So finally, after what seems like an eternity, I’m back. Yesterday afternoon, with the sun shining (for once) and everything below my knees feeling more or less ok, I decided to go for it. The plan was simple: a slow 3 mile jog around the local lanes, just test the foot out and see how things went. I was pretty sure that the foot would hold up. I can’t honestly say I was 100% pain free but it was barely noticeable, and to be honest I couldn’t wait any longer.
I’m sorry if the next bit sounds pathetically cheesy, but within a few hundred yards I had a big smile on my face. It’s difficult to explain how good it felt, and how much I’d missed running. Needless to say, when I got to my turnaround point, I decided to keep going. We’ve had so much rain here over the past few weeks that I’d told myself I wasn’t going to attempt running cross country. But when the weather’s good, when you feel good and you don’t want to stop… My Lunas are fine over rough, dry ground, but they really struggle on wet terrain. But I figured whatever, if it’s muddy then I’ll walk for a bit. And that’s what I did. It was brilliant.
I ran without the iPhone, so therefore didn’t have Runmeter recording my route and time. I really think that this is something I’m going to stick with for now, for two reasons. Firstly, I don’t like having a phone strapped to my arm. And secondly, the first thing I always do after running with it is take it off and check my time, pace and so on. There are occasions when I might be pleasantly surprised by the results, but equally there are times when it felt like I’d run faster. So there’s a sense of disappointment there, of not achieving a goal – despite the fact I hadn’t specifically set myself a goal in the first place. Anyway, for the foreseeable future I’m running without it.
In other (and rather more interesting) news, this Friday sees the Cotswold 100 event taking place. I spoke to Rory Coleman, the race organiser last week, and he was good enough to fill me in on what I’ll be doing. I’ll be doing a proper post on the event next week, but I’m going to be manning two checkpoints. The first of mine is out near Snowshill, which is just south of Broadway in the Cotswolds. That one will be quite civilised; the competitors with only (!) have completed 20 miles by that point, so should be reasonably fresh and cheerful. The station opens at 2.45pm, so all very civilised. My second one, by contrast, is somewhat less so. I’m manning the final station before the finish. By this point, those competitors still standing will have run 90 miles through the previous day and night. Plus there’s the small matter of having to be there at 3.30am! I can’t wait for it though, I’m really looking forward to helping out and hopefully getting an insight into running ultra-marathons. (Although let’s be honest, you’re probably not going to get all that much of an insight without actually doing it yourself.)
Here’s a video from someone who ran it in 2010. It doesn’t look like it’s going to be as warm this year, thank goodness. Although we may get some rain. Personally I know what I’d rather run in. Once you’re wet, you’re wet. But I do find running in the heat to be a lot less enjoyable. This guy did it in temperatures that touched 33 degrees. Just typing that makes me feel exhausted.