up, so have googled it so you don’t have to. It seems, sadly, this is indeed a thing (though be careful what your search engine will throw up – might want to hide history afterwards).  I get that you might inadvertently wet yourself through stress incontinence or just not being able to hold on, but basically peeing on your fellow whilst running as a deliberate strategy because your need to save 30 seconds on your marathon in your view over-rides other runners right not to have you urinate on them strikes me as a rather arrogant perspective.   Wet yourself by all means, but please don’t piss on me.  I don’t want my abiding memory of London to be wading through other runners’ bodily fluids.    What if I face plant in it, having lost my footing.  Lawks a lordy, if it’s so commonplace, I might actually drown.  That’s really not up there in my list of top ten ways to go.  Not even the top fifty to be fair.

Hmmm, not sure I wanted to know this in advance.  I may report back on this, and the extent to which it was an issue, and if it was, whether in all that heady atmospheric context I even cared.  However, dear reader, if you are thinking of getting your todger out for a piss, or projecting a snot rocket for that matter during the marathon, consider where it might land, please.   And if you must practise peeing whilst running (and it is recommended apparently), choose wisely where to do so.  If you pee on me I won’t be impressed, and it will put me off supporting whatever charity you may be running in support of, unless it’s for urinary incontinence support or the fistula foundation, in which case respect.  I’d even persuade every other runner to wait for you to finish so you aren’t disadvantaged by nipping in to use the loo if that’s your preferred option.  Then again, who knows, maybe I too will be the one unable to contain myself, peeing during the marathon or worse yet, crapping myself.  It’s happened to greater runners than me.  Maybe I should revisit the idea of running in skorts, they have helped many retain their dignity whilst running.  Not about making a fashion statement people, more about hiding your inability to control your bodily functions.  I know elite runners who have got sport prizes at fell races in respect of this.  FACT.  Enough of this now.  Here is a Sheffield snow shot by way of distraction.  (Stolen from Round Sheffield Run Facebook page, but I’m sure they won’t really mind…)  Looking so very pretty, and yet so very incompatible with my marathon training aspirations.

sheffield snow

So many things to fret about.  I feel very naive.  There are whole forums dedicated to peeing whilst undertaking all sorts of sports from running, through cycling and swimming.  I’m definitely not doing tri now.  I suppose though, that’s sort of the point.  I can’t really know what this is like until I’ve done it, or died trying.  What other things though have more experienced runners been keeping from me?  I dread to think.  However bad things have been in training, I’ve yet to change my mind about doing this, I still really, really want to take part, but do I really want full knowledge of what I’m letting myself in for?  Possibly not, it will only scare me, sometimes, a bit of naivety is what’s needed or I’d never do anything.

Where was I.  Oh yes, finding it hard down the Thames Path.  I made it down to Teddington Lock.  Up close, it is impressive, but really difficult to capture in photographs.  There was the option of heading across Ham common and on to Richmond Park, maybe one day, but not today. I was properly cold, and feeling a bit sorry for myself, although there was some comfort that having come this far, I was going to get a reasonable distance under my belt.   Disappointingly, you are not allowed to dive from the bridge into the churning white water and hidden under water hazards below.  No worries, as already clarified above, I’m not training for a tri.

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Having admired the view, it was a case of turning round and heading back.  It was really, really cold, and I felt drained and uncomfortable, this run seemed to be taking forever.  There had been a brief interlude of sunshine, but now the sky was dark again, and I felt like I was running into a chilling headwind.

Back past the Hawker centre, back past the river boats and house boats, pit stop in the Boaters Inn where I was able to refill my water bottle too.  Nice pub actually, and they seem to have some local agreement whereby members of the public are allowed to use their loos.  Not that this really helped me, I was feeling increasingly rough.  Eventually I was back at Kingston bridge – which does look magnificent.

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Back onto the Barge walk and heading back towards Hampton Court.  This was really, really tough.  Light relief was only available through unexpected sights.  Such as the vision of an enormous bumble bee, alongside an open winged swan on the opposite side of the river as I made my way back – Smiletastic team references get everywhere:

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To achieve my desired mileage, I’d need to double back again. There was a gate from the canal path, near to Hampton Court Bridge, where you could dodge into Home park.  I figured I could nip in there, go through Home park, come out at Hampton Wick and back into Bushy Park from there.  This is what I did, but it was really hard to make myself do it.  I just felt ultimately I’d have regretted it if I didn’t do the mileage, and also Home park is really lovely.  A bit wilder than Bushy park and generally deserted. Which it was on this day too, apart from some well-heeled golfers, availing themselves of these exclusive greens.  I’m so glad I made the effort, even if I was basically just walking by this point.  Lovely herds of deer, spectacular views of Hampton Court along the Long Water,

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and a chance to pause by a tree that is special to me.

I was pretentiously contemplative by this point.  Exhausted maybe, rubbish nutrition, dehydrated, cold, not feeling the running lurve at all.  I have been getting weepy on my long runs, I thought it was just me, but – another previously unknown revelation has been that – this is apparently quite common. What’s more, you think you’re weeping now, wait until the marathon!  Not just at the end, I have heard from others it’s quite likely you’ll be blubbing the whole way around.  Particularly if you are running for a charity that has personal meaning for you, but whether you are running for a charity or not (I’m not, I got lucky in the ballot, and besides, I don’t think I could cope with the pressure of running for a charity myself).  Oh no!  Will that constant uncontrollable sobbing cause further dehydration and electrolyte loss?  Yet another factor to take into consideration. This is proving to be ridiculously hard.

What were these abandoned wings about?  A fallen angel? Maybe it was all that was left of the bait laid for the crocodile trap.  I think that must be what the wire cage is for.  There is after all a famous crocodile alongside the stream in the Woodland gardens of Bushy park.  It’s not such a stretch to imagine a cunning saltie navigating the water courses hereabouts to end up in Home park too…

Soon, I gave up any pretence of running, and just told myself it would still be time on my legs and endurance, so I might as well check out the ice house.  Can it really have been standing since the 17th century, late or otherwise, that’s a lot of years.

The ice house is pretty near the Kingston Bridge entrance to Home Park. There was a handy cafe at the edge of Bushy park as I crossed the road.  So I nipped in to use their loo, but felt no better.  It was a slog to go on, but I had little choice at this point.  Don’t know what the London Loop is, might check that out (150 miles of London sights apparently).  I had no idea there were so many options round here.  It’s a quite different running environment from the peaks, but in inclement weather it has its advantages most definitely.

Into Bushy park, and I found myself on part of the Bushy parkrun course.  This was good for morale.  Because, it is a well-known fact that you can always push out a parkrun, no matter how rubbish you may feel.  I made a rather half-hearted attempt to jog on a bit, but it was tokenistic, if not actually non-existent.  I pressed on:

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The final bit of mind over matter, was about 15 miles in (is that all) I realised I still needed to add on another couple to meet my target. It would have been so easy to finish as I neared the Pheasantry, but I went on.  Fortuitously, at exactly this moment, I got a text message from a Smiley friend, I told her I was crawling my way round 15 miles into a 17 mile ‘run’, she sent much virtual support, and because I’d ‘fessed up to what I was doing, I felt motivated to finish what I’d started.  Back round the park.  Brief nip in to see my mum – who is nearby – and a final farewell, back at last to the woodland gardens with the Pheasantry cafe within.

and the crocodile without:

They are indeed still and log like.

Into the cafe.  I had the most fantastic soup ever (tomato and red pepper I think) and sweet potato fries with more salt than I care to admit.  I sat shattered and teary.  Everyone else was on a table a-buzz with friends, with one solitary exception. An older man, sitting alone.  That made me feel a bit sad.  And then I thought of me all wet, and broken and also sitting alone and over-emotional and I just thought how ridiculous this whole thing is.

It was not a good run.  The 17.3 mile route looked like this:

strava long run london

I like that Strava helps you get a sense of where you went, so many other possibilities – ham common and on to Richmond park another time maybe…

I’m really glad I did it, but it wasn’t fun.  Possibly type 2, I saw some amazing things.  And I did learn a lot, albeit about what not to do in training.  I followed the run with an epic 7 hour drive back to Sheffield,

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which I don’t mind telling you is most definitely contraindicated after a long run.  I spent the next few days practically unable to move I was so wiped out.  I could not longer tell if such fatigue was a ‘normal’ response to being out for so long, a result of over-training (by my terms, doing too much too soon) or actually being ill. Maybe though, going out when I felt crap to begin with wasn’t the best idea, though I did subsequently bag a really good long ‘run’ along the Monsal Trail   (run walk) which restored some small measure of self-belief.

It’s hard this marathon training thing.  Really hard.  The actual marathon should be a breeze if I survive the run up!

And that was that.  Long run.  It was progress, but still need to add another 10 miles on.  I don’t understand how that is possible.  I do want to break the 20 mile barrier in training.  Oh well.  I’m not going to be a speed merchant, and this run did leave me drained and crap, but I suppose there’s a little bit of me which was chuffed I’d drawn on mental strength to complete what I set out to do, even though this was probably my most miserable run out to date.

Oh well, that’s past now, new runs and adventures lie ahead.

Bring them on.

Eek.

Don’t even ask about times, it’s not the point and also it depresses me.  In all the uncertainties about what will happen in London, I’m going to put it right out there, that I don’t think Daniel Wanjuri has anything to worry about from me.

PS I wrote this on 18 march, but it relates to a run on 7th March, so I’m going to post it retrospectively.  Think of it merely as a form of time travel, don’t worry about inconsistent chronology within my references, they matter not.  It’s the broad sweep of time that is the important thing, and how insignificant we all are in the grand scheme of things.  I at least find that ultimately comforting.  Nothing matters nobody cares, kind of liberating.  Same with the marathon.  I’ll do it, or I won’t do it, it shouldn’t matter that much, the journey getting there is the thing.  The marathon itself just the icing on the cake.  I like being reminded of how small and insignificance we are in the universe, it means I no longer need to burn up with embarassment at the memory of my many social faux pas.  Nothing really matters.  Not even being peed on whilst runing a marathon.  Hurrah!

dr who title sequence

Categories: motivation, off road, running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Running London …. ish. Work in progress a horrible long run in marathon training. I so haven’t got this! Aaargh.

  1. you did great! I do some of my long runs along the Thames where you were and I totally agree it’s a mental challenge, which you seem to have totally aced. I would have definitely given up if I had been feeling as rough as you describe. Awesome effort!

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    • Oh thank you so much! It’s made my day (who I am I kidding, it’s made my year) to have some positive feedback on what was indeed a hard run, from someone who knows. I was impressed by what a running playground the Thames can potentially offer though – I hope I’ll be back fitter, stronger and burdened with less existential angst en route at some future point! Happy running, and thanks for stopping by! Lx 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Panic over, long run done and dusted! All good, not just movement, but, at last, progress! | Running Scared

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