The first day of autumn and the sun was shining over Aldwincle Lake this morning when I ventured out for yet another “recovery run”. This is running for enjoyment and pleasure, with no pressure to perform well. It is not about PBs or heroics or building resilience, stamina or muscle. It is to keep the running machine ticking over, making sure all parts are moving without any aches or pains or grinding of gears or squeaking of joints.
However, it is sometimes difficult to silence the inner voice that says you should be performing better, you are a wreck, you should be ashamed that you had to slow your pace at that point, or even resort to walking. My training has been irregular for legitimate reasons, so I can mount a reasonable defence for myself against the voice. Nevertheless, it can be genuinely disheartening to experience a definite decline in running fitness and the prospect of starting to rebuild it can be daunting. I do not believe we return to the level before we did any training at all (unless there has been a really long gap due to injury or illness), so there is always some kind of base upon which to build. My run today is a step towards rebuilding my fitness over the coming months. I do not have any specific events in mind and still feel sad that I had to withdraw from next week’s Great North Run, but I feel there is another half-marathon in me and, hoping beyond hope (and the thought is scary right now) another full marathon. But nothing will happen without a firm base, and that is where my immediate focus has to be.
There are some gaps in my training record between the Rothwell Town Carnival 10k and my barefoot mile in Schkorpolivtsi. Therefore, for the sake of completeness….
9th July 2019
I set out with mixed goals for today’s run, but the main purpose was to be out in the fresh air and moving forward [“At worst, one is in motion; and at best, /Reaching no absolute, in which to rest, / One is always nearer by not keeping still.” – from “On The Move” by Thom Gunn]. I ran from the Draughton Crossing to the entrance of the Kelmarsh Tunnel on the Brampton Valley Way, where I stopped for a little rest before returning. Total distance was about 2.4 miles with an elevation of 26 metres. I wore my heart rate monitor and reached a maximum HR of 163 bpm. Not too tacky! (a little, very little, medical joke!).
19th July 2019
Another run in two slices – outwards from Titchmarsh Nature Reserve to the turning for Wadenhoe church, a little rest, then back. My preferred route was closed by road works, so I had to tackle the hill up out of Aldwincle. I felt distinctly out of juice. Total of 3 miles, with a good session of stretching at the end in a light drizzle that softened the muggy heat.
21st July 2019
Yet another two-slice run, this time along a bit of the Hampshire coast for a total of 5km. I ran to Brownsands, which is part of an MOD (Ministry of Defence) live shooting range. I presented quite a slow-moving target, and took careful note of the signs warning people not to touch any suspicious objects.
28th July 2019
It has been rain upon rain for the past couple of days, so I resorted to the treadmill. Boring but necessary. Just shy of 5km with an ascent of 180 metres at a slow pace. Good for building stamina and strengthening my hill running.
6th August 2019 – today I took the wise but sad decision to withdraw from the Great North Run.
So, all up to date! Thank you for taking the time to read about my little running ventures. As always, run happy and free