Day 356 – Sunday’s 20 miler…and a little jaunt round the block to make sure

I’d like to start by saying thanks to Dave, Paddy and Bill for devising a route for a 20 miler and running it this morning. Without you guys to try and keep up with I’d have quit some considerable miles earlier! I’m glad I joined a club finally and in particular the Blackwater Valley Runners because they’re such great people. For me personally, they have been immensely supportive and I’m very glad to have made their acquaintance. Thank you all.

I’m coming to the end of an interesting adventure and to the end of having to write about it every day. I’m struggling a bit with that concept as you know. Having this little corner of the internet revolve around my every move has actually turned out to be a really important aspect of my motivation to run. Soon enough you will not automatically know where I’ve been every day of my life and we may have to revert to some ‘old school’ medium of communication to keep in touch. At first it was a bit like big brother was watching me specifically. Nowadays I’m good with it and it’s just part of how life is. I’m more open than I used to be in many, many ways.

Ok, we’d better talk about the run hadn’t we? Well it was an 08:30 start at the club. There were quite a few of us initially including Alan, Nick, Lawrence and Big John who all left us at about 7 miles to turn round and make it a 14 miler. Nick had spent the preceding couple of miles splashing in every puddle on the towpath and I’d been right behind him at the time. Thanks for the wet feet Nick 😆

The remaining four of us carried on getting further and further from home. At 8 miles I remember Dave saying “I can’t believe you’re still doing this 20 mile run, given you took 23rd place in the race yesterday…” closely followed by “…but I probably shouldn’t be saying that to you, should I?!?” with a grin! He was right, but I needed this 20 miles more than I needed the 23rd place yesterday. I had to complete it.

I’d like to just say at this point, Bill is unbelievable. He’s a man of a good few years greater than myself, likes a pint (and I hope he won’t mind me saying either of those things) but he’s really very fit. He was telling me he’d been out for a 30 mile road ride yesterday and now this! He’s been running for years and I’m now sure that experience counts for everything. It’s still got to be said though, Bill you’re an inspiration to ‘us young pretenders’.

At 12 miles, it started to hurt. I said nothing and ploughed on. At 13 miles I started to announce the mile markers as they passed. By 16 miles I wanted to go home – and passing within a quarter mile of my house just about then didn’t help matters! We trudged on, getting progressively slower. I know I was on the limit of what I can do. 39 miles in 3 days isn’t fun for me, it’s very hard going.

Chatting to Paddy I revealed how much I was regretting the effort of yesterday’s 10k now and how I should have just taken it easy and made the long run the priority. He was feeling it as well, saying it felt like a marathon finish for him too. We also spoke about how important it is to hit the target you set. 19.9 miles wouldn’t do today and we were both agreed on that! I recounted the conversation I had with Damian yesterday about our training run in Brighton this March, ahead of the marathon. I tried to convince Damian to run the extra few hundred yards to hit 19 miles, rather than just going for 30km, but he wouldn’t. He was adamant and angry about it. To this day, months later, he’s still annoyed he didn’t go that extra minute or two and hit 19 miles, which of course I find hilarious every time he mentions it!

We arrived back at the club about a mile short of target and ran around the football and rugby pitches a couple of times to avoid any of us having to think about where to go to clock up the mileage. I was broken and tired, yet incredibly happy that we’d covered the target mileage. Thanks once again gents!

That’s the best part of 61.5 miles covered this week. My longest week ever – previously just 54.5 so quite an achievement. I did good for once 😉

Lots more tomorrow I guess…

And this is where I got to with writing the blog by 21:00. Then I decided I couldn’t really leave it there. I never can, can I? :roll:

I went out again. Intending to run 2.62 miles, I would make it 64 miles this week, then I’d be happy.

Then I decided I could do a bit more.

I’m back home. I ran 4.62 miles this evening. Let’s just tot up again…
24.62 miles today
42.7 over the last three days
56.39 in the last five days
and 66 miles in the last week! 😀

I think the qotd is appropriate.

I’m off to bed.

See you again tomorrow…if I can still walk!

Make a donation using Virgin Money GivingAndy.

Today’s shoes: Lime/Blue Kayano 17s (20 miles) / Blue/White Kayano 17s (4.62 miles)
Miles today: 24.62
Target: 1068
Miles to date: 1620.70
“To exercise at or near capacity is the best way I know of reaching a true introspective state. If you do it right, it can open all kinds of inner doors.”
Al Oerter

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