Noah’s Lark (13.1-31.1km)

With the Farnborough half just a fortnight away I needed to get some hard miles in today even if it was just a case of convincing myself I could run the distance.

I’d entered the half months ago, it’s the first one in my hometown, and it’s kind of snuck up on me with all the Christmas festivities. I’ve entered though and I’m going to try and be fairly relaxed about this one. Half marathons have always been a bit jinxed for me, I’ve somehow always been injured or caught a bad cold somewhere in the training.

This time, so far, I’m just going out and enjoying my running. No expectations, except to get around in under two hours, and no pressure. Just a solid half on which to build on in the coming months.

That’s where today’s run came in, it was about me putting a few longer runs together that, even at this late stage, give me the mental boost that I can make the distance. As ever though, getting out of the house this morning was a motivational challenge and  an hour after my planned start I got out on the road.

It took me a long while to get going today, a few twinges here and there and just a general unease. It wasn’t until I got onto the canal towpath that I felt comfortable in my running, perhaps it was being off-road that did it. I’m loving getting off the road these days and running along the canal is becoming a firm favourite. It’s not hard to understand why; everyone will wish you a cheery “good morning”, there’s no traffic noise, just the sound of birds tweeting away and the view, wow. Just wow!

I’ve run down the canal after a harsh frost and that took the breath away, today there were wisps of low-lying fog over the canal. It was like running towards a windswept candy floss that remained stubbornly out of range. It lifted the spirit though, I find I do my best running when only slightly conscious of the mechanics of it all and this was the perfect catalyst for getting into that mood.

I only wish I’d taken my phone so I could snap a quick picture. I’m trying to work out how to get more pictures into this blog. Something to think about for future runs.

It wasn’t the only thing I wish I’d taken though, as a glasses wearer rain can hamper visibility somewhat especially when the glasses get misted up. And boy did it rain on my way home! It started as a spray which could be wiped away with my t-shirt, but before long the rain grew heavier, my t-shirt got saturated and had no effect on my glasses and then they got steamed up.

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About as much use as a chocolate teapot

I longed for my cap that was discarded to the back of the cupboard this morning. A peaked cap to a runner with glasses is a license to see the world in the rain. Before leaving I’d picked mine up and thought I’d be alright. Famous last words, I will apologise to it when it stops taunting me from under my socks.

I managed 18km though, I was drenched, my t-shirt stuck to me like cling film around a chunk of stilton. I stopped in places to take a breather, take a gel or to let some traffic passed but I’m a bit more confident about the forthcoming half. I should be able to do the distance justice and I should be able to enjoy it as long as I bring my cap.

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