That’s Not a Long Run, This is a Long Run
‘I wonder where’s best to run on Sunday…’
‘I don’t care, really. Just run around until your watch says three hours have passed, then go home.’
It’s amazing what a difference it makes not to be locked in a death battle with the elements. After a couple of weeks of being buffeted helplessly around by the wind, I was buoyed by the first still, clear day in a very long time on Sunday, and ran just over twenty-seven miles in three hours. At least now London won’t be the first time I’ve ever run a marathon, merely the first time I’ve raced one. Clearly, these are very different things, but it is reassuring to know that I’m not going to spontaneously combust merely because I’ve run further than twenty-two miles. I expected to feel more tired in the last half hour than I did, and my legs didn’t feel too bad until I tried to stand up after two hours in a cinema seat in the evening.
Last Tuesday I fought the snow for 8 x 1,000m in a blizzard, and last Thursday I fought the wind on two hard four mile runs. The route I’ve chosen for these is an out-and-back two miles of exposed road, the idea to run as close to five-minute miles as possible. On the first run of the day the pace felt suspiciously easy for the first two miles, and when I turned I found out why. It felt like I was struggling against a wall of wind, the air rushing into my lungs as I tried to breathe and making expelling it difficult – it almost felt like I was going to hyperventilate. On the second run of the day I actually got cramp in my chest muscles.
The flood water seems to have retreated back within the banks of the river Wear now though, restoring my normal running routes, and the weather seems far more settled. Long may it last…