You can only control the controllable.
Having ran a total of 24+ miles on Saturday, totalling 5300ft of climbing, mostly on coast path steps, I was tired on Sunday morning.
Yup. Two runs on the coast path on Saturday. Home to Teignmouth (17.5miles) to meet up with Nicky after her swimming group’s session, then another 7 on the relentless up and down steps of the coast path with Nicky. I’d been sweating nicely in my running kit for about 5 and a half hours by then. I didn’t realise quite how badly until we stepped into the little shop at Ness to buy a drink after our run and the two young ladies both took a step back and I’m pretty sure were holding their breath!
Despite being tired, I know that I need to be able to run tired and keep momentum if I’m to realise my ambitions in August. I have bigger, longer term ambitions for distance too, so I need to become the person who keeps moving forward regardless.
So, Sunday morning, with Nicky’s second sea swimming lesson of the weekend some 3 hours off, I set off again….
She really is an inspiration. 18 months ago she couldn’t swim 33 meters of front crawl, now she’s a veteran of a 10k river swim (and several open water achievements) and is determined to crack the sea swimming this year.
We’re doing a relay soon, with Nicky doing a 1km sea swim, followed by me tackling a 10 mile off road run. I wonder how many husband and wife teams there are?
My mother said that it would be hard for Nicky swimming with that baton in her hand….
Recruiting the services of Pete Wilby who is knowledgeable, humble yet motivational and an all round top bloke, she really is mastering it. Mastering it to the point where a complete stranger approached me on the prom in Teignmouth to compliment her on her strong swim.
Anyway, I’d taken just over 3 hours the previous day but intended to take a slightly shorter route by not taking a couple of digressions and using a more direct approach to Torquay.
Once I’d hit the trails proper, I went for a slug on my drinking tube but despite sucking hard, like I was back on the Marlboro I was getting a mere dribble mixed with air.
Having scoffed at others with their trendy Salamon waist coat style rucksacks, I’m proudly sporting my Decathlon special……
So on the first big climb I removed my trusty bargain, thinking the tube must be kinked, thus restricting the flow. It was only on the third time of doing this that I realised that my increasingly soggy bottom was not down to the amount of sweat my herculean efforts were producing……..
There was split is in the bag where the tube attaches and so every movement squeezed another shot of blackcurrant flavored water down the, er, (for want of a better word) crack.
This presents two challenges – chaffing (oooo) and thirst (gasp).
My options? The one I was already achieving was to be chaffed and thirsty and hope I made it to Teignmouth despite it getting pretty warm and I was heading to the most remote parts of the route. Hhhmmmm, not ideal.
The most appealing, just sitting down and weeping at how the world obviously hates me and it’s everybody else’s fault. No, Nicky’s voice in my head (“oh man the **** up”)…… Can’t entertain this one.
Turning back? Nope, I really didn’t want to miss Nicky’s swimming (she was driving to Teignmouth).
So what did I do, I hear you chorus? Well, I sussed that if I removed the bag, held it at an angle, I could get a good gulp out. Also my new compression shorts (I know, I’m well professional!) were doing the job despite the blackcurrant soaking and appeared to be holding those vulnerable parts together pretty well.
So I knocked the effort level right off, stopped every mile or so for a drink, which just about lasted and text Nicky.
I’m please with the choices I made. Nicky and I arranged to meet at the golf course at Shaldon meaning I’d still covered the best part of 13 miles and still got to enjoy walking the dog in the sunshine whilst Nicky entertained the crowds as she ploughed through the waves.
Unfortunately, I missed the highlight of Nicky’s lesson as Pete apparently fell straight off his board whilst explaining the finer points of balance and poise in the water.
Talking of lessons……
I should always carry money on these runs, then I could have diverted to buy a drink somewhere. Actually, even if I replace the bladder and continue to use the bag, there’s nothing stopping me carrying a bottle of water in with my jelly babies and mini cheddars!
A weekend full of love, life and laughter with a healthy dose of adventure, we enjoyed it so much we started the working week with an early morning 5k in the woods, already plotting next weekend, and the weekend after that, and the one after that…….
Next target? BEAT THE TIDE!