Today marked the come back on the marathon training schedule. After 3 weeks of feeling under the weather with a chest infection, and a couple of shorter sessions, this was the return to double-digit running. And didn’t I choose the day for it!
Storm Dennis was alive and well. First it threw it down, then it eased off, and then it threw it down.
I went on a route I don’t normally choose, and shouldn’t have, given the conditions. Having passed Good Hope hospital I then traversed through the Rectory Park and then New Hall Valley Country park through some almost impassable sections which required a combination of hop-scotch, grassy detours and some good old fashioned grin-and-bear-it splodging.
I turned around at New Hall as it really was impassable this time, and then carried along a main road which wasn’t familiar to me, but the directions back to Sutton Coldfield were, and I ended up back heading towards the town centre.
From there I was a bit indecisive and was just going to go up a tried and tested hilly road up towards Streetly before heading back through Mere Green and to home, when I spotted a lady clearly searching for her lost puppy. Cue a 3-mile detour around Sutton Park to join the search party. Sadly I didn’t come across the pup, but did spread the word amongst numerous dog-walkers, so I hope this had some effect.
Finally making it to the junction I had been planning to via a more circuitous route, I popped out at Four Oaks train station and plodded on home for a 12.3 mile run.
I felt good. The pace was slow but that was due to poor underfoot conditions, requiring some areas to be simply walked, so I’m not concerned. I’m not too bothered about pace anyway at the moment. It’s distance that I need and that’s why I feel good about it.
Returning to longer distance running after a break is psychologically challenging. Oddly enough, if it had been the perfect conditions for running I would’ve been less motivated, but the thought of battling the elements spurred me on and the various obstacles and incidences helped pass the time in a way that straight flat, road-running experience wouldn’t have.