Sunday, 13 November 2011
Better running backwards
This weekend, instead of marathon running, I have been marathon eating. My parents came to visit and I now know what it feels like to be a French goose.
This evening I attempted to redress the balance.
Forcing myself out into the bleak winter night, however, proved to be a bit of a struggle. London currently resembles a dark dank cellar. Not that I've been in any dark dank cellars, thank goodness. Which I hope remains the case, unless it's to choose a nice bottle of red, of course. Anyhow, I digress. With thoughts of marathon failure in mind, I stoically ditched my work gear and sought my running attire.
This was when I discovered all of my running leggings had disappeared. I used to have about three pairs. I was down to one. And now they had gone too. Maybe they'd left me for someone who spends less time talking about running and more time running about running.* I'd also mislaid my only long-sleeved running top so put on an old khaki jumper instead. This gave me a slightly odd appearance. Odder than usual, even.
The final touch was my 'new' pair of Avia trainers. They look pretty scruffy, but they're hardly used and the tread on them seemed grippier than my Brooks'. (I'm mindful of the hazards of wet leaves.) The Avias had sat at the back of my wardrobe for three years and it did make me wonder briefly whether trainers go off? They smelled okay so I decided to risk it.
I'm aware that in order to get the most from running you should mix up your routes. So I did my usual run, only backwards. This turned out to be the best move ever. It meant the first mile and a half was downhill, then it was flat for another mile, a gentle hill for about a mile, then a bit of a steep slope into Hampstead. By then I was on the final furlong so the psychological battle was won. It was so much nicer than doing it the usual way round! And, as I confidently pounded the last hundred yards, I pondered how I'd feel to be told I had another 21 miles to go. I decided I felt pretty okay about this. I should add, I felt pretty okay about being told I had 21 miles left to go. Whether I'd manage said miles is another question. One for next time, I think.
(Stats: 4.26 miles; 42.39 minutes; 10.00 minute/mile. I have reverted to trusty stopwatch and mapping my run. Less stressful than fiddling about with armbands and iPods.)
(Pic: My 'new' Avia trainers. I don't know much about Avia. For some reason, I'm having flashbacks to being 12 years old and wearing 'Nicks' trainers. Haldon Market's finest.)
(*Thanks to the friend who made this amusing, and accurate, observation last year. I think he'd agree that the amount of time I spend running has increased. However, I admit that the amount of time I spend talking about running has increased exponentially more.)