Most of the time I really like running along the Thames path. Today, the uneven ground really hurt my foot – or, more likely, aggravated a foot-pain that started on my way to the river. But, aside from that the run was pretty good.
Honestly, I should have run the whole thing a fair bit slower than I did. I used to do long-runs at 7:30 pace, and – as you’ll see – was a bit faster than that, particularly at the back half of the run.
The biggest positive was hugging a giant, fluffy, blue octopus. I wish I had got a photo!
Actual: 11.88km @ 6:17 min/km.
Addendum: Many years ago, in the folly of my youth, when Mr. Neon and I had only first started living together he used to run. At the time I thought he ran a lot, but with the wisdom of time I realise he ran a perfectly acceptable amount. The biggest thing that I found odd was that he would always complain of foot pain. It got so bad at one point that he went to see a podiatrist, who wrapped both his feet in tape. One terrible allergic reaction later, and poor Mr. Neon-to-be ended up spending three days sitting on the couch with his feet in a bucket of calamine lotion.
The thing that strikes me about today’s run and this story was the foot pain. I often wondered why he didn’t just come home, why struggle though kilometers and kilometers of foot pain? But, today, I did just that. I was well within walking distance when the first twinge in my foot occurred. After a brief self-assessment of the type of pain I was feeling (i.e. is this a pain that should make me stop or not?) I made the decision to keep going, even though I would likely be in pain at least on-and-off during the run. Not without coincidence I also was listening to a book by Ed Ayers (who was, among other things, the founding editor of Running Times) called The Longest Race: A Lifelong Runner, an Iconic Ultramarathon, and the Case for Human Endurance. A section that came up on my way down the Thames Path was about the oft-cited runners’ mantra ‘listen to your body.’ I think it’s really important for that to be in the forefront of every runner’s mind – if you hurt, it might not necessarily mean that you need to stop, but if you start thinking you can run though any pain then you are running headfirst into trouble (bad pun intended.)
Another thing I want to briefly comment on is the listening. Today’s run was a bit of an experiment to listen to an audio book rather than music. Music is great, and I will still listen to music, but I thought it might be nice to try the audio book out on my longer runs. I have a tendency to ignore what’s going on around me, and what’s going on inside me, when I start getting into the music. That’s partly what turned Thursday’s 6-8km tempo run into a 5km time-trial. So far, so good, on the book front. Although, I might try something more melodic next time – maybe Homer’s Iliad.