Friday, December 11, 2015

A Real Runner At Last!

There are some boxes that all need to be ticked before someone can call himself a real runner. That goes from running through all kinds of weathers, getting blisters, getting a few injuries, running until you throw up and, most importantly, having a mismatched number of toes and toenails.

It took me over 11 years and over 30000 miles but I finally can call myself a real runner! Pop the champagne!

The nail on the second toe of my left foot had been dark ever since the Spartathlon. The same had happened after Turin but it just grew out and I expected the same to happen again. However, a couple of weeks ago I noticed the toenail being rather loose - I didn't touch it and tried to be as gentle as possible but I noticed that at some stage during the last few days it must have fallen off. I always thought losing a toenail must be really painful  but not only does it not hurt, I did not even notice it! It has re-grown up to a point, so right now I have nine-and-a-half toenails. I'll spare you the photos and you'll just have to take my word for it.

Training as such is going swimmingly well but yesterdays (Thursday's) run was a series of mishaps.

I decided to do another Kenyan fartlek run (1 minute hard/1 minute easy). Things did not get off to the best of starts when the HR monitor refused to work. I tried to fiddle with the damn thing (and not for the first time either) but to no avail. Never mind, it's not needed for such a workout. A mile later I kept pressing the wrong button on the watch when I tried to turn on the fartlek app, I even turned off the watch completely at one point. I can only imagine that my brain was still in sleep mode at the time. Things went wrong during the workout itself as well, due to the howling wind it was easy to miss the beep of the watch every minute and I ended up with a slightly uneven pattern rather than a smooth 60/60 one, though I think I still ran the same amount of fast reps.

Most annoying of all, there is still debris one the road where the high water mark had been during Sunday night's flooding and on my way back home I promptly tripped over it and did a face plant. This was during a supposed "fast" segment, which did not help. I have a fair amount of road rash on my legs, though it looked a lot less gruesome once I washed off the blood in the shower (once more I'll spare you the photos unless you've seen them already on a dark corner of the interweb [someone made the mistake of "pics or it didn't happen" on FB - it did!]). I picked myself up and walked for a few steps, more out of shock than any real pain, and then continued with the workout. No harm done, though that's the second time I managed to trip up in about a fortnight!

Thankfully Friday was less eventful with 12 easy miles without any mishaps. After yesterday's misadventures I'll take that any day! I also managed to revive the HRM (take out the battery, insert it the wrong way round for 3 seconds, put it back in the right way - HRM works again. No kidding!)

For at least a month I've been planning on doing an evaluation workout but it just is not happening. First I was sick and then the wind started blowing, the two things that make an evaluation rather pointless as they impact the HR data. The sickness is well and truly gone by this stage but the wind doesn't show any signs of abating - that's the price you pay for living on the Atlantic coast, I suppose.

10 Dec
10 miles, 1:18:27, 7:51 pace
   Kenyan fartlek
11 Dec
12 miles, 1:32:31, 7:43 pace, HR 144


  1. The lack of visuals are appreciated on this post, enjoy the new experience!:)

  2. Thanks for that Thomas. I was having my afternoon tea and shortbread biscuits.