A Week in Review (14 Nov – 20 Nov)

7 days. 168 hours. 10,080 minutes. This is a summary of my running week. Ups and downs. Aches and pains. Feelings and emotions.

Distance Run:  23.26 miles | Time on my feet: 3:25.40 | Races: 0 | PBs: 0

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As you will no doubt shortly be able to tell, this week has been far from usual for me.

Saturday loomed very firmly on the horizon all week marking exactly one year since we lost my Dad to cancer. I’ve found myself reliving my time with him in his final moments over and over again through the week and asking myself some real serious questions about my future and what I’m doing with my life. Things like that certainly help to bring perspective to everything else. Perhaps as a result, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to concentrate at work recently and I’ve had a few unusual and difficult issues to deal with which deserved more attention than I wanted to give, so, as a result, it has been a particularly stressful week for me. I don’t like putting anything less than 100% into my work and this week I’ve hardly been ticking over.

I suppose before I laced up my shoes I was already carrying enough emotional weight to makes things difficult…

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Club Training Run (7.04 miles, 8:40/mile)

Everything went well (we even managed a 1 mile stride half way through) but somehow it felt…well…flat. I certainly didn’t finish with my usual sense of satisfaction and anticipation for the next one. Thinking back I couldn’t attribute a particular reason for this – I suppose this was when I recognised how generally down I felt. Maybe I still had some of Sunday’s run in my legs and Thursday would be better…

Thursday 17 November 2011

Club Training Run (6.41 miles, 8:49/mile)

Not again!! Legs were heavy and I couldn’t seem to get into the swing of things. We didn’t do our normal route, hence the slightly reduced mileage from the usual 7 miles. Normally I would’ve added a couple of streets on at the end to take me past the 7 mile mark but to be honest I was more than happy to get back to the club and stop. What’s going on?!! Again, nothing went particularly wrong, it was just a standard, nondescript run with zero significant emotions attached. Had I changed something without realising? As I returned home I remember thinking that if the weekend’s long run was going to me more of the same then I wasn’t looking forward to it at all. Anyone who knows how much I love to run knows that’s simply not like me at all.

Saturday 19 November 2011

Long Training Run, off-road, (9.8 miles, 1:28, 8:59/mile)

Getting up at 6:30 I wasn’t exactly full of hope for the run ahead of me. I’d run this route only 2 weeks before and remember it was hard going. Slippery, hilly, tiring, relentless – if I faired like I had in the week I was going to be in for a miserable time. Every slow mouthful of porridge was accompanied with lots of  internal dialogue and subsequent doubt over my potential upcoming performance. Leaving the house I had 2 thoughts. One was “ah well, if it’s gonna be hard work then that’s what it’s gonna be. Get on with it, Sime”. The second was “Chuffing Nora it’s cold!”. 5°C…what was I doing in short sleeves?!

I was the first one to get to the Click’Em Inn and was pleasantly surprised to see car after car arrive until the group was around 15 strong. A few of us hemmed and hawed for a few minutes about the suitability of our attire but before we could worry about it for too long we were off and heading towards the first off-road section…

Those first few hundred yards were quite disheartening. Heavy legs again, this time seemingly more reluctant to operate. Come on, work!! Slowly, the joints loosened up and my ankles stopped complaining until I was trotting along nicely through the dewy, slippery tracks at around 8:30/mile. This was more like it! Eventually the sun warmed things up, just to the point where I was glad I’d chosen a short-sleeved top and the morning turned, well, glorious. There really is nothing like running in the open countryside, fresh air in your lungs and nature all around you. Magic. Good pace, good company and plenty of opportunity to square things up in your mind as you go along.

Unlike 2 weeks previous, this time I found the route (dare I say it) relatively easy. The hills were nowhere near as angry as I’d remembered them and before I knew it we were heading back in with plenty left in the tank and the return of that familiar feeling of satisfaction. Fantastic.

Something odd happened at around the 8 mile mark. I didn’t think it was all that spooky at the time, but looking back it is more than a little odd. As we ran along a hedgerow in an otherwise empty field, there was the strong, lasting aroma of what I could only describe as “doggy”. Little did I know what lay in store for us that night…

On Sunday morning we lost Leia, our 14 year old border collie after a suspected stroke left her unable to function. We noticed how uneasy on her feet she was when we returned home on Saturday night after visiting my Dad’s grave and spending time with family in Goole. Although it didn’t seem so serious at first (I thought it was just her usual, age-related stiffness) things quickly progressed throughout the night until a visit to the emergency vet early Sunday morning was our only option.  Although her final moments were ultimately peaceful, her passing has left a huge hole in our family and she will be sorely missed. I brought her home from a farm near Halifax sat on my knee in the car and that’s how I saw her out. We had some great, memorable times.

With everything that has been going on in my head this week it has unavoidably influenced my behaviour, and so I feel a precautionary apology is in order just in case I’ve been overly abrupt, distant, dismissive, quiet, uninterested, down or in any other way not my usual self at any time with anyone. Sorry folks, I didn’t mean to be miserable.

What a week. For the first time in a very long while, running seems quite trivial. Hope next week is a little less eventful.

146days and whatever to go – I’m not that bothered at the moment to be honest.

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