I woke up Saturday morning close to tears. Having clocked up 15 miles, 5 hours worth of cycling and an hours Nike Training Club since Monday, my body felt like it had been run over. The Boy kindly toppled me into a hot bath and rubbed Deep Heat on my aching bits. But I still found myself standing at the top of his stairs seriously contemplating going down bum first like a five-year old – to save my legs having to do any extra work.
Fast forward 6 hours. 5.30pm that same day. I’m standing in my Grandma’s front room in Brighton, tying my laces, about to embark on a run. Trying to explain this to my Belgian Grandma in broken Flemish made me realise how mental I was being (even if she didn’t). But not wanting to fall behind on training, I’d texted my personal trainer. Can I just say that again. I texted my personal trainer. I’ve always wanted to say that. Makes me feel like a minor celeb. So, Personal Trainer on speed dial (I jest, but it sounds good), I set off for a sundowner of the running kind, with PT’s advice of – don’t push it, just stop when your body wants you too, ringing in my ears.
Out onto Preston Park, down London Road, hitting the Pier head on, then traversing the promenade all the way along to Brighton Marina, Marina Village, then back towards the Pier taking in a steep hill out of the Marina towards Kemp Town.
Despite my early morning paralysis (over exaggerate, moi?!) this turned out to be my favourite run yet. I was literally grinning the entire way round like some demented beach donkey. The sun was settling low in the sky, the beach was relatively empty and at each turn something new and inspiring came into view – a candy-floss-smelling Pier, a pool filled with kids zorbing, guys kite-surfing, the Marina filled with a sea of masts and Wagtastic women, the view looking down along the coastline from Kemp Town, the old skeleton Pier surrounded by swooping birds and a wedge of blue sky neatly fitting over the inky twinkling sea.
I realised how easy it is to maintain energy and enthusiasm on a run, when the route isn’t overly familiar. A realisation that has made me feel increasingly positive about San Fran.
The run ended up being 6.1 miles rather than the scheduled 12, but what with my body feeling fatigued I didn’t want to over-train, so listened to my legs (and PT) and stopped short.
Thanks Hot Bath, Thanks Boy for listening to my whingeing and most of all Thanks Brighton.