|Even a small lunge helps stretch muscles|
I still have a bit of a cough and a reminder that I've had a nasty virus / flu which has knocked the stuffing out of me well and truly. If I needed any consolation, I've been aware I am not the only one who has succombed to this and also it's been quite heartening how concerned some of my colleagues have been as I hardly ever have any time off for illness.
So after last weekend's 6.99 mile run, I needed to get back into the swing of things if I am to stand any chance of getting around the forthcoming marathon. I have had three runs after work and each was exactly the same course of about 5 miles, which takes about 40 minutes (give or take a little). Here's how it went:
MondayMost of the day was spent at my desk catching up on the usual avalanche of emails and as always I succeeded in having a meeting to go to at some point in the day. I don't like too many meetings and I used to covet the time when I could just sit at my desk, surrounded by my stuff and get on with what I needed to do. And then there's the opposite extreme when I spend a few days sitting at my desk which I hate even more. So I always like to have something to attend, some kind of interaction with people other than those from my immediate team. All day long I was looking forward to my run.
It was cold as I set off in shorts and a single layered top. The first mile was incredibly tough for me and it involve a gentle slope gradually climbing. Ordinarily not hard but my legs felt like jelly and I knew I was going sower than normal. I was also coughing from time to time; clearly still not completely better. Got to the top of the hill and turned into a park area for over a mile of foot paths and a gentle downhill direction. Back to the office on the flat and felt really difficult every step. I was also feeling a bit dry and dehydrated and then remembered I'd had a mug of tea over 3 hours ago and nothing else. Got back to the office roughly 40 minutes later. Went in for a pee and jumped in my car to drive home. Didn't enjoy this run at all.
My colleague Chris came along with me which was good as I could moan about how difficult yesterday's run was. We talked about work a little and all in all I forgot we were running up hill. It was a little warmer and there was a pleasant bit of hazy sun which lifted my mood.
We both commentated that we were feeling a bit still and so we promised ourselves we'd stretch once we got back to the office. It was a great run in comparison and once again I am feeling a convert to the idea of having a running partner. Stretching was of real benefit, especially doing some lunges, but much further than the above photo.
Rest day, no running. Back home earlier which was nice.
Through engineering a daily meeting, I found myself having to go to the County Council offices which are about half a mile away from my office. Looking out of the window I could see some light drizzle but thought I'd walk anyway. We all agreed on things and some positive progress being was made which I was pleased about and so I power-walked back to the office. As I was almost there my phone rang and I had to explain to my colleague why I was huffing and puffing a bit before we could have a meaningful conversation. He just didn't get it!
All this drizzly walking was strangely lovely; I quite like misty days. However by the end of the afternoon there was some lovely hazy (but cold) sunshine and I set off again for my 40 minute run. Pretty good all-in-all even though I was running alone. I got some encouragement from seeing some other runners and I reckon I was faster and more nimble - I liked that thought as I'm still getting better.
Back to the office - all sticky, stinky and sweaty. Jumped in my car and drove home grinning like a Cheshire cat. I turned the cassette on (yes my car is that old it really does have a cassette player) and straight away Louis Armstrong "what a wonderful world" played and how right that was.
No running today but planning to have a good long run tomorrow morning. We're going into London for the day so I'll need to sneak out super-early to get that done before breakfast etc.
I just don't know how I'll fare in the marathon but nevertheless I'm not backing out. I know I'll be slower than last year but I feel really spurred on and keen to get back up to my peak. Running again feels great and is just about keeping me on top of the usual work-related stress. As you know I really did miss it while I was poorly. Off for an early night......