Good morning, my dear fellow C25Kers. I hope this downporious morning finds you all well.
I heard it before I saw it today, the rain. My alarm went off at 0337 and I could hear it, pouring down. Well, I thought, that's something at least: it'll be nice and refreshing! I ignore the urge to stay in the nice, warmth of my bed, get up and proceed to The Breakfast Stage. (TBS) and consume the usual peanut butter rice cake, three figs and, of course, sparkling water, and then it's time to kit-up, and get out the door.
It really, really is raining. Quite heavily. A deluge! Yay! I approach this run with caution after Monday's W9R1 episode with the hill. I've no intention of tackling Sheffield's answer to Everest (well, one of them, anyway; we have a number of the things! Would anyone like a hill, perchance.....?) today but there will be one hill; steep at first, levelling out a bit before going up a steady incline, before levelling out again and then a descent. But, I did it last week so I know it's possible. Still, I'm a bit apprehensive about today. I had quite sore/tight quads yesterday too, despite the stretching, but hopefully they won't be an issue today.
Into the rain then. I'm heartened by the fact it's still dark; it's 0417 and still not light; I like running in the dark, there's something nice about it. It's pouring and I'm off on the warm-up walk, accompanied by the sound of Julie. (*music* You and Julie, you and Julie.........!) and it is really chilly. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I ignore it, or try to at least, and know that I will warm up soon enough. Drenched already, it's time to run. Endomondo set, stopwatch reset ready for the run, throttles forward, engines roaring away, gear up, successful climb and we're under way. I try and concentrate on my breathing for the first couple of minutes, which does sort of help. The rain is really helping, and things aren't as bad as they were this time on Monday!
On I go, at what I think is a comfortable pace and so far things are uneventful. I expect the first..... well, almost all of the run.... to be tough as I tend to only settle into the longer runs after about 25 minutes, which is either worrying or encouraging, depending on how you look at it. It's definitely a pain at times: literally! Okay, more of an ache.
Hill ahead! Okay, for goodness sake don't panic. You've done this many times. You can do it today. Throttles forward and up we go, slowing slightly despite the added thrust. Then I hear it: the nagging voice; I did wonder when that would start. No, not Laura! And definitely not Julie. I like Julie; she's better on her own, granted, but I like her. Anyway, the Voice of Doubt (VoD) continues on:
*warning lights come on; buzzers sound*
"You can't do this, you'll find walking easier...."
The hill levels out a bit now but it's still a push. "Walk, you know you want to....."
I snap back:
"But that defeats the object and yes, I want to, but what's the alternative? Start all over again? I don't think so! I have races planned: I must go on...!"
The voice doesn't respond, and by this point I'm almost up the long incline and onto the flat. I do believe about seventeen minutes have gone by now; I'm always so relieved to be past the half way point. Makes stopping even less of an option! A bit later I start to bank, make the turn and commence the descent. Twenty-one minutes gone. I can do this!
On Monday, and today, I have a slight muscle ache in my right forearm, which I assume is due to holding the water bottle. I use a relaxed grip but thankfully haven't dropped the thing yet. I ignore it; it's not too bad, yet. Onward. Onward we go. Nearly done now; glad I didn't stop. Across the busy road and the end is in sight. Twenty-seven and a bit minutes, and then it happens: breathing becomes much easier and I settle nicely into it. Only took 27 and a half minutes! Now I'm at my marker, the place where I normally run to after a couple of minutes more running after Laura has told me to stop, on completing 28 minutes in week eight. A bit further past it and she tells me to stop now, but I'm into it now, and enjoying it, so I carry on a short while. Of course, all this must be psychological as I always settle towards the end, so in theory, the longer the run, the longer it will take to settle, but there will be a way around this Psychological Settling Point (PSP) and I just need to find it. 33 minutes in and I bring the throttles back and slow down. Phew, that was tiring, but I did it. W9R2 complete.
Onward now to graduation; I can hardly believe it!
Other things to note on this run was that the right headphone packed in after about 20 minutes; I believe it was the rain as it was crackling away, but not to worry; these bloody things never do last long anyway, or is it just me who gets through them at an alarming rate?!
About the same time, well, about minute 17, I guess, two lads and three lasses walk, unsteadily, toward me. They're as soaked as I am but they're dressed for a night out. A couple of them look at me. I look back. And nod. They nod back. I'm not sure who's more surprised to see the other: them or me. Or who is more confused about the attire of the other: them or me. A mixture of the two, I feel.
So that's it: graduation on Friday. I'll have a GPS watch for that run too; it should arrive today and I'm looking forward to it as I'm really unsure how accurate Endomondo is. I mean, it might be perfectly fine, the app; perhaps my phone's GPS is out a bit, but at any rate, the Garmin Forerunner 10 I have on the way, should clarify.
Happy running, always, to those of you out running today and rest easy if you're resting or sadly presently injured.