Yesterday`s Long Slow Run became a Long Very Slow Hard Run. I made every mistake in the book.
I took the scenic route into town. Nothing wrong with that, except that it`s only a six mile round trip. If my two times tables served me correctly, that meant I`d have to double up to make the required twelve miles.
Which would be grand, but I know what I`m like when I see my car. The temptation to climb back in there and not turn around and repeat the torture is just huge.
I wore capris. You know, those lycra clingy below the knee things that sweat like hell when it`s hot. Only it wasn`t hot at all when I started out….
In fact it was cloudy. So danged cloudy I was thanking my lucky stars and didn`t even think of putting on sunscreen…
I brought my phone along just so I could tune into the radio. But I couldn`t get a signal down by the river except for some country music channel. I hate country music…
The first three miles were a doddle. A delight. There I am clipping along, almost whistling. I`ve even brought water along and I help myself to a whole heap of that at the end of the three miles because I need to improve at all the hydration business. It`s a small bottle. 250 ml. But I know I can refill it when I head back to the car after round one.
Heading back, the clouds suddenly lifted. By gum, did that heat hit. Tar melting stuff. Definitely lycra melting stuff. `
Now I`m not a comfortable little hen in the heat. I just squawk for shelter and die. Nothing for it though, but head towards the car and promise myself, promise, that I will turn back and do another loop to make up the twelve miles. Even if it kills me.
Anyway, I`d a change of gear in the car. That`s what I`d do. Change into shorts and another top so I`d feel all fresh again and ready for round two.
That cheered me up.
Isn`t running all about bargaining with oneself?
Got to the car in a blaze of melted lycra and pain. Opened the boot. Well, dang! Guess who`d made a really great job of clearing out her boot lately? Bloody hen had. Oh, there`s a swimsuit which I briefly considered, but dang I have my pride and the locals have enough drama in their lives anyhow.
The water was there, thankfully. I filled my little 250 ml tank and took a good scoop of it.
At this point, my back niggles and foot niggles were also beginning to make themselves felt. But a promise is a promise so I plodded back down the road again.
Told myself “Hey, you`re over half way there, and every step you take, gets you closer to the twelve”
Told myself “And if you run faster, it will all be over even sooner”
But speed wasn`t in the picture. By now, it was midday, the sun was high in the sky. I was glad of the shade as I plodded along by the towpath.
Got to the nine mile point. Somehow, miraculously. Reached in to get my little tank of water. It was almost empty. Yes, I`d filled it. But then I drank from that bottle instead of the one in the car. Obviously my birdbrain was fried at the time.
Time to phone a friend. No, not to throw in the towel, just to take a break and er, stretch and all that. But mainly to take a break. Yeah, I know. Weak.
Chat done, I hit the road for the last three miles.
Once I left the shade of the river bank, I hit the heat of the road. Suddenly, I started to shiver. Didn`t make any damn sense to be shivering in 26 degrees of heat, but there it was.
Last time I shivered like that it was in the marathon. Back then I figured, eventually, it was down to dehydration so I stopped at the next water station to recharge. This time there was no water station.
Another mile or so to go. I wasn`t too badly off. So I kept plodding on. Honestly it wasn`t a run. More of a fast trudge. And wondered if stubbornness really was the major cause of injury. And then I stopped. Half a mile short of the end.
I got home to lick my wounds. And savour the delights of a hot shower.
Emerged only to find I`d picked up another wound in the travels. Sunburn. A nice sport`s top shaped impression emblazoned on red flesh.
Pictures to follow. Maybe.
Now I`m wondering how Murray did all he did in the blaze of 40 degree centre court heat in Wimbledon yesterday?
I watched himself and Djokovic with a new admiration yesterday. Enjoy the celebrations, Britain!