Yep, that does read laps. Not “lapse” which is something more akin to my recent blogging, I’ll admit.
Running has been good lately. I went to the French Alps for a mountainbiking holiday and had the intention of sprinting down a mountain in an attempt to put in my fastest ever mile. Unfortunately, bombing down mountains on a bicycle isn’t the best workout for running form and, to be honest, I was too tired to attempt the challenge. The last day was blighted by a brake problem, though, so I went for a run up one of the mountains which was the most scenic outing of my life. 7 miles was knackering but lovely.
Since then I’ve increased mileage to my target outings for the Autumn. I’m now doing 5 hilly miles early week, 6 undulating miles mid week (which is to become 6 interval miles as my legs become used to the distance over the weeks) and a 10 mile weekend run. This is the fun one.
I’ve been doing the longer run exclusively off-road. The Greensand Way uses fields, pastures and ByWays as the principal route and it’s varied, nice to see and challenging. Two weeks ago, as the farmer of the largest field was harvesting one area of wheat and ploughing in the rape field, the route was horrendous. My shin/calf area was ruined by the repeated near twisted ankles as I struggled to maintain even 8 minute miles, but the workout was good and more enjoyable (with less risk of fatigue injury than pure road running, it seems, what with me not having a twinge of hurt or ache as yet) than road routes with traffic, people and the like.
So last week I fancied a different challenge. And by crikey it was.
A quarter of a mile from home is a field. Not a big one, but largely flat and smooth-ish. So I challenged myself to the mental challenge of lapping it until 10 miles was done. Why, I’ve no idea. Whether as part tribute to Mo Farah and his 25 laps to victory or simply that I wondered if it’d rain and would be close to home if it did I know not.
But a quarter of a mile from the front door, I started to lap.
0.41 miles per lap.
Nice, after 3 laps, to see that I was a mile and a half in already.
Nasty, after I’d lost count, to see I was only a little over 4 miles through.
Ok, at just under 5 miles, to do a little spur off the end over a field to ensure that a full lap would take me over 10 miles with the bit back home to save me wondering if I’d manage a full lap more than target.
Fine, after the spur, as I ran the opposite direction.
Rubbish as I started counting down through 10 laps to go and simply wanted some variety and for it to be over.
Fair as I considered how my progress would be on the main Greensand Way.
Hopeless as I stumbled through a rough-ish patch, almost into the dogshit I’d been avoiding every lap for the past 20 laps (3 mines in close proximity, right on the nicest path bit).
Great as I started the final lap.
And then it was over.
No pride, no fanfare, just the satisfaction of being home with 10 miles under my belt.
I’ve a few people I know who seem to create disgusting run routes on the least pleasant roads I can imagine – flat, wide, dull, nothing much to look at. They surprise me at their lack of concern that there’s a whole planet awaiting their enjoyment but they seem slaves to simply putting in mileage with no care for where or how. The joy of the Garmin is the ability to simply run, enjoy being taken wherever you end up, but still put in the run you want.
Until I want a mental challenge or the ability to run consistent intervals or something specific, I know the field won’t be repeatedly lapped for a long while to come.