Janet (j4) wrote,

X miles

I ran this route at lunchtime and then spent the afternoon feeling all sleepy. We'd planned a 3-and-a-bit mile run, but our running guru changed the route really near the beginning (to avoid flooded paths, apparently) and from that point on nobody had a clue exactly how far we were running. I think that was deliberate on his part, actually, because if he'd told us he was increasing it to a nearly-4-mile run then we'd have whinged. Okay, I'd have whinged.

The exercise didn't seem to make any discernable difference to the ongoing stomach problems (about which more in another post if I can bear it), but it made me feel mentally better, so I think that's a win overall.

Running even shortish distances seems to have got a lot harder since I was actually doing 10k runs, though — so much so that I sometimes think "did I really do that?" and wonder if I just made it up, embellished the story in my mind until it became real. I know I did do it, but sometimes it feels like a fake memory. Maybe it's because the memory of pain is so unreal; the running in the past doesn't hurt, so when the running in the present does hurt I feel as though I'm backsliding, as though it's getting harder.

Admittedly I let the running lapse for a couple of months, which I think set me back a lot further than it would have done for someone with a higher baseline of fitness and/or running ability; but even given that, it seems to have taken months of doing 3–3.5 miles at lunchtimes before even that distance feels bearable. Half the time I end up getting a cripplingly painful stitch at around 1.5 miles and then having to walk so much of the remaining route that I just feel like a failure. Not good for the soul (though the fact that I'm getting fresh air and a screen-break means it's probably still a net benefit). Today was the first time for ages that it's felt manageable.

The main thing that's made it harder to get back in training, though, I think, is that it's not new this time. When we were building up the distance bit by bit (a 10% increase every week) it was new every time; every week I could say "this is the furthest I've ever run before", and the fact that I could do it at all was an achievement. Whereas now, because I've done it before, it feels like something I ought to be able to do; there's not so much sense of achievement if I do manage it, and much more sense of failure if I don't.

Nonetheless, I'm planning to do the Town & Gown again next year. When I finished it last year I was thinking "maybe next year a half-marathon"; I know that's not possible (or at least not sensible) now, so I'll settle for doing the same thing again. I think it'll be harder when I don't have the "first race ever" get-out, when I know that I've got a "personal best" time to beat (or not to beat). But I'm going to have a go anyway, and at least prove that I didn't just imagine it.
Tags: nablopomo, running

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