Session Eleven – The Frogs Bore Us (quite a good pun)

Wednesday’s exploits were heroic, the sort of bravery and accomplishment that would make a soldier in Iraq blush, so topping that sort of effort was always going to take some doing. Besides, aids could be cured today and I’d hate to overshadow something like that with my fantastic achievements. Especially as I’d vowed to take things easy today and over the weekend.

To be fair, as much as I wanted to go and do another three miles tonight, my brain argued anyway and put forward the rules – add one mile per week. Doing three now might get the girls on board, have the chicks digging me and, er, I’ll stop or it might get crass. You get the picture. Another long stint tonight would have been great, but it would’ve also been jumping the gun and if I picked up an injury, I’m not really on the sort of timescale where I can just put my feet up for a fortnight. So it was decided for me really – I’d do two miles, back on the frog route.

This time I was accompanied by my gorgeous Garmin GPS watch rather than shitty lizard wannabes. the GPS watch is a nifty bit of git – capable of constantly relaying my pace to give me an idea how I’m doing. You see, a well oiled machine like me, it’s hard to tell when something’s wrong under the bonnet (apart from the chronic aches and pains). So this gave rise to another option – if I’m doing a shorter run, why not do it faster than before?

What a great idea – the perfect way to start a weekend, by running so fast that I can’t feel my legs for the rest of it. I made an impromptu target of hoping to run under 11 minute miles for two miles – if I could do this in September for the full 13 miles, that would be the dream, so why not give it a bash now?

Frighteningly, the outbound mile was pretty straightforward (I was back on frog lane and it was empty – the stupid fuckers daren’t mess with me during daylight. The cowards). That’s not to say I was skipping along and singing The Sound Of Music soundtrack as I whistled away, but I hit the first mile in 10mins 38 seconds, giving me room to play with for the way back. And boy was that a struggle. But, strangely, with nothing but time to compete against it worked as quite the motivator.

I don’t know why I’ve not considered it now. Hot baths, music, distance, I’ve tried everything to make me challenge myself. Adding the element of time, so I can beat myself, works far better than any Hanson record.

I’ve all but ditched the music now. I might save it for special treats or long runs, but I’ve found the last few runs without it a lot easier, as it’s one less thing to depend on. Besides, the GPS watch looks as good a companion as any – I fought tooth and nail to beat the 11 minute mark again, but with a load of hills just staying under 22 minutes would do, and as I hit the last half mile, it was clearly on.

I reached home, a straight two miles, in 21 minutes and 8 seconds, smashing my target in the process. I’m not anticipating that speed increasing even further, but if I can replicate that over longer distances I’ll be as happy as a frog at midnight.

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