Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions

Getting Fitter

The Long Run Murders

February 13, 2017 by Richard Wright in Getting Fitter, Journal, Running

I did a long run yesterday and now I want to murder you.

A month ago I ran three miles in a week, and that was it. Yesterday I ran a half marathon through a stormy Glasgow City to close off a thirty mile week. You probably want to cheer at that, perhaps rise to your feet and spontaneously applaud. Don’t. If you do that I will definitely murder you.

In fact you should probably just sit very still and quiet. On your hands maybe. Just to be safe.

If you’ve ever thought about running a marathon then you’ll probably have looked up training plans. They differ of course, but most of the ones I ever saw suggested a sixteen week buildup if you’re a newbie, and maybe twelve weeks if you’re already a regular runner. By the time I started properly training this year I’d left myself about eight. My first big run of the year is March 25th, 26.5 miles around Kielder Water.

Now is not the time to point out that I should have got my act together earlier in January. If you do that then there will be a murdering.

My training so far has been two short runs a week, around three miles, to give myself some quick wins and do some running faster than marathon pace. On the weekend, a long run. Each weekend this month I’ve added two or three miles to the previous week’s effort. Those have been slow and questing efforts, going as easy as I need so that I get a safe sense of the distance without hurting myself. Then midweek I’ve run the same route with a bit more confidence. On the weekend, up the distance goes again. It doesn’t matter how carefully I run those new distances, I’m working through them faster than I should.

So far, no injuries. The main signs that I’m pushing too hard are my incredibly erratic mood swings the day after the weekend long run. They’re seriously insane, made worse by the fact that my sleeps after those long runs have been messed up. It’s a well-described overtraining symptom. Running makes me want to kill you.

All right. Not you specifically. But if you were right here in front of me then sure, why not?

The coming week might offer some relief. Because of other stuff I’m forced to take the weekend off, and it’s probably for the best. They don’t let you do the Dark Skies Kielder thing if you do murders.

I’m not actually sure that’s true, I haven’t read the small print. I’m not going to. It’s probably best that I don’t find out that none of the rules of the race prohibit me from running if I do the murders.

In summary then, training is going well but with homicidal side effects. If I do happen to murder you one Monday in the near future then please don’t take it personally. It’s only because of the running. There are six other days in the week when it definitely wouldn’t happen that way and we’d probably hug instead.

Think on that as you’re bleeding out. You’ll feel much better about it.

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