Saturday, 12 December 2009

Day 224 - putting frustration to good use

Type - Steady run

Distance - 8 miles

Time - 56 minutes 14 seconds

I had it all planned out. After Friday's reintroduction to running and a weekend of decent gym-based activity, Monday was going to deliver a cracking run, and set me on the road to having 12 - 13 miles under my belt before the new year.

The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft a glay. And plans tend to go a glaying more often than not when you work in private practice as a solicitor. Unanticipated client demands, a piece of work taking longer than planned or even just messing up an appointment on your diary. And so it came to pass that my relaxing start to the week - a relatively early night, a good run, a long sleep and a good day's work on Tuesday quickly became working late on Monday, travelling to Birmingham on Tuesday, having less time to work than I had thought, and feeling distinctly annoyed with my lack of preparation.

It is all the more frustrating when you only have yourself to blame. And I was really frustrated. I had worked myself into a rage at the prospect of my relaxing week just slipping away into chaotic abandon. So the only thing to do was go on a run and see if that would help put things in perspective. It worked a treat. I cannot emphasise the restorative power of a decent run. At the start I was annoyed, my brain working overtime to plan the coming days and feeling on edge. By the end I had sorted out what needed to be done, was feeling calm, even euphoric. It was a great thing to do.

It was also a great run. Maybe I had channelled the anger into pace, the frustration into the miles. I ended up doing just over 8 miles in just over 56 minutes, so spot on 7 minute mile pace. Over a decent distance, this was a good result.

I set off from work on the usual route, heading down to the river (map). It make it eight miles I would cross over Vauxhall Bridge Road and continue to Lupus Street and the railway bridge. It had long gone dark when I set off, and there was a distinct bite to the air as the unseasonably warm December nights returned to a more seasonally apt frostiness. The gothic courtyard of Waterhouse Square was now decorated with lighted trees, and a Christmas glow hung the place.

Any warmth generated by thoughts of holiday joy were soon displaced as a stiff wind brought a few spots of frozen rain. The air retained the moisture, and my breath vapourised into smoke plumes as I inhaled and exhaled large gulps.

My legs had loosened up considerably compared to the Friday run. It felt comfortable, and I managed to get to the half way point in 29 minutes. Completing the run in negative splits, the second half would only take 27 minutes.

I managed a last burst of speed up the hill towards Fleet Street from the Embankment, and then a final sprint along Fetter Lane to finish the run at 56 minutes 14 seconds.

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