After yesterday’s #DoubleParkRun fun, it was back down to some proper training today – a decision that included a longer run. (I’ve got the Garstang 10km event this weekend & the Helsby HM in 13 days with my running buddy – Edgie.)
So it was a late morning trot around the local area – all that needed to be agreed was the total distance to run.
Now one thing I am quite good at doing is ‘Confusing’ or ‘disguising’ my intentions when explaining a proposed route. Some people would also say that I ‘Circumvent’ the truth. A brief overview of the route I was thinking about to Edgie was given – outlining a distance of up to 10miles maximum. This was given the ok as we had not prepared for any longer and it was actually very cold & frosted, creating problems underfoot.
Taking it at a steady 6minute per km target pace, we set off going fairly downhill for the first few kms – verbally pulling Edgie back to slow his speeding pace down to the target pace. But after reaching the 5km point, Edgie began to suspect something was going on – asking if I was feeling ok and checking why I was giving 1km splits all the time. (He knows that I hate pacing this way so was very suspicious of me.)
By the time we had reached the 11km mark in 66mins, which was at the foot of the hardest hill climb, Edgie knew what I’d done – there was only one route back for us to follow and it wasn’t a short one. (I think he was muttering under his breath.)
This particular point, Preston Brook on the Hill, isn’t easy to drive up let alone to run up – but it is lovely to run down and more enjoyable. We had to use a Dextrose block each to replenish some energy and it was much needed to get us through the rest of the steady climb along the country roads – about 1.5km ish!!
Coming up to the 10miles/16km mark both of us were flagging in energy and the pace was becoming harder to stick to. We had managed to fluctuate between 5.50mins – 6.10mins for the previous 4km and it had started to drop in temperature – roads/paths frosting up again.
The final 5km stretch home is a slow and gradual climb – back to the top of the area. It is quite easy up until the last 2km and then it kicks up another level and you definitely feel it in your legs. It was at this point I think that both of us had to battle the ‘Little Monsters’ in our heads; 12miles of constant pecking & putting doubt into your mind about finishing the run. I had continued to give 1km time splits – only to be told to shut up by Edgie, it was annoying him quite a lot.
To be fair, the hardest part was knowing that we would be running past my house in order to make up a shortfall in the distance – it was only about 700m, but that last stretch of the run was the biggest killer of the run. The encouragement we both needed to do this was immense and I was urging Edgie to keep the pace with me – I had a plan from the very beginning and it was coming in to play at the right time.
We ran to 21.13km exactly – which was approximately 300m from my home. It was here that we stopped running and I logged the time for us both. Now you may think that we would be over-joyed at this next comment – but I truthfully think we were too shattered to realise or care about it.
“We had completed the Half Marathon distance in 2hrs 6mins 06seconds – a New PB by over 3minutes.”
This was a great result when looked at again. Our 6minutes per 1km pace had paid off – to within 6seconds and our lack of preparation showed us that we still had the distance in our legs, proving our winter training sessions are paying off.
The only problem I will have from now on, is convincing Edgie that we are going on ‘Recovery’ runs – because I think he doesn’t or won’t believe me any more….. For the rest of the afternoon it was an opportunity to relax in my favourite ‘Hot Lobster Bath’ and enjoy a nice cup of tea resting my legs.