A few months ago, I signed Izzy up for the Sport Relief Mile, which is being hosted by the Plums at Danson Park in 3 weeks time (23rd March). Izzy has mentioned a few times in the last month or so that as Daddy is doing a run and is having to train for it, shouldnt she be doing some training too?
Despite her Monday evening Swimming lesson and Gymnastics sessions twice a week, she still felt she needed to do some running too.
So last week, I suggested that we go for a gentle run this weekend so test her legs out. Izzy's Mum conveniently packed her tracksuit and trainers into her case so we were all set.
Izzy learnt some valuable lessons in the first 300m or so. Dont ever go off too hard otherwise you'll end up with a stitch, especially when you havent done much running. I tried to tell her not to go off too quick but to be fair, most 8 year olds wouldnt know what pace to run. So as we got to the park, the look on anguish on her face said stitch. Thats easily dealt with. I told her to put her hands on her head and breathe slowly in as deeply as she could and then blow it all out slowly while I gave her a quick rub to make her feel better. Problem solved.
We carried on, up a little slope in the park just to get back to the road, which for a child looks more than just a little slope, it more like a giant hill. She got up it no problem and with a gentle job back we'd done half a mile. I thought that was her lot and told her she'd done half and that was more than enough but she insisted on running it again, as she wanted to know what it would feel like on the day.
So we done it again. At the top of the hill, we decided to take a detour down the hill as it would give her legs a rest but then she insisted on jogging back up the hill to the old dears afterwards, rather than just walking it. When we got back, I told her she'd done 1.17 miles and you should have seen the look on her face. She was ecstatic and couldnt believe she'd done it. If I'm honest, I couldnt believe it either. 4 years or so ago, I couldnt have done what she'd just done. Felt so proud of her.
Sadly, as with most weekends, I had to take Izzy home at 6pm and with next weekend being a rare weekend of not having her at all, it hits me pretty hard. I was so down in the dumps on Saturday evening afterwards. I dropped the car back to my parents and I got the bus back to Welling. 8:30pm on a Saturday evening, no daughter, no social life to speak of, what is a single man supposed to do with himself?
The idea of going for a run popped into my head. Why not? Ok, its not the tried and tested run at the same time as the marathon but I can still get some valuable miles in. Ah sod it, evening problem solved. Within 30 mins, I was ready to go. I'd already bought my Jelly Babies in advance when I went shopping with Izzy on Friday evening, so I was all prepared. Well, so I thought...
I hadnt planned a route, I hadnt decided on a distance, the only thing I knew I was going to run around about my marathon pace. So off I went.
I'd been happily sipping away on my bottle of High 5 4:1 when I got to Sidcup High Street around about mile 4 and I thought I'd have my first Jelly Baby. Unzipped the front zip on the bottle belt and doh! Had totally forgot to pack the sweets. Oh sh*t. I had no money on me to buy anything, didnt have my Oyster card on me to get me out of trouble if I needed it so it was decision time, either loop back now and limit the run to 8 miles or plod on. I'm a stubborn old sod so I plodded on. I felt good, I had no distractions other than a few floaty thoughts about missing Izzy in my head so it was a welcome distraction.
As it turns out, it was a great decision. With only the High 5 4:1 fueling me, I knew I'd be ok but sometimes its just the head telling you that you need something more.
15 miles at 9:17 min/mile pace in 2:20 with a quick comfort stop in the bushes at Hall Place. No Jelly Babies. No gels. Just some 4:1 which I'd only had about 400 ml whilst I'd been sipping some water from my other bottle. What with the gentle 1.17 miles I'd done with Izzy earlier in the day, I'd done 16.17 miles for the day.
It was strange coming in the front door just after 11:30pm. I must admit I got a few strange looks as I passed through Bexley Village from those who were out partying. To be honest, I'd totally lost track of time. I had been away in my own thoughts for the majority of the run and my head came back in a much better place than it was before I went out.
One negative though. I'd developed a blister on my second toe on my left foot, the one next to my big toe. Right on the tip. I had hope it would go away but sadly not. It was sore by the time I jumped in the bath but that was when I noticed the state it was in. It was a blister, in a blister, in another blister and it literally surrounded my toe nail, which I've almost lost anyway.
So I made the decision to do some self-surgery. Anywhere else on the foot I would have applied a Compeed blister plaster but where it was on the end of the toe, that would have been impossible.
Out came a needle and gently popped the side and instantly felt the pressure release. However, as the blister had been there for over a week, the skin was stretched beyond the point it would repair it self, so out came the scissors and after a few snips, the loose skin was gone. It was sore but nothing too bad. I just hope it begins to heal up properly now otherwise the next few runs could be a bit uncomfortable.