Saturday 18th October 2014

Workout Soundtrack: –

1km (25m pool session) 23:23

7km 29:52 (Frankfurt Marathon, session 15)

*This post was written on 19th October*

I am not sure why but today was a pretty tough battle with negative vibes! I woke up at 1000hrs (which is a nice lie in) but for some reason I just could not motivate myself to get up and face the day – I had so much on my ‘To Do’ list for the day, not least a run and a swim but zero desire to get any of it done. So I did something I very, very rarely do and I turned off my alarm and forced myself to go back to sleep! The next thing I know, I wake up and it is 1400hrs. Again, even at this late hour I struggled to get up and out of bed but I did in the knowledge that the only things getting done on today’s list would likely be a run and a swim which would, undoubtedly, improve my mood…

I ate a very large pre-workout breakfast/lunch of one tin of beans (with added chopped chillies) on three pieces of brown toast and two poached eggs, washed down with a cup of strong black coffee and a litre of cold water. In my mind I was fuelling up for a long swim and a fast paced run afterwards so it was all good! Unfortunately, with that much food on board I couldn’t really do much at all until it had settled and digested a bit as the plan was to swim first and I know that I cramp up pretty easily in the pool if I’ve eaten too much beforehand. So it was that I moped around my house for almost two hours – I still couldn’t  muster much by way of motivation to do what I would usually do in these moments, namely, housework. I just paced around with my headphones in waiting for a sign from my body that it was ‘Go’ time!

At 1630hrs, after packing my swim bag and putting on my swim shorts and calf guards underneath my tracksuit trousers I headed out to the pool and immediately began to feel lighter, brighter and more determined to make something out of the day! I got to the pool having done some stretches along the way and was happy and surprised to see only one other person in the only lane set aside for fast swimmers. I set up my Garmin 910xt for its first swim workout, jumped in and kicked off the wall with a vague notion that I was about to swim 3 or 4 kilometres. Unfortunately the minute I scissor kicked into my first stroke I felt a very uncomfortable sensation in my left ankle which pulled me up straight away. I stood up in the lane and walked back to the wall before trying again. I got the same sensation and realised that the water resistance was causing my overstretched anterior talo-fibular ligament to work a little too much so I pulled myself out of the pool (admittedly I had tears of frustration in my eyes) and skulked off to the shower room before heading up to the sauna and steam room.

I sat in the sauna and composed myself by reciting the Om Mani Padme Hum mantra for twenty five minutes before heading over to the steam room for fifteen minutes where I decided to try one last time in the pool. I went back down to poolside and jumped back in after doing full ankle rotations in the steam room and having numbed it under an ice cold shower for five minutes. I kicked off and was underway – the hot/cold treatment had done the trick and I was swimming my laps without too much discomfort but, unfortunately, I couldn’t seem to get into a decent stroke or breathing pattern and soon my arms began to feel like lead and my ankle started to feel progressively worse with each lap – I clocked the slowest kilometre I think I have ever swam, pulled myself out of the pool feeling pretty crap about it but with a mind hell bent and determined to go for a decent run to make up for such a poor pool session.

About 100 metres from my front door I bumped into my housemate who was just heading out for his daily run – he’s just got back from skiing in France so it’s the first time we’ve seen each other in  about a week. He stopped to say ‘Hi’ and then asked if I’d like to come along for the run. It felt like a motivational gift from the Gods so I rushed indoors, dumped my swim bag and pulled on singlet, compression socks and shorts and within ten minutes we were running along at a fairly decent pace. I dropped back a little and let Tom do the pace setting on the first kilometre and then I took over for the second but towards the end of this I realised I just couldn’t muster any speed from my legs and felt like I was holding Tom back – I turned and told him to take off and I might catch him somewhere along the route. Off he went and my spirits hit a low point – I considered taking a turn which would have put me back at my front door at 3.5km but then I looked up and saw that Tom hadn’t actually gotten that far ahead so I let my racing mind take over and vowed to myself that I’d catch him before the next turn! I put everything I had into the next 500 metres or so and caught him without about 100 metres to spare before turning! I led from this point until about five minutes later when I felt my pace start to drop and wane again – my legs just would not respond to any request to keep up the pace. I told Tom to take the lead again but I know he was holding it back and keeping to a much more moderate pace than we usually run at when we’re out together, he would surge off a little and I would cover the move but then he’d drop back into a leisurely pace. I still can’t decide if I’m thankful for him going easy and practically calling in the workout or if I would have been happier being pushed to my limits a little more?! Either way that’s how the run went until we got back to the front door where my legs felt like lead, my head was pounding and I was short of breath – it didn’t exactly fill me with marathon confidence with only eight days until Frankfurt!

Oh well. As I’m fond of saying at times like this: not every workout can be a good one and you only regret the ones you don’t do!!

Here’s hoping tomorrow’s mindset and run are much more in tune with the universe. Until then dear reader, adieu.

Peace & Blessings x

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