The Scribbler

8 September 2010

Wind assisted and resisted

Filed under: Great North Run,run,training — The Scribbler @ 17:42
Tags: ,

One of the advantages of dropping my cross training in the last couple of weeks leading up to the Great North Run is that I now have more options for when I can fit a run in.

Squally, wintry weather this morning with horizontal rain and howling gales meant I scrapped the idea of an early wake up call and settled for an extra snooze. Well, rest is very important too.

But that still meant there was a run to do. And with the sun making an appearance at lunchtime and the wind dropping, an early evening jaunt along the coast was just the thing.

Three runners passed my way as I was stretching and as I set off I fought the urge to catch them. Just steady, steady – a nice, relaxed evening run. A recovery run if you like from Sunday’s 12 miler.

My strides felt bouncy. It was good to be out, fresh and clean in the storm tossed air. The grey waves lashed up a fine mist into the chill, coating my glasses with a smear of salty soft-focus.

Easy breathing, easy pacing, but don’t kid yourself that’s a cross wind. It’s behind you.

A sub 9 minute first mile. It’s going to hurt on the way back. Another race pace mile and another, and it’s feeling free, easy and relaxed. The trick now is to maintain this effort and this pace. Not to go faster, even though my legs say they have it in them.

And then at the lighthouse comes the turn. Into the wind. It will slow me, but I stay calm against its buffeting, stay relaxed and focus on maintain the same level of effort as those easy first miles, resisting the temptation to take on the battle.

Runners, runners everywhere tonight. Free and easy, working hard, working fast. I catch one on the return leg and pass her. But she’s not having it and overtakes me again within a few hundred metres. I tell myself to stick with my run. She might be doing intervals.

My aim is to keep the same effort even though the wind is whittling away my pace. But I’m close to home now, just over a mile to go and my racing blood is up. I’ve kept this steady and easy so far. Can I turn it on into this force of resistance?

Stretch out the stride and make every inch of those legs count. I catch her again with around half a mile to go and turn up the gear a notch. Another gear, and another and I’m flying into the wind, smiling into the sea-spray.

Running with the wind in my hair and feeling faster than ever, right up to the finish line. 7.5 miles done and feeling good. You know the training’s paying off when you can run that distance on a week night and it feels relatively easy. It wasn’t always that way, and I’m sure that after the Great North Run there will come a time when I’ll wonder how I did it.

Stats and stuff:
7.5 miles/ 12.07km 1hr 09.42
mile splits:
1. 08.52
2. 09.06
3. 08.56
4. 09.05
5. 09.57
6. 10.01
7. 09.11
8. 04.31 (0.5 miles)

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