The Scribbler

25 July 2010

Well that was a bit tough

Filed under: Great North Run,run — The Scribbler @ 17:15
Tags: , ,

Long run today, and I’ve just noticed that the plan said 13k and I actually ran 14k.  It was a good day for it, not too warm, bit of a breeze, but bright enough to lift the spirits and make it enjoyable to be outdoors.

After checking the maps, I set off on my usual route, planning to lengthen it by adding on a bit of a trail around near the lighthouse.

My legs were a bit grumbly to start and I just kept saying to myself run slow, there’s a long way to go, let yourself warm into it. I felt like I was plodding, jogging along and despite telling myself to take it slow, was finding it frustrating. My right hamstring and glute felt tight and I focused on trying to run evenly.

I often catch my gremlin very early on in a run, usually less than a mile in. It’s annoying because I know I can run a good distance, but on the other hand, that makes him easier to shake off, because there’s no way I’m going to give up with less than a mile on the clock.

I kept picking at the gremlin until a brief pit stop where I shook him off and plugged in my headphones for a bit of a boost. I’ve really enjoyed running without music this year, but maybe for some of these longer solo runs, it’s good to have a distraction from my own thoughts.

I pitched down from the promenade and along the beach for a stretch. My feet enjoyed the change of terrain, but I felt it pull on my muscles more. Up the steps and along the cliff tops towards the lightouse, looking for the point where I joined the trail.

Out along the dusty pathways through the grasses, running alongside plenty of cyclists and dog walkers enjoying this coastal pathway by the dunes. The deal was to run to the halfway distance and then turn back and take the road more tarmaced on the return leg. I spotted a bench and signpost just beyond the halfway beep, and took a few seconds out to stretch my tightening right calf and eat some dried mango.

Although wide and flat and not particularly rocky or uneven, I still felt I wasn’t running smoothly along the trail, so when I emerged back onto my regular pavement route, something kicked in and I began to stretch out a little more and relax.

My sole glimpse at my Garmin showed that my last mile on tarmac was around 9min mile pace, which is more like my target race pace. I’ve been really conscious this year of trying not to push myself too fast in training. I know that training pace and race pace are very different, but mainly I just run how I feel. And after a bit of a niggly grumpy start, I was feeling good, running smooth, and I didn’t want that to stop.

So, telling myself that I’d probably run the first half really slowly given my mindset and the terrain, I pushed on for as long as it felt okay. Which it did just about all the way home. I even managed to pick up the pace a little in the last quarter of a mile, but even so, I was glad when I could stop, stretch and walk the last little bit back home.

Now, my hips and and glutes are definitely aware of having worked hard, and I’m a little zonked from the humidity. But I’m pleased with that run, especially as I was by no means as slow as I thought at the start. 

Stats and stuff 14k 1hr 19:58
mile splits:
1. 9.00
2. 9.18
3. 9.22
4. 9.13
5. 9.13
6. 9.05
7. 9.09
8. 9.03
9. 6.32 (1020m)

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