Is it just me, or do weird thoughts start popping into your head during long runs? 17 miles in to my scheduled 20 miler today along the beautifully duney, woody, beachy East Norfolk Coast, my brain said the weirdest thing.
“Why do humans have 5 digits on their hands?” it said, worryingly, while my feet trotted along like a faithful dog below me. “And how would the world be different if humans never had a little finger?” There were so many things to consider – mainly the redesign of several musical instruments, a reduction in the price of gel nails and the smudging of left-handed people’s writing with an entirely different finger.
Because what do we actually ever use that little finger for? I certainly didn’t need it to run 20 miles as per my exciting Rory Coleman training plan for the 6-day 225km Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica. While trekking in Tasmania last year I read a book on old Aboriginal tribes and in one they ritually lopped one little finger off kids when they came of age. So they can’t be that useful. Clearly none of them played the flute. I wondered whether the good Sir David Attenborough had ever considered making a documentary on the topic and whether I should write him a letter; and then whether he’d think said letter was from a child (with or without little finger).
Actually, my brain was being smart – distracting me from the increasing discomfort in each hip as my faithful feet hit the grit over and over again. The first 14 miles from Hunstanton along the well-waymarked Peddars Way to Burnham-Overy-Staithe were with Ed from running club, who was kind enough to run slowly with me at my required HR. Great North Run Half Marathon training done, Ed had stopped at 14, leaving me with plenty of instructions on how to negotiate the upcoming sandy dune area and forest into Wells-Next-The-Sea, whereupon a mighty roast dinner awaited us. Him by car, me still on foot to get my 20 miler done.
Without company, route clearly way-marked, my brain had no other option than to think the weirdest possibly thoughts in order to keep my legs moving forwards and ignoring the hip pain. Brilliantly, no Achilles pain – I’ve been following the advice of some of this blog’s followers, thanks guys! And tied an ice wrap to it as I drove over, and I used it afterwards as well. It’s discomfort rather than pain now and I intend to keep it that way 🙂 See the Achilles post and advice from followers here.
I wonder what you all think about when the pain starts to kick in. Holidays? The finish line? Roast dinner? Let me know below!