I love the sequence in Toy Story 3, where Buzz Lightyear has his “factory reset” button pressed in order to make him think he was a real space ranger again and turn against his friends. While his friends tried to get the real Buzz back they accidentally switched him into Spanish mode and the resulting sequence was halarious!
I have occasionally used a factory reset on my Garmin Forerunner to get it working correctly and the ability to restore any complex gadget to the state it was when it left the factory can be really useful.
I have pretty much decided that what I need in my running is a factory reset. For whatever reason, all my intensive activity during June and July has really sapped my fitness but the decision I have come to is to simply adapt and train sensibly based on where I am. This might sound obvious and of course I have always known this but it didn’t stop me from thinking that I was ready to do 200 miles in June (which I wasn’t) and that I could do ridiculous fell running exploits in the Alps without consequences (which there obviously are).
So what does a “factory reset” mean for me? Firstly, reset my training to something more sensible and secondly, have realistic expectations so I’m not beating myself up after each training run or race. After all, I’m injury free and can run; 2 blessings to start with!
Im signing-off July after running a total of 71 miles which ain’t bad and I had an amazing time in those mountains so I have no complaints. In August I have a 5 mile race (the Flat Cap 5 on Wednesday) which will be great fun and an allegedly dead flat 10K (Escrick) on the 21st. I’ve also signed up for the August 100 mile challenge with Awesome Running Events and I think that’s realistic given where I am. There is also the slight detail of the Great North Run in September but since I managed to train for the London marathon in a very similar time period from practically nothing then the GNR shouldn’t be a problem unless I set my sights on a PB (which I won’t).
So reset pressed, batteries charged and ready to run!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIVUK
In my blog, I have probably gone on many times how hard it was (and is still) for me to get back to full fitness after an illness in February of this year. This is because it has been a real struggle! Getting back into sufficient shape to run the London Marathon was quite an effort and achievement, doing the Marathon did take a lot out of me and recovering from it was another struggle in it’s own right.
I am now getting to the stage where I feel the right to be a little impatient. I seem to have got into a bit of a rut where whatever I do, I can’t seem to improve. Towards the end of last year, when my training was in full-swing I was doing parkruns at a little over 23 minutes; now I can’t even get under 25. I recall how much I enjoyed running the Temple Newsam Ten in January and now I even wonder if I could keep going for 10 miles non stop.
What I tell myself I need to remember is that while on Holiday in Slovenia I ran-walked up and down the awesome Vršič Pass, a three hour epic that surely is on a par with a Marathon in terms of sheer effort. We didn’t get much opportunity to recover from that because we were off walking most days. I really hope my problem is me simply over-doing it but since I suffer from hypothyroidism, I have made an appointment with my GP just to be sure.
Since last Wednesday when I really struggled through the hot Priory 10 and produced what surely must be a personal worst, I haven’t run at all and I am really hoping that rest is the answer to my woes. Fellow runners will know how hard it is to not go out running when there isn’t anything obviously wrong with you but I am determined to keep it up for another two days. In a few weeks time I’ve got the Flat Cap 5 mile trail race, hopefully I’ll feel better then and put up a reasonable showing!
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV
Fountains Abbey is a World Heritage Site. This puts it on the same list as the likes of the Taj Mahal and the Pyramids of Egypt marking it out as having global cultural and historical significance. It is owned and run by the National Trust which usually collects an entry fee for non members. Yet each Saturday morning parkrunners are allowed to enter for free and enjoy the stunning grounds as they participate in a weekly 5K run.
It was my first time at Fountains and the first run after my holiday in Slovenia where we intensively participated in mountain runs and walks. Needless to say, the alpine exploits of Helen and I had taken their toles and we both found this simple undulating 5K really tough and we both were disappointed that we weren’t at our best. It is surprising how much this sort of thing takes out of you!
I went for an easy flat 5 mile run today but now I will be resting until the 10K race we have on Wednesday which is at another National Trust property, Nostell Priory. My physiotherapist advised that sometimes less is more and I think rest days are certainly the order of the day now.
‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’ Matthew 11:28-30 NIVUK