After a couple of extra rest days I was determined to do a longer run this morning, and I was ready bright and early... or so I thought.
Then the faffage began, as having thought it was fairly mild, when I stepped out of the door I decided that my vest wasn't going to be a match for the chilly morning. So I scrabbled around to turn off my app and music, fumbled for the front door key in my running belt, and wasted a good 15 minutes: shoes off; upstairs for running jacket; downstairs for gloves; look in the garage for a buff for my ears (washing basket); throw socks and assorted small son the floor in vain; realise a helpful person has sorted my running stuff out); look in hall cupboard, find buff; put running shoes back on; visit cloakroom; realise that if I'm doing a long run I need Vaseline on my feet... So shoes off again; upstairs for Vaseline; feet adequately slathered, put socks back on again; back down the stairs; shoes on; jacket, buff and gloves on. At last ... I was out the door.
I probably didn't need a warm up walk but I was taking no chances, so off I set.
It was an out and back route this morning, and I failed to think about the implications of my initial running down a very steep hill. It was too easy.
Soon I was at the bottom, running past the station and on to the cycle track away from the traffic. The end of Autumn was still visible all around, with leaves to scrunch through, and lots of berries in the hedgerows. A brace or two of pheasants flew up from a neighbouring field, and I settled in to the run enjoying the surrounding countryside. My legs felt good, as if I could run for ever, so I carried on... and on... and on...
It was only when I didn't recognise the surroundings, that I realised I had run further than I'd anticipated, and for some reason I had turned the feedback off on mapmyrun. Checking my phone I found I was 9km from home. Some of that was my 5 minute warm up, but it was further than I'd intended and I still had to run the same distance home.
The next km was ok, but then I started to feel the aches. I slowed down a little and concentrated on my breathing, enjoying a few new tracks on my play list, Hungry Like The Wolf (Duran Duran), had me thinking I was running like a wolf, and while I played around with the lyrics in my head (not very successfully I'm afraid) I managed to pick up the pace and continue.
On the way out the track had followed a few undulations in the country side, but these had magically been magnified into full on hills when I ran back. I'm currently rehearsing Handel's Messiah with one of my choirs, and for the first time in my running a classical track came into my head, "🎶Every valley, shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill laid low. 🎶" and had me longing for the hills to be flattened out.
Somehow, despite aches in my hips (never had those before), I got back to the station, and onwards towards the bottom of the road home. There was no way I was running up that, and this would probably be my 5 minute cool down. Cutenhoe Road... there was nothing cute about it. Even walking up it was a killer. Highway to Hell was on my playlist, I thought I was already there. My legs were doing their best to stop, if I'd walked any slower I would have been going backwards.
10 minutes later I was still dragging my feet one in front of the other to get along my own road to my front door. I just about managed my stretches before falling in the door.
Map my run told me I'd covered 18.6km, although two of these were walking. No wonder I was shattered. I spent the next 20 minutes having a long soak, and have struggled with everything else today. I'm not sure that my legs are ever going to forgive me. They certainly didn't want to get off the couch this evening.