Sunday, 25 March 2012

Binge running

I'm one of those little and often drinkers, ie I quite often have a glass of Merlot or a pint of bitter, but rare are the times when I have a second. Mrs M, on the other hand, sometimes goes for weeks without touching a drop, but then on a night out will put enough away to down a medium-sized pony. I'm not judging that, it's just not what I like to do.

In the last couple of days, however, I seem to have taken a leaf out of her book when it comes to running. As regular readers will know, I've been off my feet in recent weeks due to grumbling tendons, ligaments and whatever other connective tissue exists in my right leg. I'm off to the physio on 2 April for a proper diagnosis, but rest did seem to have done some good recently, so on Thursday I had a test run - nothing challenging, two and half miles or so.

Apart from a bit of stiffness, unsurprising after 6 weeks of no running, everything seemed ok within reason, so on Friday night a combination of two things got me planning a longer outing for Saturday morning: the weather forecast (it's been just as superb here as most other places), and the book I'm reading at the moment: Mad Bad and Dangerous to Know, Ranulph Fiennes' autobiography. I'm not a big reader of biographies or autobiographies normally, but Mrs M recently brought back this little work of genius from a jumble sale for 20p. Reading about the privations and hardships he's endured over all his polar expeditions has been quite humbling, and inspirational in the sense of motivating me to get out there.

So yesterday morning I was out of the house for 7, and over the next 2 hours ran just under a half-marathon, but with 1,500 feet of climbing, to the top of Shutlingsloe in fact, my favourite local peak. I was stiff and sore in the last few miles, so did something I know elite athletes do quite regularly, but I'd never tried before - I had an ice bath (well, a very cold one at least). And blow me, it seems to work, because although I was a bit sore this morning, I was out there again - not quite as far at 10.5 miles, but another 1,000 feet or so of climbing. I have, therefore, on the back of no running for 6 weeks, over the course of two runs covered the distance of a marathon, but with a load of ascent chucked in too. Man, I'm going to suffer tomorrow morning - if DOMS is the athletic equivalent of a hangover from binge drinking, I suspect I'm going to have a doozy of a morning-after.

It will have been well worth it though - standing on top of Shutlingsloe at 8 am yesterday, watching the mist below me begin to be burned off by the warming sun, and so the peaks of the buildings on the Cheshire Plain emerging like periscopes, with a fantastic choon in my ears, well, it was most agreeable. I should have taken a picture on the iphone to post here - worth a thousand words and all that. Plenty of opportunities for that await though - hard to believe it's still only March. Anyway, I hope I've turned a corner this weekend, the bingeing can stop and a sensible steady intake can resume....

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