Oh yes. Week 3, run 3 went well, other than it poured down the whole time and I looked like a drowned rat at the end of it. Admittedly a big feck off drowned rat in Celtic jogging bottoms and size 14 shoes but a drownded rat all the same.
And so to Ireland for Christmas, anyone who's read some of my earlier posts will know I've been dreading getting to Cork for two reasons, firstly because I knew it would coincide with the start of what I considered a major step up (five minutes??? Twice????) but mainly because I was unsure of finding anywhere long enough to run without having to take on the type of hills that make the north face of the Eiger seem a mere bagatelle.........Okay I may have slightly overdone it there but I'm sure you get the gist, it's feckin' hilly!
It tells you something about my preoccupation with this running palaver that almost as soon as the brother-in-law met us at the airport, almost the first thing I asked in the car was where I could run. A bad choice because I'd not mentioned taking up running and knowing me as he does, it was all he could do not to lose control of both himself and the vehicle. Well he did the former but thankfully not the latter.
Once he recovered from the shock/laughter he was able to suggest an ideal spot, somewhere they call 'the track' that isn't a formal track at all but is laid out in an oval and has only a slight uphill section. Very slight, which is just as well, considering what was to come.
With the season that was in it, I didn't hold out much hope of going out every day but over the course of the ten day trip, I planned for three runs, basically competing Week 4 on Irish soil, as it were.
This was after agonising for a good while as to whether I should just repeat Week 3 until I felt more confident about the step up, primarily for fear of failure. I eventually decided that would be as much a failure as not making the attempt, so decided to give it a lash.
My first run was two days later, a fabulous winter sunshiney day, almost unheard of in a country where it usually only stops raining to change water tanks. The walk to the track was less than ten minutes uphill (I knew I wasn't getting away with it completely) and the first three minute run wasn't too bad. Sadly that was about it as the first 5 minute run all but killed me, as I'd suspected the 5 minutes would.
Halfway through I was in bits, my body felt like I was running in water and my lungs were screaming. It was only a combination of my determination to complete the five minutes at least once and the decision that I'd abandon the session once I did that got me through. Rather forlorn, I stepped off the track and headed back to the house.
Then strangely, although I'd felt absolutely out on my feet, after the next walking stage was up (I'd not had the energy to turn Laura off or even pull out the earphones) when she said to start the 3 minute run, I did! This brought me back to the house and left me slightly disappointed that I'd not remained on the track to at least attempt the final five minute section, as I couldn't believe I'd recovered enough to do the 3 after how I'd felt at the end of the first 5. That said, it would have meant a minute less recovery time so perhaps I was being optimistic. Still, it irked.
And that was all she wrote!
Unfortunately (and rather sickenenly) my back reared up on me a couple of days later. I've long since had problems with it and can usually gauge whether to take the risk and run but this time it was an unusual problem in that if I was sitting down, every time I stood up it went into spasm and locked up for up to half a minute. It had happened before but only occasionally for a couple of seconds, never anywhere near as long as that. Therefore I didn't like to take the risk.
Have to say I was gutted, especially after the previous failure to complete the run.
Anyway, that left me just to enjoy the break, drinking and eating far too much, just as the baby Jesus would want.
Arrived back last Sunday and continued to indulge until my first full day back at work yesterday, at which point I drew a line in the sand and as my back had felt much better the last few days, decided to head out this morning.
As I hadn't ran in over a week I decided to repeat a Week 3 run and although I have to confess I found it tough, I never felt it beyond me and I'm set up now to attempt Week 4 again on Saturday.
Bring it on!