Well MyAsics plan said to me today that my run was to be a "comfortable" 12K.
"Are you taking the pi**?"
"No Sir Dan. I am training you for a half marathon. Believe in my methods" said My Asics Plan.
"Hmm. Alright. But I'm gonna go dead slow..."
"I mean....DEAD SLOW. Got it?"
He got it. I filled my plastic bottle with a mixture of water, cranberry juice and a gel that Vicky Burr had given me on the LWR earlier this year. I mixed the ghastly concoction together and hoped it would deliver some sweetness and energy to my muscles during the "comfortable 12K". Mrs Dan was already jumping up and down to her fitness DVD in the lounge and asked how long I'd be. "An hour and a quarter'ish" I told her, and with that, I headed out the front door.
One annoying thing about MyAsics plan app is that it has NO AUDIO ANNOUNCEMENTS! Basta**! I need to know my pace thank you very much. I started to moan and groan and decided that I'd fire up Endomondo at the same time, thereby having TWO BLOODY APPs measuring me at the same time. Madness!
I chose a route that involved some hillocks. Purely because I want to get my derriere and glutes as firm and as strong as a gorillas (without all the black hair everywhere. Ugh....). K1, K2 very slow and easy. Half way through K2 there was Nightingale Lane - the hilliest of hills in SW London. I started my ascent slowly and eventually reached the top in mild agony. It didn't last too long though and I heard Endomondo announce 3K as I entered the Gates of Richmond Park. I was going to run the parkrun route I knew so well, so off I went.
5K was announced from my bum pocket phone and I took the opportunity to take a swig from the rancid gloop in my bottle. In fact, it tasted amazing! The gel having been diluted by the cranberry juice and water gave me just enough of a sweet kick to let me think it had done me some good energy wise. I took another swig and then decided that it was time to deal with my nose. The sun was shining and the glorious park looked so lovely and I couldn't have thought of a better place to blow my nose. I fished some tissue out of my bum bag belt thing - all without stopping by the way - and sorted out my nasal passages. I felt about a kilo lighter afterwards! But there was a lonnnnnnng hillcok ahead which would gobble up K6 & K7. Time to slow down again.
Amazingly at the gates once again where I'd entered earlier, I was feeling absolutely fine - it was K8. The long climb hadn't done me in as much as I'd feared and I took great comfort in the fact that the rest of my distance would be downhill and then flat. YES!
Down Nightingale Lane - this time the steepness hurt quite a bit, cos it was such a massive downhill I could feel my thighs twitching like a rabbits nose. Reached the bottom and crossed the road to run homeward. There were 4K to go. K8 finished fine, then K9 was gobbled up and by the time I'd got to 10K I was running across the walk over bridge at Richmond Lock, looking down onto the geese who were quacking away on the water. I took a quick glance at my watch - an hour and seven minutes had passed since the beginning of my run, so a very slow 10K for me but PERFECT for my training speed. Perhaps My Asics Plan really does know what it was doing!
K11 was easy but then my brain started to doubt whether I could finish OK. For some unknown reason, I didn't know how far to go or even WHERE to go, to use up my last K because I'd reached my usual "Finish" point and I had to guess roughly how far to go for the final K. I couldn't rely on announcements from my bum anymore because the traffic noise drowned out the announcement! So I carried on and fished the phone out of my pocket, which wasn't easy whilst carrying my water bottle and trying to unzip my bum pocket, without dropping the phone. God I wish I had a garmin. Of course the phone decided to freeze when I opened up the app. Of COURSE!! I was only completely knackered and I started swearing like a navvy.
"F*****G useless f****** piece of s**t phone!"
Then....the app crashed!! I relaunched it (still running by the way) and it had decided to stop recording the run. It had stopped on 11.8KM. 200 F***ING METRES SHORT OF THE LINE!!!!!!! AAAAGHHHH!! I was fuming and let out another stream of fruity language that would have given my mum a coronary! At least My Asics Plan was still running and I looked at the stats on that....
12.0K run. HOORAAAAAAAAY!
The upshot of it all is that I didn't care about time today. It was all about feeling comfortable and for 95% of it, I felt completely at ease. Wasn't out of breath. No pains. Just soaked in perspiration, but that was ok. There really is a knack to running slow and comfortable and I'm getting there. My character is programmed to automatically go as fast as I can with EVERYTHING I do, so listening to My Asics Plan is the right thing to do.
Later on I did some DIY - I fixed the back gate in the garden and replaced some rotting timber with new stuff. I had tools strewn all over the patio and I felt GREAT! It now closes without having to lift the damned thing up to bolt it shut. HOOOORAY!! Mrs Dan is impressed, although she did make me sweep up all the saw dust....... (I'd have left it...)
OK folks. Thanks for reading this incredibly lonnnnnng post. Remember, if you're finding running too hard - JUST SLOW DOWN! Simples.
Until we meet again