This is it. The first day of my brand new sparkly training schedule. Don’t screw it up, Sarah.
It started with an hour of easy running. Fine. I could do that. Easy sounded good. But there was a catch.
Isn’t there always?
This time the problem was in coordinating football training, a school inset day, the pool schedule and an easy run. One solution. Get up at the arse of the morning and go for a run then. It seemed like such a good idea at the time, but at midnight when I was laying my running kit out and setting the alarm for a time I usually only see when catching flights, I had the first twinges of misgivings.
I told myself that it would be so early I wouldn’t be awake and could just get on with the running. I wouldn’t have cognation to slow me down and get things confusing.
I told myself I’d be back home again before I woke up.
I told myself I could start listening to my new audiobook that I’d been looking forward to.
I told myself it was an EASY run. No speedwork or intervals. Just run.
According to the specifics I nailed it. If you look at the guidelines and you let me off 5 minutes (I couldn’t face any more sodium lights and grim Monday-Morning faced motorists) then my heart rate was in the right zone, I didn’t fall over, get lost or get sweaty. It was an hour’s worth of ‘Easy Run’.
However, it was NOT an easy run. It was a shit run.
My calves were tight. Think frozen chicken fillets. But hairier.
My entire legs refused to wake up until mile 3. Until then it felt as though I was stumping along on planks of wood like a really unlucky pirate. But without the cool pirate clothes and parrot. (Why are pirate clothes cool? They just arrrrrr.)
My shoelaces came undone. Twice.
It was too dark to run the route I’d planned. I went to run it but it all started looking like the beginning of a horror movie where the stupid girl leaves the nice bright warm house and ventures out into the dark woods. But with the stupid girl wearing lycra in this movie. I hadn’t brought my shotgun or kitchen knife and didn’t really feel prepared to fight off Michael Myers or Freddie Krueger at this time in the morning so I ended up staying on the pavements under the orange sodium lights.
I was sulking. This time of the morning is reserved for ‘Being in Bed’. ‘Being Asleep’ and ‘Catching a Red Eye Flight’. Not running around. Certainly not Shit Running which was what I was doing.
However, there WAS a good bit. This was getting home, having a shower and getting back into bed. I fell asleep with a smug expression having done my exercise at a time that normal people were asleep.
I wore my Smug Face for at least 2 hours. Until I remembered that today was a double day ... the double whammy of 2 training sessions in one day. I immediately became 50% less smug.
The evening session was a swim time trial this evening but with nice short distances: 25m, 50m and 100m. Even I couldn’t muck this up.
You really believe that?
I’d checked that the pool was open late. It was. It was also divided into lanes. This was all good.
What was bad was that ¾ of the pool was booked out by the local swimming club leaving the rest of it open for a free-for-all. So 75% screaming children, 25% pensioners and families. Oh goodie. This was extremely helpful for my time trial attempt. *Cries*
When exactly does a time trial stop being a time trial and turn into a farce?
Was it when I had to swim around the teenager standing up in the middle of the lane? Or when I had to do an awkward U-turn at the end of the lane to avoid the couple holding onto the wall and using up all the kick-space? Or was it when I realised they were all just swimming normally and I was the one splashing up and down the pool in a hurry and going nowhere fast?
My swim stroke has been politely described as enthusiastic and less politely but probably more accurately as “shark attack”. I end up moving mainly because the people get out of the way and the water recedes in fear and the remaining vacuum drags me forward. In fact, I swim much like I play tennis, swinging my arms wildly, terrifying casual observers and smacking the occasional ball in error.
My time trial wasn’t much different.
I managed to splash up and down the pool, propelling myself along with more willpower and enthusiasm than actual technique. I got so excited about the 25m and 50m sessions that I forgot to breathe and ended up doing a bizarre ‘4 strokes then breathe’ style which I’d never tried before and which wasn’t entirely successful. My 100m was the most comfortable of all of them but this was probably because I was suffering from oxygen deprivation by this point and didn’t care or possibly because the other users of the public swim section had moved out of my way in fear, having seen my ‘swim over and drown the #BreastrokeWankers who get in the way’ approach to time trials in the 25 and 50 metre attempts. Anyway, I survived, didn’t drown and didn’t get kicked in the head by a militant breastroker.
A win. Well ... right up until the swimming watch refused to upload my times.