Yesterday, I managed my first double-digit run since Brighton.
This time, I made sure I went out earlier in the day, so that I could make the most of the river path and the disused railway (now a footpath/bridle path) that stretches from Shalford all the way down towards the south coast. As I had 12 miles on the plan, my turn-around point was just short of Cranleigh.
The river path was a whole lot of this:
Somehow, I managed to NOT fall flat on my face – so there’s that!
After about 2 miles, I turned off the river path to join the footpath:
Last year, I did almost all of my training runs on pavements along main roads and residential streets. Whilst running off-road is a little tougher on the legs, and takes a bit more concentration, it’s SO worth it. I’ve always been an avid road runner, but the miles and miles of beautiful. peaceful countryside might just convert me! It’s a shame that it’s too dark to run this route during the week 🙁
I was extremely lucky this weekend, as I managed to convince my boyfriend to cycle (well ok, there was quite a lot of free-wheeling…) alongside me for company. What a difference it makes when you have someone smiley and chatty to keep you going on a long run! Plus, it meant highlights like him accidentally squirting one of my gels down his front when I offered him some 😉 However, it’s worth noting that when a very tired runner says ‘are we nearly back to the road?’ a better response than ‘eeerm, probably?’ is something like, ‘YEP! Also, you’re super awesome!’ (P.S., you’re allowed to lie).
The first half flew by, especially as the river path was so slippery and muddy – good distraction! It was also surprisingly busy – I spent the first mile or so dodging walkers and cyclists and dogs (one dog ran right into me, though luckily that was on the footpath rather than inches from the river…), and trying to keep my footing in the mud and puddles. (Good practice for the Brutal 10! Eeek!)
I’d stashed some dark chocolate along with a second water bottle in my boyfriend’s rucksack, and had some at half-way. It was a brilliant little treat after 6 cold miles! And I think my body is still getting used to the gels. I made the mistake last week of taking one in a single go, forgetting that I need to take them in small doses over about half a mile to prevent a stitch. Luckily, I tend to only make mistakes like that once!
I’ve been taking it easy on the long runs so far, as I’m still trying to adjust to the training volume after having 2 weeks off over Christmas (boo, cold!) But I’m feeling stronger every run, and the post-run recovery is going well – though I should probably foam roll and stretch a bit more! I managed to keep my splits fairly consistent yesterday:
Check out the average moving pace for miles 9 and 10! Skills!
Whilst I want to eventually get my long runs back down to the 10:30-11:00/mile mark, for now I’m happy to leave the speedier miles for the mid-week sessions 🙂