This week, I did something very silly. It is so silly, part of me wants to take my stupid head, and pummel it. But the little bit of madness that possesses me is stronger, and already I am making plans.
I’m one of the lucky ones. I’ve been successful in the ballot (it was my second attempt). The chances of that are small. The chances of lightning striking twice are smaller than Nottingham Forest’s promotion hopes. Have I taken a ballot place from someone else then? You never know what’ll happen, and unlike that team up the road, I don’t just give up. I know there are other marathons, but like Forest’s ex-manager, I have unfinished business. I place myself in the hands of whatever running gods exist, if they exist at all. I will also stop comparing myself to the Trees. It’s making me feel quite nauseous.
I’ve done most of my running outdoors this week. I had a good run on Easter Monday, despite my usual route being full of selfish, inconsiderate holiday users. I love the Great Central Way. If we ever move, I will miss it. Miles of off-road path, it’s perfect for running, cycling, waking and dog-walking. Regular users have respect for each other. Whether I walk or run (I don’t use my bike enough, and I have no pets, unless the Bloke counts), people who use the GCW will doff a hat, smile, or greet you. Dog owners see (probably hear, in my case) me coming, and they stop and move their pets out of the way, and offer some encouragement. I love the old couples, out getting their daily fresh air, who smile and say I’m doing great. When we walk to the football, we always greet the same chap who is out running in the opposite direction. It’s like a little community.
But then there are the fair-weather users, who have no appreciation at all that we all want to, and can, share the path. And don’t get me started on the horse people. I’m know that not every rider has a feeling of self-importance, but the ones who use the GCW seem to think that they are above everyone else, and not because they are sitting on a horse. I was once almost forced into long grass by two selfish women, who accused me of scaring their beasts. I’m 5′ 4.5″. I’m sure I terrify massive horses. Aside from that, I’m severely allergic to grass. Yes, the horses probably were terrified after I gave the owners a piece of my mind. The path is for everyone! It wouldn’t hurt for you to ride single file for a short while, your gossiping isn’t that important! I only need half a metre!
Easter Monday had lots of families out, and kids badly riding their bikes. Closer to home, both on my way out and back, the parents/grandparents had some control, but the middle part of my run was a nightmare. I was nearly taken out by not one, not even two, but by three very young kids, who couldn’t control their bikes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that they’re out, but the two mums were leading the way, and too busy chatting to notice what was going on behind. They could see me running towards them, but ignored me. Between them, there were six young kids. Now call me logical, but as a parent, I would’ve ridden behind the kids? Isn’t that the sensible option? But no, they had more important stuff to discus to notice the three smaller ones suddenly start heading right for me, and falling over. All six weren’t just spread across the path, but the grass, and as it was sudden, I shouted, “careful”, and somehow managed to hurdle the nearest child. Mums must have stopped because all I could hear was “how rude!” and “who does she think she is?” I’m sorry loves, but you should be watching out for hazards, not leaving your kids to do as they please, and ignoring any potential dangers. At the very least, why didn’t you stop, and make sure your offspring were out of the way? You could see me coming! You were lucky I don’t like stopping because I would have told you such.
It disrupted my rhythm but I carried on. I completed four miles in an okayish time. Despite them.
On Wednesday, I tried another running club, West End Runners. It was wet, but mild, so I wasn’t deterred. Arriving at the club, I was made to feel welcome. I joined a group planning on 9 min miles, but with some sprints. I’m bolshy, as it hides my lack of self-esteem, but I never know I where to pitch myself on these things. I think I’m a crap runner. It’s probably this that holds me back. Hannah, who’d I’d briefly chatted with on Facebook, made me feel comfortable. I didn’t want to push myself too much, and look stupid, and the run presented sounded ideal. There were other newbies too, and this helped.
I enjoyed the run, but the sprints were a struggle. There’s a technique, and I just don’t have it. Or the strength. I was advised on a technique for running hills, and found it worked! It was so simple, when I think about it! I ran over 6 miles, and enjoyed it. This club has a choice of runs. I’m not sure where I’d fit, as they do different things. I liked it, but I fear I’d be like a kid in a sweet shop. I am a kid, and I love sweets. I’m indecisive with sweets. I plan on returning, and trying something else before deciding on joining, I just don’t know what to do with myself. I wonder if I should push myself, or stay within my comfort zone. The whole point of joining is to get me out of that. But the fear of looking useless prevails…
Running hills requires using my thighs. More specifically, my quads. Since Wednesday, they have been moaning and bitching. My head is telling them to man up, and stop being so lazy. I went out for a run on Thursday, where the GCW was thankfully free of selfish people. It hurt. I applied the new technique to the big hill round the corner, and stormed it. Looking at my times, I was shocked. Sadly, my quads aren’t used to being used so much, and by the time I returned to my last incline, I was struggling. Quicker than the club run, it was a slower pace than Monday’s run. I had to make the decision to rest my bone idle, lazy, good for nothing quads, and not run on Friday, knowing Saturday was a non-starter.
Today was long run day. It was my first dreadmill run for a while. It was okay, until an hour, two thirds of my target. Then I had to use the quads again. I don’t know why, it was instinct. I finished the 90 minute run strongly, but about half an hour afterwards, the lower half of my body appeared to go on strike. It’s quite clear that some areas have been carrying others for too long. Literally. They are getting a day’s rest, then they will be back on it.
I still haven’t decided about Bosworth Half. I can get round, but can I get a PB? I don’t know, and if I don’t know, I’m not sure I want to put myself through the emotional strain. This week is going to have to be decision time. Damn.