July 19, 2012 by benmblackman
It started off so well – wow, I love running I thought as I bounced off down the road (the down hill bit). 2 minutes later and I was a little less jolly as the realisation of how far and long I was about to run for took hold. At ¾ of a mile I was feeling the burn, big time.
Luckily I had to stop to shimmy my way around a particularly overgrown bramble bush and noticing a car approaching I waited for it to pass, except it didn’t pass, it slowed down, and then slowed some more and then just stopped. They looked at me, I looked at them, they looked at me, I looked at them, this went on for some time. Alright, I thought, no need to stare is there (I know I’m a little out of shape but no need to mock the man is there) – and then I realised they had asked me a question. I was too fatigued (¾ of a mile in guys, come on, I was hitting the wall remember) to have noticed so they repeated the question ‘how do we get to the tennis club?’ Seriously, I thought. Really? Do you have to ask me this right now?
In between trying to maintain sustained breathing I tried to work out the answer and then deliver it in between gasps and pants. I guess this is what it is like for SAS recruits doing their selection test. Disorientated and fatigued, not having had water or a meal for some 3 hours now and being asked complex geographical based questions I was right up against it. Like any good SAS soldier though I dug deep and pulled through.
In my mind I hoped that they assumed I must have ran about 10 miles by now, hence the state of delirium I was in, and not the ¾ of a mile I truly had. Note to self: next time – just pretend I don’t know and say ‘sorry love, I’m not from round here, I’ve just run half a marathon ain’t I, you’ll have to ask somebody else.’
Anyhow, I think I managed to get all the instructions out before being able to proceed onwards. Like all good directors, though, the sign off to said directions was, of course, to ‘ask somebody else’ once they got closer!
Having had a bit of a rest I managed to ‘run’ on and made it to my 1 mile marker, a hotel where there is enough of a wall at the end of the drive to lean on, sit down on, and catch your breathe. Well done son, you made it, quick check of the watch, take a minute and then back home.
Remember from Ready to Run ‘I planned to run 2 miles (or as far of that as I could). Up to the hotel and back (I know it is exactly a mile from our house to it from running of years past). Don’t bite off more than you can chew I thought, you don’t want to be trying to tackle the 3 mile circuit round the village at this stage.’
And how correct I was on perusal of my watch telling me 16 minutes had passed since I left the house. 16 minutes? 16 minutes! It just took me 16 minutes to run a mile? Even with the impromptu travel directions this was far from the norm so what exactly then made me decide to carry on and take on the 3 mile circuit round the village I’ll never know. I decided to walk the next 4 minutes to take me up to 20 minutes and then I’d get going again. That walk was easily the most enjoyable bit of the whole ‘run’ so far!
But when the clock hit 20 I got my run back on again, the aim being to go for as long as I could before another catch my breathe stroll preceding the final straight.
I was quite impressed because I managed to go for another mile, this time without stopping, and I think I broke through something because it started to become quite enjoyable. Instead of pain I think endorphins started to be released because I suddenly felt good. I was outside, running, in the countryside, not a mobile phone in sight (well actually one was plugged in to my ears but for music purposes, I had turned the phone bit off so, for once, I was free).
I made it to my next mile marker and decided to give myself another 2 minute walk. I was now at the part of the circuit just before you enter the village again so I, importantly, rested & recouperated to ensure anybody who knows me and saw me as I travelled through the village (2 minutes later) on the last mile would see me running and assume I had been doing so all the way round. Cunning.
I timed it well because the last section of the run I absolutely loved. By the time I was on the final straight I even sped up (The Masterplan by Oasis pumping in my ears to spur me on). In my mind it was a sprint finish, in reality it was just a slightly faster stumble finish. Either way, I turned the corner to see the house and I had done it – come onnnn.
I checked my watch again and this time I was more pleasantly surprised – 35 minutes for 3 miles and considering the first 1 took 16 minutes on it’s own I was happy with that. More so, the fact that I was fitter than I thought. Don’t get me wrong, fit is far from it but I managed to get round 3 miles on my first attempt in many a year.
10km is 6 miles so my theory from Ready to Run ‘anything you do in July is a bonus’ looks good to me.
It’s a beautiful time of year to be doing this so I thank my lucky stars I can and look forward to the next run. I’ll keep you posted.
Run #1 (as in – run, walk, run, walk, run): 3 miles = 35 minutes.
Over & Out.