Having just about shaken off my early Xmas present of a nasty cold, I was keen to hit the trails with the Mrs to test out a new route (especially since I was too sick to go on my planned Xmas Eve trail run and had to cancel). So to say I was disappointed in the morning when said Mrs was too tired (a result of my spluttering through the night) to hit the trails was an understatement – I was gutted! My heart and head was set on doing the trails. Yep sure I could have headed out and gone myself but when trying a new route I was a little apprehensive and also I’m not a huge fan of running solo on the trails for various reasons (snakes, spiders, falling over, knife wielding lunatics, an over active imagination, etc. etc.)
Unsure of what to do instead I suited and booted and decided just to get out there. I couldn’t face doing the usual bay run – it’s 7km of flat pathway, completely open to the elements and probably the furthest you could get from trail without running on a track or a treadmill… So I decided to try and seek out more a challenge and a change in scenery around the local area. From the second k in, it was torture! I wasn’t running particularly fast (average pace came out at 5:45/km) and it wasn’t ridiculously hot but I was obviously still feeling the impact of the cold (and a light stair session I did the day prior). I was struggling to find a rhythm I was happy was and to be honest I just really wanted to be out on the trails battling my way through spiders webs rather than dog leashes!
I had set out to do 10k and by 3k I was so over it. Instead of chucking in the towel though I focussed on what I’m training for, UTA50 in May. I reminded myself that there would be times where I was over it and struggling in the race and I forced myself to focus on embracing my distain for today’s run. I even forced myself to a take a route that leads to my house but veered off at the last minute to clock the remaining 2k of my run – seriously pushing the self-restraint and resolve there! The last 1.5k dragged by, every time I checked my watch I was only 100m closer to the 10k target.
But perseverance and determination paid off and I got through it. Fair enough it was only a 10k run and not a 30k training effort but sometimes those runs which we take for granted and chalk as being so “runnable” turn out to be the ones that bite us on the ass.
When trying to become a better ultra-runner you have to take all the lessons thrown at you and aim for an A+.