The Marathon Diaries: Two Fives and a Seven
Not an arithmetical sum but representing two back-to-back days of five mile runs of contrasting fortunes. The seven represents the seven-plus minutes quicker the second run measured.
It’s been nice running weather recently with the sunny intervals of the days only punctuated by blustery winds more reminiscent of the month of March. As a runner, it’s always nice to use a circuit that might give a little help with the wind at one’s back on the tiring way home.
The first run was a very ordinary one with no particular expectations other than completing the distance and returning home to fight another day – a ‘bog-standard’, rank and file session. These are the ones that flesh out a runner’s diary often overshadowed by the quality and long distances that take pride of place.
The second run however, over the same out and back course from Woodborough through Epperstone and return was one characterised by a lot of hard effort. The previous day had a residual benchmark time to beat and that was the main target. This was achieved by a confidence-boosting seven and a half minutes less than the previous day. Sometimes a runner’s confidence can be at a low or at least fragile ebb, especially on the road back to true fitness. We need a stopwatch to prove our worth. It’s perhaps folly to fixate too much on the chronograph but used in the correct way it will always be part of the runner’s armoury of weapons.
Enchanting lyrics somehow enter my head on the run, in spite of the hardship.
“Oh the rhythm of my heart is beating like a drum
With the words, ‘I love you’, rolling off my tongue
No never will I roam, for I know my place is home
Where the ocean meets the sky I’ll be sailing
As always they offer inspiration and strength…
“Oh the Summer time is coming
And the trees are sweetly blooming
And the wild mountain thyme
All around the blooming heather
Will ye go lassie go…”
Today’s run was hard – it was meant to be. I didn’t enjoy it for once but the aftermath glows. It’s tempting to compare the time I ran those miles in today with my higher level of fitness in past years but truly this would be a churlish exercise. I can get back to where I was. It’s entirely up to me.
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