For some reason, I was really looking forward to a run in the rain today.
My meeting schedule in the office today saw me walking backwards and forwards between two buildings, mostly in the rain. I was wrapped up in a big jacket, so the rain wasn't bothering me at all and it was actually quite nice to get away from the office environment, even for a few minutes. On one of those walks, I saw a squirrel scuttling away into some undergrowth: a little bit of nature in my day recharging my batteries.
By the time I went home, it was dark and properly pouring it down. I couldn't wait to get my kit on. The idea of a run in the rain somehow seemed to suit my mood.
I seem to be developing a problem with one of the tendons in the arch of my left foot. I drag my left leg a bit when I get tired; this scuffing has started to tear the cartilage in my knee and I'm developing problems in both of my calves as my body attempts to protect my knee as I run. Now, it seems, the stiffness in my calves is starting to impact the tendons underneath my foot. It might just be a symptom of being a 38 year old guy with a few running miles already on the clock, but it might also be a particularly devious side-effect of my MS. The fatigue hasn't stopped me, so it seems to be trying to find another way around.
Naturally, in the face of this new physical obstacle, I'm upping my mileage and thinking seriously about entering the half marathon again this year. Yesterday, my running club ran a free session with a trainer on preparing for a half marathon. It was pretty good, even if it's pretty funny someone who averages around 8.5 minute miles to be taking advice from someone with a marathon best of 2:17 and who was thus, at his peak, running more than 26 miles at a pace of something under six minutes per mile. Still, I learned about threshold training... which is where you go out and run a number of intervals at around 7.5 / 10 exertion. Apparently, the way that you gauge this is that if you can hold a conversation without too much trouble, you're not working hard enough, but if you're struggling to string more than a few words together, you're doing too much and need to throttle back a bit. Do this a lot, we were told, and you will get faster... guaranteed. We then went out for a practical session, and I can tell you what I already know: I hate running intervals. Four sessions of five minutes with a 90 second gap between each interval. It's brutal. I probably only covered about 3 miles, but it's very mentally difficult and I was knackered. Of course, I will be building this into my weekly routine: upping the intensity and duration and looking for some hills to run on. This is how I relax, you know.
I an now working on a maintenance regime where I use a foam roller on my calves to ease out the cramps and stiffness and little wooden balls to roll the tendons underneath my feet, and I guess I'll continue to do that and see how I go. Maybe I'll just seize up or break down completely. Whatever, clearly I'm not just going to stop and rest.
Anyway. Today I wanted to run in the rain. Just a short, slow 4 miles to keep the motor running and to clear the cobwebs of the day. I stepped out the door and it stopped raining. Just as I was running back up the street on my final twenty metres, it started raining again. In between, it was almost completely dry. Some people might call that lucky, but I won't lie to you: I was a bit disappointed.
Maybe I'm just a contrarian, but I wanted rain, dangnabbit.