Friday, 12 February 2010

Day 286 - fifteen miles

Type - Steady run

Distance - 15 miles

Time - 2 hours 5 minutes and 57 seconds

Most of the long runs that I go on for the next couple of months will have the slightly daunting quality of being the longest I have ever run. I had previously run a half marathon during my first training effort - one that left me crippled with shin splints. But it meant that the half marathon a fortnight ago was not entering into virgin territory. Not so this week.

Fifteen miles is a long way however you look at it. In fact the only way it doesn't appear to be a long distance is when stacked against the total mileage for the marathon. And then, at a little over half-way, it seems shrivellingly meagre.

So I planned out the fifteen miles - using a similar route to last fortnight's half-marathon but tacking on a couple of miles to take me past the Tate Britain and up Vauxhall Bridge Road. All the way into central London, a signficant way down the Embankment and then back. And it only gets longer from herein.

You can do a half-marathon with limited preparation. A bottle of water or an isotonic drink, a pre-run flapjack or some other energy bar and head off. Anything more and you need to think about in-run fuel and water. This is easier on a race where water and gels are provided, but on self supported runs stocking up requires pockets or shops, or both. For today's run I crammed a couple of gels and jellys into my arm pack and set off.

The first few miles were fine from a physical point of view, but it was mentally tough to think that you were ticking off a few miles of a double digit amount. Into Islington, down into Finsbury and still only four miles in. Not even a third.

Straight home and into a cold bath, followed ten minutes later by a warm bath. The first was a necessary evil to help with post-run muscle fatigue.

The recovery wasn't too long, and the next day I wasn't cramped.

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