|Photographic evidence that I really have been running|
It's all been going pretty well. Apart from the heat and humidity. We've had a couple of really nasty humid days and both have seemed to coordinate beautifully with the weekly long run.
The first was a week ago and it wasn't fun. It felt hard right from the start and only got harder. We didn't push the pace and we stopped at every water stop and still by the end I was trying not to faint when I stopped. Which is a little disconcerting for me and a lot disconcerting for my poor running companion who doesn't know if he's going to have to try and break my fall. (Just protect the head Elio, everything else will heal but a brain injury is for ever). I spent the rest of the day on the couch with a bucket trying not to vomit. Yeah - good times!
So this week I was a bit antsy about a repeat performance. The conditions were pretty similar to the previous week and I still hadn't totally worked out where I'd gone wrong - apart from actually getting out of bed to run. Part of me wanted to pull the pin on it altogether but I'd organised an early start to get 4k done before joining up with the squad. Really the only way I'd feel justified in piking was if I'd been throwing up all night or had a heart attack. So I set my alarm for 4:15 telling myself that if it felt awful then I could pull out after the 4k. Or I could just do the 12k with a good proportion of the squad. These are the lies I tell myself so I"ll get out of bed.
Of course there was never really any intention to pull out and run less. Once I've got a distance in my sights I can never be happy until I've got it done but those little lies I tell myself can be enough to keep my calm when I'm worried about something.
So we set off at 5:00 the next morning and did our 4k loop and it was okay. My legs didn't feel as uncooperative as they had the previous week. We were keeping the pace gentle. We were drinking when we could. And Elio was doing a great job keeping my mind off the previous week's debacle.
I had water and Powerade once we got back to the group. Sweat was trickling down my back already. It was hard to completely wipe away the thoughts of how bad I'd felt on the last long run when the conditions were just so similar. I just had to remind myself that we were taking it easier. That we were going to be drinking regularly. And just because one run is bad, it doesn't mean that they're all going to be bad.
And it turned out that I was right. There was nearly nothing about the run that was bad - for me at least. Can't say the same for one of my friends who got distracted by a couple of pretty faces and ended up on the pavement in a puddle of blood. Proof again that a lot of men find it hard to multi-task.
I've been running for a lot of years now and I know quite a bit about it but it seems that there are still so many things that I don't know. And so many things that I'll never understand. Why is one run so, so hard and another in similar conditions, off a similar work load not? I don't get it. I can't science my way to an answer. But I'm happy to accept it. Just because your last run was bad doesn't mean that they all will be.