This week’s training conditions have been a mix of sun, gloom, rain and ice. Sunny Tuesday’s run became wet Wednesday’s run due to pressure of work and I ran the following day too, adding an extra two miles after deciding to run into work with a rucksack. Setting off at 7.30am, I discovered Norwich had been glazed in ice as the previous nights snow had melted, then frozen. It was really tiring as I couldn’t run properly, tip-toeing over the ice and flapping my arms like a bird running around corners to make sure I didn’t fall over. Stopping at the curb for traffic was a challenge too. But I made it, and by some miracle didn’t fall over.
The weekend’s running began with Saturday’s beautiful, sunny, windless five miler where I was able to achieve a normal pace and just enjoy being out and doing it. By contrast, Sunday’s wet gloomfest was a hard 12 miler, my longest training run yet. I ran to the University of East Anglia the long way, twice around the lake (nice and muddy), then back the way I came. Around the lake I saw one particular dog walker three times. On the second time he smiled and said “You must be a glutton for punishment”. The next time I saw him I panted “Last lap. Then five miles home” which won another smile from him and really lifted my spirits. I realised then that running around people is more motivating (even if they don’t speak to you) then my long runs in empty country lanes where all I have for company is the sound of my breathing, drumming of my feet and my juice bottle. My pace was a bit slower than I imagined (two hours, eight minutes – I blame the hills) but it was faster than my pace for the Norwich Half Marathon. And I wasn’t loaded with carbs as I was for that, which was encouraging. I was also pleased by my continuing lack of injury, but I am worried about coping with the ever increasing milage. Still, once upon a time, I couldn’t run three miles without stopping, so I must be doing something right.