Sunday, February 26, 2006

My target is the starting line

When I think about why running is good I think first of of the direct experience but then I think of the feeling of calm you get at the end. It is one of the things I value the most and a reason I find running so satisfying. It is like yoga (the function of which is to prepare the mind for meditation) it leaves you feeling empty but attentive. To attain that state I need to run for about 90 minutes at fairly easy pace, preferably by the canal or in the woods.

For the past year that is what I have done. I have not raced since October 2004, my focus has been the weekend and the longish run.. As a soft core runner I am quite happy with that but sometimes I feel I should both challenge myself more and connect with the community - in other words I should run a marathon..

My original plan was to leave it to autumn so that I could put in the training during the longer days when the weather is warmer. But about 5 weeks ago in a moment of impulse I entered Lochaber. I did this with some trepidation as I entered the race last year but had to pull out because of shin problems. I now have a bit of a mental block and worry that I will fail to get to the start line again, especially as my leg has never really healed and needs to be nursed. Perhaps that is why I have not mentioned this before - a superstitious feeling that it will not happen if I talk about it.

But you cannot do a marathon secretly, you have to plan and train and this has what I have been trying to do. But it has not been going smoothly and the switch from just running for the sake of it to running because you are obliged to, has caused some problems. The first thing has been illness. A couple of weeks into the schedule I caught flu. Under the old regime this would not have mattered as I would just have resumed running when my strength returned but this time I felt anxious because I was missing the important base sessions. Classic error I came back too strong and can now feel more pain in my leg, so have had to back off and cross train for a week.

However I am not down hearted. In my mind I only have a picture of me on the start line. That is all I am focussed on. Nothing more - no target time. All I want to do is get there and then the rest can take care of itself.

Oh and I have a cunning plan to try to get back on track. - I am going to a running camp in Portugal for a week. From the 9th March it will be me Mike Gratton and a couple of hundred others. If I get half as much out of it as Beanz and Pixie got out of TrailPlus, then that would be just dandy.


b-z said...

Good luck with that
will be thinking of you

Highway Kind said...

Gosh that was quick
Thanks Ruth

beanz said...

ooh - one of my club is going that week too - she is training for FLM having done Edinburgh last year

look out for a a nice young lady Doc from the Derby - but she doesn't know me as beanz!!

you'll have a great week

Elle said...

Great target!

Everything else will follow...

Have fun at the camp.

Highway Kind said...

Looking out for a nice young lady doc does not strike me as an unpleasant task.

Must say that I'm really looking forward to the camp. At this time of year sunshine is good.

I will of course be thinking of you all plodding away back here.

Leon said...

Only a few days to go now..!!!

What a fantastic thing to be doing, and have as much fun as you can with it

[puts on 3rd layer of cold-busting insulation]

C A D said...

"running camp"

I'm beginning to think we're all completely bonkers you know.


Highway Kind said...

I think bonkers describes it - or perhaps just mildly eccentric

beanz said...

have a GREAT time!

oh and I told the doc that a friend would be there (but I didn't know his name)

(my name is the same as a famous lady who used to get up the nose of the BBC!)

beanz said...

so how was it??