By Scott Mills
After being bed bound and becoming extremely good acquaintances with my bathroom for three days last week, I was finally able to start covering over 10 miles on a regular basis.
However, it wasn’t quite the return to training that I was expecting and if there was anything that could signal this, it was the moment I stepped out of my car only for the wind to blow my perfectly positioned quiff all over the place.
Now for those who know me, you will understand how protective I am of what I like to call my ‘barnet’ and if there was one thing that grated me more than my slightly receding hairline it was what happened that Tuesday.
As I embarked on one of Jenny’s 11 mile runs, I could instantly tell in the first ten minutes that this was not going to be easy, especially when not even my hairspray could withhold the incredible gusts of wind that would force my hair to eventually cover my eyes, causing me to look like Cousin Itt from the Addams family.
So if constantly having to flick my barnet out of my face wasn’t irritating enough, running uphill and against strong blistery wind most definitely was.
It was almost as if over these past three weeks of training, I have learnt about many barriers that can affect a persons run that before I would have never guessed could even have such an impact.
As I reunited with Jenny at the end of the 11 mile hike, I explained to her how tough it was mentally and physically to run in these conditions and although her reply surprised me, having trained with her for so long it most definitely shouldn’t have.
“Yeah I know that’s why I chose that run for you today, because being able to overcome those barriers will definitely benefit you,” she announced as I stretched out my fatigued legs.
She was always one step ahead and whilst I hated it when I was running, I am glad she thought about these things in the long run knowing how I could improve from it.
As Wednesday’s training session came about, I was not only greeted by Jenny and that wind that I am so fond of, but I now had the pleasure of experiencing what was to be my longest run yet in the pouring rain.
It was like the weather was taunting me by saying “listen here you David Beckham wannabe, lets see how those luxurious locks and that body of yours can deal with this”.
I would be lying if I said it wasn’t difficult running up the same hill four times with the wind blowing myself and the rain all over the place whilst One Direction blared through the headphones.
But the satisfaction and pride I got when Jenny told me that I had just completed my first half marathon was unexplainable.
Considering I wasn’t even a month into my training and that I wasn’t due to complete my first half marathon until late February, I was absolutely chuffed to bits with this news.
Now don’t get me wrong there is still much more work to be done, but the fact I could see how far I had come with the hard work I was putting in, in such a short period of time gave me immense pride.
However, due to an extremely demanding training session that Wednesday I had been given Thursday off, which was just as well considering I was walking around the house like I had just finished a leg session in the gym with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.
Feeling fresh and revitalised Friday morning, it was back to work for me where this time I would complete a 12 mile run which would see me re-acquainted with a hill so steep I have hated it since I was 12.
Having to run up a hill which would have even rivalled that of a vertical climbing wall nearing the end of the run was very challenging to say the least.
It probably didn’t help by the fact that I was starting to suffer from blisters on my feet.
Nor did it help that every time I ran past a male stag, I was always left pondering about the fact that if it were to attack me because of its mating season, would I have the energy to either take it on, run away or even climb a tree?
Unfortunately, during that run the answer would have been no, not just because I have the sprint speed of a snail but because these long distance runs were taking everything out of me.
To round a weeks worth of training off, I was back playing football at the weekend trudging across a football pitch that was more like a mud bath, as I aimed to get a few miles under my belt before the end of the weekend.
Despite having my knee cut open and a disappointing result I was soon cheered up as I went to see Chelsea cruise into the next round of the FA Cup after beating MK Dons, to sign off from what had been a good week for me.
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