A failed parkrun but an epic burger

Coming back from injury is a tumultuous and emotional process (for me anyway).

You fill yourself huge amounts of hope and excitement. Yesss I can run. I can’t wait to jump ease back into training. Things start to feel very positive after so much negativity and darkness (perhaps an exaggeration, but you get the vibe).

I woke up on Saturday morning and straight away knew my hamstring was feeling pretty terrible. The plan was for Kyle and I to go to Netley as we hadn’t been in so long and I missed seeing people I used to regularly touch base with. I wanted to catch up with my friend Mike as well. Kyle wasn’t feeling particularly well but both of us, possibly unwisely, carried on anyway.

As we walked on over to the start area I knew deep down this wasn’t going to go well but I pushed that feeling aside and convinced myself a miracle would occur.

Of course a miracle did not occur. As soon as I started running it felt uncomfortable. Not quite as bad as pre-new physio but definitely not great. Ehhhh this was pants. I was glad to have no one running with me (Kyle was running solo – I didn’t want to hold him back again). I could spend my time focusing on how it felt and wondering what to do.

I was literally spiralling through so many thoughts… do I stop? Am I making it worse? Is it as bad as before? Should I push on through? And all the while I would have different people I knew overtake me as I increasingly got slower, and they’d say something along the lines of, “Either I’m running too fast or you’re running slowly!” with a chuckle.

And I don’t mind that people are overtaking me or that I’m running slowly but it just further compounded that I wasn’t running at my natural pace. I was running well over 9 minute miles. And of course there’s nothing wrong with that, but I felt I couldn’t run faster. Not because of fitness but because my injury was holding me back.

So in the end I stopped before the first mile. I found a point on the course I could quickly dash off from so few people would notice. I didn’t want someone to see and ask if I was OK. I just wanted to disappear. I was embarrassed, frustrated and angry. As I pulled away from the course I burst into tears. It was pathetic really but I just felt so frustrated and annoyed.

A lovely woman walking her dog asked if I was OK and it did feel ridiculous trying to explain what was wrong. In the end I just said I was OK and I rung my dad (who later told me having a phone call from me at 9:12 on a Saturday morning is never going to bode well…).

Kyle was still running so I just sobbed to my dad about how sad I was and how I felt panicked about Chicago and how I thought I was heading in the right direction…until now.

Eventually, after morosely walking around the cricket pitch away from the course, I headed back to the parkrun area. I didn’t want to cheer anyone on. I didn’t want to talk to anyone really. I felt embarrassed and I didn’t want to explain I was injured. I found Kyle and Mike, who’d just finished, and I explained how I’d pulled out and that I just wanted to go home. Mike understood, gave me a hug and then Kyle and I left.

Kyle was obviously lovely and we had a nice day ahead of us going to Bournemouth so I quickly cheered up. We got showered and sorted and then sat in the long traffic to get to Monty’s Burger Lounge to meet up with some of Kyle’s friends.

We’ve been to this restaurant before (over a year ago!) and we loved it. I’d recently won a burger from them as well through Instagram (they ran a competition and I won it) so it was the perfect place to meet with his friends.

I gave Kyle the free burger as I’m not a huge burger fan. The burger is called The Sinner and contains chicken nuggets, hasbrowns (which I don’t like), a 12oz beef patty, pulled pork sauce and American cheese. So pretty epic.

I, of course, had two lots of BBQ chicken wings. I adore their wings. So juicy and tasty. Probably some of my BBQ flavoured favourite wings (buffalo are still my all-time favourite).

And I also had a portion of mozzarella bites (coated in cheesy Dorita crisps!).

We had a lovely time eating and chatting away to Kyle’s friends. It massively helped take my mind off of my failed run. There are so many more important things in life and having lovely people to spend your time with helps puts things into perspective 🙂

But my hamstring thankfully feels a bit better and I hope to continue trying to run. I’m seeing my new physio again this week so FINGERS CROSSED.

Have you ever got upset about a failed run?

Have you ever had a parkrun DNF?

What’s your preference: Buffalo or BBQ wings? I’m also partial to vegan wings too – either cauliflower or tempeh, both are nice!

Stress, friends and dessert

Firstly, thanks for the lovely comments for my last post. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so stressed as I do right now. Usually I’m quite a calm person and let things wash over me but when everything is in my hands and my responsibility for big ‘Adult Things’ I get panicked.

But the weekend was a nice escape from it all. My university friends popped down for the day on Saturday and it was so lovely to see them and have a rant, a moan and a good old chat. I managed to squeeze in parkrun quickly before they arrived too, which is always good 😉

I had a terrible run though. I thought I’d try and use it as a tempo run but my legs felt heavy and drained straight from the start and my pace just slipped slower and slower. What annoyed me at the start as well was that when the whistle blew these four lads – and I say “lads” because they were very much laddy teenagers – pushed past me and several other people yelling “urgh this is ridiculous, we needed to be at the front” as they bolted off. It was just not very parkrun-y, you know?

Anyway as my pace dropped, I consoled myself with just doing a ‘t-shirt run’ (just getting the parkrun point rather than aiming for a time). My friend, Mark, who was running a long-run and doing parkrun in the middle ran up next to me and I moaned to him a bit about how rubbish I was feeling and he chatted away to me and kept my mind off it, which I was grateful for. On the second lap we over-took the lads who were run-walking by this point which was somewhat of a silver-lining… 😉

Netley Abbey parkrun pace

 

 

 

I sort of pulled it back on the final lap (with Mark’s help) but it still felt awful. I’m putting it down to having run 20 miles the week before and a tough week mentally!

My friends arrived shortly after I was showered and breakfasted and, as normal, it was lovely to catch up. We try and see each other for everyone’s birthdays ad events and sometime around Christmas. So five or six times a year? They all live in different parts of the UK which always makes it a bit tricky

We went to an old favourite pub right on the seafront for lunch, The Osborne View.

Osborne View lunch

 

We shared two mezze boards between the four of us which is always a winner in my eyes (and I’m glad we got two as I’m such a greedy eater!). I had feta and Mediterranean salad (with added chicken) for main and chocolate brownie and ice cream for pudding. Perfection!

Osborne View Hill Head

The sign on the right is very apt to me right now!

The pub is lovely and I’ve never had a bad experience there yet. And it’s so handy being close to the beach that we could come out and do a long walk next to the sea in the sunshine. It’s near to where I do my long runs if I stay with my parents so it feels very homey with good memories surrounding it.

I had an early night that evening because I just felt shattered. Though annoyingly my mind started to catalogue all the packing I still needed to do and I struggled to get to sleep. My alarm was set for the delightful time of 5.50am as I was going to Bath the next day for a race with some running club friends so this was stressing me out more. Grrr.

I’ll recap the race proper in another post but the race has made me really think about how I need to approach the Bournemouth marathon. I’m someone who needs a game plan. I can’t just rock up and do whatever on the day. I need a structured plan, with some sort of back-up as well just in case. But I’ve not really made a plan as I don’t have any real goals.

The Bath Two Tunnels half marathon was meant to be a training run as I was running with my friend, Mike, who was aiming for a PB, which handily was around my marathon/long run pace. But the race didn’t go to plan really for either of us as we both felt exhausted and the supposedly “fast and flat” course was anything but that (I suppose the give-away is that it was in Bath…). I know I’m not in the same shape as I was before Liverpool marathon so to aim for anything close to that time would be unwise. Yes I could risk it and power through but mentally that sounds awful to me and I don’t want to push the pace. So after thinking about it…My goal is to aim for sub-4 definitely, but around 3:45-40 would be nice and if I fancy anything better towards the end I can give it a go but I don’t want to ruin myself over it. Liverpool was a perfect race with perfect (for me) training, it would be foolish to recreate that! I just want another tick in the box enjoyable marathon.

Plus, I see the marathon as the end point to my major stresses. Whether I go to Iceland or not will have already happened and I’ll have moved house. Finishing Bournemouth will just be like one massive sigh of relief. I might just go into hibernation after that! 😉

Do you always like to have a game-plan for a race? I mess up when I don’t have a plan! Plus for every marathon I’ve always had a plan and it’s always worked well for me.

Do you meet up with old friends often?

How does stress affect you?