Saturday, 13 March 2010

Swearing at Hills

I had a dilemma when planning my eight mile run for today. The question was whether I would get my running done before the Formula One Grand Prix Qualifying and all the Six Nations Rugby or after. After would mean an enjoyable night run but before would mean getting it done and out of the way. This quandary was still in full swing as I lay in bed at 0600. Eating enough food before a long morning run is always a bit of a bugger but I managed a bowl of cereal and a cup of tea an hour before setting off. I was worrying that this would give me stomach cramps but my fears were unfounded.

Initially, my heart rate was going a bit nuts. It kept on spiking whenever there was a whiff of uphill but after a mile or so it settled down. This was only the second time I have run over seven miles so it’s interesting to see how my body deals with the new distances.

Three weeks ago I ran round Llyn Brenig in Denbighshire to the tune of 10 miles. This was done in a beautifully quiet snow storm. I loved how the crunch of snow underfoot was the only thing that broke the silence. In that barren landscape I found a peace of mind that I hadn’t felt in years and years. It has made me more determined to push myself beyond what I think I can do. However, increasing the mileage so soon and abruptly put a dent in my training schedule that took five days or so to recover. So, for now it’s a matter of sticking to the plan and holding off on any overly ambitious adventures. For posterity, here’s my training plan so far.

The races I have entered are the Leeds Half Marathon in May and The Snowdonia Marathon in October. There are a few others that I haven’t yet booked but are maybes. These are The Cader Idris Fell Run at the end of May and The Newark Half Marathon in August. The fell run is one that I’m quite excited about but equally nervous as I haven’t done any fell running before. That doesn’t mean I can’t train for it but it is a little too close for comfort. I’ll uhmm and ahhh about it a bit more me thinks. Oh, and I want to do a 10k in April as a bit of a warm up for Leeds. Got to make some decisions soonish.

Back to my run. I finished it in an hour and a half averaging a 10.36min/mile. Considering there were some big lazy hills I think this was an acceptable pace and the fastest of my long runs. Felt a great hunger when I finished and proceeded to eat a large plate of pasta, cheese and tuna. This dish, known in some circles as a “Hasselhoff Special”, was an odd thing to eat at 10 in the morning but was refreshing and did not even dent my lunch appetite. My knee is hurting slightly, a pain dulled at the moment by some ibuprofen, but I don’t think it’s a problem. I felt like the run went well although there was a big nasty hill at five miles that reduced me to walking for a couple of minutes. Damn you hill!

The run itself was grey. The sky was grey, the roads were grey, the sea was grey and the fields were sort of greenish-grey. There were a couple of agreeable highlights. The first of which was this old fire engine.

I was also joined for about half a mile by an enthusiastic dog that seemed much, much fitter than me. Luckily, for my pride, it got bored and started weeing against a fence.

All in all a good mornings running and I am getting much more confident of my physical ability at slightly longer distances. Today was also the first time I’ve passed any other runners on my travels. A quick nod at each other through the pain gave me a nice feeling that at least someone else was suffering on these bloody hills.


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