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Running for Retrak: Week 14
Week 14. Blimey. Only 12 days to go. This week started well with a slow but entertaining Parkrun with a friend in England (evidence above). Then, inspired by this article, I decided to start running the 11km home from Bulletin HQ. I say “start”; of course what I mean is “attempt once, be thwarted and never speak of again”. I’d got the logistics sorted, was psyched up to set off, had even told people of my plans so there was no way I could back out – but in the time it took to nip to the loo to get changed, the heavens opened and a storm of Biblical proportions put paid to all that. Now let’s never speak of this again.
Come Saturday, I was feeling overwhelmed by how quickly the 20km was coming round, and how far off that distance I still am. Then, out of nowhere, a gentle morning jog turned into an almost enjoyable 15km – I got lost in the Bois de la Cambre and just kept going. It felt quite good, and I started to perk up. My knee began to seize up about 12km in, but I thought it’d be fine if I ignored it. Idiot.
Stupidly, the next day I went and did the Ghent 10k despite the knee creaking at every step. Every kilometre felt crap, pretty much the whole of Ghent overtook me at one point, and the last cobbled uphill kilometre just about killed me. I’m still limping. But then this morning I learned my time: still not quite broken the hour barrier, but almost 10 minutes faster than I’d guessed, and six minutes faster than my previous best. (Fellow Retrakker Badri did it in a mere 47 minutes.) I’ve learned my lesson, though, and won’t be taking any more chances with the knees. It’s tapering, swimming and rest days for me now until May 26. In the Rest Day Olympics, I would take gold.