Easter Sunday. You were probably eating chocolate and reading the papers, weren’t you?
I was running (and walking) 18 miles with Zoe, the final long run of our training.
The whole point of the famous long run is that it prepares you, mentally and physically, for the completely lunatic 26.2 miles of the marathon itself.
The other point of the long run is to iron out the little problems you might otherwise not discover until the day, most of which you’ll have heard about. Black toenails, bleeding feet, skin rubbed raw by seams on t-shirts, and of course hitting the wall. I’m making it sound like loads of fun, aren’t I?
We have a guest, and she’s on a mission.
The lovely Karin from CafeBebe is here to tell us how she has been lured into the wonderful world of running.
I Don’t Run Unless I’m Chased!
In the past, when people asked me if I ran I said “I don’t run unless I’m chased!” I’m still struggling with the whole concept and
excruciating pain joy of running. However, I’ve never been so heavy in all of my life and something must be done! I read the blog of my host Rachael who is a self-confessed exercise avoider and thought, “If lovely Rachael can do it, why can’t I?” Then I watched Eddie Izzard’s series on BBC3, “Marathon Man”. A man who had only trained for 5 weeks prior to completing 43 marathons in 51 days for Sport Relief is most definitely an inspiration. I didn’t think I could be inspired to run but now I am!
10.51 miles. Ten point five one. 16.91km.
We ran, we walked, we sat on a roadsign and had a rest. We stretched, we moaned (alright, I did – Zoe is more stoic than me), we wondered why we didn’t just run 10K in memory of our dad. We fantasised about soup and things with lots of salt, we decided running was rather boring. We decided we deserved a medal for not stopping at the garden centre for breakfast, and for not giving up after the first loop. We also agreed that scenic country lanes are highly over rated and really not very interesting in winter. We cheered when the Garmin told us we’d hit ten miles. We ate crisp sandwiches (sodium replenishment!) and drank tea. We stretched. And then last night I slept for ten hours. Slightly worried I might sleep for 26.2 hours after the marathon.
Our run was in a bottom heavy figure 8, so after the first 3.7 miles we arrived back at the house for a loo break (much more civilised) and a delicious Lucozade Energy Gel.
As I’ve mentioned before, the energy gels have the texture of wallpaper paste, masked with a sickly orange taste. However, they’re going to be available on the marathon route and so rather than carrying them, it’ll be good to use what’s supplied. So I ripped open the package, gulped it down with a big swig of water and pulled a face. Zoe on the other hand gagged and retched but managed to keep it down. So after laughing at her in an unsisterly way and waving goodbye to the puzzled (but haven’t you just been for a run, Mummy?) children we headed off on the long part of the run. My legs really weren’t in the mood, and I found that running with Zoe (who is slightly faster than me) in front really threw my concentration. Given that most of the 35,000 entrants will probably be in front of me, I’d better get over that little issue.
The rest of the run went well until the little grumbling pain I had last week reappeared, so we walked for about ten minutes without running. I’ve worked out what it is (popliteal tendon, fellow nerds) and I’m going to visit a physio this week and see what I can do about it. Meanwhile it’s ice, Voltarol tablets and I’m resting it today. Any excuse to spend Sunday doing nothing!
8am, Sunday. Normal people are sleeping, or having breakfast and enjoying a lie in. Running people are putting on their trainers and strapping on their heart monitors. Not that I’m suggesting that runners are weird, obviously…but I could have been having a bacon roll in bed and instead I was out for a ten mile run.
Legs: We hurt! Ow!
Me: Oh come on, legs, I know I did a little bit of faster running yesterday and then forgot to stretch, but you’ll be okay in a minute once you warm up.
Legs: (sullenly) We still hurt. Our shins are sore.
Me: (running slowly, ignoring legs)
iPod: Hahahaha, you liked the shuffle the other day. Well, today you’re going to suffer. Manic shouty stuff from The Prodigy okay with you?
Me: It’s only half eight in the morning, I can’t do beeps and screeching yet.
Legs: We don’t want to run today. We want to sit down on the couch whilst you eat chocolate.
Me: Oh come on legs, we’ll just jog gently up to the next telegraph pole then we can walk.
Legs: Hrmph. Only if you promise to stretch us.
iPod: Here you are, have a bit of depressing Johnny Cash
Me: Dire Straits yesterday, and now this? Are you having a joke?
Johnny Cash: I will let you down…I will make you hurt…
Me: Thanks Johnny, you’re not really helping here.
Legs: He has a point. We’re giving up.
Me: Fine. We’ll sit on this fire hydrant thingy on the grass verge. I don’t mind sitting on a roadside looking stupid for five minutes. We’ve got miles to go yet.
Legs: Not if we don’t want to. We might just make you walk home.
five minutes later
Me: Look at me, I’m running like a proper running person!
Legs: We’re fine, we are. We never said we couldn’t run, we just didn’t want to.
Bladder: Why did you have a big glass of water before you left the house?
Me: Oh shut up, it wasn’t that big. Just reabsorb it and stop moaning.
Bladder: I need the loo.
Me: runrunrunrunrun (ignoring)
five more minutes later
Bladder: I need the loo, I need the looooooooooo
Me: Right, that’s fine. When we get to the next village, I’ll ask someone if I can use their loo.
My mother: (what’s she doing here?) You can’t just knock on a stranger’s door and ask to use their loo, they might chop you into pieces and put you in their freezer.
Bladder: Hello? Getting desperate here…
Me: (not running any more, too tricky with legs crossed)
Bladder: Just pee behind a hedge. Paula Radcliffe did it during the London Marathon. You’ll be like a REAL runner then.
Me: But there are people in cars, and walking their dogs. And I don’t even have a tissue.
Bladder: Yes you do, it’s in your pocket. Did I mention I need the loo?
five more rather desperate minutes
Bladder: That hedge will do! Or that one!
Bladder: That’s it, climb over that gate – you know you want to…
Me: (let’s gloss over this part)
Legs: Oh you are so embarrassing. We’re going to run quite fast now, so we don’t have to be seen with you.
Bladder: Ooh, that’s better. Isn’t that better? Admit it, you feel better.
Me: (wondering what it’s like to run without body parts having a conversation with you)
runrunrun, through village, up hills, down hills, past cyclists, runrunrun, look at me, I’m running!
Me: Oh for f*cks sake, what now?
Coccyx: You broke me a few years ago, d’you remember?
Me: Oh GO away. Why didn’t I drug you all with ibuprofen before I left?
Coccyx: (sullen mutterings)
runrunrun walkwalkwalk runrunrun
Me: Come on legs, you can do it!
Legs: We hate you. Running is stupid. Can we have a bath when we get home?
Shoulders: We don’t want to trouble you, but we’re a little bit sore…
I guess for every good run there’s a crappy one.
oh help need to wrap presents and my shin hurts
haven’t made pastry for mince pies yet
must get the other part of Zoe’s present
help I have no energy
must do some work to earn money for skiing holiday
I hate running, why am I running a marathon?
I hate this song
I hate treadmills
I want to stop and lie down
urgh, this is hopeless
at least I ran though; I guess that’s something. But sometimes it’s really hard, running when you just want to lie down on the couch and watch television.