Mix It Up To Get Fresh

I hope I’ve finally snapped out of my post-race malaise with some really enjoyable and sociable running over the last few days. The weekend didn’t look all that promising towards the end of last week. I knew I had a lot of other stuff that I needed to get done and it appeared that it might be difficult to squeeze in the training miles alongside those other duties. Things started to turn around on the way home from work on Friday evening, when a text message arrived from a club mate who was looking for company on her early morning Saturday run – perfect! By 09:30am on Saturday I had about 14 miles done and had enjoyed every step. I’ve often heard runners ask the question, “Why would I join a club?” and this was a perfect example of the benefits of doing just that.

On Sunday it was another early start to join Galway City Harriers for their traditional Sunday 10 miler – a run I’ve only done twice in the last ten years. The weather was wet and wild and I was having second thoughts as I drove towards the city to join the small group that would be braving the elements. However, as usually happens in these situations, the clouds cleared off and the running turned out to be great. The Harriers, plus a few Athenry hangers-on, traced a meandering route out to the west of Galway City and along beautiful country roads with some decent hills thrown in for interest. Between the coming and the going, the warm up and the warm down, I got seventeen miles done in total, all at a relaxed pace, which brought me to about seventy miles for the week. Not bad for a week after a race.

By lunchtime on Sunday I felt more positive about myself and the build up towards my next ultra. If I had just done the same-old, same-old training this weekend I might still be stuck in a kind of a rut. There’s a lesson here for me. It’s not a new lesson, but perhaps it is one I need to learn again and again to make it stick. When I start to feel stale or jaded, perhaps I need to change the ‘where’ and the ‘when’ or even the ‘with whom’ of my running. I might only need this for a few days to give my head a rest. Once I’ve had that head-rest my legs seem to recover as well.

Onwards through the fog.

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