27
Feb
09

still walking

The Stress Free Run – What Killed The Rat – A Grin So Wide I Could Eat Bananas Sideways

The thought of my 8+ mile “kill-or-cure” run yesteday was a bit of a mixed blessing. On one hand, if I could finish the distance I would be a happy boy and would have overcome my fear of hills and would be one step closer to feeling that I was recovered and able to run properly again. The downside was that if I struggled I would throw a MONUMENTAL strop and be in a bad mood for at least a couple of days and possibly aggrovate my ITBS which would put me out of Fleet and, very probably, Prague.

So, I decided that I would basically take it easy – have a gentle run, no pressure but just try and do the distance. Time was not important but I would hit the stopwatch at the start of the run and then forget about it. I set off, and at a slow pace I felt very comfortable. It was nice to be out running again just for the hell of it and not feeling like I had something to prove to myself.

Now this route is one of my favourites that I do on a regular basis. It takes in a small village, a tree-lined bridle path, touches the outskirts of the town, a long slow incline up to the next town along and then back along the towpath and through the park back to mine. I hadn’t run it since early December and was just enjoying being out and, weirdly , not suffering on the run. By the halfway point, I am still feeling pretty fresh. Hello trees… Hello sky… Ooh, a cloud… a dead rat on the towpath…

About a mile from home, I get a pang of guilt at having taken the whole run so slowly and, as I still have a bit of energy left, decide to up the pace for the last bit just for the hell of it. Last sneaky uphill before the end and… relax.

And here is where I have my little revelation…

I took all the pressure off myself and “just went for a run”. I wasn’t bothered about my speed (in fact I felt I had taken it too easy) and, most importantly, I stayed completely relaxed for the whole run. OK, I had a few twinges around the knees and thighs but I didn’t pay too much attention to them and just kept on at the same comfortable pace but… (and I have checked and re-checked the below because I couldn’t quite believe it):

8.68 miles in 78mins 55secs
which I worked out at averaging 9mins 6 secs per mile

Hurrah!!

I am more than happy with that as:
a) it’s the longest distance I’ve completed since before Xmas
b) it’s my best time since before Xmas
c) I can still walk up and down stairs which indicates that the ITBS has not flared up again

I also now feel that I can vary my training a little more now. Having completed 8+, 10 miles is not so daunting. And if I can do ten, then 13.1 is not too much more of a stretch.

Soundtrack to this post: Just Kissed My Baby – The Meters


1 Response to “still walking”


  1. February 27, 2009 at 11:30 am

    YAY!! He’s back. I think by Prague you could be a challanger again. Plus now it means you haven’t got any excuse not to sign up for the one I’ve e-mailed you about!!


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