Oh, dear. Today is Sunday and because yesterday involved work until mid afternoon and all other things conspired to rob me of precious time, things got away from me a bit.
I’ve been worried about this run for weeks. It comes on the back of an increase in midweek mileage at a time when I knew work would be hectic, but to set off at the best part of three o’clock seemed silly. Especially since the thermometer hadn’t got above 2 degrees and there was a fresh covering of snow all over Hastings. But since this is (promise. Honest) my last bit of weekend overtime, it’ll also be my last long run around the town. Resulting on the little demon in my head saying “make the most of it, build your legs all you can and see how much you can do with no food intake and loads of hills”.
So that’s what I did.
And the answer is 12 miles.
I set off for the hills, having outed the idea of doing a reverse route, but included a hilly mile lap of Alexandra park, keeping the pace sensible but still the right side of 8.30. I was targetting 8.40 for the whole run. I even kept it sensible for the majority of the main climb, settling on 8.40’s with a single split dip to 8.45. But then I considered my need to do a loop of something interesting to avoid the tedium of too much seafront at the end and split off towards Battle, up anothr bit of a slope. Not much of one, but after 3 miles of climbing, it seemed a good challenge.
But by mile 6, I was hungry. And that feeling didn’t disappear. All along the Ridge and down to the front where all my energy was gone. Used. I hate the seafront stretch on the long routes – it’s handy since I run past the site and can calculate the out and back distance perfectly for the overall length, but it’s so depressing to run away from home after such a long slog. And yesterday it all got the better of me, revealed in my splits disintegrating to reveal the last two miles as 8.48 and 8.49. At the turnaround point at 12.75 miles, I even walked for twenty yards to have a last really good drink, so drained did I feel. And none of it was helped by the ridiculous cold.
Yep, the sun had gone and my hands were numb, too. But I continued to the office, whereupon I wanted to collapse but found a message from Cathy saying she was on the 16.08. I was reading that at 16.49. 30 miles from home. Only to find I couldn’t text her a reply since my hands were too numb. But I got a call to her, arranged to meet in a pub (didn’t take too much convincing it was a good idea…funny that!), poured myself into the car, ate an energy bar, banana, mars bar, apple and arrived at 5.30 with my hands still frozen to the point of my right ring finger still being pure white. That’s never happened before.
So, things learnt: 1) Don’t do toooooo many hills on a long run. 2) Take an energy style drink (Jogblog recipe no. 1) 3) Take a bit of food for the proper long runs. 4) Wear gloves when it’s freezing. 5) Wait until Sunday to run – it’s lovely and sunny out there and warm as i’d like. And it’s flat at home!
Still, that can wait for next week and my 15 miles. From yesterday, i’ll settle for the 8.24 average pace. If only my left shin didn’t feel like it was exploding, i’d classify it a draw. As it is, I think i’m struggling. Thankfully, I know I will have the last laugh. London’s flat, after all.