‘Run with your eyes closed.’ So says Kilian Jornet (article in Trail Running magazine – Oct/Nov 2012). Come on. Really? That made me truly laugh out loud. I mean, what planet is he living on? Well, certainly not mine. Jeez, doesn’t he realise that most of us have enough trouble running with our eyes open? Complete nutter!! He goes on to suggest one should try running for 5m blind. Erm … I’m hoping that’s not 5 miles! Oh – and let’s not forget that he’s talking about running downhill and, of course, one must remain ‘relaxed’. PAHAHAHA It’s articles like that – and quotes like that – that confirm just how brilliant these elite runners are at what they do, not to mention completely crazy. Mostly, though, they’re just fantastically inspirational. I love reading about runners really ‘running’. It constantly reminds me that what I do barely stretches to be called running. And when I read how far the ‘real’ runners push themselves to achieve what they want to achieve, it definitely motivates me to try just a little bit harder – even if that means, in ‘my’ world, running to the next telegraph pole instead of collapsing at this one!
But enough about the elites. You don’t have to be an elite runner to impress me. I’m motivated every day reading facebook posts about people I know (or about friends of people I know) who are running HMs and marathons, 50k, 100k and 100-mile races every other weekend. Does it make me want to give up because I discovered this passion far too late in life and I’m so far behind? Like hell it does! I LOVE reading of their successes, their hiccups, their training … Their triumphs – YOUR triumphs – simply make me want to run another few kilometres tomorrow – and run them I will, be that 5k, 10k or a little more. I guess the world really is full of crazy people – and some are definitely a little (or a lot) crazier than others.
Today I managed my first 5k in a while. In my bid to hold back on the running and rebuild my knees, I’ve been avoiding anything to do with running. I’ve managed a few Run 60 secs/Walk 60 secs sessions to ‘test’ my grumbling joints. Not as niggle-free as I’d hope, but easy does it. This morning, though, in fine drizzle and my new Hokas http://www.hokaoneone.com/en/catalog.html. I couldn’t resist. I decided to do a wee lap and just go with it and see what happened – and I flew!! I have to say they do just what they say on the box, these Hokas! Definitely my new ‘go-faster’ shoes (bearing in mind that most people walking backwards could overtake me – I’m that slow!!). I flew along (it’s all relative, all relative haha), chanting ‘Follow the Hoka One trail … Follow the Hoka One trail …’. I wish I was clever enough to play with photoshop and the image I have in my head of those Hokas on Dorothy’s feet … But seriously, for someone plagued, as I am, with unrelenting PF which has moved from just a ‘morning’ thing to all bloody day (!) … my new trainers are a godsend. Yes, I’m converted and will be looking to get my hands on some trail ones very soon *thinks ‘Christmas is coming’!*
Otherwise, on the training front I’m really pleased that to the sweet sounds of Amy MacDonald I had the first run that I’ve actually enjoyed since the High Peaks 40. ‘Enjoying’ a run, for me, means that I suddenly realise I’ve been running for 10+ minutes without being aware of niggles in my knees. Yes, they started to bother me a little in the last couple of hundred metres and some might say I should’ve stopped immediately – but how the hell do you stop 200 metres from a finish line??? I still puzzle over that. I still can’t believe that man with the walking poles in front of me at the High Peaks 40 … climbed the gorge just ahead of me, reached the final checkpoint together and … with 3 km to go he pulled out. Of course, he must’ve been gutted and had all sorts of reasons – but I only have what I heard to go on. I’m sure there was plenty more, but the argument with his friends – who were urging him to get those 3km done to the finish – was that he was ‘too tired’. Yes, yes, I know – that’s probably harsh and I’ll go to hell for saying it but
‘Dear God, could you please grant me just one race where I can simply say close to the finish that I’m ‘too tired’ – without having to refer to ITB, PF, pulled muscles, cuts, bruises, throwing up blah blah blah blah? I’d be ever so grateful.’
Meanwhile, I shall just have to defer to my current favourite quote (not sure who said it):
I don’t stop when I’m tired. I stop when I’m done.