And on the fifth day, I ran again.
A couple of false starts in the week (contemplated running Wednesday but leg recovery got the better of me; Thursday came and went in a flurry of excuses after a busy day and Friday wasn’t going to happen if I was to get out today) made me promise myself I’d get out today and put in a swift 6 miles to see how the legs are doing with a bit of rest. And I kept my promise.
An early morning start went down well, getting me well pushed on with loading the shed with garden tools and that before a surprise visit from my brother halted progress and made a good excuse to remain disturbed and head out for a plod.
So changed I got. About three times before I was satisfied with my layering (it’s not in the least bit cold, but it’s chilly in the wind which is still very strong here).
Then the route was always going to be my new loop around the tree house and owl sanctuary. The first mile was a warm up for a still painful left foot while my right shin just grumbled along like it has been all week despite no running miles troubling it. The foot was the worst bit, to be fair, and each morning it feels so stiff and sore that the first trip down the stairs is always a joy of sparks in the nerve cell department.
Everything settled down, though, and I eased into a respectably quick tempo while trying to stay light in pace without kicking my heels up too far and without stretching my stride too much – I wasn’t in a race and didn’t want to risk injury just because I felt good to be out “for myself” and not part of a group thing, as Janathon felt even though I was largely running alone.
Near the second mile mark, a Renault Espace came past with another car behind. The Renault then put his brakes on to execute a turn in someone’s drive, indicating at the last minute and nearly having the following car hit him squarely fron behind. Very nearly. Squeeky close. I then realised that I knew he was braking because I heard his discs rub. Due to his typical slack style of indicating after he’d executed his action, the other car had no idea what was happening due to the Renault having no rear lights at all – brake, tail, nothing. Since he was only doing about 10mph when I came near to him (he was now driving towards me), I waved and flagged him down which, it must be said, took far more effort than I’d have thought (probably thought I was in distress and didn’t want the hassle of stopping!), and then had a few seconds waiting for the passenger to work out how to wind down the window before I could tell him he had no brake lights which caused huge surprise, whereupon I continued on my way. It probably took 10 seconds in all, hopefully will save him a new rear bumper and some distressed children (assuming that a crash is more traumatic than a sweaty runner poking his head into their car!), and lead to me running with a revitalised stride for the next quarter mile or so. Good deed done for the week.
The route back seemed heavily into the wind but I kept a light stride and almost enjoyed it. In fact, my quickest split coincides with the bit most directly into the wind, possibly because it caused me to focus hardest on efficiency.
On the final stretch, a glance at the Garmin told me to run past home to clock a full 10k for a change, so I dutifully did just that. The result was a nice round 45 minute time (44.59 precisely) which I’m quite satisfied with considering the lack of pace work over Janathon, the aching leg and painful foot. I want 5 minutes off it if I can get fit for a flat 10k before the year’s out and don’t think I’ve quite got it in me, to be honest, but I’ll give it a good go. To take 3 minutes off will be difficult enough but I think the initial goal of averaging 7 minute miles for the distance is well within my grasp given some effort, so the year is looking better than a fortnight ago when colds and injury looked like wiping me out before the first month was over.
Lots to look forward to, then. It feels nice to have some pace goals instead of focusing on just running for the sake of getting out.
A quick cycle last night means 1856.80 miles to go