A Long, Slow Run/Walk
With ten weeks to go until the South Coast Challenge, I figured now would be a good time to start increasing the distance on my long runs.
My plan for today was to run/walk 12K on the trails, but after consulting my legs, they told me that a hilly run was not a good idea today. So, I opted for a nice flat route alone the seafront instead – well, you’ve got to listen to your body, especially the old legs.
I set out at about 7:30-ish. It was warm and sunny and there was plenty of space to run along the promenade, so I headed East towards the Marina. Knowing that I had no chance of running the entire route, even if it was mostly flat, I opted for a flexible run/walk ratio with a one minute walk break after each kilometre.
As I approached Madeira Drive, I realised that there was an event going on. In addition to the open air cinema on the beach (for the European Football) a large section of the road was cordoned off with British Heart Foundation banners. As it turns out, this was the finish line for the London to Brighton Cycle Challenge, so I figured I might pop down later this afternoon to have a better look and cheer on the finishers.
As it was though, I was only 3K into my run, so I didn’t want to stop there and then, and plodded on towards the Marina and up the switchback to the road above the cliffs. I’d forgotten how long the inclines were on that road, so I took a slightly longer walk to keep myself going and managed to complete the 6K in 42:34 before turning round for a nice long downhill section.
Typically, however, as I started the descent, my stomach started to grumble and I realised that I was going to have to find somewhere to sort myself out. As it happens, there was an ASDA at the bottom of the hill, so I took a short detour to see if they were open.
Unfortunately, they weren’t, so I had to press on until I was back on Madeira Drive. I figured no-one would mind if I used the porta loos that had been set up for the cycle race, but in the end I didn’t have to as there were some public toilets in between so I used them instead.
After that, I felt much better and started to enjoy myself again as I ran past the banners and saw a couple of the cyclists finishing their race. They looked surprisingly fresh considering their long journey, as did the volunteers who (we were told via the loudspeaker) had been there for 8 hours already to greet the finishers and present them with their medals.
Before long, I hit the 10K mark and realised that my detour meant that I would hit 12K a bit sooner than expected, so I decided I to carry on to 13K, which would take me just beyond the starting point. Of course, when I finally reached 13K, I figured that since the roads and streets were still quiet, I might as well plod on for another kilometre to get me a bit closer to home.
In the end, I managed a total of 14K in 1:44:15, which isn’t bad at all for me at this stage. And, when I got home I also realised that the first 5K was the fastest 5K I’ve done in a long time, even with the walk breaks.
So, all in all, it was a pretty good session. Now I just need to figure out what’s going on with my stomach before I do my next long run.
How’s your training going? Did you see anything interesting on your run this weekend? Please share your thoughts in the comments.