I’d waited most of the day in the hope that the rain would abate, but it was fairly obvious by 3 in the afternoon it wasn’t going to happen. After almost a month without rain and the last 2 weeks a scorching heatwave, I’m not complaining.
I was also not going to use it as an excuse. Today is W8D2 and one way or another it’s going to get done. The way I sweat the end state is going to be the same in any event, i.e. I am going to look half drowned.
I’d deliberately not eaten since breakfast, in prep for running and by mid afternoon I’m starting to get hungry. Finally my hunger won out, I threw on my running kit and headed to the park in the pouring rain. I had tried on a light weight waterproof jacket on the way out, but it was obvious it would have only acted as a personal steam room. I’ll need to look into some all weather kit, as a treat when I complete the program.
It’s fair to say I was drenched by the time I’d reached the park and I had garnered some surprised looks from several drivers. My first scan of the park, reveals sheets of pelting rain and it appears to be completely empty other than a pissed off looking squirrel.
As I’m doing my warm up walk, I realise I was wrong, there were several dog walkers out there walking their water logged pooch’s. I guess there’s no negotiating with a pup when it comes to walkies. An experience I can look forward to in a couple of weeks when Archer will finally be able to meet the world.
I had seen a word of warning on /r/C25K about watching your footing in the rain, so I was critically scanning the route as I walked round, sure enough several patches of super slippy wet leaves, a couple of sizeable puddles at the lower end of the park and mishmash of branches and twigs strewn across the path. Nothing that can’t be danced around.
Laura announces the end of the warm up and it’s time to get going, what a stroke of luck I’m at the top of the park (rightttt!). I get my head down, mainly to try and keep the rain off my face but also to spot for suspicious looking leaves.
Out to 10 minutes and no issues, other than I can sense the annoyance from the dog walkers. The fact I had choice and instead of sitting in the dry reading the Sunday paper chose to be in this down pour (in a bloody t-shirt), let’s just say it’s a good job I’ve got earphones. Laura announces we’re half way, there’s a half hearted effort from my negative voices, but at this point in the program they’ve lost all credibility and they know it. Try again at 20 minutes, yet again I conveniently forget that Laura doesn’t announce 20 minutes any more.
22 minutes in and Laura announces 5 minutes to go. I’m heading back down the incline (I still can’t bring myself to call it a hill) and once again I’m trying to plot a last 5 minute route that minimises having to go back to the top of the park. In a unprecedented flash of anger I pull a U-turn and start straight back up the incline, fuck you negative voices, yes I know it’s you cut that shit out. 22 minutes is the commute time to the pit face, this is where I start work, this is where we will start counting. Get your arse up that F****** HILL! There I said it!
I start digging in, my brain is back on board and provides the updated end point, just after the top of the incline. My pace automatically slips down a gear, I’m skirting the edges of what I can do without losing control and spiralling into a puffy mess. The brain kicks in with an update on the end point, we won’t be getting to the top of the park after all. I don’t care I just want to finish one of these runs going uphill without playing chicken with a heart attack.
Laura finally chimes in, my calculations of the finish line were accurate to the metre, I’m starting to think it might be my secret super power. I’ve managed to finish strong, there’s nothing left in the tank, but I didn’t have to dig into the emergency reserves to get here. I take my cap off and let the rain wash the sweat and spit off my face, mission accomplished.
The playlist for this run was a hand crafted selection of tracks featuring rain, Wen and myself had put together just before I headed out and included such classics as:
- I wish it would rain down – Phil Collins
- Here comes the rain again – Eurythmics
- I can see clearly now – Jimmy Cliff
- Red rain – Peter Gabriel
- Stormur – Sigur Ros
- November rain – Guns N’ Roses
- It’s raining again – Supertramp
- Have you ever seen the rain – Creedance Clearwater Revival
- Only happy when it rains – Garbage
- Set fire to the rain – Adele
- After the Storm – Mumford & Sons
- Africa – Toto
- Rain – Madonna
- Rainy night in Georgia – Randy Crawford
It really helped, what can I say I’m easily amused. The stand out track for me was Stormur. My grasp on the Icelandic language may be non-existent, but the main crashing beat of the track kicked in as I resolved to push myself back up the hill, and it provided an excellent backdrop to my own thrashing efforts.
Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics
I’d turned on the Endomodo app to collect a whole bunch of disappointing stats, chief amongst them my pace. Even allowing for the fact I always forget to stop the app until half way through the cool down walk. I’ve still got a LOT of work to do.
Extrapolating the data, I’m looking at best at a 36m run and more likely closer to 38m assuming the wheels don’t come off completely in that last EIGHT minutes. Where the hell am I going to find EIGHT minutes, I can’t imagine the 3 x 30 minute runs in week 9 are going to fully prepare me.
It’s a problem for another day, I have 4 more runs to sort out first and this nonsense is just ammo for my inner demons.
Let’s finish on the positives. It was another good run and I’m really enjoying them. Dodging the puddles and leaf landmines was a great distraction and I managed my pace nicely to my capabilities and bought it home on fumes as opposed to having to glide to the finish line.
Best of all no reoccurrence of pain in my left knee, phew! So there is progress here it’s just not as spectacular as earlier in the program. One more 28 minute run to go and then we’ll get into the last 3 x 30 minute runs, not long now.
Run Rating :