No, not the hallucination inducing drug so beloved by the flower power generation, but Long Slow Distance runs.
And maybe ruining my “life” is a bit of an exaggeration, perhaps it would be fairer to say ruined my “short term Juneathon goal”.
You see, LSD has made me lazy. I know I can go out and plod ten miles and in doing so barely miss a breath, but when I try to run fast…well my lungs want to escape through my chest, my blood boils in my head and my legs burn like I already have both feet firmly in the pits of hell. Running fast takes a whole new level of determination and willingness to suffer that I’d forgotten about.
So, with my goal of a Parkrun PB in 2 weeks this sudden shift to sprinting kilometre repeats and powering up hills has caused me untold misery. Of course, and being a fellow runner you’ll know, this misery is short lived. When I can’t take another breath or another step and collapse in a heap it’s only minutes before I’m up again and ready to do battle once more.
5 times this morning I couldn’t take another step. 5 times I rested for 90 seconds and 5 times I ran the next kilometre in under 5 minutes. Up and down the footpath I went, striking terror in to the hearts of all who saw this hulk chuntering towards them, spittle flying with each stolen gasp of precious air, sweat running from his brow like a tsunami of effort. Anyone unlucky enough to see me at the end of each run, bent double, cursing and heaving, you are welcome to bill me for any subsequent therapy you may require.
But I did it. I covered the distance in the time I wanted, and all that remains is to reduce the rests until in 11 days time I can string those 5 kilometres together and speed to a sub 25 minute Parkrun.
And that’s why I will be out again tonight, doing hill reps, dancing with death…
The things we do to call ourselves runners!