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October 20, 2011 / fionarwbl

Getting Lost In Small Towns Before Work Is No Joke

This morning I woke up at 6am to put in a speed workout. It was my first run around Portsmouth, and I was looking forward to running outside and running fast. Who have I become? And just to be clear, this is my definition of fast, which of course, is very relative.

It was pitch black when I woke, but not raining which was a relief. I put on a long sleeve shirt and some shorts. This is hands-down my favorite running outfit combination. I mean, sure, I love running in the heat and getting super sweaty in my tank tops, but I just love the look of covered up on top, flashing limbs below. What? This is important stuff, people. Yes, I realize that if I was a good blogger, I would have taken a picture of this this morning. But I did not. Out of practice.

My ever trusty SmartCoach running plan said I had to run 3 x 1m @ 8:05 with 0.5 mile recovery jogs in between. Oh, and a warm up and cool down. So about 6 miles in total. I’ve barely even covered half a mile in the Portsmouth environs, but I figured I would just do some sort of out and back route, and how hard could it be?

The run itself was really lovely. For the first half hour it was still pretty dark, and I stuck to the sidewalks as I ran through town, and then I decided that running beside the water should be a good way of not getting too lost. I mean, surely I wouldn’t lose the river / estuary / body of water. What of course, I didn’t take into consideration was that there are gazillions of tiny islands around here, and so keeping to one side of the water or the other was not actually as fool-proof as I thought.

I hadn’t run since Saturday, and I wasn’t sure how my legs were going to feel. Sometimes taking that many days off gives you lovely strong legs that feel light, and sometimes you get stiff, sore legs who don’t want to run. My warm-up felt more like the latter, but the more I ran, the better they felt. I skipped along over a couple of, or rather, many, bridges, enjoyed the cute houses and sea air, and suddenly in the middle of my second mile repeat, I found myself in the town of Newcastle. I turned around, and started to meander run back to Portsmouth. And this is where it all went a bit wrong, and I ended up running up and down random little roads with lovely houses trying to find a road that looked familiar. Honestly, thank goodness for iPhones and GPS. I was totally running in the wrong direction. It was also 7.00am. I was supposed to be in a cab taking me to work in an hour and 10 minutes, and I was definitely supposed to be on a conference call with my clients at 8.30am. This was not good.

My Maps app kicked in and put me on the right path, and I charged home. Well, mile repeated, recovered, and then tempo paced home. I actually felt good, if a little stressed. I did miss one of my mile split goal times, but it was my last one and I am putting it down to having to stop and figure out where the hell I was, which was far more important than whether I hit my goal times.

I got back to the hotel at 7:23, and was able to make it down to breakfast by 8am. My oatmeal showed up at 8:08am, and I took 4 bites before jumping in the cab. Of course I got to work at 8:20 and had plenty of time before the conference call. Oh, and I had a second attempt at oatmeal at 10am at my client’s cafeteria, which was delicious. I had coconut toppings, brown sugar, banana, and ok, a touch of half and half. So in some ways, it worked out perfectly.

Ever had a stressful morning run like that?


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