Sunday, April 26, 2020

Tortoise and the Hare...a modern version

Over the past few weeks, I have been pretty much focussing on reducing my times and increasing my speed. Today’s run was different and was thanks to a chance conversation with a friend. This would be a medium length run (clocked in at 12.65km, around 8 miles), and for once I didn’t set myself a target time. I had a rough idea of how long this would take, but no target. Simple reason being that I was heading uphill onto the edge of Pendle Hill, and although I knew the first 6k would be uphill, had no idea how steep it would be. Short answer to that now is ‘very steep’. SO the run itself...from Billington, into Whalley, then UP...past Oakhill, UP into Wiswell, UP into Pendleton with a climb of around 160 metres. Tough going. 

Anyway, onto the detail. A couple of small slices of flapjack and the strong coffee for sustenance.a good stretch then off I go. I have been having some soreness in my Achilles over the past few weeks and was unsure how this would be, so I set off in a strange mindset and after a km, glanced down to see a decent start by my standards (5.35) but I wasn’t quite in the mood. When I’m in that place, how easy is it to turn round, come home and blame a slight soreness in my heel? Too easy, so at this point, gel number 1 came on board and carry on. As suspected, the hills were steep and the going tough. After about 4km, a young couple flew past me...being overtaken is always deflating, but I consoled myself with the following... 1. They are less than half my age 2. They’re obviously doing a  short run... and off they disappeared into the distance and left an old man in their wake. 

As I reached Pendleton, I knew that a left turn would result in a nice steady downhill, which was a great relief. Back onto the bypass towards Clitheroe and I’m feeling ok now, done the hard bit, and although there are still inclines, nothing like what I’ve done and the average time is around 5:30 per km. the route back takes me past Clitheroe Golf Club and into Barrow. The weather was sunny, so I was running on the side of the road that was in shade. As I headed into Barrow, I noticed on the other side of the road a young couple, pretty much walking...yes, the same ones that had flown past me about 4 miles back... enjoyed passing them.  Anyway, that gave me a boost and the rest of the run passed without any alarm or incident. Only thing worthy of comment is the Salted Caramel SIS gel is delicious.

Back home in 1:08:29 with an average pace of 5:24 per km. Felt good, plenty left in the tank at the end and, most pleasingly, the pace was consistent, which was the aim of the run today. Now time for feet up, loads of rest and hopefully not too much soreness tomorrow. 

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