Ultra training and not being (so) dumb.

Today was my first DNS of the year.  After yesterday’s 15 miler (which included a few stops for stretching since my left calf was seizing up), I got home, stretched, foam rolled, and massaged my sore limb, hoping that it would loosen up througout the day.

It did not.  I woke up this morning to a crazy painful lower leg, and despite some futile (and desperate) stretches and a stint on the foam roller, my ‘test jog’ across my living room floor pretty much confirmed it: I would not be running the Forfar multi-terrain half marathon today.

As little as one year ago, I might have thrown caution to the wind, and taken Ronnie up on his offer of a lift, grimacing my way through the 13.1 miles despite sharp, painful protests from my body.  In fact, I did.  But with my first ultra a mere 6 weeks away (well, shit), I have become somewhat sensible, and decided to take a bit of time to allow my calf to rest up and heal (as it has been feeling particularly tight all week).  I don’t even know myself anymore.

Apart from a couple of minor setbacks, like today, my training has been going reasonably well.  Launching into ultra training on the back of a marathon has afforded me a few easier weeks (with 14-ish mile long runs), but the distances are starting to ramp up again.  Last weekend, for example, was a 24 mile run from Aberdeen to Stonehaven over Elsick Mounth, a run I ran from Stonehaven to Aberdeen last summer with Ronnie.  It was a lot warmer (and sunnier) that time:

Looking down upon Aberdeenshire - summer 2013

Looking down upon Aberdeenshire – summer 2013

Sadly, we are elbow deep in winter, and rain and strong winds were regular features of our jaunt last weekend.  Still, some good ‘hill training’ at the end, judging by the elevation profile:

ABZ-STNNext weekend is another 24 miles, but hillier, and expected to take the best part of the day.  I’m looking forward to it, but I hope (so hard) that we don’t get snow/sleet/storms/gusts/etc., because that will inflict my inevitable bitching on the group of people I’ll be running with, and I don’t want an experience with ‘grumpy-at-the-weather-Rachel’ to be their initial impression of my character.  I even dislike myself when I’m angry at the weather.

My first (and hopefully last) DNS

Well, if I could apply a numerical value to how shit I feel today, it would roughly translate to 99/100.  I have been battling a cold for the last couple of days, but last night it really kicked into power mode, and I woke up this morning with cold sweats and a fever.  I nearly walked into the walls several times on my trip to the bathroom (at most, a 10 meter journey) due to being dizzy and sore, but still turned on the shower for my ‘pre-race clean up’.  As I waited for the water to heat up, I turned 90 degrees to my left, caught sight of myself in the mirror, chuckled at how pathetic I looked, realized it hurt to chuckle, and then had a coughing fit for approximately 3 minutes.  Once I had caught my breath and steadied myself, I switched off the shower and took my temperature.  Ah, shitty, fuckity fuck McFuck.

I texted my friend who was meant to be giving me a lift with the bad news, and went back to bed, furious, but exhausted.

After another few hours of sleep, I woke up to have my boyfriend utter the 3 words every girl who is sick and looks a hot mess wants to hear:

“The heating’s broken.”

Did I mention it had been snowing?  No?  Well it had been snowing.  And I know some people think ‘hate’ is a strong word, but I hate the cold.  I looked at my phone and noticed that all the Glenlivet 10k runners would be setting off in a couple of minutes, and I felt so dissapointed in myself, and so, so, so fucking angry at my boiler.  I also felt a significant amount of pain, though I may have mentioned that before.

Since my 11:00am moment of self-pity, the plumber has been and gone, and the flat is slowly heating up.  I am still really bummed I didn’t make the race, as I am the first to tell people to ‘man up’ (and I readily admit I told myself several times this morning to stop being such a wuss), but I honestly don’t think I could have have run a mile today, much less a 10k that involves about 5 hours of traveling to take part in.  I mean, when I wake up and don’t immediately think about food, I know there’s something wrong.

I hate not following through on plans, and it kills to know I missed out on another finisher’s medal, but I guess sometimes you just need to be sensible and realistic. I hope everyone racing today had a blast, and to those who I might’ve met at the Glenlivet, there are still plenty more races in the year.

Totally doesn’t mean I’m not pissed off.