Before I talk you through my long Sunday run it’s important to frame things properly. On Saturday I opted not to run as I was giving my day up to photograph the wedding of a couple of friends and former colleagues. A day that ended with me on the dance floor until well past 11pm.
Throw into the mix the stress of one of my cameras dying on me and not getting to best until after midnight and you can imagine that this was not the best preparation for a 15-mile training run.
I didn’t set my alarm when climbing into bed at 12:15 am and frustratingly I also forgot to turn on my phone and watch the charger too.
So, when I got up after 8 am I sat there pondering the 65% charge in my watch, potentially looking for any excuse to delay my run. In the end, I decided it was fine and got myself going.
A quick bowl of porridge and a strong coffee later and I was out of the door by 8:50 and setting off on a nice cool morning with no rain. At times the day before the rain was Bilical!
My route took me out of town and along the A170 on the footpath. Once past Beadlam, there is no footpath so I was running along the side of the road facing the oncoming traffic. I find this perfectly safe but do get some off looks from some drivers. On a couple of occasions, I had to jump onto the grassy verge for some tractors and drivers who didn’t want to give me any space.
I came off that road and back onto the country lanes and then through the pretty village of Harome. It was warming up by this point and I was wondering if my choice of tight Columbia t-shirt was going to turn out to be a bad one.
I was keeping a good pace of about 8:30/mile and felt comfortable. The aim was 15 miles of steady running and as I clocked up a 50 minute 10k I was happy with how things were going.
By 10 miles I knew I was slowing a little but tried to just focus on good form and kept plodding on. As I came past the half-marathon mark of 13.1 miles I started to feel it a bit. The last couple of miles are tough but I dug in and kept up a good pace.
I was happy to have kept my heart run under 150 bpm for the vast majority of the run too – averaging 147 bpm.
This was a great run and I felt the effort. I needed this to just bring my thoughts on what time I can expect to run this marathon back down to earth. A 3h30m marathon is a huge challenge, I’m hoping the atmosphere of the day plays its part.
Tomorrow is a rest day as I travel down to Wales for work. Three-and-a-half hours in the car might not be that pleasant after today…!