I've read about these on this forum but as is my way, until I experience something myself, I find it difficult to 'get' it.
I do now!
Of course I've had many tough runs, it is, after all, the nature of this beast. I've had runs I dreaded and came through too, I've even had one run I couldn't complete, however this was a different kettle of fish entirely.
The first run of Week 7 and my second 25 minuter wasn't pleasant at all. On Tuesday I ran it in driving wind and rain, was soaked to the skin within five minutes of the start and one of my socks slipped down, yet this morning's run was still infinitely worse.
Up before the alarm and out the door by 05.15 (for some reason it took me ages to get myself sorted, twice as long as usual) and I was quite pleased to see it was dry. However in a similar fashion to Tuesday, the wind didn't hit me until I hit the beachfront. And boy did it hit me!
By coincidence I had already decided to alter my usual route by going into, instead of out of, town. Then Laura suggested the same thing. I swapped as much for the change as anything. Probably an error because the wind was at my back for the first half which I didn't consider a problem as, in common with many on here, I find the second half of the long runs 'easier' than the first part (at least I had until now) so running against it wasn't a deal breaker.
It was dark as usual so other than a fellow runner (thanks Laura) as I reached the front and a cyclist ahead of me, there wasn't a sinner to be seen. Well, I assumed it was a cyclist as all I could see was a meandering red light about 50 yards ahead, which I took to be a rear reflector. Although of course, it may well have been a one-eyed devil dog checking me out.
The daft things that go through your mind when you're running along in the dark in the early hours. Just ridiculous.
However, I think I'll head out of town on Saturday.....
As I neared the halfway mark I was really feeling it, it didn't help that some youngsters were still spilling out of a club as I passed as, for the second run in a week, I was reminded of the energy of my youth. Leaving a club. At half six in the morning. On a Thursday. The bastards!
Oh how I could have done with some of that energy now.
The wind was really bothering me now, it was no longer coming from behind but the side and as I wasn't running strongly I found it impossible to get into any rhythm.
Laura's words were tormenting me now rather than encouraging me, I was really struggling. I pushed on but only by using various mental tricks, first insisting that I'd done it once so I could do it again. This was pretty much my mantra on the return leg. I also set myself incremental targets, I'd try and make it to the old pier. Then the Meeting House Cafe, after which I was on what seemed to me an interminable home stretch.
Then just as I was imploring Laura to give me the 'one minute to go' speech, some lad came by me as if on wings. The final mental kicking!
I held on but although pleased, it was more an overwhelming pleasure it was over, rather than a sense of achievement.
That's two of the 25 minuters down, two to go. And not so much as an additional minute added.
Roll on Saturday, it can surely only get better.