The Scribbler

26 June 2010

Thoughts on today's long run

Filed under: Great North Run,run — The Scribbler @ 21:19
Tags: ,

I had a tentative plan to meet up with a long time twitter pal and fellow runner this morning, but he had to look after his boys, so I was back to solo running.  Catch you next time, buddy. 

I like running by myself. I guess it’s because it’s how I started. I had to battle those ‘just stop and walk’ demons really early on; learn to get my breath, keep going and gradually, gradually get a bit further each time.

It’s really nice to know that I can pretty much always manage a 10k. It’s a long way from where I’ve come from. Did I ever think I’d be able to say that 6 miles was a comfortable run? I hope I never take that for granted. I hope I’ll always remember when a mile seemed forever.

I may not be the speediest. I may not have run the furthest. But for me, to get to where I am now and to still be enjoying it, still learning, still discovering new things about myself, well… it’s really changed my life.

I’d been a bit concerned about the hot day forecast, but a slight overclouding at the coast made me think I’d get away with a long run without being as drained as I was the last time I ventured out in the heat of the day.

I am so lucky to live right by the coast. Long flat stretches of sea, sand and scenery, it goes by in a blur on this run. And the sea breeze…well in the winter it can thwart me, stop me dead in my tracks. But on days like this, it’s a gentle balm, brushing away the sweat, stopping me from overheating.

Today I’m just focused on the road ahead, barely acknowledging the scenery on this familiar to the lighthouse and back stretch. Today it really is to the lighthouse as the causeway is dry and I need to extend my route by another kilometre.

I keep it steady and slow, ease into the run, thinking 9 minute miles, just running how I feel, but trying to make sure I have enough in the tank to complete this long run. My mental pacing seems to work.

I’m surprised to see banners and a marquee up for the North Tyneside 10k. Surely I ran that in April? There isn’t another race on today is there? I later find out it’s a walk along the same route as the Easter Sunday run.

A couple of quick rises up from the promenade and back to the coastal path set me breathing quickly, but other than that it’s smooth and easy, under control. A little mango boost just past the half way point and again as I start to tire towards the end. I’m getting better at sensing when I’m slowing down and when it helps to keep me going.

Towards the end, I start to feel tension in my right hamstring and calf, but concentrate on stretching out and keeping it smooth. I start to wonder when the Garmin’s beep will tell me I can stop and take a glance at the screen, to discover that I’ve run 0.5km further than I planned. I just forgot to start the workout session and ran in general workout mode.

It’s a good run, a solid, sensible training run. A few more miles under the belt and building up strength and confidence for the September half marathon.

So week two of training complete. And even though I skipped an interval session, because my legs just didn’t have it in them, I’m still marking this up as a good week. Quality training, focused and relaxed, and enjoying my running.

Stats: 13.5 km (8.3 miles) 1hr 15.38
Mile splits:
1. 08.42
2. 08.47
3. 08.46
4. 08.33
5. 09.12
6. 09.07
7. 09.20
8. 09.05
9. 04.02

Plus extra bonus points for a fantastic Dr Who finale.

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