After Winter 100 last year, my coach took me off plan for a month with the instruction to be “as active as you like”. I queried it, because my base state is “on the sofa with the cat”, but he insisted that if that was as active as I wanted to be, then that was fine.
Five weeks on from Autumn 100 (same race, different name), I’m just beginning to pick up the threads of my training again, though I won’t be going back on plan formally for another 10 days. The sofa and the cat have featured heavily over the last month, but whereas last year I pretty much hung up my running shoes for the duration (excluding parkrun, of course), this year has been more about taking a mental break.
I’ve run four parkruns, bagged a Wainwright, completed a Lakeland 100 recce run, gone for a run with a club-mate, and headed out for a few runs with a friend, all purely because I wanted to. On the days I wanted to run, I ran. On every other day, I shrugged, called the cat and headed for the sofa. A month without talking myself out of the door by reminding myself that each run was a step towards my Grand Slam goal. A month without trying out excuses and deciding whether they were genuine or merely “couldn’t be bothered” in a posh frock. It has been so nice that I’d begun to wonder whether I’d ever hit send on the “I’d like to come back on plan” email…
…and then, on Sunday, I found myself heading towards the Windmill for our Club 10k Championships* and signing up for this weekend’s Wimbledon Half Marathon.
I think I’m back.
*I didn’t win.