I am not a morning person. As I stumbled off the train a little before 9am a leaflet was shoved into my hand. I glanced and shoved it into my bag and it wasn’t until 15 minutes later, consuming my first coffee of the day, I recollected the title – 9 day line closures. Groaning I dug it out and began to profusely swear. 9 whole days my blissful commute, 1 direct train taking 35 minutes was going to be disrupted. Looking at the alternative routes suggested I continued to Eff and Blind, it would take close to 2 hours each way.
I live exactly 10 miles, front door to office. I scoffed to my colleague that I could run ten miles quicker than that. That’s when it popped into my head, I should just run it and save the £38 my travel card costs at that. With all the optimism in the world I did the maths, 10 miles each way, 20 miles a day, 5 day, that would mean running 100 miles on a week. A 100 mile run commute; it had a ring to it.
The lovely Pro Direct Running team sent me a lovely pair of Saucony Triumph ISO 2 to keep my feet moving through out the week and some amazing Asocs/Nike running kit. I’ve never run in a pair of Sauconys before but have always been aware they are a serious runner’s brand so they gave me a sense of confidence. During the movements I was trudging along they also provided something colourful to stare at and were super comfortable. I realised j probably ought to have broken them in first, there wasn’t the opportunity but I survived an entire week blister free. The snug fit took some adjusting to but it definitely helped me feel as if my ankles were secure and supported.
I started off with abundant enthusiasm. Screw TFL and their cancellations, with every step I took I felt a sense of defiance that I wasn’t at the hands of their inadequate service; I’m still very bitter from how barely the Forest Hill sink hole was dealt with a few weeks ago.
I reached work on day one and I was exhausted. I certainly felt more awake than normal but the prospect of a full day’s work did not appeal. By lunchtime I was guzzling coffee at an alarming rate. Something. Which escalated as the week went on.
Returning home home and completing my first 20 miles I felt a real sense of achievement. It was only the third time I’ve ever run that distance in a single day. The eight/nine hour gap in between the runs had refreshed my legs and it was beginning to feel like this would be a long term viable option.
Crawling out of bed an hour earlier than normal the following morning, with somewhat aching legs I soon changed my mind. Trying to run home that evening my legs were starting to protest.
Wednesday and Thursday were in all honesty horrid. By this point I had already exceeded my weekly mileage, the DOMS extended to my arms, neck, shoulders and back and I realised I had been a little unrealistic in thinking I could just plunge myself into such a challenge. My knee, which had never presented any issues, started to niggle and then really hurt and my shin splits were back with vengeance. At this point it distinctly became a case of walking with the odd spur of energy allowing me to jog. I had very little energy was very sore and my appetite was off the charts. I was also extremely grumpy and snappy. I nearly bit the head off a staff member in Tescos when there was no calorie free Lucazade in the chiller, I did not want it luke warm…..
Friday and I was so ready for it to be over. I walked the majority of 20 miles, maybe only running for 7 or 8. I reached home and promptly collapsed. In that moment I was immensely proud at my determination but also acknowledged my stupidity. I hadn’t respected the distance and had risked injury to the detriment of my marathon training. But still, proud.
Then I found out that TFL were calculating their nine days from Monday to the following Tuesday not Saturday to the following Sunday that I had envisaged. There’s no way I’m doing another 40 miles on the coming Monday/Tuesday. However I have discovered there is a nice little run to be done from Wapping to my office which is just under 4 miles and I plan to encorporae the into my routine more often. It will certainly save me the cost of travelling through Zone 1.
This week has been a real kick starter for getting my marathon training back on track, which if I’m being honest has been somewhat lacking and there are only 6 weeks to go. It’s also reinforced just how much I am not ready to take on an ultra and need to stick to marathons.
So any suggestions for what I can spend the £38 I saved from my travel card this week?