rebuilding to 50k

I’ve been encouraged by my running the past couple weeks.  Though my legs felt leaden and my lung capacity well short of 100%, I still got out for a couple social runs with the Carron Valley Trail Runners and (just about) kept up.  Each run felt better than the previous one.  It was a satisfyingly progressive recovery arc and I feel pretty lucky that this all coincided with these rare and amazing long spring days with bluebird skies.

At parkrun last Saturday, the weather resumed its normal service and the familiar puddles were returning to the Springburn course (though it wasn’t at full steeplechase level yet).  That said, I don’t mind a run in the rain.  And if you have to run in the rain, it’s more fun if there’s loads of people sharing in the almost perverse joy of it.

pkrun

As per usual, I forgot to turn off my watch when I crossed the finish line, so I didn’t know what my time was. After I got the text from parkrun, I was pleased to learn I ran the 5k route in 22:46.  Considering that I spend most of 2016 just trying to break 23:00, I’m happy that I’m getting back to my normal speed (or lack thereof, ‘speed’ is a purely personal thing, right?).  That 5k felt tougher than it usually does, but… feel like I’m getting there.

I’m off to run the ATRX tonight — that is, the Antonine Trail 10k Race.  I’ll put up a race report once that’s done and dusted.  Then it’s off to Inversnaid to run the 50k Great Tartan Skidaddle route as a solo effort this coming Saturday.  I trained for that thing for so long, I feel like it’s something I need to do.  Maybe I’m just stubborn?

It’s great to have my health back, even if I feel a bit more sluggish than usual, but I don’t want to complain.  Having been in hospital and then being sedentary for weeks really makes one appreciate how brilliant it is to be, literally, up and running.

PJ.

back at it

It has been a couple weeks since my pneumonia / blood infection fiasco that – annoyingly – kept me from running my first ultra.  I’ve spent that time doing very little, trying to allow my body time to rest and properly recover.  I gradually introduced some breathing exercises, some walking, a short hike, and finally a bit of easy cycling.

Then I went for my first run.

I went for an easy 6.4k.  My legs felt like dead weights, but I suppose that’s to be expected after sitting on my arse for so long?  I was pleased that my breathing and heart felt normal, so I took some confidence from it.  Rather than the physical, the mental side of things is more of a challenge.

Since leaving hospital, I’ve been hyper-aware of my throat, lungs, and personal health stuff generally.  It all started with this innocuous scratchy throat which felt like any other mild cold-like symptom before it all went quickly downhill.  So before my run, all these irrational “what ifs” started ping-ponging around my mind… like, what if my last run was what triggered everything? and so on.  The running, of course, was not the cause of the infection.  The doctor said so.  The doctor also credited my quick recovery to the fact that I had been doing so much running in the first place.

backrunning

Though once I started running, the irrational negativity quickly dissipated.  Running has a way of doing that.  I loved the feeling of the fresh air on my face.  The birdsong.  How my normal route was comfortably familiar yet all different with the fresh riotous greens of spring. All the friendly dog walkers and cyclists along the John Muir Way.

So back at it!  I only stopped running for two weeks, but it’s become such a part of my routine that running again made me realise how much I missed it.  On the other hand, not running for a couple weeks has helped me remember that running is undeniably brilliant, but it’s not the only thing I enjoy.  Slowing down was good.  I did a lot of reading.  Walked.  Took photographs.  All good stuff.  Ultramarathon training gave me  tunnel vision at times, running and the upcoming race was everything.

I set a date for running an ultramarathon.  20 May will be my ‘Great Solo Skidaddle’ because I missed the Great Tartan Skidaddle.  Felt like I had to do it, one way or another!

PJ.