So it’s the final weeks of the big miles before Derry.
I’ve been rather lax with training since doing The Knockagh 20 with Brenda for London. Think knowing you have the miles is actually having a detrimental effect on my training as let’s face it my head is telling me I’ve got this when quite frankly… I had it and lost it over the past few weeks.
With a manic weekend ahead of the club awards and Belfast marathon, my only option to long run was Friday evening. I hate running on a Friday night after a week of work when I just want to put on my jammies and chill yet the thought of 18 mile on a Friday was just horrendous. But what has to be done, has to be done.
All forms of procrastinating had taken place before the run and most of the way through it too. Even Kenny had told me just go out and do it. But bank holiday traffic meant Caitriona had got stuck on traffic on the way home and instead of starting at 5pm as planned…it was 6.30 before we put a foot on the road.
The first 10k breezed past I was even feeling optimistic that things would be great. Sticking to road was working and with only a mild breeze we were going well. We also passed Alan Johnson out for his evening run showing off as he crusied up the hill in Dundrum. He did say later that he said I looked lost not surrounded by the lake where he usually meets me running.
The new rightly named ‘sat nav’ Carr had suggested going off road into Murlough Nature Reserve and doing a few mile around the club’s home turf. Yeah BAD IDEA!
Up the cut we went, across the gravel and stones and onto the grass yeah not kind to the legs. The only advantage of the route was that we were in the middle of nowhere and the desperate need to pee set in…must have been the extra cuppa I had because we were running late. I had no other choice but to do the one thing I’ve managed to avoid all this time. I had to wild wee.
Yes another running milestone achieved. As I squatted down a random track and looking left I saw Dundrum and looking right was a gate I embraced the breeze that met my bare bum and that was it.
Caitriona kindly waited on me and kept look out but let’s face it, company wasn’t something I expected to see at 8.30 on a Friday night round the periphery of Murlough.
As I gathered myself to set off I had visions of flying squirrels coming to attack me. Now don’t ask me why they popped into my head, But can you imagine if they did! You can’t get them in Ireland right?
Reaching 11 mile as we returned to the car we thought it would be best to drive the 1 mile to Newcastle to the street lights for the final leg. Setting off along the promenade now with gloves and an extra buff on me we had 7 miles in our head.
Yet as we climbed up King street and tried to embrace the downhill after, my head was winning.
I was tired, I was hungry, it was dark and as we hit half marathon distance 3 minutes outside our normal training time I’d lost the battle. Its not like me to give up on a long run but seeing 3 hours on the clock and potentially another hour on the move. Something had to give. It was all time on the feet and being 2 mile from the car, we headed for home and happily called it a day at 15 mile.
There’s a lot of lessons to be learned from this week’s long run but there is 1 I will stick with me… never ever veer off road in the middle of a long run. A long run is hard enough as it is without throwing in different terrian.
I do also think because my mid week training has been poor over easter that that will be impacting me a big bit. So all I have to do now is stop preaching and embrace the inner Nike…just do it