So… I’ve just completed my 5th week of my 50 mile training plan.
The week just past has seen three 6k runs (Tue, Wed, Fri) an 8.5 mile run on Saturday & the long run (21 miles) on Sunday.
My mid week runs, from work, are turning out to be at a good pace. things are starting to feel ‘easier’ up the hills but still puffing whilst trying to keep the pace & HR where they need to be. However, that said, it’s obviously paying dividends as I managed a PB on the last 6k run 🙂
Having missed my usual slot on a Thursday, due to working pressures, I had to run on my rest day and knew that this might have an affect on my weekend.
Saturday saw a violent storm pass through. Winds of 5o-60mph or more with rain to match. This run was going to be ‘fun’.
I had already decided my route and set off to cover the 8.5 mile course.
It was wet under foot right from the house but, wet feet don’t bother me too much. It’s a welcome feeling sometimes, whilst pushing on, to step deliberately into puddles.
Wind was the major factor on this run. Every time I headed West, I was blasted with severe gales, forcing me to push through whilst trying to keep a good pace.
Run over…. 1Hr 10mins with a 10k time under 50mins. Happy enough.
Recovered reasonably well. Used the foam roller and a bit of stretching to assist with relaxing for the run on Sunday.
Accompanying me on the Sunday run would be Stefan. Stefan has, in the past, ran the Caledonian Challenge. A 54 mile race across some beautiful parts of Scotland taking in parts of the West Highland Way. All to be done in less than 24Hrs. So, I knew that Stefan would be able to complete this with me.
However, Stefan is currently studying and exams, and preparation have led to a recent downturn in his running. He stated (during the run) he “hadn’t done this kind of distance for, at least, 2 months.”
No matter, it was good to have the company.
Knowing that we would have a break in the recent ‘unsettled’ weather, I had picked a route that would provide some cover, should the wind and rain return.
Setting of at 08:00, the route saw us take in a large section of running through Blairadam forest on our return home.
One thing I have found, all of the ‘other stuff’ you have to do whilst training to run ‘long’ mileage. Planning is key! Making time to know where you need to hit your targets, route planning, food choices, correct clothing, etc. It all takes time, and planning.
The route chosen would see us run part of a previous run but it involves a steady climb up to the top of Loch Glow, some 9k away from the house.
This is the bit, I knew I would feel on my legs due to previous days events.
I wasn’t wrong. However, we kept a reasonable pace (8:40 per mile) and it wasn’t too long before we were heading across the top, and down.
Slightly after the 10 mile mark, the turning point into the bottom of Blairadam forest was in sight. We decided that food was needed and decided to walk for a bit and replenish.
This was the point I knew my legs were getting tired, and, importantly, I knew that a lot of this next part was UP. Ah well.. no pain, no gain. Or so I’ve heard.
After a quick ‘late breakfast’ we started on our winding path to the forest. Even small inclines were telling my legs to stop. I did as much as I could but ended up walking up inclines I would normally run up.
On reaching the forest path, wet feet were the order of the next few miles. But again, it was a welcome affect on the feet. A silver lining 🙂
Steady progress was made through the forest albeit at a more relaxed pace (10:40 per mile).
After a detour, we ended up coming out of the forest at a different point than thought. And, combined with the fact we had just added another mile on to the run, we decided that running back the same road would be better for time constraints.
The route back saw a few inclines but, crucially, most of it was down hill. Both Stefan and myself wanted to ensure that we hit the 20mile mark under 3Hrs 30mins and, we did. With a time of 3Hrs 26mins we were happy to complete another extra mile to make a round number.
My mind nearing the end was definitely up for doing more. However, my body wasn’t. I was looking forward to my rest day, the following day. I would certainly need it.
So, all in all, another milestone achieved, i.e. a combined distance over the weekend of more than a marathon. Not the fastest time but completed.
Thanks Stefan for the company & banter, as always.
Onwards to an easy week 🙂