I delayed this morning's run for as long as I could which, since I had to organise myself for the afternoon's flight to Shetland, wasn't really much of a delay. I had lots of anxiety about trying to run 10 miles with a back that was still twingeing and, probably more importantly, I was worried about how demoralised I would feel if my old legs were the ones that showed up for the run.
I needn't have been concerned. The first couple of miles weren't great; I was focusing on my back and whether or not it was going to start hurting and not on my actual running. By mile 3, though, my happy legs showed up and relieved the sulky, plodding legs of their duties. Because this was a long SLOW run, I stuck to my target pace of 11:40 (+/- 10 seconds either way) even when I was feeling that I could have run faster. Been there, done that, gotten the calf injury to show for it. At mile 7, I started to smile because I couldn't believe that my legs were feeling so relaxed. In the olden days, I would have upped my pace at this point but today, I reminded myself that there were hills yet to come and that it was okay to finish the run without feeling half-dead.
I finished in 1:56, with no pain or discomfort, and feeling like I could have kept going.
Just as well that I didn't, because it took me longer than I had expected to pack for Shetland. Bassman drove me to the airport, where he took one look at the check-in queue and promptly kissed me good-bye and headed out the door. Can't say that I blame him. It took me 30 minutes to reach the front of the queue. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my company had booked me into the Executive Lounge; pity that the long wait to get checked in meant that I could only use the Lounge for 10 minutes. Pity too that I'm still doing the NoMoreCake-athon and couldn't partake of the free cakes.
But before I reached the Lounge, I had to go through Security. Now, I knew that my dodgy back meant that I'd never be able to bend over to take off a pair of boots to put them through the scanner so I planned ahead and wore some trainers so that I could just keep my shoes on my feet. The best laid plans...I got beeped for a random search and had to de-shoe. I was a bit annoyed - this was cutting into Executive Lounge time - and I had no idea how I was going to get my shoes on and off without sending my back into a major spasm.
Never fear, this is Inverness, not America. The lovely Security woman got me a chair and proceeded to take off my shoes herself and then put them back on me again. She was so kind and gentle that I didn't even complain when she tied them too tight, although by the time I reached Lerwick two hours later I had lost the circulation in my left foot so perhaps I should have spoken up.