Hitting The Year Running

2015-01-01_SummaryHappy New Year! I’m going to skip the New Year’s Day formalities of reflection and goal setting, except to say that it has been a great year and I reckon 2015 will be even better. Starting with today.

I had planned a nice long slow run for this morning. I mean, what else am I going to do with a day off? It would be a shame to waste the whole day lounging around, watching TV and stuffing my face.

So, I headed out at about 9:30 am, a bit later than planned, but still early enough for a slow 24K. The plan was to use the usual 3:1 run/walk ratio but to try to keep the pace nice and slow – around 7:30 minutes per kilometre would bring me home at around the 3 hour mark. Just in time for lunch!

The original plan was to run along the seafront and take the coast road out beyond Saltdean and then back again. However, as I got closer to the seafront, I realised that the wind was pretty strong and that it might be better to stay a but further back from the sea itself.

So, I changed my plan and ran in the other direction, taking the road towards Shoreham instead. I was running against the wind, but it wasn’t too bad as there was a bit of shelter from some buildings along the route.

I reached Shoreham round about the one hour mark and decided to take a Power Gel. I’ve never used gels when running, but as this was going to be my longest run so far as part of my marathon training, I figured it would be a good idea to try them out – one at the one hour mark, and another at two hours.

I’m not really sure what I was expecting, but it didn’t taste as bad as I’d thought it would – nothing like real bananas and strawberries but not as synthetic tasting as some of theΒ Power Bars I’ve used before. It actually tasted quite good and the consistency was fine too, so no problems there.

As I hadn’t really planned a route, I wasn’t sure which way to go once I reached Shoreham. I was only at around 8K, which was far too early to turn around and head back to Hove, so I decided to just follow my nose and then turn around again at 12K.

This made the run a lot more enjoyable as, apart from the fact that I was no longer running into the wind, I was running through streets I’d never seen before. But it didn’t take too long before I found myself on Old Shoreham Road, heading for Brighton and Hove. I really liked this stretch of the route as, despite having to stop for traffic occasionally, it has a few inclines to keep things interesting and challenging – even at my very slow pace. So I decided to keep going and complete a loop (of sorts) rather than my usual out-and-back approach.

Things were going well until around the 2 hour mark. I had just had my second gel and was jogging along nicely when I felt the twinge in my upper thigh get a bit tighter, followed by a sharp pain in my knee. I knew right away what it was. I’d had the same thing after my last long run.

I knew that stopping would make it seize up, so I slowed down, took lighter steps, and sure enough the pain eased off. The outside of my thigh was still tight, but I kept going, taking it easy and stretching it out when I had to stop for traffic.Β I wasn’t sure if I would be able to complete the 24K, so I decided to turn off the main road and back towards Hove, just in case it got any worse.

I don’t really like running around the streets because there is usually too much stopping and starting for traffic, but today it wasn’t too bad. I guess everyone was still recovering from last night’s festivities!

So, I kept going, stopping and starting at the traffic lights and then took in a lap of Hove Park and a turn around Hove Rec for good measure before completing the 24K in just over 3 hours. Not bad for a morning’s work.

When I got home, I stretched out my IT band right away and that seems to have done the trick. No real pain, just a few aches, but that’s not a problem as I intend to spend the rest of the day with my feet up, eating the entire contents of the fridge.

How was your New Year’s Day? Did you get a run in? Please share your thoughts and adventures in the comments.

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10 thoughts on “Hitting The Year Running”

  1. Happy New Year! and what a way to start it off!! I find some of my best runs are when I don’t have any expectations or preconceived ideas about how it ‘should’ go. Good for you!!!

    1. Happy New Year to you Sharon, and thank you. πŸ™‚ It was certainly a lot of fun just following my nose and seeing where I ended up. I guess I’m lucky living on the coast in that as long as I know where the sea is, I’ll always find my way back home. πŸ˜‰

  2. Running about 15 miles is definitely not a joke, and that is a great way to start the new year. Good for you. And I was out last night and am kind of recovering from last night’s festivity, like you said… πŸ˜‰ It’s a long story and yet is not relevant to running, so let’s leave it at that… πŸ™‚ I’ll step out soon to do a 10 mile run…

    Anyway, I was going to say that in terms of energy gels, check out my posts (https://chroniclesofthescorpionthatbitorion.wordpress.com/2014/08/29/pocket-fuel-is-here-6-48-miles/ and https://chroniclesofthescorpionthatbitorion.wordpress.com/2014/08/20/easy-7-mile-run-and-energy-gels/). Although, for now, I have settled on Clif Shot for convenience and whatnot, I did some research on energy gels before. You might find it useful if you haven’t done that.

    Also, that’s good that you’re incorporating the post-run stretching into your routine. I don’t know if you do, but I also go to gym and work on the core and lower legs on regular basis, and I did a bit of Linear Leg Press the other day and my hamstrings and quads were quite tight since. I used one of the rollers while I happened to be visiting a friend of mine for a hike, which you will see a post of on the other hiking blog soon, and it got much much better afterwards. I’m going to (and I’ve been meaning to) order one from Amazon, and I’ll write about rollers and such on another post. Stay tuned. You may find something useful as well. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you. I’ll check out the links about the energy gels. I just bought what they had in the shop and they were fine, but it would be good to try some others for comparison.
      I usually have to stretch after a long or hard run and have a roller that I got least year. It’s quite brutal sometimes (mine has lots of nobly bits on it) but works wonders!
      It’s only recently that I’ve been having the IT band issue but getting the right stretches in definitely helps.
      Going to check out those links now. Enjoy your run! πŸ™‚

  3. I read your blog all the time and your experimentation with the run/walk idea has been very liberating for me to contemplate. Thanks for being open minded and creative.

    1. Hi Cynthia. Using run/walk has really helped me get back on track and taught me a lot about how my body reacts to training. I’m looking forward to reading about your return to running this year. Looks like you’re off to a great start too. πŸ™‚

    1. Hi. Thanks for the link and the article. Very helpful! πŸ™‚
      I plan to rest for the next three days (with plenty of stretching) and then just a couple of 5Ks before the next long run. It’s not as bad as last time, so hopefully introducing a more regular stretching routine will do the trick.
      Thanks again. πŸ™‚

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