Today I Ran My 3rd Half Marathon In 5 Days. A Country Run Taking In Hills, Sheep And A Suicidal Fox.

I was still on a high this morning after my first ever sub 2 hour half marathon, yesterday afternoon. I’d drank a little much whiskey to celebrate and awoke at 5am with a mild hangover which disappeared after I fell back to sleep.

I started the day off properly with a trip to the shop where I bought a can of Cherry Coke, a packet of Cheestrings, Blackcurrant Chewits and a tube of Strawberry Millions for breakfast.

A meal fit for a King!

Should I run or not?

I dunno about you, but I struggle to decide whether I should run or not after a ‘hard’ session. It’s difficult to balance  the risk to reward ratio. Would I really benefit from another run today or would it be best to just recover?

For the first few hours today I was gonna go down the recovery route as the weather wasn’t great outside.

Then the sun came out for a while and I thought ‘fuck it’.

Running into the hills.

I ran up into the East Antrim hills again to try to kill any remnants of the hangover and to just have some time to myself. I didn’t concentrate on pace but I was aware that if I ran around the full route I’d record another half marathon.

After about 90 minutes of running in the wilderness I came across a sheep that had escaped from it’s field.

I spotted it before it spotted me and when it did realize I was behind it, it bolted on down the road at about twice the speed I was running. This game of cat and mouse (or man vs sheep) went on for about half a fucking mile.

It was fucking annoying as I was worried that it was gonna turn around at any moment, attack and then smother me.

This is no way for a man to die (especially since I’m from Northern Ireland and the coroner would have automatically assumed that I was trying to fuck it.)

Suicidal Mr Fox

Thankfully the sheep saw sense and found a field to rest in. It was at least half a mile away from where it started, but it meant I could rest my mind a little.

Or so I thought.

I was only a mile on down the road and came across a fox that was running away from me again. A Jeep came up the road towards me, making the fox freak out and run straight into the vehicle’s path.

I dunno how it managed to avoid the Jeep, but for a moment I thought I was certain I was gonna have to help mop up fox carcass.

It clambered up onto the verge and escaped into a field.

The lucky bastard.

This is why I don’t like running in the country.

As much as I might complain about small dogs and idiotic pedestrians, there’s never really any death in the town.

There’s always something fucking dying in the country, be it badgers, farmer’s wives or squirrels.

It’s fucking terrifying and off-putting.

I run to get away from my problems, not to witness the circle of fucking life churning on before my very eyes.

Another day and another half marathon.

Despite having to stop to take a stone out of my shoe, I managed to carry on and record another half marathon. This is my 3rd one in 5 days and I ran it 30 seconds more quickly than Lisburn.

I’m really delighted with this as I wasn’t trying for speed (if I had, I’d have risked injury and that’s obviously the last thing I want).

In total I ran 48 miles this week, which is the most I’ve managed in about 6 months. I finally feel like I’m making some sort of progress with running and there are 2 factors involved here.

  1. More hill running – These country hill runs are increasing the strength in my legs. I now feel comfortable running at a 9:20 minute/mile pace, whereas before 9:40 minute/mile was my default pace. Hills definitely make running on flat much easier.
  2. Longer ‘short’ runs – My shortest run this week was 8 miles. I’ve been trying to narrow the difference between my long and short runs for the past few months and 10 mile short runs have become standard for me. I’m now confident at going past 10 miles.

Anyway I think I’m gonna run the Ards Half Marathon on Friday and rest until Wednesday. Friday may well be the day that I finally crack 2 hours in a race!