Just of late, I seem to have become a slave to the minutes of the day I can’t recover. This has been leading to me running one day and blogging about it a bit later. Which is how it has gone for this post, too.
A booked day of events saw an early-ish rise on Saturday to allow breakfast to be eaten, have it go down properly, run, return, recover, shower, shop and then clamber onto a train to London for alcohol and dough based, cheese topped discs of flavour-some goodness in JB‘s favourite restaurant.
It was all a success but the run requires detail.
I got stuck into a little painting after breakfast (just a little – cupboard doors don’t prime themselves) which made me a little late out of the door (JB set out for her 9 miles half an hour before me when I wanted her leaving time). The extra time gave me a chance to become less full, however, so I used the opportunity to reacquaint myself with Orbana. I’ve tried it before in my marathon endeavours but, as with many things, lack of use has lead me into slack-ness and my fuelling (fuelling…such a poor turn of phrase. It’s eating. Fuel is so mechanical in my mind; being a living organism with a set of taste buds, I feel my desire for pleasant sensations in ingestion goes a little beyond merely consuming calories, vitamins and minerals. But hey…) for the longer runs has been non-existent. I reckon around an hour of exercise requires merely fluid but now the runs have extended a bit, a change of strategy has become required.
The orbana run I remember best was a 13 mile outing last year, my mind becoming obsessed with how full of beans I felt after 8 miles. Yesterday had little of the excitement, but was far more successful with the drink than otherwise, I feel.
I set out on the large loop down Long Length and along Tally-Ho Road. I kid you not…these road names exist! The route through the forest is usually a bit of an ordeal. It’s lovely, don’t get me wrong – a flowing succession of curves and rolling lumps so distance doesn’t become a visual concern but something always lets me know it’s a long way from my front door if anything goes wrong. With a belly full of energy, though, I had a superbly consistent 3 miles, each exactly matched at 7.45/mile pace despite the undulations.
The whole run was pretty consistent. I paced myself loosely on the Garmin but kept it free enough that I was looking down about twice a mile, not obsessively staring at my virtual partner. The miles eased by and I was surprised when I realised that I’d be finishing closer to 11 miles than the planned 10. That should read pleasantly surprised. The whole run was easy, really. I finished faster than I started for the first time in flipping ages, felt eager for another outing, and even felt that my foot repair has got on well.
The whole pace of the run was throttled back to protect my foot (It’s an early long run instead of a race pace test session in case I pound myself into not getting to the start line) and it felt good at the finish, to be fair. I’ve had a bit of pain today, mainly while stretching it to try and ease things out, but it’s certainly better than it was three weeks ago.
That or I’ve got used to the pain.
Or the Orbana helps more than just energy levels!
So 5 weeks to go for the race, little hope of reaching my target speed, but a good feeling about being happy over both the distance and in improving my pb for the half if not achieving one of my year goals.
Hope nothing goes wrong in the meantime.
259.87 miles to go.