Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Day 232 - the return to double digits

Type - Steady run

Distance - 10.5 miles

Time - 1 hour 19 minutes and 38 seconds

It has been a long time coming, getting over injury and laziness and to slowly build back into running double digits. But tonight was the night for my first 10 mile run in over six months.

I was planning a standard, if slightly longer than usual, river run (map). This would take me down from Fetter Lane to the river, along the river (via the usual Whitehall to Millbank kink) all the way to Chelsea and Lots Road. And back. It is the 'and back' part that is the killer.

I started off at a measured pace. I wanted to make sure I could complete the run, and was not interested in a quick first half followed by a pained or difficult second half. Eight minute miles across the whole run would see me get in at one hour twenty minutes, and that seemed fast enough.

Over the weekend I had met up with Jarlath to discuss the training plan for the actual Marathon. By 3 January 2010 it will only be 16 weeks from the marathon, and so it was time to put together a sixteen week training plan. Whilst chatting away we discussed training clothes, and I was saying how I couldn't understand the need for additional clothing in winter. Tonight was the first frigid, if not frozen, night that I definitely understood the need for additional clothes. I was cold, and it was a coldness that didn't go away with a few minutes running, or even with a few miles completed. It just gnarled at my core, sapping strength from my legs and arms. At the very least I think I will get a couple of long sleeve tops to go over my short sleeve t-shirts, a headband and wear gloves. I might even think about getting some tights. Ahem.

Tonight I had also forgotten to bring any shorts to put over my Skins. It felt quite wrong to be going out in just Skins - a little like running naked. I kinda got used to it, but I don't think I'll be repeating that in a hurry.

The run was going well, the first four miles were steady, with just a dull pain developing in my thighs and upper legs. This pain would start to increase as I got past half-way and beyond, but it was nothing particularly bad. By the time I was in the last few miles my legs were definitely suffering, but everything else was fine - heart-rate, breathing, no stitches and no unexplained pains. I had enough left in me to do a decent sprint finish for the last few hundred yards.

It seemed as though I was running faster than the sub 8 minute mile pace would suggest. Either my concept of time and distance was out of kilter, or I had plotted the wrong route. Almost inevitably it was the latter. It turns out I had run 10.5 miles in just under 1 hour 20 minutes, making it an average of 7.5 minute miles.

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