five miles home

I just dropped out of a 10mile race at 5miles, even shorter than the 6miles I run every day on the exact same route (the race took place in Phoenix Park). My shins seized up within minutes of starting, and by the second mile, I could barely walk, let alone run. I would have stopped then if I had been closer to home—I ran until the gate near my house approached, then peeled off, out of Phoenix Park. (Oh, this is a ‘Running in Phoenix Park’ story).

I regret taking part in the race because I’m injured now, but the experience did confirm something I’ve suspected for some time: running is not supposed to be a competitive activity for me. I shouldn’t have tried interval training in the weeks before the race—all I got out of that hateful exercise was my first ever sports injury (shin splints). I allowed myself a week off—not long enough—then I put my legs through an intense two-week stint to make up for lost time. Then finally, despite the nasty wet Irish weather, which I’d never otherwise dream of running in, I went out this morning wearing a bin bag with holes cut in it (head, arms) only to botch the race.

Rain was bucketing down. I usually won’t even run in drizzle because I hate getting my shoes wet. Anyway, I went out and warmed up, jogged down to the start—squelch squelch—hung around in the squall, thinking this is a crazy thing to be doing, trying to keep my legs warm and my shoes as dry as possible. I was out in the rain for 45 mins before the race even started. On the way to line up, an eager runner knocked me into an ankle deep puddle, and my shoes got soaked! When we set off, my shoes felt very heavy. My shins started to burn before I’d even worked up to my usual pace, and soon after that, my lower legs turned into cement blocks.

I feel better now—I’ve had a shower and some muesli, which I made (it’s the best!). When the rain stops, I’ll catch the bus to Tesco and get something for supper. Can’t wait until Rory gets home from the betting shop. We’ve been texting—he’s had a bad morning, too.

Oh, now the rain has stopped.

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