Hello lovely running friends
So sorry it's been a while. To cut a long story short, since I went for 17.5k without any insoles in at all, I've really struggled to run more than 2 or 3k without pain. However, it's getting easier, and my ultra-running-vicar-friend from church asked a few of us if we'd like to do a night run in Lyme Park. To be honest, I wasn't sure I was up to it. I seem to get pain after 4 or 5k these days, I managed 7k recently, but my left knee got really really tight towards the end of the run. However, I've long been a believer in running for mental health reasons, indeed that was the reason I started Couch to 5K in the first place. I had to weigh up the risks of doing a tough run before I was quite recovered, against the risk to my mental health if I didn't. What swung it in favour of the run was that today was the day my ex was getting remarried, one of the hardest days ever emotionally for me, I just had to do it, even if I crawled over the finish line. I managed to get the Lyme Park office to send me through the route in advance, but the map was really confusing, but they said it wasn't too hilly, so I entered!!
I nearly chickened out. My knee was hurting this morning, the weather forecast showed basically water, oh and the thing about a night run is it's in the dark, oh and I struggle with huge groups of people. I had to do it though. If it killed me, so be it!!
I rocked up at Lyme Park, in the car obviously, parked it somewhere, and went to join the line to register, my first time ever registering for a race, although technically it wasn't a race, it was just a run. I finally met up with my running buddy Phil the ultrarunning vicar. There seemed to be loads of people around and nothing happening, so we managed to find somewhere inside to stand and chat. Eventually people started to move out, so we followed, and positioned ourselves near the back. Phil later told me that that way, you feel good for passing people, rather than being at the front and being overtaken, though I suspect he may just have been being realistic about my abilities!!
The run then. An easy enough start, but I deliberately kept the pace down, as I know my knee tends to get tight after about 4 or 5k, I wanted to try and go for as long as I could before calling in the paramedics. The start was fairly flat, nice gentle climbs, though it was very dark, did I mention that? Actually, the start was brilliant for a gradual warm up, we had to do a fair bit of walking, simply due to the volume of people getting through gates, but the gentle climb and flat sections were enjoyable. Then I noticed the line of head torches seemingly heading up into the sky. Oh my word, the next short hill was brutal, as was the corresponding downhill.
What should happen now is that I describe the next set of climbs and descents, but basically it was vertical for the next about 4k. Well maybe not vertical, but very very steep. I had to walk on the steep climbs, and bless him, Phil stuck with me. What a hero! This is where tips from an experienced runner are invaluable though, he said when you get to a flat-ish part, try to at least jog, it keeps the heart pumping fast and keeps the oxygen getting to the muscles, and you actually recover faster than if you were just walking. That man is a genius, it worked!
Eventually after climbing up to the sort of altitude where I expected to see airliners below me, we started to descend. The first part of that was down a really steep slippy hill, and boy was I glad of my new trail shoes, they were brilliant, though I did fall on my bum once lol! And then, a proper path. I wouldn't go as far as to say a road, but definitely a path, and I felt good enough to increase my pace. Down the path, onto the road, back towards the point where we started, though the inflatable finish thingy, never seen one of those in the flesh before. There was even a big LED clock thing, though strangely it wasn't showing the time elapsed, just the actual time.
A nice surprise to finish. Not sure you could call it bling, as this event was organised by the national trust, it was a wooden medal, but my first.
I shall attach 2 pics from my phone: 1 of the medal itself, and me back home looking rather disheveled, and 1 of me and Phil just before we started.
Have fun everyone, happy running, and it's great to be back!
[EDIT] Oh I forgot to say, turns out that this run has done wonders for my knee, just the sort of stretching I needed it seems, though we'll see tomorrow morning