A cold morning today meant the tights were out, the base layer was on...definitely not a morning for shorts and a t shirt. Now I have my go faster special socks, something else struck me today. Are the gloves that runners wear special running gloves or are you ok with a pair of Damart specials? Who knows...anyone?
Today for me was about taking a step back. I had overdone things last week with two long runs in 4 days and now know that the bread and butter is to do 5k and 10k runs as the basis of the training. I have no need at this point in time to prove to myself that I can go long with regularity, and my body gave me a firm reminder last week that I am no longer in my early 20s...or in fact in my early 30s (or 40s to be fair).
Anyway...back to the morning. A cold and blustery morning, and the desire to go back to the 10k Run I have done a couple of times before. When I say 10k, this isn’t an exact science as my Fitbit works on biometrics, and the faster I run, the longer the strides...and it appears I have run less far. First time I did this run, it measured as 10.25k and took me an hour. 2nd time, 57:20 so today my target was to push towards 55 minutes if possible. My preparation as always was top class, an Indian feast last night and a few glasses of wine (note to self, this might not be ideal preparation) but following a tip from a friend, I made a 500ml mix of SIS Go hydration drink prior to bed, so when I woke up, was already hydrated well.
Breakfast was a banana, not sure this is working as for the first 2/3k, my mouth was dry and claggy. So much so, that I was already composing the headline for the blog...Don’t blame it on the curry. Don’t blame it on the vino, don’t blame it on the strong wind, blame it on banana. I sang that for a few minutes and realised that, despite this, my times were looking good. Village store 5:10, Cenotaph 7:30, St Leonard’s school 12:20 and the big roundabout in bang on 15 minutes. Anyone who has ever run along a road like the A59 will know that boredom is your biggest barrier, and today was especially the case. Counting cars? Hardly any....this is also a very exposed, and quite high, stretch of road and the wind was strong and in my face. Despite all this, I felt good. I’d had a gel before setting off and had saved a Fruit Salad one for a treat at the half way point. The landmark that tells me I’m half way there is a bin. Classy. Anyway, I hit the bin (no, not physically) at around 27:30 so I am on track to go sub 55 minutes, but from there, the next 2k is tough, uphill and into the wind.
Eventually I got to the roundabout and turned right, about 3k to go...and as I turned right onto Wiswell Lane. About 2k to go...just over 42 minutes gone. This next 400m is steep downhill, so I put my foot down and got into a really good rhythm, turned left to head back into Whalley, through the village, over the bridge (another uphill struggle) and then finally down to home. Quick hit pause and I’m home... 51:32 and I am knackered. Sprinted the last 200m pretty much full tilt, and am exhausted, but a marked improvement on last time. Nearly 6 minutes faster than 3 weeks ago. What now? A good rest and feet up for a few days...I’m learning!
Today’s learning for me...
1) Gloves. I need some, fingers were freezing (and no, I don’t even own a pair of gloves. I bought some last year, but lost one At Deepdale)
2) Energy drink before bed seemed to help with hydration.
3) Getting faster is a good sign, but I know my foot/ankle needs to rest more between runs
4) A slow start is ok, my splits today show clearly that each km was faster than the last one. The last 2k was done in just over 9 minutes.
5) Running into a strong wind and uphill is hard, but quite enjoyable