An Electrifying Run...

On Tuesday I took part in my first bleep test in around 10 years. I was quite looking forward to it and made my way to club training at Walton High School for the first time since joining the Walton Chasers in 2002. Unfortunately it wasn't how I remembered and dropped out at Level 12.4 even though I could have continued for a while further. I found the constant turning and re-acceleration stressful on my feet and knees and felt that had I continued I was ripe for some sort of injury. I almost dropped out at the end of Level 8 but then mentally it was too much of an easy option. Having said that my legs did feel surprisingly heavy from the 10k at the weekend which wasn't helping either. After I stopped I became quite annoyed with myself as I didn't try hard enough - will I be doing this at the MdS 2009? I then went for a 35 min run with Iain Stamp and Jonathan Howell - around 4.5 miles.

On Thursday I ran again to work (11 miles) with my backpack but decided to take a slightly different route beyond Spaghetti Junction into town by running alongside the canal. I thought the canal would make the run easier but if anything it was the exact opposite - lots of small 5 metre incline and declines. It made the running a lot more strenuous but none the less the scenery was a little more pleasant to the eye. I managed to do the 11 mile run in 1hr 26mins, shaving off about 9 mins from the previous week, though that route was a little bit more stop start.

I made the decision not to go to the Chasers event tomorrow as I need a week off from competition running. I think this will have been my first week off since well before xmas. None the less I couldn't resist going out for a run in the sunshine and decided to try out my first ever half marathon run. The course is basically the same as when I go out cycling save the end which cuts a small corner off. The website states that its 13.05 miles. The route is very undulating, especially in the second half and with 2 miles to go there is a very steep hill about 1km long and ascends 100 metres.

My legs were still a touch heavy from the run to work on Thursday and took it reasonably easy to begin with. After about 40 mins I was beginning to struggle and did consider taking a few shortcuts to lessen the distance. I do find that doing a loop is mentally tougher than say running in a linear fashion e.g. to work as its so easy when you feel even a little tired to cut things short. I did continue and as I started towards the killer hill it began to feel very muggy then suddenly started raining with thunder and lightning. Once I saw the flash then the thunder about half a second later made me feel a little nervous. I was on the highest point in the area and to make things worse I was next to the TV mast (which is HUGE!). I managed to get home but felt absolutely shattered and had to sit down at the front of the house for 5 mins. On the plus side I did the half marathon in 1hr 34mins which is 7min 12 miling. I didnt take any liquid with me which might have accounted for feeling so bad towards the end.

Whilst running I kept thinking that if I find 13 miles so hard how am I going to find the MdS? I suppose I feel a bit low after the run but need to keep telling myself that I do have time on my side. At least it showed that I am physically capable of a half marathon when this is only the beginning of my training, but also shows that I am some way off from being able to do a marathon. How on Earth anyone can do 18+ mile runs without being bored stupid is beyond me!
I'm back in competition next week and am doing yet another 10k, this time at Crewe. Its supposed to be a fast one, but then again last week was meant to be as well!


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