Saturday, 18 July 2015

Karen writes: Running away

I escaped for an unexpected Saturday run today, no preparation or planning, it was straight after a lunch of supermarket sandwiches in town, but the opportunity was there...so gear on and out the door. I headed off along the coast road, pottering along, one eye on the suspicious looking sky. Bit of a dodgy choice to decide to go light on the clothing after we had had a morning of heavy rain and wind, fortunately it all worked out ok. I felt a bit like I was running away though, dashing out of the house, just because I could.

Running along, running along, thinking about everything except running, and oops, foot off the edge of the tarseal and oh drat, over like a tree and rolling into the ditch.  At least...at least I chose a ditch that wasn't currently full of water, and was more grassy than rocky, but still, why do I persist in doing that sort of stupid thing?  You would think I would have learned by now to concentrate, but no, my running remains my thinking time, sometimes to my detriment. But I got up, quick look to see if anyone noticed, dust off, check for holes in my clothing and me, none, so I kept going.

Some runs you feel like you could go forever after you get over that almost inevitably miserable initial half hour.  I still have to fight to get through that first bit, no matter how long or how far I run, the first few km are just plain hard, then suddenly I realise things are easier and I feel pretty good. Other runs, well the half hour comes and goes and you might feel a fraction better, then another half hour, each step remains a battle and this run was pretty much like that, the whole inadequate 17 km of it.

Anyway, turning over the likely reasons, well, excuses actually, had busy few days, not a lot of sleep, that dodgy and unsuitable lunch, oh forgetting to bring any nutrition for a run longer than an hour in duration might contribute, or it can be that sometimes you simply just don't have a good day.

The trick is to not let your mind tell you that a tough run is the norm.  It's not.  I've learned to go home early if I don't feel good and not to beat myself up over it.  I remind myself that I can go out the next time, enjoy the good runs, they are by far the most common, and accept the occasional not-so-good as part of being a runner. It will of course mean I will be short on long runs for the next marathon, but hey, there is always walking!

And the best ever recovery treat ever... I now keep a container of peeled, chopped banana in the freezer since discovering this and when I come in after a run, throw some bits of banana with a little milk and a scoop of protein powder in the blender, handful of frozen kale if I'm feeling really healthy, and you have instant banana icecream (or smoothie if you use more milk).  Almost worth going for a run for!