Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Fast & Slow

It was the first morning in a while where I could rise from bed with a good eight hours sleep under my belt. It was slightly unfair, I thought, that I had the beginnings of a sore throat. Never mind, I still had to do my five mile race pace jaunt today.

A mile in I realised that race pace might be pushing it today. I felt awful. I can always tell when things are going wrong. My face feels like it’s unusually hot and there’s this uneasy feeling in my stomach that hovers just underneath the tiredness. At that point in my run I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to complete it let alone go at race pace. However, a certain feeling of stubbornness reared its magnificent head and I persevered.

I have been reading a book about fell running called Feet in the Clouds by a chap called Richard Askwith. What becomes evident from his history of the sport is the hardiness of the people who train on the fells each day. These athletes push themselves up and down mountains through the pain of serious injuries that would cause most road runners to take a couple of weeks off. So, I wasn’t going to let the small matter of an oncoming cold ruin my race pace. Who knows, I might have to run through illness when racing so I need to get used to it.

With my resolve steadied I pushed on and with a mile to go I was surprised to see that my pace exceeded even my race pace. I finished with a big sprint and averaged a 9.42mile/min pace over 5.2 miles. This is my fastest run of any distance so I was very pleased especially considering how bad I felt for most of it. However, I paid for it in the hours after. I had felt dehydrated all day so was gasping for a drink when I got back even though I had a sports drink before. Felt a great urge for food and thought that a bowl of Shreddies would do the trick. However, my temperature kept on jumping around making me feel awkward and awful. Even after a big plate of pasta, cheese and tuna I now feel shattered and feel like I’ve done much more than a 50 minute run. I think it’s a combination of being tired after work, hunger, dehydration and feeling a bit ill. The dehydration is a symptom of my illness so the main points are as follows. Firstly, I need to have a think about whether it’s a good idea to have my race pace run directly after my work shift. I’m often very tired on Wednesday evenings so it might be an idea to have an easier run on these days. The other point is to watch the nutrition on the Wednesdays. I need to have a banana or something before leaving work.

A note about the lack of photos. I have inextricably lost my waist pack so I cannot carry the various accoutrements that I usually have with me. This usually includes my house key, my phone, a five pound note, a coat if it’s likely to rain and, of course, my trusty camera. I have ordered a fancy new waist pack but am waiting for the cogs and gears of the UK postal system to get it to me. I like having a camera with me as it relieves the occasional boredom or pain of certain runs. A friendly reminder that I am primarily doing these runs to have fun and to see the countryside that I would otherwise miss or ignore.

I must not get ill. I must not get ill...


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