I’ve been training quite hard for the 10k a week on Sunday. 10k is an odd distance and tricky to pace. You can’t run it too fast but the danger is that you run it too slow. After a week of pretty decent training apart from Thursday when I gave up half way through the dreaded interval training I was looking to challenge my 5k pb at Edinburgh parkrun last Saturday morning. But after just 1k I knew that it wasn’t there. I’ve run enough now to know that some days the mind can be positive but the body won’t obey. It’s a horrible sensation because you have to keep running even though you know early on that it isn’t going to be pretty and you’re not going to run a good time. I resisted the temptation to just stop and struggled round in my worst time for ages.
Today I set off to run 10k at the pace I want to run it on the day. Early on I could tell it was going to be a good run. I felt strong; there was a rhythm and everything was just as it should be. And believe it or not this lasted the whole 6 miles with my finishing time of 43 minutes 55 seconds being easily the fastest that I have run 10k in training. If only I could run that time a week on Sunday. I don’t know what was different today but whatever was adversely affecting my performance on Saturday has obviously moved on.
Perhaps it was my recent nightmare that was driving me on today. This was a very real dream if you know what I mean. I was in the grounds of a university walking across concrete paving (this small detail is significant) There was a sudden urgent call for help and I spotted two nurses at either end of a stretcher struggling to carry a heavy and badly injured middle aged man. He had major leg injuries and there was a lot of blood around. I ran to help the nurses with the stretcher. We needed to run round a corner to get to the main road where the ambulance was waiting. Now when it comes to carrying a stretcher two is comfortable, three is unhelpful. As I grabbed one side of the stretcher and as we tried to negotiate the corner at speed the inevitable happened and the patient was unceremoniously tipped onto the concrete. He let out a terrifying and agonised roar. One of the nurses and I looked at one another powerless to do anything. And this is the really bad bit. We both burst into uncontrollable giggling. The other nurse glared at us and I woke up. It might have been a dream but my lack of medical skills, inability to help out in a crisis and the ability to laugh uncontrollably at the most inappropriate moments are absolutely me.