bel·lig·er·ence /bəˈlɪdʒərəns/ [buh-lij-er-uhns]
1. a warlike or aggressively hostile nature, condition, or attitude.
2. an act of carrying on war; warfare.
So I started running everyday on Nov 1st. The goal is to run everyday for an average run of 50 minutes and to try and get to 50 days (Xmas more or less). The rationale behind it is that it will make me a better runner by building the resilience and strength to then carry me through a more challenging programme of some form of ultra training in the build up to the Jurassic coastal challenge.
Now I am a strong believer in repetition and have had read about and spoken with several who have done this sort of thing in the past. When you think of what Eddie Izzard achieved in running 43 marathons in 51 days this should be a doodle for a multi ironman finisher right! Well firstly I had been recovering from a slight calf niggle, then there was a significant event which curtailed running for a day so 2 days lost in the first week. Not good and even with the unplanned rests I was finding the backing up of day to day runs pretty tough. Alongside this was a slightly reduced training schedule but still 3 bike sessions and 2 swims a week. I started "Zombie" running. This is how I would describe the running when you are tired and really feel like anything other than running but know you are committed to trying to reach your goal. Shoes slapping the pavement (no barefoot runner me!) listening to podcasts of IM talk and Radio 4 I get the run done.
The problem is days where I only have a single slot to get some training done (such as Thursday when I usually ride) and so the running takes primacy. Long days of work mean that recently I have had to run at 0530 which is really tough- my body does not like it and takes ages to wake up and start functioning. Stiff joints suggest I am ageing and at some point you start to really question the why! A few days in New York was a good break in the routine and a new arena to run in. Jet lag meant I was awake good and early and found myself running round central park with an amazingly large number of fellow runners, who I had to race obviously.
Which leads to the point of this which is managing the fatigue. With the constant stress of a daily running each additional session is reflected in the following days run. The hardest days are those after a long bike session, or when you push a bit hard (such as beating the American joggers in Central Park) the day before.At 35-40 miles a week this is almost as much running a week as I ever do but somehow feels harder than when I have longer runs but with days off. I am now running against myself, the belligerence to complete the task fights with my more cerebral voice that says there are probably better ways to get the same training effect, but now I don't care. I will be the runner that does the task, I will run at any time day or night to get the job done and I will be tired!