After a largely sleepless night and a pre-dawn start followed by a morning of endless rabbit skinning, leavened only by shouting at the radio during the Archers omnibus until my children had to come in and tell me off for swearing, I was definitely ready for some fresh air. Between Roy's philandering, Adam and Charlie playing footsie in the forage harvester and Jennifer's guilt, I am almost reaching the point of switching off after 40-odd years.
So going out for another run seemed a good option by lunchtime, regardless of how grim it could be.
I set out with lots of positive mantrae cycling round in my head, mainly because I felt a bit of a fraud telling other people not to be discouraged by bad runs and then doing exactly that. I made a conscious effort to run a minute/km slower than my usual pace. It didn't help. After 3km I had clocked exactly my normal time and was thoroughly miserable. try as I might, I couldn't stop second guessing myself all the time. Was my breathing okay? Was I going to get my mojo back? Why wasn't enjoying myself?
But I plodded on regardless. The next couple of klicks I was mainly preoccupied with a discomfiture and unpleasant sticky feeling in my left toebox. By the time I hit 6k I relaised I was running pretty much normally again. Around 8k I felt a slight pre-ache in my knee so decided discretion was the better part of valour and called it a day at 9.
Home, with the knee iced and twingefree again, and the aroma of restorative slow-cooked rabbit stew wafting around I am in a much better frame of mind than yesterday. I didn't do half the distance I was doing a couple of weeks back or need to do in a couple of weeks time, but it felt possible again. Little and often is my strategy at the moment. push just to the point before It feels it might be too much. Get that confidence back. Eat rabbits. (I know I have waxed lyrical about my largely plant based diet now, but Mopsy Flopsy and Cottontail have been decimating our winter greens, and maintaining a plant based diet through the winter months requires a few bunny casseroles in Autumn.)
In other news, having signed up to another ludicrous exercise thing called the 100 x 100 challenge, I have got my children to agree to a 5 x 5 challenge: they each have to do 5 miles a week for 5 weeks. They can run, cycle, swim, scoot or any combination thereof, in any splits they want - 5 x 1mile, 1 x 5mile, 10 x 1/2 mile etc. I will 'sponsor' them 50p a mile, payable on completion of the whole thing. Elder son was very excited as he saw an opportunity to pace me on ling runs on his bike and make a fortune, but I have capped the payments at the 5 mile/week level.