Last run of week 7 and it was a 25-minute scorcher. At least this time I didn’t suffer from bad diet choices.
I finally got to the park at about 7 in the evening and it was super toasty. It was very busy. Surprising for a Monday but we don’t get good weather in the UK very often and people make the most of it. There’s BBQ’s on the go, about 50 odd people doing a fitness class on the green and the usual crowd of kids, teenagers and OAP’s.
There’s even the chap who overtook me last week. I don’t get it, he’s wearing what looks like a cotton grey shirt and he’s clearly been running a few minutes and there’s not a sign of sweat on him. He’s not human. I decide to run the opposite way around the park to avoid him lapping me multiple times.
Off we go, slow and steady, I’ve mentally broken this run down into 4 stints of 5 + 7.5 + 7.5 + 5. Started at the top of the park, not by chance I know exactly where to start the app so the 5 min warm-up walk coincides with a nice downhill start. So needless to say the first 5 minutes were a breeze. It’s going well, even the heat radiating off the tarmac isn’t cramping my style. Up the first climb back to the top of the park. I’m having to put a shift in to get to the top and my breathing is starting to get laboured (standard) but I know I can recover on the downhill part.
Out to the halfway mark at 12.5 minutes and I realise there’s something very wrong. It takes me a full minute to realise there’s no voice telling me I’m only halfway and it’s going to get so much harder. It usually chimes in about the ten-minute mark and is screaming by halfway. What the hell, no interrogation? Great, push on.
Here comes my running nemesis, I can’t believe it he still not sweating, seriously it’s the hottest day of the year. We break the tension with a curt nod of recognition. I’ll have to try for a high 5 at some point if only to find out if he has sweaty palms.
Second time up the incline and I’m definitely feeling it now, I’m having to dig deep and I get to the top puffing and panting. It takes the whole downhill section to pull myself together. Next time up the incline and I’m starting to really struggle. Time to take inventory:
- legs – feels like I’ve got diving boots on, but they’re still down there somewhere pumping away.
- feet – no problems, but they’ve been pretty much numb for the last 5 minutes so anything could be going on.
- stomach – no problems here. I can feel the effort to get up the incline in the pit of my stomach but I wouldn’t call it nausea.
- lungs – taking one for the team. Well off of a sustainable rhythm, but they only need to hang on for another minute, just get to the top of the hill.
- mouth & throat – that’s new. What’s the problem? Try swallowing once in a while you twat! The dry air and excessive panting have turned my mouth and throat to sandpaper. I try to summon some spit and swallow hard. The irony of being covered in water and struggling to get enough spit to swallow isn’t lost on me.
So it is doable, we will get to the top, I never had a doubt (much). Laura chimes in with 5 minutes to go and right on cue the voices start pointing out that means another time up the hill. They’ve got the working out and everything and they are right. If I thought last time round was hard, I haven’t seen anything yet. Well, I’m definitely not quitting but I’m mentally re-working the route to see if 5 minutes means I can take a short cut and avoid the incline and still end up near the park exit. Yup, I can hang a right and avoid the majority of the hill. Crisis averted.
A minute later and I’m almost at the fork in the path. Left up the incline or right round the easy path? A new voice chirps in “What’s it going to be? Give in to the negative voices and take the easy path or grow a pair and get up that incline one last time.” My first thought was “it’s a trap”. It’s some trick to make me fail. I’m running out of time left or right, choose! At the last second I pick left and with a massive pump of adrenalin pull it together and drag myself up the hill one … last …. time.
I’ve got to the top. The wheels are coming off. I can’t see for sweat in my eyes and Laura is back with “60 seconds to go, if you still have something left speech …”. You are shitting me, aren’t you? Oh, what the hell, I pick up the pace and lunge forward. In for a penny, in for a pound. I was pleasantly surprised to still be conscious when she finally waved the chequered flag. A spectacular transition to a staggering walk that saw me almost fall off the path (it was 3 metres wide).
Walking back I start to realise how hot it is. I look like I’ve been waterboarded. It takes me a good minute just to raise enough spit to swallow. Today’s playlist was a random selection of tracks I’ve thumbed up at some point or another. On the most part not hugely inspirational except for:
This is a beautiful track and not one I’d have ever thought to put on a running list but it really helped me through the last 5 minutes of the run.
“Help, I have done it again
I have been here many times before
Hurt myself again today
And the worst part is there’s no one else to blame”
The lyrics register and I’ve got sweaty goosebumps. It feels soooo cool in the heat. I grit my teeth and dump a ton of adrenalin into my system. I’m on borrowed time now.
“Ouch, I have lost myself again
Lost myself and I am nowhere to be found
Yeah, I think that I might break
Lost myself again and I feel unsafe”
Last time up the incline. I’ve definitely lost myself again. My form has gone to shit and I’m not going to find it again on this run. Yeah, I’m close to breaking that’s for sure and unsafe yeah I’m seriously wondering if my knees are going to give out in the last few metres.
That was the last of the 25-minute runs. Onwards to the 28-minute runs. I’ve already rationalised it as just running 25 minutes and then hanging on for another 3 minutes. That seems possible. My only slight worry is by the time I’d walked home my left knee had developed a stabbing pain. Fingers crossed it’s nothing serious.
Run Rating :