Tuesday, 23 October 2007

The best run yet

Foot? What foot?

Kim had had a really long day at work, and I was feeling under the weather too, but we were very glad that we talked each other into it.

It was cold when we set off today - a dark evening. I was dressed in my (new) luminous t-shirt and proper running trousers (as opposed to the rather heavyweight, always-get-sweaty cotton stuff I usually wear). Whether it was psychological or not, or the genuine effect of the lighter fabrics, but the running felt lighter and easier.

We started by promising that we'd take less breaks. (Usually a 3-4 mile run will make for at least 2 if not 3 stops for stretching.) Kim's dad had told her off: "you can't do that in a race!" So our only concession was that we really did need to stretch after the initial running as it was so cold.

We did our usual 1.5 miles from the Longwater roundabout down to Bowthorpe. "Just a bit further", said Kim: "down to that car at the end". A few minutes later: "no, not that car, that one." And then: "I lied: the end of that road." Sneaky cow. That added on an extra five minutes at that end of the route! We stopped and stretched there. But then we ran all the way back - not just to our usual starting-point, but right round the car park at Longwater too, which is exactly one more mile.

And you know what? For the first time ever, I really enjoyed the process of the run - not just the sheer bloody-mindedness of having kept going, fighting against discomfort, which is more usual. That hamstring kept mostly quiet, with just a bit of awareness (not pain) at the very end of the run; I think that the cold helped, as I found it invigorating (and perhaps it numbed the muscles against pain - who knows?!); and the breathing wasn't at all laboured, even on those uphill bits. I was completely triumphant.

And the triumph was complete when we got back when we clocked the route accurately on Fetch Everyone, and found that we'd run a total of 4.57 miles in 49 minutes' running (plus a four-minute break after 18 minutes). That's an average pace of 10:43, and we know that as we slowed right down from time to time, some of the pace will have been well up on that.


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