Today is day 140 – just the 225 to go! – and I’m upping my running distance at weekends in anticipation of the Brighton Marathon in April and starting to break new territory by running further than I ever have before.
Normally my long run would be on a Sunday but even I’m not mad enough to try and run for two hours before having to get to Gatwick for 8.30am so I shifted it to Saturday this week.
I was up at 6.15 trying to plan a route on Walk Jog Run that would see me do a round trip and also browsing Runner’s World magazine which has an article this month on how important race nutrition is.
It’s something I need to pay attention to after my run in with the runs on a run two weeks ago, so I made sure I was ready for anything when I went out.
I had a banana and two glasses of water when I got up, made sure I went to the loo, waited about 20minutes to see how the banana was sitting and when satisfied I didn’t need another visit, I decided to set off around 7am.
I took with me a bottle of Lucazade Sport with caffeine, put some coins alongside the keys in my shorts pocket in case they were needed for a public loo and tucked a bit of loo roll into my shorts, just in case I needed some at any point. The Who’s Quadrophenia album went on the iPod (we’re going to see them next month and they are playing the whole album live as a concept gig) and off I went.
At first, I was pacing myself, looking to do about 10.5 mins a mile, keen not to overdo it with 13 hard miles ahead of me but as I left Streatham and headed into Tooting (about a mile down), I glanced at my Garmin and saw I was actually doing much closer to 9 minutes a mile, it felt good and so I carried on. (Long live Lillian’ sports massage from yesterday’s entry).
At about 6miles, I went passed a Travelodge with tramp sitting outside who cheered me on (!!!), glanced in a shop window and was surprised at my reflection… I actually looked like a runner. My stride was good, my arms were pumping and my breath wasn’t ragged.
At 6.5 miles, crossing the Thames to Chelsea Embankment, I had my first sip of the Lucazade… the sugar and caffeine giving me an almost instant rush so I gulped half and saved the rest to sip through the rest of the run.
There were times during the second half of the 13 where I started to feel a little ragged but by the time I got back to Streatham, I was still relatively flying towards home, that’s despite having to go up Bedford Hill in Balham which is not massively steep but may as well be Everest when you have 12 miles on your legs.
I made it home with no loo stops, no upset tummy from the Lucazade and got back well within two hours (1hr 59mins as you ask). Double that and I’ll be doing Brighton in four hours… too much to ask for?
Click here for a Google Map and full details of the day’s run
Miles today: 13.01
Miles to date: 533.77
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