Run the Nunnery

Today has been a big day!!  For three reasons.  First, I swapped sessions around and did my long slow run today.  I’ll do hills on Saturday.  It’s been difficult to find long run routes that I feel happy doing early in the morning, given the weather (icy, cold, miserable) and the need to get from home to work which means I’m just repeating the same route (a commute, basically) over and over and over.  Dull, uninspiring, and BLAH.  I know I run better in the mornings…. but still.  It’s warmer later in the day, there’s a better chance of mixing it up on the route front, and I also have the opportunity to run with a buddy! So much nicer!  So I badgered one of my lovely colleagues into coming for a run with me.  He’s a far, far better runner than I, but luckily also a far, far more generous soul than I.  So he agreed to sacrifice his own training to keep me company on mine.

BUT Matt would not run early in the morning.  In fact, he would not run in the morning AT ALL!! Ordinarily, I run on an empty stomach before breakfast.  I’m utterly convinced that should I ever eat before I run I will certainly get stitch, stomach cramps, caught short by an urgent need to find a toilet, chased by badgers, attacked by swans, any number of unimaginable disasters will befall me.  So I don’t eat before I run.  Ever.  But I knew today that I couldn’t last till 3:30pm without eating and then run for an hour and a half….! So I ate as normal.  And ran.  Not an unimaginable disaster anywhere to be seen – and that’s the second reason it’s been a good day.  Seems I *can* run after eating, after all… This is good news!

IMG_2203Anyway, we set out to cut across Jericho, run across Port Meadow, up the back of The Perch, joining the road at Wolvercote Lock.  Matt gleefully pointed out to me all the bits of the meadow which had been flooded a few days before, but we simply crunched our way over puddles coated with an icy rhime, and slithered across mud.  We splashed past Godstow Nunnery, which I never knew existed, even.  The information in that link may not be entirely historically accurate… but we entertained ourselves speculating about buying the building and relocating College… I could run a nunnery! And then past The Trout (yes, Wolvercote is all about the Inspector Morse pubs…) and out of the top end of Wolvercote – passing two more pubs along the way! – and onto the canal.  After an hour we were back at College, where Matt left me to my own devices, and I carried on for a bit longer, to hit my 90 minute target.  It was getting darker, and colder, and in fact I misjudged the distance, and was still 5 minutes short, but hey.  It was a fun run in good company, and I actually managed to keep my pace consistently slow.  So I’m well chuffed!

And the third reason it’s been a good day is that I was asked at lunchtime to write a beginners’ 10km training programme for the team the College will enter into Oxford Town & Gown.  This is the first time I’ll have used my Leadership in Running Fitness, so I’m super excited to be doing it! I’ve pulled together a 12 week programme, and just need to write the body conditioning guidance to support it, and then I will have my first running group!  Unfortunately, quite a lot of the early part of the programme will coincide with the end of my marathon training, so I will only physically lead the group towards the end (if they want me to!) But I can do the body conditioning and teach them some stretching, run through some running tips and so on…. exciting!!