WELL, it wasn’t quite the come-back gig I imagined!
As you know I had somehow managed to convince myself that it was only two weeks I’d taken off over Christmas, but the sad fact is, when I plugged in my Garmin watch to analyse my run stats, I realised it was more like four that I’d missed.
And boy, my body knew it.
You’d think it would be easier the second time round though. I’ve heard people say muscles have memory, but I think mine were still suffering from some post-party hangover and simply couldn’t remember what they had been up to in the months before.
The first run was just horrendous.
I’d arranged to meet Gill and do some speed work – I didn’t imagine it would be a big problem as Ros and I had introduced some faster sections just before the Christmas break.
Boy, was I wrong.
Gill had her watch all set up so we could do minute long sprints followed by a gentle jog, a minute of sprinting and so on.
I managed three before I was literally on my knees pleading with her to let me go home.
I only managed to run 4 miles that night, and the next day I could barely move. Tight quads, tight calves, tight glutes, tight everything.
Undeterred but somewhat demotivated, I decided to go out with Ros and Jessie for a gentle jog on Wednesday.
Before ‘mince-piegate’, as my four week sofa fest will now be called, I was really quite enjoying these mid-week gentle runs and we were easily clocking up five or six miles.
Suffice it to say this time I was home and changed into PJs after less than three.
I think Gill realised I was about ready to throw my hands up in a fit of self loathing and admit defeat, and to be honest I was pretty close.
I can’t believe how hard it was to get going again and I was cursing myself for being so lazy, and had just about convinced myself that I should just pay all my sponsors back their money and hang my head in shame.
Then we had a hash – Jessie was setting the trail, and I was helping. We planned to lay the route on Friday night and run it together with the pack on Saturday, but it didn’t work out like that.
It was absolutely chucking it down on Friday so we decided to do it all on Saturday morning – and ended up doing some 8 miles in total.
That convinced me that maybe not all was lost, so when Gill offered to take Ros and me on a gentle 12 miler I agreed.
Then I spent the week trying to work out how I could get out of it.
The night before I was almost physically ill with nerves and worry, and on the morning I could barely face eating my breakfast.
I knew it was going to hurt.
I very nearly gave up after less than a mile, because I had the most awful pain in my right shin, but after a couple of miles it settled down into a dull ache rather than a red hot stabbing pain, so I decided to go on.
Gill had a lovely treat in store for us, although it didn’t feel like it at the time.
The first half was all uphill – a gentle climb up the Tissington Trail.
And the treat part – well, it was all downhill on the return section!
It was a beautiful route too – from the trail we ran through Tissington village, where I was proud not to be outwaddled by the ducks and we managed to avoid the tea-room temptation.
Across the A515 and down to Thorpe and a quick breather to admire the work being done on the Dog and Partridge, and then onto Mapleton.
Gill offered us a short cut back through the tunnel, but we declined and wearily soldiered on.
Well, honesty, at the end of the 12 miles I was ready to drop, but hey, I did it and so did Ros and what’s more, although I can barely believe it, we kept up a steady pace throughout and were faster than the three post ‘mince-piegate’ runs beforehand.
Don’t get me wrong, we were slow enough; but it was still faster than walking!
But at least I know we can both complete the Silverstone half-marathon, it’s only another 1.1 miles to add, so at least that’s one worry less.
Now all I have to do before April 13 is double the distance I can manage to 26.2...