Shakti joined me for a short run around the block last night. She hasn’t been running for a few months so she was even more reticent than usual. I’ve said before that running is a ridiculously psychological sport but Shakti has got to be the most psychological runner I know. We start at a reasonable pace but 20 seconds in she appears to start running backwards, I grab her sleeve and we carry on as normal for a while. Then I feel really strong resistance and find that she actually has turned around and started running in the opposite direction. I get behind now and start nudging her forwards in the right direction.
Despite the pulling, nudging and prodding, I really enjoy these runs, they are quite a bit slower than I’m used to and I feel comfortable and chatty. At just over 8 mins per km I still have the breath to holler abuse in the true sargeant major style – “Move that ass you good for nothing idler!”. Nice aren’t I.
The funny thing is, the moment we turn around and I announce we are on the way back, Shakti starts sprinting like a banshee. This shuts me up, I have to start my puffing billy routine while I tag along behind her desperately trying to keep her within my sights. Needless to say she doesn’t return the favour and pull me along by my sleeve.
So my plan for todays commute home was to go slow. I wanted to add a “slow for me” slow run to the routine instead of every run being at the same pace. As I set off it seemed to be paying off, despite the niggles in my hip I was feeling fairly comfortable and I didn’t feel the need to jump in front of a bus within the first 2k.
I had to change my route and run to my home today. Shakti is out go-cart racing or something exciting like that and is therefore not available to make my tea or run me a lovely soapy bath. What a bummer eh? Also the sun is staying above the horizon for a bit a longer now so I also intended to shift my route to take in a bit of riverside beauty. I made 3 attempts to hit the river around Brentford but each time I was introduced to a lovely riverside promenade that lasted about 10 metres before being thrown back onto the grotty Brentford High St. I was cursing the inefficiency of my run until I got home and loaded the satellite data into SportTracks – another perfect 10 km run. How lovely is that??? I’m going to have to make those irritating riverside detours every time though now.
SportTracks also revealed the truth about my pace. Although slow, it was pretty much on a par with my previous commuting runs. The average pace for the 10 km route today was 07:52/km, the average for the previous 3 commutes has been: 07:51, 07:50, 07:51. You’d think I must run like a metronome but this excel graph shows the degree of variation.
I find it odd that I can complete the route literally within seconds of my previous time despite setting off with completely different pacing intentions. Psychological I tell you!