Long Run Blues


Never mind hitting a plateau, I think I’m rolling backwards like a large, weighty moss-repellent stone.

I’ve just walked in from a long run, hoping to hit the elusive 13, ready to be content with a steady 12, and I’ve managed a pathetic 9 and a bit miles. My legs muscles are aching like they might have if I’d done 16, and I’m totally clueless as to why it’s all gone a bit Pete Tong so very quickly, especially as I’ve now booked myself onto a replacement Half in two weeks time.

I had a good meal last night: an inadvertent nod to Her Maj’s deceased other half, ‘Phileep’. A Greek moussaka with added sides of dolmades and plaki etc. I had one alcohol free beer and a tiny piece of cake. I had a good night’s sleep and my regular porridge this morning, a couple of hours before the run. Plus my two gels and some water for the duration. The only thing different were my new trainers.

New Trainers, dark pink and blue
I seemed to have bought odd lace sizes. Perhaps that and the shocking colour clash with my socks jinxed my whole run?

Now I know they should be broken in, and I had done about three 4 to 5 milers in them before putting them away for later. The only reason I got them out today was to try and give me a little oomph.

Maybe they were the culprits, but I’m still not convinced. For one thing my feet felt fantastically comfortable in them, and for the first three or four miles I was consciously forcing myself to go slower because they wanted to bound along at a happy clip.

It was raining when I went out. Not bucketing, but that steadily dripping tap which soaks in quite quickly. This was a first for me, as I’m very much a fair-weather plodder, but I gave myself an ‘I’m a big girl’ and ‘my apple phone is waterproof now’ talk and gingerly stepped outside. The temperature, once I got going, was perfect really, not cold at all but not overly hot, and as I said, with these trainers I had a spring in my step.

I know it’s only the beginning, but the hedgerows are verdant and you can just feel, despite the rain, that Summer has really taken hold. In fact, I felt I had landed into a scene from that folk-horror film Midsommer, when I disturbed, below some red, white and blue bunting, a magpie pecking away cannibalistically at the entrails of a recently expired feathered creature.

This unsettling vision was during the end of my run, at the point when it had become a sulky walk. The kind of walk that doesn’t even entertain the idea of trying to speed up to a gentle canter because it’s completely fed up with the whole concept of movement to begin with.

I’m not averse to all the union flags wafting about for the Queen’s marathon of a reign so long as they’re taken down eventually, and I did find some inventive decorations along my route, such as this gnomic homage.

A red, white and blue balloon and flag display outside of a home, with several gnomes.
The mini vw van lends a touch of extra class I think

That’s one woman who has worked out how to go the distance alright. Seventy years in the hot seat, over a period of immense social and technological change, while contending with a more than averagely dysfunctional family, is quite impressive. Anne did read a slightly contrary view somewhere. Apparently, in Scotland, the letter boxes do not have the EllR on them because she is technically the first Elizabeth to have dominion over Scotland. The union didn’t happen until after England’s Liz the First died, when she was succeeded by James, the Scottish king, whose mum had been done away with by Liz. So it’s kind of understandable that they’d be a tad tetchy about it still.

Tomorrow, we are trooping into the bunting bedecked garden of our neighbour for a little BBQ and many glasses will be raised to Her Maj, Elizabeth the Second (or First). But today, now that I’ve used this blog to spit my dummy out, I will go back to the drawing board and try and work out what I need to do to get better.

6 thoughts on “Long Run Blues”

  1. Hey, Rita! What a bummer about your run not meeting your expectations! While it may have looked differently than expected, you experienced some lovely things…yummy food, rain, terrific looking shoes, and GNOMES. I LOVE gnomes! You’re a winner, so next time will be better. Maybe, today was about stopping to smell the roses. Hugs and happiness!

    1. Ha! I won’t let Zeus win just yet! Possibly just need a little time to regroup after my half in a couple of weeks. Make myself a proper plan with some strength and cross-training.

  2. Oh Rita! Absolutely love this peice. So authentic and funny!
    Although I do think you are too hard on yourself. For someone who has run alongside you and bagged 12/13miles I think was our longest run however at present cannot even contemplate putting any trainers on to go further than to walk the dog I envy your distance. I have a suggestion… Music although it’s not everyone’s bag sometimes music can be just the key to keep you on track..
    Enjoy the celebrations x

    1. Thank you Bev! Tell me when you’re ready to start training yourself, and we’ll get out there. I’m a podcast girl myself, and that normally distracts me, but this time it all went just a bit south! Can’t wait to get my running buddy back!

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