20 Lonesome Miles
On Sunday I ran 20 miles by myself. I’ve managed to run 20 miles twice before but both times with close friends that were training with me. Due to work I couldn’t join my normal Easy Like Sunday Morning Crew or the BRIDGERUNNERS so I had to take on the distance in the late afternoon, alone.
I knew that I could run 20 miles, I’ve done it before in training and one thing I always tell myself is that once I go past the halfway point of a run, I can definitely do the distance. It helps me get through it.
As you may or may not know, my training for the Berlin Marathon has been terrible, to sum it up - I haven’t ran enough. I didn’t follow my training plan properly and took an arrogant approach to training. I mean come on, I have ran a whole (ONE) Marathon now so I know everything there is to need about them, right?!
Very wrong indeed. Yesterdays run reminded me of that too, it was extremely hard from around 12 miles onwards. My pace dropped and I couldn’t maintain it (see graph below), my feet were hurting so much and I was low on energy. The run reminded me that we should respect the distance that we’re going to run and prepare correctly for the task at hand, eat right and prepare your body for the fight. I didn’t do any of these things. I have to respect the tool that is my body.
My original plan was to run to work and then get the train home, but the fatigue set in so bad, I decided to head home after 10 miles instead, at least that way I knew that every step I was talking was bringing me closer to home.
It started well enough but after that is wall downhill. I had to have a serious talk with myself and answer the questions that the scale, mirror and Nike + running account have been asking me for the past few months. What is going on? What have you done to yourself? This run, this jog, this walk is Karma. Karma biting you right back in the ass for letting yourself go and not being the best you can be.
As I headed back to London Bridge from Clapham Junction things just kept on getting harder. I knew I had to keep on going. I didn’t want to give up. I am an RDC Youngers. I do not give up.
So I kept on going by running and then walking and repeating until I was closer to home. That method paid off for the most part until I reached Bethnal Green. I knew I was so close to home and as I passed York Hall (where I would swim 3 times a week in my youth) I had to keep on going. I had to do it for me, do it for my mother, do it for people like Daniel Maskitt that keep on showing my support, no matter how large the frown on my face is. I had to do it and keep on going.
I said to myself that if I stop, that’s it and I have to walk the rest of the journey home. It was getting dark. I kept on running, got to Roman Road and kept on running, got to Victoria Park and kept on running, got to Hackney Wick Station and kept. on. running.
I couldn’t quite believe it when I saw that I was running to my doorstep, I had ran 20 miles, by myself. I gritted my teeth when it was hard and kept on going on. I didn’t give up. I was so happy and sad at the same time. I wish it wasn’t so hard. If I had trained harder it wouldn’t have been like this but these things can happen. When I finally got in and sat down on my sofa, I had a short cry just because of the journey I had been on.
Running is something that will be with me forever, I owe it a lot and now it’s time to pay some of that back, starting with tonights run. It is Tuesday after all.