Running, the bad and the good

I just had the weariest run in about a year. I set out towards Pill and I passed by the harbour, the suspension bridge, the fields, the trees, the Avon and all that is so beautiful but I hardly noticed it this time. My head was down and all I could see was the pebbly, rugged and irregular path. I didn’t have the energy to lift my head and no matter what I drank or what energy gel I took, nothing seemed to make a difference. At 19km I just had to stop. This was a total lack of health rather than energy but they go well together.

The last time I felt like this was when I was training for the Bristol 10k and I couldn’t keep up my pace on the treadmill. I put it on a hill setting, ran as fast as I could for a while and then chilled for the rest then did it over and over until it was fun rather than an endurance test. My body gave up after I’d finished my prawn red curry at Tampopo that night and I barely made it home before I collapsed.

Well the same goes for today. Weary and exhausted I walked back home without any aches and pains. I managed 22km but it felt very strange. I was late for lunch with a friend who had to be let down and with two weeks to go until the London marathon I was (and am) feeling a little more emotional than usual. Ah well. The good runs aren’t that great without the bad ones to balance them out.

There was a highlight right near the end which cheered me up a bit. I passed a group of women who were looking quite middle aged and as if out for a casual walk by the water. So you’re training for the marathon? one said to another. I looked up with a piqued sense of interest to encounter the person who was about to respond. Dark sunglasses, black hair, pasty complexion, not exactly in shape and cigarette in hand: Yeah, two years I’ve got she says as she taps some ash on the ground.

Anyone can do it right? Encouragement is sometimes lurking in the most unusual places.

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