Saturday, 12 December 2009

Day 229 - speed demon

Type - Tempo run

Distance - 6 miles

Time - 40 minutes and 22 seconds

I had just been on a date, meeting someone briefly for a drink at Pattisserie Valerie before we both went off to busy Saturdays. I felt justified in having a brioche bun and jam as I would be going for a run. Decent, sugary fuel. I then battled Saturday shopping traffic on Oxford Street to complete Christmas shopping and dropped stuff off at work, got changed and headed out.

It was bitingly cold today. It had just poured with rain, and was still a touch damp. But the chill that had descended at the beginning of the week had deepened, and I was glad that my Skins shorts and calf socks almost cover my leg. Still, I didn't feel like I would benefit from any more clothing - I wonder if I will need or want any other layers or equipment?

The run would be what has now become a familiar, smoothed and uncomplicated six. Down Fetter Lane, Embankment, Whitehall, a few back streets to Millbank, past the Tate and back.

I had decided to do a tempo run of sorts, given it was only six miles and that I wouldn't be able to do another run until Tuesday. I set off a touch quicker than I would normally for the first five minute warm up, and kept up the pace for the first half. I was running under seven minute miles, and having to breathe steadily and deeply to prevent any stitches from developing. My leg muscles were protesting gently, and it was far from an easy run.

It was not made easier by there being a decent amount of tourist trade on Whitehall and the surrounding streets. I wonder how much time is added dodging and zigzagging around people, having to have the second sense to avoid bumping the pedestrians who invariably fail to look where they are going. This was also the first time I have run this route in the daylight, and, with the various modifications, it was strange to see the buildings and route in the day.

The second half was run in negative splits, taking the overall time to just over 40 minutes. That is skirting close to 6.5 minutes miles, which would be an excellent run. It is also getting temptingly close to six in six, or trying to run the six miles in 36 minutes. We'll have to see whether that is going to happen any time soon.

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