It’s my fifth day in a row running. 7 k, 18 k, 12 k, 14 k and now today – one last long run. If I hit the hoped for 20 miles I’ll hit the magic 50+ miles for the week. Why it will be magic I don’t know. Numbers are arbitrary. Still it will feel god to have achieved even if I don’t feel good getting out of bed this morning.
I would not say I crawl out of bed this morning but the opposite of Christmas Day morning for a 8 year old is how fast I get up today. Toes need stretching, feet are sore, legs are tired and the body needs rest like a house plant needs watering. And in all good time. But this morning it’s my last long run so I get myself ready and get going.
I have ran many, many runs on my own but for the last extended jaunt it’s manna from heaven to have some company. Looping around the fields in Trim with Kieran and our drinks and food stop set up the tough opening 5 k is all but done by the time we’ve caught up on what we’ve been up to over the last fortnight. We are then joined by team-mates James and Maurice and it is with Maurice I complete most of my second half as Kieran stretches the legs up to race pace to test them - something I’ve felt I’ve done enough over the last week.
Just as Maurice finishes his own long run I hit my final 4 k, which is short enough for me to open my own legs up for those last few miles. As I do I see Kieran – a kilometre out from wrapping up his fast final 10 miles – and hook up once more for a kilometre burst before the final 2.5 k is done solo.
32 k. I’m glad I had company. I’m glad it’s my last.
The marathon training is dead. Long live the taper!