The fucking storm is back. It was was positively biblical this morning. I woke up from one of those once in a lifetime sleeps that is so gloriously comfortable, it makes you question whether life is worth living and perhaps you might be better off with ending it all now, to save another 30 years of fucking bullshit. I realised that dying on a Wednesday would be pretty pathetic and so I may as well go for my run. I put my shit on. I walked down the shitting stairs and put my shitting shoes on. I opened the shitty front door and out into the shitty shitty wind and rain.
I began to commute to the run, in the form of a run and by way of a warm up. The pace was no more than around 5:20min/km, but the weather wasn’t having any of it. As I reached the top of Northam Bridge (and bear in mind this was only some 300m into my run), my pace had dropped to 6:00min/km. I looked at the thrashing water of the Itchen River underneath and once again contemplated ending it all. Dying on a Wednesday isn’t cool, I reminded myself.
By the time I got to the start of my loop I had felt enough of the almighty’s wrath to realise today was going to be a difficult run. The plan had been to run 4 x 2 miles at a 4:30min/km pace, but I quickly realised this would be near impossible in the circumstances and therefore decided to drop to 4:40. Like the bottler I am, I rounded the split down to 3000m also.
Here is the workout.
The loop is essentially a quadrilateral that begins at the NE corner of St Mary’s Stadium. You then proceed in an anticlockwise direction. For the most part it is flat but for a gentle ascent at the northern most border. In all it creates a useable 2km loop that is for a good part, run-a-ble. Given its position, it is in no danger of winning beauty spot of the year and the circulating drivers, hurry into the docks without notice or care. I cannot imagine your safety is at the top of their agenda.
As I expected, the run began and immediately I began to struggle. No more than 500m into the run I had already begun to entertain thoughts of abandoning the whole thing. You have to understand the circumstances. It was dark. The rain was torrential, the wind equally so. The noise of the traffic was in equal parts distracting and irritating. The ground was uneven at places and along certain corners and craters, huge puddles filled like lakes in a jungle. I was not having fun and this was only the first rep.
In as much as 2 mile intervals are beneficial, they’re also a right fucking pain in the arse. Particularly when you have 4 to do. So you start. You begin to struggle and you realise, you’ve still got well over a mile till your first break and even then it’s only 25% of the workout. 25%. TWENTY FIVE PERCENT. You still have another 3 circuits to do, I swear to Jah, they are fucking miserable.
All in all, I performed as poorly as I expected. By the time I got to fourth rep, I had had enough. Soaked to the bone, I just wanted to go home. I completed 1km of the 3 and stopped my watch.
Although this run will be chalked up as a bad run, I’m still relatively happy with myself. I am hoping that the commitment to push on days when you struggle like today will come in handy during the race. I know Brighton is a there and back course and so I am aware of how possible it might be for a solid 10km headwind accompaniment. I really hope that’s not the case but I’d be foolish to not anticipate it.