Couch to 5K
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10k attempt sabotaged by otters

Well, my post-knee comeback continues apace. A whole week of easy pace 5ks with a 6 and a 7.5 thrown in, and no sign of recurrence of the twingeing. I have been very conscientious about icing after running and keeping my heart rate in zone 2. Yesterday I did a Boot Camp session at the gym, which was an hour of mostly sprinting up and down a field carrying a huge log, or sprinting with burpees and squats and other similar torture routines inbetween, so I am going to count that as an interval session. Also went out with the dog last night for a trail run, which was hilly, even muddy in places despite the heat, and a lot of fun.

So today was marked as 'Easy Run. Long'.

I bounced out of bed at 5.45 in a groany, creaky, can't-believe-how-much-my-bum-muscles-hurt-after-that-bot-camp-nonsense sort of way, strapped on the heart monitor. strapped up the knee, grabbed a handful of dates and almonds and the dog and got out the door.

It was deliciously cool at that time of the morning and not a soul about, being Sunday. The nature reserve where I do my flat running was free of any sign of twitcher activity. Perfect running conditions, in other words.

My plan was just to see how far I could run before I needed to stop, keeping my heart rate at 70%. I have felt I could have happily run further on all my runs this week and on the 7.5k I only stopped because I didn't want to overdo the knee, so I had it in mind that 10k should be doable.

Off we trundled. The dog galloped back and forth but I resisted her exhortations to keep up. I was running my own pace, haha. I generally find the first ten minutes of a run are more to be endured than enjoyed per se, then after that I am in my aerobic groove and it becomes more pleasurable. Today though I was having a good time almost from the off.

Until we got to the roughly halfway mark. The nature reserve is bisected by a road at this point, which is a convenient marker usually - it is 2.7k the first half and a fraction over 3 the other side. My normal 5k days I run to the road, then turn back and have a 5.4 total. Today I was going to run all the way to the end and then see how far back I made it. Ideally 10k and a 1.4k cooldown walk.

Alas, it was not to be. As we got to the gate into the second half I noticed a big sign saying "No dogs. Otters nesting." or mating or doing whatever it is that otters do. Stealing bird eggs, most likely. Horrid creatures. That sign isn't usually there. Bloody otters. It's a bird sanctuary, for Heaven's sake. why would you let hooligan otters into a bird sanctuary? Other than to foil would-be 10 k'ers? I did momentarily consider letting the dog go for a swim for a minute and then pretending she was a large otter. She is a labrador and looks a bit otter-like when wet, and it wasn't as if there was anyone there to witness our subterfuge, in fact, but with my luck we would discover Brian May and Bill Oddie and a film crew around the next bend and poor Daisy dog would be hauled off and locked up for impersonating an otter. So we decided discretion was the better part of valour and headed back. Ah well. The best planned runs of dogs and men, as they say... at least we live to run another day, and it's another 5k in the bank.

Am still disappointed, though.

3 Replies

I heard o some excuses in my time but if that don't beat all! Ha ha. Ta for making me laugh. I can just imagine your labrador banged up in chokey! Taking the rap for you, you bad guy owner and otter hater! Shame on you

Happy running. Better luck next time. It's a game innit!


Sorry about the thwarted 10k ambitions but I just love otters so I believe this was in a good cause! Have to think up another route - glad the knee is holding up!


Otters! Of all things to thwart a run, it had to be otters! :D That really did make me laugh! What a run, otters aside! A 5K ottery run is better than no run at all, so well done, and better, otterless luck for next time! :-)


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