Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Day 9 - through the pain barrier

Type - steady run

Distance - 4 miles

Time - 34 minutes 9 seconds

It isn't a good idea to exercise on a full stomach. It is down right stupid to attempt a training run on one. I knew this, but I also thought that I had given myself enough time to digest the decent sized portion of spaghetti carbonara I had eaten at a late lunch. I had taken the day off work today, the day after my birthday. Not because I had any crazy plans for bank holiday Monday, but because since my holiday I had gotten massively behind in all of the small household chores that need to be kept on top of. No more ironed shirts left, dust building up in corners of my bedroom, kitchen left in cake batter splattered disarray after the weekend's cake making exploits.

I ended up eating at about 4pm, after getting caught up in finishing off my chores. By 7pm everything felt pretty digested and normal, so I stretched off and got ready to run. Today's route would go down Green Lanes, coming off at Petherton Road to run through Canonbury, before looping back on to Highbury Grove at running past the Emirates and across Blackstock Road. (map) The first sign that things were not going too well was in the crowds of Arsenal fans. It was obviously a match night, which would make my run along Drayton Park Road interesting. Then, before turning off on to Petherton Road (about half a mile in to the run) I started having vicious pains in my chest. The undigested lump of pasta was swilling in my stomach, and sharp stabbing pains crippled my body. I tried to breathe deeper, longer and slower breaths, controlling my running and breathing to minimise the cramps.

I kept going, a bloody minded determination to finish a run that was, after all, only four miles long. Eventually the pain subsided to become a background annoyance, my legs freed up and the run gradually shifted from being hellish endurance to just unpleasant, breathless exercise. One single bright moment was finishing the four miles in under 35 minutes, an improvement on Saturday's time.

Another lesson learnt - be very careful with food, digestion and timing, otherwise running quickly becomes painfully unpleasant.

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