Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Dear diary

It’s recommended when training for a marathon or anything that seems to take up most of your year, to keep a training diary. I love notebooks and so I have several diaries. Some of them I even write in. Rarely about my runs, instead I scribble 15 versions of training plans, nice quotes, shopping lists of things I want to buy or things I have eaten.

I wish I had kept training diaries 1) because they are great for when you get Alzheimers 2) they are great for when you want to record what things you have attributed to a drop or gain in performance 3) they are useful for reminding yourself of everything you have done to get to the start line and tell yourself that you have put in the miles. Oh well.

I do have some scribbled notes from breaking in trainers, recovery runs or start of season. They are hilarious because they seem to be longer in word count than they are in time spent running. In fact long runs rarely feature in my training diary; just the short whiny ones. They also feature cryptic elements which would not look out of place in a Dan Brown novel (eg mysterious and badly written).

For example:

“Right quad very tight. Ran to Chatsworth Rd at treadmill speed. Back at run speed. Negative split [obviously]. Right foot pins and needles. Very tight calves feel awesome. [what?]” and this goes on for paragraphs for a 3km run.

In contrast a 20 mile run says “17 and around [no idea]. Hard energy. [pardon] short start very difficult. [nope no idea] sore knees. Cry at flyover.” And that was the full entry. The only thing that made sense was the crying on the flyover; I had a stomach upset the day before and desperately needed more food.

Sometimes there are stoic entries. I don’t know if they are written with false or real bravado.

“5km Toyota dealership pins and needles so far on forefoot. Tippy tappy. [this refers to a little Chris McDouggall line in Born to Run]. All ok. Calves tight but on form. [I didn’t even realise I was capable of form but in my diary it appears so]. After turnaround on hill [half way point] checked foot for friction [I had felt some serious rubbing going on]. Blister on left arch [an understatement, I had a £2 coin worth of skin turned pink and bubbly] Vaselined. On last 5km ran with one sock off. Great run, could have pushed harder but eased off from 6km to the end.”

It’s true, I did run with one sock off and actually ran the last 400m with one a bare foot which led to some strange gait as I still had my trainer on the other foot. Anyway, wasn’t I glad that little entry was recorded in the training diary; it makes up for all the entries where I was crying!

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