When I got back from our time away my training plan was to do my last long run and I was aiming for 20 miles. I think everyone has their own thoughts on what a ‘long run’ is but for me it depends on what you are training for I guess. I needed to know I could hit 20 miles comfortably.
I dropped my youngest at nursery and pulled on what is now my favourite running gear – my shorts! It was still really hot (clearly that week was Scotland’s summer) so I took my water bladder and a couple of gels to practise nutrition.
I started off comfy – I knew I had to go slower than my usual pace but kept the first couple of miles not bad. I had no idea where I was going so was just making it up as I went. As I ran through my local park I saw my running group leader doing a PT session with a client and a few other people I know further on. I had decided not to put my music on and go ‘au natural’ – especially after reading some people had been disqualified from a race because of the new ruling. I enjoyed the silence, I really did, but it did affect my pace.
As it started to get hotter I started to slow down a little. This didn’t worry me too much as my goal was distance not time. I decided to go across the railway bridge completely forgetting the steep steps at the other side, thankfully they were in the shade. That was mile 6 and that’s when I really did start to go slower.
For some reason when I’m running I start to do maths in my head but I don’t believe in the only one. I use Strava and set it to miles but I also use my Garmin and have it in km’s. So I look at my watch and will see something like 12km and I will try to work out what it is in miles. This can take me about 5 minutes though so it’s a great way to pass time ha ha.
About mile 9/10 I had run out of water it was that hot so I stopped in at my parents to refill and take a gel. I took the Whey one for the first time but I had to wash it down with water, it was a bit sawdust in texture. The flavour was nice but I’m not sure those ones are right for me.
I put my music on about mile 13 as I needed a distraction from the heat. I headed back the way I had came thinking if I had done 10miles then in reverse I would hit my 20. I took another gel about 15miles just to keep going and remembering how light headed I got on the Angus HaM so I wanted to prevent that.
Somehow I hit 20 miles and I wasn’t home. When I got to my street I was at 20.7, well I couldn’t leave it at that so round in a circle I went throwing my water bladder in my garden as I passed. When it hit 21miles I will be honest, I punched the air screaming yes!! Then collapsed on the grass!
Inside for a much needed shower and I felt fine. It was a slow pace (as I’m sure I’ve already said) but the fact I really felt OK told me I am good for pushing harder at the marathon. I still had time before I had to pick the kids up so……….. I went for a 10 mile bike ride.
I have a time in my mind for Edinburgh and I’m beginning to believe I might just make it if I can push myself. It’s almost as if I’m being lazy when I’m running and not getting out my comfort zone. But then, I run to enjoy it.
I do love running.