Attempting to try several options for long run energy saw me vary things with one of Cathy’s Voltz energy shots this morning.
I went to bed wondering if, having been soaked to the skin twice in the week (the latest being yesterday when I was caught at the far end of the site doing something I couldn’t leave in just a hi-viz vest and a shirt, which resulted in the shirt being ditched to dry back in the office while I wore a nasty sweater), I was developing a cold, such were my sore nose symptoms. I arose this morning with the same sore nose but with an added slightly runny nose and a lack of enthusiasm.
But with a determination that I’d neither skip my long run nor put it off until later in the weekend. I’d rather have a bad run at this stage than no run at all.
Which is what brought me to the drink. I didn’t want to waste an Orbana if I was to have a bad run, neither did I want to go out under-energised, especially if I was under the weather. The shots seemed ok for a shorter spell – how would they last on a decent run?
I set off steadily on the same run as last week but in the other direction to allow a small addition to the distance without going mad, but also with the option of a 5 mile bail- out to make an 8 miler if things were too rough.
The first bit of a mile was ok, the uphill from home being paced very steadily, before a gradual increase in pace until I settled on something I was happy with. Which must be a comfortable pace since the first 4 miles were all exactly equal – to the second!
The energy drink seems to be a success, too. My nose was emptying throughout the run, so something’s developing within (hopefully being burned out with the exercise), but I felt ok enough to (subconsciously, honest – no extra effort was intended) increase the speed throughout the run, all the mile splits getting a bit quicker as distance increased (except one aberration where a super quick (relative to average) mile was followed by a return to gradual improvement).
The oddest thing about the run (and the only odd thing I can pin on the drink) is that I felt to have been out for flippin’ ages when I clicked from my virtual partner to the distance screen, only to find I’d only covered 4.2 miles.
The thought passed, though, once I knew how far I had to go (it’s not as if I don’t know the route even!) and I just ploughed on at a happy pace with light breathing and spinning legs.
The only other fly in the ointment came at around 8 miles when I realised my underwear/shorts combination wasn’t compatible for a long run and, with 3 miles to go, a touch more than minor concern engulfed me as my balls let it be known that they wanted to stop being rubbed raw as I progressed. Over the next 3 miles, blisters on my toes became a worry of the past!
So I got to the stretch for home and decided I was fresh and feeling good for a loop away, so half a mile was added to last week’s run. I’m happy with my overall fitness now and hope I haven’t peaked too soon for Folkestone. The ease of this 11.25 miles makes me feel better than ever. Time will tell, I suppose. I’m still a way off dream speed, so hopefully there’s more improvement to come, but overall I’m feeling good.
As long as the foot stays trouble free (it was ok today – not perfect, but fine. Turning the ankle on a rough bit of road just under a mile from home wasn’t ideal, but I got away with it) and this “cold” doesn’t develop into anything severe, I should have some fun runs over the next few weeks as I continue training. The bonus is that even if the race goes badly, at least the training and how I feel is well worth carrying on pursuing.
240.12 miles to go now.