Fuck muscle memory
Listen kids, actually don’t, I’ve already sworn once and there’s no guarantee I won’t again. You see, I made the mistake of running a long distance when I hadn’t run in a long time. In other words, I did zero training. It seems having two 10ks under my belt, and their accompanying medals around my neck, counts for nothing. You reap what you sow and I sowed zilch. My field was empty and I was just looking at it saying “Of course it can grow flowers! It’s done it before, it can do it again!”. Utter uselessness. I needed to furrow, fertilise and [insert another gardening term] that field. Not just wish it.
The problem – I got complacent. I thought previous success would carry me through this 10k, but it didn’t, and my legs still hurt three days later.
What you’ve got to do is train. Even if you’ve run a 10k within the past two months. It doesn’t matter. Before Sunday 13th July, my last 10k was on Monday 27th May. It seems 6 weeks is not an appropriate gap to leave between runs (who’d have thought, eh?). Muscle memory isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It seems all the hype about it is horse shit.
So kids, if you’re still up and not in your jimjams yet, take it from me – you cannot and should not half arse a 10k. It will not look good, feel good or be good, in any way shape or form. However, having said that I still enjoyed myself, but to emphasise to you just how important it is to train here is my account of the day:
The Worst 10k I Have Ever Done
I started ambitiously – running at a slightly faster pace, imagining myself finishing in under 60 minutes, weaving in and out of people – all I can say is – I was X-Factor contestant delusional. I survived the first 2ks at that pace before hitting a wall. In part, the wall was made of dehydration, 30 degree heat and needing the loo, but training would have laid a better foundation for it all. In short, I was ill prepared for the mental and physical demands of running, which lead to me doing something I didn’t do last time – I walked. I became one of those runners you see walking because they didn’t train enough. The shame of it is almost enough to drive me to being house bound for a month. If it weren’t for the exceptionally amazing weather England’s experiencing right now I’d be on Tesco online buying spam by the trolley load.
Anyway, enough of the pity party. I got water at 3k and toilets at 5k. I should have been able to pick myself up, dust my shoulder off, and run all the way to the end. Did I? No. I walked and ran, on and off until the finish line. Needless to say it wasn’t pretty. But you know what – I got there in the end, and only 5 minutes over my normal time for a 10k. 77 minutes instead of 72. Ain’t 5 minutes killed nobody. 2 minutes on the other hand…….
Training! Well… at least one training run, possibly…. hopefully….. if I can fit one in… before the 8k I’m doing this Sunday… I’m not quite sure I have time to. Maybe I should have run tonight instead of blogged? Wait, who am I kidding, blogging is my calling – in fact, I run so I can blog. Anyway, to be honest it’s a tourist run. It’s around the Olympic Park. It’s not meant for PBs but to say you ran in the Olympic Stadium.
Despite my less than awesome training, please feel deeply inclined to sponsor a great charity doing brilliant work to improve the lives of children and young people in the UK. No child or young person should suffer because I failed to get my butt in gear. Here are the reasons I run for NCB and here is where you can give away your savings, originally allocated to your grand kids to help all kids. Thank you to all those who have already sponsored me this year and last, and thank you to all the people who will sponsor me in the future – you guys rock like Ayers!