Gorgeous sunny day, blue sky, a nip in the air but not too cold.
Perfect weather for a run. Or so I thought.
But 10 minutes later, on a very short but steep hill my legs gave up.
I’ve recently realised that from 5 to 15 minutes into the run is the time that I find hardest– when I get past that I can go on happily for 40 minutes or more. And usually that thought alone is all it takes to keep me going.
But not today.
At the top of slope I collapsed panting on to a bench (this being Kenwood, you can’t walk more than a couple of yards without coming across a bench dedicated to someone or other’s dear departed.) I sat there pretending to stretch. I felt like my cats when they are caught dong something really uncool - like missing their landing when they jump onto a bookshelf. Adopting what I hoped looked like a ‘I meant to stop right here – it’s all part of the interval training’ attitude, I sat panting as duvet-clad couples with dogs went by, feeling furious with myself for giving up. After a while I got up and started running again, but after another 10 minutes or so, I felt my calves stiffening up again and slowed to a walk.
I managed to run the last 10 minutes or so, mainly down hill.
In the changing room at the pond, a lifelong runner who regularly runs a 5-mile round trip for a swim, was philosophical.
‘Some runs are just rubbish. Your body is trying to tell you something.’
Hmm. Well yesterday was a rest day and I did go for a fairly brisk 5-mile walk mainly on tarmac, followed by energetic dancing at a kletzmer celidh.
Maybe that was it.
I do hope so. Having got this far, the thought of not being able to continue to enjoy running is terrifying.