Final run of Week 7 this morning so I was up with the lark, well, before the lark really, larks are bone idle in this neck of the woods so they are.
As usual on a run morning I awoke before the bell and was out at about 5.10. The wind had been howling until about 3am and I was having reservations about going out at all, it was that loud and vicious. However when I woke after 4am it had abated, much to my delight.
As I'd been able to do 30 minutes on my last run I'd decided to try and do the same for all of the remaining runs of the programme, with the stipulation that as long as I did what Laura asked of me as a minimum, I'd be happy enough as I had no wish to put pressure on myself.
The wind was still quite strong, a beautiful illustration of this was the size of the white horses as I arrived at the front, really impressive and all the more so because it being dark, you can see nothing but the whiteness of the foaming sea. Stunning.
Anyway I set off and at first was distracted by those waves, however something really odd happened as, almost immediately, I started to have really negative thoughts about what I was doing. It started with a feeling that I really didn't fancy it this morning, then I was wondering why I was running this programme at all. Then I all but decided that once it was done and I'd graduated, that was the end of it, I would pack it in.
How strange is that?
Don't get me wrong, I've often had doubts about runs, looking at what's in store on a run to follow and doubting myself (I'll never forget how much W5R3 scared me) or even having began a run and being concerned whether I'd make it to the end, that kind of thing. However I cannot recall ever thinking in this way about what I was actually doing and why. This didn't seem to me like the tough first half of a run I'd grown used to, it was something else entirely.
That said, when I look back, I realise that at no stage did I actually think about stopping running on this particular run.
I was still thinking really negatively (and somewhat dismayed by it) for almost all of the first half of the run. Mr Hyde was well and truly in the house. However only seconds before Laura started talking at the halfway stage, almost imperceptively my mood had changed and I found myself entertaining the idea of going for 30 minutes again. It was as if Dr Jekyll had taken the bailiffs to Mr Hyde and had him unceremoniously turfed out on his arse. So I decided that instead of turning for home I'd try and judge another two and a half minutes, so as when I did turn I'd arrive back at my start point just as the warm down music ended.
I'd also been messing about with MapMyRun yesterday in an attempt to plan a 5k route but try as I might, I couldn't pinpoint on the satellite picture where I usually reached before turning back so I took special notice of landmarks, the better to pin it down once I tried to map it again.
When I did turn I was suddenly reminded of how strong the wind was, I'd been running into it so far and had quickly adjusted but now it was at my back and oh what a pleasure it was, I was almost laying back into it like a comfy chair!
I have to admit there was initial fear and I felt I had to resist it to some degree, as I didn't want it rushing me and therefore leaving me unable to complete the run but after a couple of minutes I gave in and went with it, finding a rhythm and speed that is usually beyond me. It was at this point I felt the 30 would be done.
The good doctor must have still been beating the living daylights out of that Hyde fella because I ran straight through the warm down walk and at one stage even the thought I could go for 35 minutes occurred to me. I dismissed it immediately, I knew I had no way of judging it, also for the last couple of minutes (and for the first time) I could feel a bit of a niggle on the outside of my left knee. I should say that neither of these things prevented me doing the 35, I really had dismissed it as soon as the thought occurred, I mention it only in comparison with the negativity of how the run had started.
I suppose it shouldn't surprise me anymore just how much of this thing is in the head but this one certainly threw a spanner in the works.
Ho hum, Week 8 next.
And I can actually say I graduate from the programme next week.