I kind of feel like I'm operating on auto-pilot at the moment - food just sort of happens, and it's pretty much where it needs to be daily, and I just track it near the end of the day and see what's left for dinner, which is pretty much pre-planned anyway. Exercise happens because I'm in a routine of sorts at the moment - circuits and Body Balance during the week, and runs slotted in round it according to the training plan (mostly).
Tonight was yet more proof that sometimes the runs you really don't want to do, work out the best. I woke up this morning (and at points during the night) with my calves on the verge of cramp after circuits yesterday - told you they were brutal! Understandably, with muscles feeling that tight, I didn't feel much like running today at lunch, so I ducked it. I had half a thought that I'd run after work. After work arrived and I didn't feel hugely like running. Not massively anti it either, just not really in the mood.
When I'm not in the mood, procrastination is my watch-word. I got home, thought about it, and then went on one last hunt for my long-lost iPod Shuffle, instead of just getting changed. I must have looked for the damn thing 5 times before, but I remained convinced that it had to be in the flat somewhere. I must have sub-consciously struck a deal with myself that if I found the Shuffle, I'd run, because the minute I found it (lurking in a bag I must have used to go to the gym once, ages ago), I knew I was out of excuses and the time had come to stick my trainers on.
Today's run, according to The Almighty (And Very Much Despised By Now) Plan, should have been 10 mins slow running, 10 mins faster, 3 mins recovery, 10 mins faster and 5 mins cool down. Somehow, that translated into 55 mins of steady-ish, with sort of speedier sections, running. I didn't push myself and I tried not to think too much about pace apart from picking it up a little when I knew I could (conveniently roughly at the 10 and 23 min markers) and taking a slower speed in the same way.
It mostly felt manageable and comfortable, and I even managed to find a bit of energy to try and actively power up the few small inclines I hit. But the proof of the pudding is in the map afterwards. I may hate these intervals, and the prescriptive feeling of having to run 3 times a week or so, but there is no doubt that my speed has increased a bit. 55 mins, I'm pretty sure, is my longest continuous run to date. And checking the map (trusty GMap Pedometer - the runner's friend - well, the runner that can't afford a fancy Garmin) put the run at just shy of 8.5km. That would mean (quick bit of maths) that I would have completed a full 10km in just another 10 mins - 1hr 5mins. Which I definitely felt I could have done. If I can run like that on the day, I've already hit my fast race target! But we'll see ... you never know how these things go.
Other than that, I seem to have spoken to quite a few friends in the last 24 hours, all trying to cheer me up a bit. And I do feel a little less crazy now. I think I needed the wallow. For one thing, to remember how crap you feel when you wallow - a good reminder that it's ultimately less painful to keep trying to be positive and cheerful.
And finally, the dent I mentioned the other day? It's got bigger. But only really on the right side - I must be lopsided. Awesome. Ah well .... a dent's a dent!
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