With less than seven weeks to go until the London to Brighton 100K Challenge, I figured it was about time I started to get some decent miles on my legs. So, last night after work I decided to run an impromptu half-marathon.
It was still light when I headed out, so I thought I would take a slow jog from Hove, along the seafront and along the undercliff path to Saltdean and then back again. I knew that it would be dark by the time I finished and, as the route is pretty much unlit beyond Madeira Drive, I decided to limit my walk breaks to one every 5K for the first three quarters of the run to ensure that I wouldn’t be running in the dark for too long.
It was fairly quiet along the seafront, with just a few of the usual joggers, dog walkers and after work drinkers having a well earned beer on the beach after a hard day at the office, but once I reached the undercliff path, the place was pretty much deserted.
While it was nice to have the path to myself, I did find it a little bit unnerving as I approached my turning point. My legs were feeling pretty tired and sore and my pace had dropped considerably by this point, but I decided to keep jogging for as long as possible so that I could get back to the better lit part of the route a bit sooner.
Apart from a couple of boy racers speeding along the otherwise deserted Madeira Drive in the distance, however, the darker part of the run was fairly uneventful and I emerged unscathed, other than the aching limbs that is.
In hindsight, it probably wasn’t the best idea to go out for an evening run on that particular route, but it was good to finally get a half marathon under my belt.
The pace itself was very slow for me, averaging out at 7:16 mins per kilometre, but if I’m going to complete the London to Brighton Challenge, I’m going to have to learn to go even slower than that. So, with less than two months to go, my goal is now to run as slowly as possible so that I can keep going for longer and, hopefully, build up my endurance levels for the challenge by the end of May.
What’s the furthest distance you have ever run? What precautions do you take when going for a run in the dark? Please share your thoughts in the comments.