Well, September 11 may be remembered for many things (who can be daft enough to forget the late, great Barry Steven Frank Sheene was born on this great date) but this one will be remembered by me for being my first run in absolutelyfuckingages.
I’ve been taking the running kit to work since Friday when, while running down the stairs in the afternoon, I felt one click, heard a crack in my left foot, dropped another two steps and heard another crack, then stopped in pain with my left big toe unable to be put on the floor. So I hobbled to the office, struggled through Saturday, felt little improvement but was sure things were in the right direction as the pain lowered into an ache and I could walk reasonably. So Tuesday, I considered it was nearly there but pain was a bit close on occasion so I put it off for tonight (curry last night…priorities!) hoping i’d be able to start pushing straight on ready for the Ashford 10k in all of, ooh, 4 weeks!
So, without further ado, I set off after work on the 4.2 mile seafront run. Starting slowly, that went out the window as a cyclist joined the route just a fraction quicker than me, so I used her as a pacemaker (it was into the wind), overtook 2 other cyclists on the first leg, then realised it wasn’t the best easy first run in over two weeks i’d promised myself. So I stopped at halfway, stretched a calf and felt my toe (it hurt, but was reassurringly only a nagging hurt so it was all good) then started off just behind another runner. Now, I couldn’t work out for a couple of hundred yards how he was taking such short paces so quickly, but with the wind behind me, did realise he was about 50 yards a mile slower than I wanted to go so was deciding whether to carry on as I wished, or stop for 20 seconds so I wouldn’t overtake him (didn’t really want a race). But then I started coughing for England and thought sod it, get home, so picked up the pace, increased the breathing and eased past him, only to break into a proper race pace for the final mile to home, hoping he wouldn’t come past if I flagged. He didn’t.
So, 4.2 miles. Faster than I intended, now with a properly nagging toe/ball of the foot ache, but with very fresh legs and happiness that a 10k race may still be doable in a reasonably quick time, if not quite the 45 minutes i’d planned. But i’m still targetting that as the pace. It is flat, after all.
My only question is, after carrying an injury for a mere 5 days, why have my legs gone back to being as bandy as they were 10 years ago before I did something about exercising them straight? Weird. Oh, well, i’m sure I can bring my knees in again if i’m lucky.
So, 4.2 miles. A trace of rain. 128 cars. And Cathy. Smart.