Monday, 21 December 2009

Day 237 - twelve miles pre-Christmas, my trainer gave to me

Type - Steady run

Distance - 12.1 miles

Time - 1 hour 32 minutes and 02 seconds

I wasn't exactly relishing the prospect of a twelve mile run on a frozen Sunday morning. After Tuesday's chilly ten miles I had been shopping to buy some appropriate winter gear. I would be striding out with my new long-sleeve running top over my short sleeve top, a Hilly forehead/ear protector and thin running gloves. All part of striking a difficult balance between being frozen solid and miserable, and overheated and, well, miserable. The sweet spot is not to be too cold to begin with and warm into a cosy, steady pace whilst the Artic wind whips and wicks away most of the sweat.

I was running today with Jarlath, who was admirably getting back into training after running the Lisbon Marathon the week before. I wanted to get twelve miles in before finishing for the Christmas break - I wouldn't be doing any more long runs until 3 January when I would be embarking on my 16-week marathon training programme.

So, swaddled in far more running clothes than I had previously worn (Jarlath even had a jacket), we set off. The route was a traditional favourite - along the river, but this time taken further than I had ever managed. Previously I had gone down Lots Road, but today we would get all the way to Wandsworth Bridge Road. Aldwych to Fulham and back - a pretty long way (map).

Pacing would be the most important part of the run. It would be difficult to maintain a 7.5 minute mile pace much beyond 10 miles, and so we set off at a steady 8 minute 30 second pace, gently reducing this so that by the half way point we had reduced the average to just over 8 minute miles. We stopped briefly to get a drink in Sainsburys (the route managed to avoid any other shops on the way) and then headed back.

The run felt good, certainly for the first nine miles. My running was steady and I felt fresh. It was only the last few miles when it started to become a greater effort of endurance. It was obvious to me that we were picking up the pace, but only when we got back to the Aldwych was it apparent how much. We finished in 1 hour 32 minutes, averaging a little over 7.5 minute miles. Again, this will not continue in to my proper training because, as tantilising a prospect as it is, a 3 hour 15 minute marathon is not my goal. Well, not this year, at least.

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