|From the cloudless, 30º+ volcanic landscape of Tenerife....|
The past week with its 11º temperatures, soaking rain and NE winds blasting from Siberia proved an awful shock to my old bones after the wonderful warmth of Tenerife. After arriving home I turned up the central heating and didn't stir out of the house for two days - except to feed the birds. But come Wednesday, with a forthcoming race playing on my mind, I reluctantly donned shorts and vest and braved the elements to go through the motions of what could loosely be called 'training'. After a two mile warm-up I launched into a set of 16 x 200m reps with 200m recovery jog. Well, that was the plan, but I aborted after 12 and ran the mile back to my warm home as fast as my little legs would carry me. I'd had quite enough.
|...to this dreary 11º waterlogged landscape outside my window today|
Saturday dawned clear and fine with some warm sunshine so I set off on an easy ten mile run round Mossdale, one of my favourite routes. Usually! On this occasion I was reduced to a walk on the very first hill after only five minutes running. I don't like walking either in training or in racing; it's against my principals. But prior to this run I'd been reading an email from Joe Henderson extolling the virtues of the run/walk method of long distance or marathon running. For the first time ever I decided to give it a try and opted for 5 minutes running alternating with 1 minute walking. Goodness knows what was wrong with me but I found it extremely hard to keep it going. Five minutes walking and one minute running would have been a struggle. I returned home in a state of collapse and promptly fell asleep in a chair for most of the afternoon! It's rained for most of the time since.
|Saturday's track to Mossdale, one of my favourite routes - usually!|
I donned my cagoule and huddled along, dodging the puddles, to our Harvest Festival service on Sunday evening. The Chapel had been beautifully decorated and many of our parishioners had brought along gifts of food and refreshments to distribute to the needy. Rev David Macha preached on the subject of 'coming to fruition' - which we're all in the process of doing, regardless of how old we are. We're all work in progress - which is a nice positive thought. Anyhow, it so happens that David is also a keen runner who can sometimes be seen hurtling through our village in the early morning prior to the commencement of his long day's work. After the service I asked him "How did you get on in the Great North Run this year?". It transpired he'd had a bad one, finishing in 1 hour 41 minutes, 7 minutes slower than a previous occasion. "I felt alright for the first ten miles but from there on I just got slower and slower. I finished absolutely knackered" he said. Ah, now there's a word that perfectly describes how I felt on Saturday, though I don't think you'll find it in the Bible.