9 more?

So despite my greatest hopes that Friday would stall and i’d not have to face a huge run, face it I had to.

Yesterday, during a snatched moment on my work computer, I planned a route on gmap-pedometer that got me to 17 miles without any nasty loops near home, nor too many repeated junctions. And this morning, I checked my plans to ensure I hadn’t messed up.

Then went and cleaned the car, ate a banana, had a cup of coffee and did pretty much anything to delay my departure…even as far as adding some pressure to the boiler and bleeding a radiator!

Still time came to leave, so I loaded a few jelly babies into my hydration pack, mixed up some drink, adjusted the straps (last time I used the pack, it was on the motorbike so all the straps were well loose) and set off. Now, despite mountainbiking in the pack, i’ve never run in it before. And 17 miles may not be the best way to check if it’s ok. But I thought a slow 17 wouldn’t harm. But as I set off, all concentration was on re-adjusting things, not on pace. ERROR. When i’d settled in and stopped it bouncing, I turned the Garmin to virtual partner mode and nearly broke down crying.

A long, slow 17 miles. With a first mile at 7.44 pace. Bollocks. So much for negative splits. More like blow up at 6 miles and give in! So, with an eye glued on my wrist, I concentrated on holding pace and was rewarded by all the next miles, yep, 16 of them, being within 8 seconds of one another. The overall average of 8.37 is flattered by my first mile, but my freshness didn’t fall away, a few pains kept appearing, but nothing major. Just general fatigue. But if i’m not allowed that with these mileages, then i’m lost.

Plenty of things kept my brain working, though. Taking a wrong turn and forcing an out and back 2 mile leg at Staplehurst wasn’t ideal for my planned route, but then I missed a turning for Frittenden, which made up for it. Two huge packs of cyclists broke my routine for a while, scaring a man tying balloons to identify a party was amusing, I had to stop for cars three times, which resulted in any time gains being lost, but as the splits show, a break in routine doesn’t seem to harm on a long run. I may do it on purpose on the proper race if my mind lets me.

But now, I need to stretch. And eat. And shower. And pack. And see Jogblog for a washing machine repair and a pizza and a party. Yippee! I new there was something to look forward to this afternoon!

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