Confidence and panic and back again (via a blister or two)

This week I thought I’d share with you the thought process of my long run. Sunday was a beautiful day, but to be honest I woke up feeling like my legs were made of lead. My shoes felt heavy.

I was supposed to do 18 miles according to my schedule but with only three runs of more than 10 miles under my belt so far I thought 18 might be too much for my joints to take, especially on the
cross country madness that is the Lyndhurst loop. So I settled for 16. Here’s how it went.

Mile one: Wow, what a gorgeous day. Now, we’re going to do 10-minute miles for the first couple of loops. Ow, my calves hurt. Nope, hang on, that’s my shins. Hope it goes away soon….

Mile two: My calves still hurt. Oooh, I think that’s what Jane Fonda calls the burn (if you’ve ever lifted weights or done an ABT
class you’ll know that feels like. Ouch.)

Mile three: Hurrah, a miracle has occurred! I just ran up the hill at Bolton’s Bench and it was easy! Three cheers for hill training!

(I then spent the next couple of miles thinking about my lactic threshold, how pleased I was that I could run up the hills with ease,
and working out a revised marathon pace to hit my fantasy time of 3.40, now that I’m, like, superfit.)

Mile five: Huh. Did the first loop at 9 minute miles. Should slow down a bit, but hey, I feel great!

Mile seven: Horse! (A New Forest pony was blocking the path.) Do I run in front or behind? What’s safer? (I have a vested interest here, as when I was ten a horse stood on my face. It hurt.
A lot)

Mile nine: There’s my house again. Should I stop and pick up my carefully concealed water bottle from the hedge? Nah, I feel okay. Let’s crack on. (Note: this will shortly prove to have been
a mistake.)

Mile ten: What’s that funny feeling in my stomach? Hunger? How can I be hungry? I had PORRIDGE for breakfast, for goodness sake.

Miles 11-13: Hmmm. It’s quite windy. This isn’t so much fun anymore. How am I going to manage 26 miles when I’m struggling with a half marathon? I’m not even running very fast. I should have
started training earlier. I should have done more long runs by now. Maybe I just don’t have enough miles in my legs to cope with monster month… this could be a disaster

Mile 13.5: Lucozade. Ah. Now I feel better. Idiot.

Mile 14: My legs hurt. What time is it? 20 minutes to go if I want to finish in 2.30. I can do two miles in 20 minutes. I CAN do two miles in 20 minutes.

Mile 15:Why won’t my legs move? Somebody must have hold of my ankles. Why is there someone hanging on to my ankles?

Mile 16: Am I going to make it in time? Come on Samantha, you can do this. Come on! COME ON. COME ON. COME ON SAM. COME ON SAM. COME ON!

(I should point out that at this point I was shouting at myself like I was a racehorse and it was the last fence of the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Lucky for me there were no walkers passing by.)

Back at the house: Oh. My back hurts. Yep, that’s pain in my ankles. Oh, and there’s my blister….

And what a blister it was. There’s a picture here. But it’s not very nice, so be warned. I can’t work out where the red stuff has come from… anyone got any


~ by Sam Shepherd on March 9, 2009.

One Response to “Confidence and panic and back again (via a blister or two)”

  1. Good recap. I enjoyed reading it

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