Let’s get this party started

I haven’t quite given up on my twenties just yet, but the celebrations for the upcoming milestone started in earnest this weekend with a joint family party for my Grandpa (who turned 90 on Friday) and I.  As you can see, the cakes were impressive, not to mention delicious.  We had a great afternoon on Saturday eating copious amounts of delicious food provided by my wonderful mother, and drinking more prosecco than is ideal if you’re planning a 15 mile run the following morning.  Fortunately, the age of the guest of honour meant that the rabble had all departed by around 8pm, and I was allowed to snooze off the bubbles whilst my parents and brothers battled it out on the Nintendo Wii.

The 15 miler had been planned in advance and took in a daunting number of childhood and teenage haunts – the route chosen looked significantly further than a couple of laps round Richmond Park.  By Saturday night though I was a bit concerned that the old knee injury was going to scupper it: I did an interval session on the treadmill on Friday morning in my new trainers, and after 2 1/2 very strong and comfortable mile intervals my left knee suddenly started to grumble loudly enough for me to abandon the last half mile.   The injury wasn’t helped by an unscheduled race down the Kings Road in inappropriate footwear on Friday evening as I attempted to get to SweatyBetty before it shut in order to return some shorts I didn’t like.  (I made it, just in time, but managed to get a blister on my heel and increase the volume of the knee grumbling for my efforts.)  Plus I should add boxing in 5 inch heels to the list of things you probably shouldn’t do when training for a marathon – the gloves and pads I got my Mum as part of her Christmas present were a real hit (boom boom!) with the various aunts and younger cousins at the party but I probably should have taken my shoes off before offering to act as punch bag.

The result was that when Sunday morning dawned grey and cold but mercifully dry, I wasn’t sure whether or not to go out.  The knee was definitely not especially happy, but nor was it particularly bad either.  I decided to head out and see how it went for the first 4km, at which point I’d still be within half a mile of home and could abort the run if it was proving too much.

At that 4km mark I decided that it wasn’t so bad after all – although it definitely wasn’t 100% it wasn’t causing me any pain and if I maintained a steady pace it seemed happy enough.  And so it continued for the next 8 miles as I plodded around the country lanes.  People out on a Sunday morning in the countryside really are much more friendly and pleasant than those in London and there were plenty of “good mornings” exchanged with one or two other runners, some dog walkers and one chap on a bike who I passed a number of times on my long route (the third time I met him, miles and miles away from our first encounter, I could tell he was pretty impressed with how far I had come, which was a nice feeling).  After a fairly hairy run down the Straight Mile (no pavement, cars going very fast for obvious reasons) I turned off the main road again into Bourton and was met there by my Mum who had decided to do the last 5 miles with me.  It was nice to have the company, although I think she found the pace a little slow.  I had to keep reminding myself that I didn’t need to match her pace, as I’d done 10 miles more than her!  By this stage though my knee got sore as soon as I either stopped or sped up, so maintaining a consistent 10.45 min pace was easy.

I made it home in one piece and bang on my target time of 2 hours 45 minutes (which in fact also included a brief comfort break at the Little Chef on the A45!).  The knee immediately flared up and I was very glad that my brother was able to drive us back to London that evening as I think 2 hours of clutch control might have been a bit too much for it.  But although it’s sore and stairs are a bit of an issue today, it hasn’t gone completely and I think it’ll be right as rain in two or three days.  This injury is such a long-standing one now that I know it well and can tell pretty accurately whether it’s aches and pains are serious or not.  I’m getting a massage today as well which will help, and I’ll probably skip one of my mid-week runs this week to give it a chance to recover.

All in all, a successful weekend.  Even if I am a bit crippled today, I’m not yet 90!

Distance:  15.25 miles
Time:  02:45:01
Terrain:  road, very undulating Warwickshire countryside
Weather:  typical grey February.  Dry and not too cold though.
Notable features:  pleasant exchanges with others out and about on a Sunday; running with my mother


About westlondonplodder
Thirty-something London girl looking for the next big challenge

One Response to Let’s get this party started

  1. Pingback: Taper (or running out of steam) « Things to do before I'm 30

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