As every runner will know, you get good runs, some not so good but also waking up on a Sunday morning and your head is telling you to stay in bed or do anything else except run but you know you have to just switch off from all that, get your running shoes on and get out there. I had one of those experiences this morning.
I didn’t get a full night’s sleep and so I was still tired when I got up this morning. My body was willing me to go back to bed after I had breakfast and so I got dressed, shoes on and headed out. I had no formal plan and decided to just get out and see where my feet took me. I had thought of replicating my 11 mile run from last week but somehow it didn’t really feel appealing nor were doing Threshold Pace drills I would normally plan to do so it was really going to be a make-it-up-as-you-go-along kind of run.
In the first half mile, my right knee was a bit grumbly and my back was a bit stiff and so I decided to head out along Shore Road in the direction of my studio so if my knee was still bothering me, I could just go and pick up my car and head home. As it happened, a few hundred yards later, my knee and back eased off completely so I decided to keep going. Let me say at this point that if you are experiencing pain in any joint, always consult with a physiotherapist before continuing. By this stage, I was heading up the Edinburgh Road and so I thought about a nice wee run to Bridge of Earn and back would be nice but my body decided it wanted to head out the Rhynd Road and so I just kept going. If you’re not familiar with this route, it’s rather undulating with a good bit of uphill work straight away. This is a route I use regularly in marathon training and always prefer to head to the Brig first so I can get a respite from the hill work, enjoy a downhill stretch and the flat before having to climb again but no, my body wanted to do it the hard way.
Just as I had completed one hill, I looked ahead to the next climb which looked like the road was heading towards the clouds. It was at this point that two common carrots dangled before my eyes – the sight of a runner in the distance and a ‘go faster’ song on my iPod. Even though I was finding the going tough, my body couldn’t resist and decided to go for it. I could see the runner roughly half a mile ahead of me and the song that came on was Propane Nightmares by Pendulum. This is not a song to jog to but one to inspire you to pick the pace up. A few minutes later, I had caught up with the runner and it was coupled with a downhill stretch and so I eased off the gas and decided to keep pace with him. As every runner knows, you are always likely to bump into another runner at this time of year on a Sunday morning and it’s good to say hi or at least a wave or nod as you go past. It turned out that John was training for his first London Marathon and so it was good to hear about his training and be able to pass on some advice to help him. We ran together for a bit before I decided to push on.
By the time I was heading up the long, slow climb to Craigend, my body was starting to feel the lack of sleep and this was a real tough bit to get through. This eased off greatly as I headed downhill then onto the flat as I headed home. Another ‘go faster’ track came on in the shape of Sunshine Underground by the Chemical Brothers. This track is one of my all time favourites with a slow build up for around 4mins before speeding up the beat in the last 4mins, definitely the track to get you through the last mile. By the time the track speeded up, I felt like I was running faster but in reality, I wasn’t slowing down so it did its job very well.
All in all, I ran 12 miles. This was definitely further than anything I had considered before heading out and the mid section felt as good as anything I’ve done for a while so it felt good and definitely feel I’m getting better. With 5 miles done yesterday, it’s certainly a good result for the weekend. This coming week, my plan will be to make sure I get some good quality sleep and also add in some hill training.