Tuesday 5 October 2010

now the candle burns at both ends....

After a long weekend enjoying the Ryder Cup and the company of some of my oldest friends, I was naturally keen to try and undo some of the damage by taking some exercise at the earliest possible opportunity. A rain delay to the golf on Sunday meant I had the opportunity of a 4 mile run along the Oxford ring road in the driving rain. Even so, I was determined to squeeze in an extra swimming session on Monday evening after work to try and catch up on my exercise schedule. As it turned out, by about 4pm that evening, it was all I could do to physically keep myself sat upright in front of my PC at my desk, and as soon as I went home, I went to bed for a nap. I’m not very good at listening to the messages that my body gives me, but this time it shouted so loudly that I couldn’t ignore it. A swim, it seemed, was out of the question.

My usual weekly routine is to run on a Tuesday before injecting myself with my “might just maybe prevent future relapses in your MS, but equally might not and we’ll never be able to say for sure either way” medicine. As I usually wake up the day after injecting feeling as though I’ve been hit by a truck, I tend to take the day off exercise to recover. This week, I’m doing things a bit differently: as I’m out watching Mumford & Sons at Rock City tonight, I injected myself on Monday night instead. I might have been too tired to exercise on Monday night, but was damned if I was going to let Tuesday go past without punishing myself at some point, even if this meant going out for a run when I was feeling physically low from the injection.

And so it was, that at lunchtime today, I dragged myself out of the office for a run. It was bloody hard work too. I was tired before I started, but I often am and I pushed on in the expectation that I would get into my stride soon enough (or at least refuse to stop and just get it done). It was only when I was about a mile in and nearly fell over that I realised that my fatigue meant that I was dragging my left leg. This has happened to me before, when I was training for the half marathon last year, and it’s a clear sign that I’m pushing myself too hard. Naturally, I pushed on and completed all 4.33 miles of my run, pushing harder in the last mile to make sure that my average pace dipped down to 8.51 minutes per mile – slower than my last few runs, but still quicker than my old default pace. I stumbled a few times, but managed to stay on my feet.

For some reason my iPod, in theory playing a long playlist on shuffle, kept coughing up Metallica songs, interspersed by the odd track by Probot, Queens of the Stone Age or Iron Maiden. It can be quite hard to summon up the mental energy to keep picking up your knees and to keep your pace up, but there can be little doubt that listening to the likes of “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)”, “Ride the Lightning”, “The Frayed Ends of Sanity”, “The Clairvoyant”, “Shake Your Blood” and “First it Giveth” all definitely help.... Power songs FTW.

Hard work, though.

......Luckily all I had to do this afternoon was work.