Siobhan Verses The Lake

A story of 20 miles.

OK I know it’s odd to do your long run mid week but I’ve a totally valid excuse. I’ve a friends wedding on Saturday and the thought of getting up on the Sunday and running after it, is just daft. 

I’m going to dig deep and try Sober October so I don’t plan to drink at the wedding. But I’ll be honest a marathon will be easier than trying to keep me away from a wee vodka.

Any who, I knew I wasn’t feeling where I’d like to be before attempting 20 miles since Causeway Coast had taken a lot more out of me than I had expected.  But life doesnt stop for marathon training and there I was at 6 15am dragging my ass out of bed to long run.

The orginal plan was to be at the lake for 7am. Though I shit you not, it was pitch black outside and even I wouldn’t run in that. So I debated the options. (Spot the person who doesnt get up before 7.30)

Firstly Michael was off today so he was on school run duty and planned to join me at 10mile to see me through to the end. 

Secondly although I had everything sitting out and ready for the kids to go to school I feared the state that Aoife would be in if Michael done her hair so I resorted to a new plan…breakfast club!

So at 715 when the sun began to come up  I pitched the idea to Michael and he seemed happy enough.  Also meant he would be able to get plenty of miles in given that his marathon training has went from 0 in 8 weeks to a 5k on Tuesday,10k on Thursday and a half marathon on Saturday. Not ideal. 

So at 8am, the kids got dropped off at school to breakfast club and we drove to the lake to see how we went.

What lay ahead 

8 solid laps of the lake. That’s right 8. You all know the lake and I haven’t a great relationship and I try to avoid it at all costs.  I’ll do part of it and then veer off up a different track. Though I recall Shane telling me about his 7 laps back in April when he trained for VLM. He’s kept me right this long so I thought mentally if I can do this alongside the hell I went through on Saturday, I’d be capable of anything.

It went like this;

Lap 1; sweet holy mother of God I’ve 8 of these to do. And Michael is being all negative about I’ll be lucky to make 10. Does he not get I procrastinate for the first 3 miles regardless.

Lap 2; I’m feelin a bit better now I’m 3 mile in. Think Michael gets the picture that I don’t do negative thoughts on a long run and has become a bit more.positive. should count himself lucky. I was going to throw him in the lake.

Lap 3; doing OK,not bad. Oh there’s that tree again. Was expecting by this point to see some more people on the lake being such a nice day but nope. Nice and peaceful.

Lap 4; feeling comfy, nearly half way there. Now spending the laps chasing Michael. I don’t blame him, it takes a special person to run with me. But he does have very nice calf muscles.The view is good.

Lap 5; Half an alpen light bar and some water at the car and off we go again. Pace is totally on point. I’m clocking half marathon pace and still feeling strong. 

Lap 6; get half a mile in and my watch buzzes. Missed call from the school. Aoife is coughing up a lung and needs to come home. Michael is given his marching orders at 12 mile and he leaves me to sort her out… feeling very lonely all of a sudden and struggling to keep myself going. But now I don’t even realise I’ve done the route 6 times.  

Lap 7; ah I stopped to relieve myself and i swear to God it was the worse thing i could have done. Getting cramp is not fun. My poor right leg. And with no headphones with me and the demons fighting I take my phone out and put the music on loudspeaker. If anyone dares comment on it or asks me to turn it off they’ll be told to feck off and asked how they’d like to run 20 miles on their own.  The local fishermen have given up giving me odd looks and giving great support when I pass them.

Feeling elated as I go into mile 19

Lap 8; wohoo final lap. All the same trees, stones, potholes and path. It’s bitter sweet actually. A victory lap as such. I inform all the Fishermen that this is the last time they will see me and I head for home. Watching the lake come to an end and going down the back way home was immense. In through the door at 20.08miles.

So what I have learnt from this long run. Don’t stop running, keep moving. Avoid toilet stops at all costs but when you gotta poo…poo. 

Need to drink more water in the run up to the long run so that I avoid cramp.

I done 3rd fastest half marathon today

My mins/km where EXACTLY the same as my 17miler. 

Run when you can, crawl when you have to

The lake won’t ever beat me.

Oh and as for mid week long runs,  you’ve still to do the child’s homework and it’s twice the battle and effort after 20 miles


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