At least that's what my run this morning felt like.
I was armed with my mind (that most powerful of allies) a conditioned body and four previous runs at or above 30 minutes.
Ranged against me were rain, wind, equipment and oh yes, that most vicious of adversaries, my mind.
For once the alarm was required but I was still out the door before 05.15, to be greeted by a stiff breeze firing the rain into my face as I began my warm up walk to the beachfront. It had been raining when I went to bed so I shouldn't have been surprised (I almost never look out of the window on a running morning, I just want to get out the door as quickly as possible) but my innate optimism always sends me off to the land of Nod assuming the weather will be grand when I wake.
Other than remind me of my first ever 'bad' run (an early Week 7 run if I recall correctly) I didn't give it too much thought, my usual rainy day thinking being that I'll be wet in the first ten minutes and then can't get any wetter. My powerful ally at work.
As per my last few runs, I set out to do 30 minutes and despite being on W8, R3, to this end I played the Week 9 podcast. This time though, because I'd felt it in my feet and my calf on my last run I decided to resist the urge to repeat a 5k (the last couple took me 36 and 37 minutes) and to stick to the 30 minutes. And by Jaysus, am I glad I did!
As I set off I realised the wind was blowing in from the sea, thus the rain coming sideways, it soaked only one side of me completely, leaving the other side merely damp, an odd sensation. I remember walking along there with Mrs Fingalo a few years ago and the weather was behaving in a similar fashion, by the time we got into town my side was wet, the other side dry and Mrs Fingalo, shielded by the tall and gallant gentleman that I am, was barely aware it was raining.
Five minutes in, my left earphone fell out, a bit annoying as I find even the mildest thing can throw me off kilter but really, it's happened once or twice before and was no great shakes. However from then on, it flatly refused to stay in for more than a minute, I can only imagine the rain had worked its insidious way into my ear and the plug no longer had any purchase. However the opposition had clearly launched another shot across my bows.
Putting it to one side, I was idly cogitating on the idea of keeping my right side dry by running backwards on my return (my head works strangely on occasion) when I ran through the edge of a puddle, now while I've had both feet soaked this way, one foot getting the treatment gave me my second odd water induced feeling of the day.
By ten minutes I knew this wasn't going to be the easy 'only 30 minute' run I'd envisaged, as I was finding it quite tough already. That most vicious of adversaries was kicking in at this stage, otherwise why was I finding something I'd done (and more) several times before so difficult. And so soon in the run? My mind was lining up to turn me over, no doubt about it.
It was about this stage I spotted them and realised an apology was in order. Therefore Mr Plod, I apologise.
If you read my last blog you'll know I spotted a cop car and accused them of sleeping on the job (and worse) parked as they were in an absolutely deserted stretch of my route, in the dark at 05.30 in the morning. Mrs Fingalo saw this and postulated they may have been there owing to tragic the murder of a homeless man (RIP) in that area of the beachfront last weekend, I have to confess I'd forgotten about the incident when I last blogged. This sighting of a police van in the same place kind of confirmed her view.
What can I say, this blog is both windswept and interesting....
To add actions to my words, I also abandoned the idea I'd had to keep half of me dry, after accusing them of all sorts the other day, I'd hate to confuse the poor feckers at that time of the morning.
As if I'd have been able to run backwards, the state I was in.....
I ran past them into their headlights and by this time I was in a bad way and yet to hear Laura announce it was time to u-turn. After what seemed an age later, I was told I was halfway and could see their lights again, a bit too distant for my liking as now they'd just become a stepping stone in my battle to finish.
As I ran back by them I started mulling over the sad events for them being there and the distraction helped for a wee while, as it didn't seem too long before Laura was telling me I had ten minutes left. Not that it gave me much of a lift as I wasn't feeling any better and it was this point I gave up trying trying to keep the feckin' earphone in and just tucked it into my jacket, not only because I knew it dangling would further annoy me but in order to prevent the rain killing it for good. Then I ran through the edge of another feckin' puddle, soaking my other foot. It wouldn't have been so bad had it not replicated the same feeling I'd had earlier as I'd grown used to my other foot being wet. Actually now I think of it, it's not the wet you feel, it's the sudden cold.
Then my hat started attempting to escape from my head, I tell you lads, I was having such a hard time of it that this could easily have been the straw that broke the camel's back!
Taken individually, the weather wasn't a big deal. That I was now soaked to the skin wasn't a big deal. The earphones acting up wasn't a big deal. Hitting the puddles wasn't a big deal. My mind telling me so early I was finding it hard was difficult but even then, I was five minutes from home by now......However when that feckin' hat started, it really, completely out of all proportion to the problem, pissed me off!
Still, my greatest ally came through and it was sheer bloody mindedness that made me keep going until the 30 was up. I finished and was so knackered, I couldn't even be arsed to switch Laura off and put on my own music and so suffered her awful choices for my warm down walk. I'm sad to say that listening to it through one ear didn't reduce the awfulality of her music by the 50% I'd hoped.
I honestly can't believe a 30 minute run could cause me so much trouble and am so glad I'd elected to listen to my body the other day and ignore the temptation to stick with 5k's, because as determined as I've realised I can be, I very much doubt I'd have been able for it today.
Anyway, a bad run is better than no run goes the expression. I felt absolutely no joy at any stage of this one, not even when it ended but at least I can cross it off the list. Another battle won and I'm now within a trench charge, a machine gun nest and another wobbly hat of winning the war.
Week 9 starts officially for me on Saturday and if I know one thing for certain, that run will be a piece of cake in comparison to this one.