...being the blog of steve kirkendall egomaniac-about-town


London Marathon training week seven = I plod, shuffle

Surprisingly, after the previous Sunday’s gruelling 12 mile run, my first three training runs this week (all easy four milers) went really well, even Thursday’s horrible one with lots of hills. I was going to run on Friday, but I forgot my socks (much to the amusement of my running colleagues). So I had to fit in a seven a.m. run on Saturday, the day we went to Cambridge for Mrs K’s deferred birthday shopping extravaganza. I was a bit worried about being on my feet all day as Sunday was my long run, a scary 15 miles. When I ran the Norwich Half Marathon last November, the day before I just stayed indoors and stuffed my face full of carbs. But I figured that I was a stronger runner now and a day on my feet plus the early four-miler wouldn’t be a problem. Plus we did have a huge afternoon tea and I had a big plate of pasta when we got home.

Still I had to admit I was anxious when I got up the next day. Setting off in a fog Sherlock Holmes would have felt at home in, I started steady as I ran the six miles into Norwich. I decided to reverse my planned route, making it longer before I headed back, but allowing me to tackle hills on the inward journey while I was still fresh. All was going well until fatigue reared its ugly head at mile nine, just before I began the homeward leg. I thought “Oh no, I’ve still got six miles yet!”, but I kept it steady and knowing I was heading back gave me a nice psychological boost. However, that boost had burst by mile 12, my threshold from last week. My running had become a stagger, my thoughts alternating between “I’ve got to stop” and “Keep going or you’ll never know if you can do it”. As I carried on the long straight road home, my stagger turned into a shuffle, but I still kept going. The last two miles were run on Jelly Babies and willpower. My sore back, hips and feet were all complaining loudly as I turned the corner on the last road. When I finally reached Castle Kirkendall, and fell through the front door, a red-faced pile of sweat held together by running tights, I imagined I could hear the sound of rapturous applause. But it wasn’t applause, it was the dishwasher.

Mrs K dispensed chocolate milk and glasses of water while I uploaded the run and tried very hard not to cry. It was easily the hardest thing I have ever done in my life and I’ve been to a Madonna concert.

PS. Incredibly, I actually ran my fastest 10k during this run.

Tags: running, virginlondonmarathon

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