For the first time in what seems like ages I ran a decent distance again. January and February were full of worrying niggles, and March saw the disappearance of my mojo. I kept slogging along, but instead of 6k standard runs they were more like 4K with tree trunk legs and my longer runs were only about 6 or 7k. A few months ago that was standard for a mid week run. Last Sunday I got back up to 10k. This Sunday I wanted 12k.
I am pleased to sat that even a good layer of snow, a biting wind and -3 degrees were not enough to put me off. I even quite enjoyed the prospect of layering up in long sleeved running tops which I rarely use. Route planned in my head I headed out. Blimey it was cold! But I soon warmed up and was pleased to note that my legs were feeling strong. In fact all of me was feeling strong. What an unusual feeling! I'd forgotten it existed. I used my favourite run/walk method of running 4 mins, walking 1 min and wasn't yearning for the 4 minutes to be up after 30 seconds.
I chose one of my favourite routes through the woods north of Munich. This was where I ran my first "long" run of 6.5k just over 2 years ago. And knackered myself in the process, bringing on a cold! It was here also that I ran my first 10k, also too early in my running career bringing on a week of painful shins and no running. I chuckled to myself. Now look at me. Well apart from the sore right foot, the ache in my upper thighs, the occasional knee twinge - oh and the bruised toenail. Just face it, I'm a physical wreck really. But today I could run.
My feet were soaked relatively quickly, but only got cold in the walking phases towards the end when the snow was really clumping on my shoes (see picture). I briefly worried about frost-bite but decided there was not much I could do about it except keep running. The rest of me stayed toasty in spite of the icey wind. I passed a runner and we nodded knowingly to each other, a slightly overweight guy getting into a car muttered "respect", I added a loop to avoid a clump of dog walkers who were blocking the path and would have slowed me down. And then there was that speed walker who I trailed for about 3k. It seemed to me he was getting no closer even though he was only walking. But I got him in the end and he seemed quite startled as I came up behind him. Which made me think I wasn't the puffing, stomping, clod hopping, panting elephant I thought I was, as he obviously hadn't heard me!
At about 8k I had to start playing tricks on myself. I told myself I'd only done 6k and only had 4K to go. And I knew I could do 10k. This trick seemed to reassure my brain which now assured my legs that they couldn't possibly be feeling achey as I'd only done 6k so far. My legs then realized they were being pathetic and stopped moaning, enabling me to sail on to my 12k. It's surprisingly effective, this trick.
Anyway somewhere in the middle of a field I reached 12k. It wasn't fast, my heart rate was actually quite high, but I felt good and strong the whole time. And that hasn't happened in a while. I was about 15 mins walk from home so after a short walking rest I trotted the rest of the way. Normally I'm too knackered to run a single step further, but today I was happy to add a few unrecorded metres to my running score.
Happy running everybody!