This week has been a bit of a step into the unknown because for my long run I would have to run for longer and further than I’ve ever run before. To be perfectly honest, the thought of this terrified me. Still I’ve been running well and had good sessions at jogscotland and speedsters and before I knew where I was it was Saturday morning and I was heading down to Aberdeen beach for a stint as run director.
After all the announcements and just before the start I was handed this:
Photo courtesy of Stuart Milne (aka the Duckinator)
I was in my element. This beast of a megaphone has one heck of a range and together with my normal foghorn voice there was no way I was not going to be heard. In fact I kept hold of the megaphone until it was time to tidy up. I rather liked it and I think it gave me a bit of a power trip 😉
Anyway, when I was uploading the results (which wasn’t quite so straightforward this week) I decided upon a meeting time and place for the afternoons 14 miler. As you can see from the above photo, it was sunny. It was also warm. I hate running in the heat! This was not going to be fun.
Thankfully I had some running buddies to keep me company, so firstly many thanks to Ann Stephen and Carole Mathieson for joining me / encouraging me / listening to my whinging / putting up with my burping and erm any other noises which may have escaped from my body during the run.
Ann lead the way, but unfortunately due to a niggle we had to leave Carole to her own devices, but we continued on. The question which was mostly in my mind was “where the heck am I?” At one point I was so high up I could see almost all of Aberdeen from Altens to Dyce to Bridge of Don and the rest. You may have guessed it, but I had to get up some hills to get this view. Stunning as it was I was not to impressed with all the upward inclines! Did I mention I don’t like running in the heat? I’ll say it again, it was HOT.
Thankfully after seemingly going up forever (okay I’m exaggerating) we started coming back down, and for once I knew where I was. This was only short lived though and before long I hadn’t got a clue again. Thankfully Ann knew where she was going and continued dragging my now tired body around with her. I remember saying “less than a parkrun to go”. I think by this time I was starting to get pretty tired and there was no doubt about it, just about every muscle in my lower body ached.
I plodded on. We were following (more loosely on my part) a 9 minute run followed by 1 minute walk strategy. With my ever growing weariness I did find I had to walk a little more, but even with this in mind, I passed the 13.1 mile mark in what would have been a PB time had I have been racing. From here on in though I got stiffer and slower. With each step I just wanted to stop, but I knew it would be over soon, so I kept going. I know there wasn’t that much more to do and it would soon be over.
That last mile was the hardest that I’ve ever done. Here is how the run looked.
The green is the elevation and the dotted line is my average pace. The line part is my actual pace.
My splits if you are interested were:
1) 1m – 16:42(16:42/m) 86cal
2) 1m – 15:11(15:11/m) 81cal
3) 1m – 14:34(14:34/m) 80cal
4) 1m – 15:03(15:03/m) 85cal
5) 1m – 16:20(16:21/m) 87cal
6) 1m – 17:03(17:04/m) 85cal
7) 1m – 19:20(19:21/m) 85cal
8) 1m – 13:36(13:36/m) 97cal
9) 1m – 13:47(13:47/m) 91cal
10) 1m – 13:22(13:22/m) 101cal
11) 1m – 16:15(16:15/m) 86cal
12) 1m – 16:06(16:06/m) 81cal
13) 1m – 18:49(18:49/m) 88cal
14) 1m – 18:10(18:10/m) 89cal
15) 0m – 3(12:28/m)
I was so glad to have finished, or more accurately I was actually surprised that my body actually let me run for 14 miles in that heat. I was so glad I’d taken my hydration pack and we actually had to stop and buy more water, so next thing I need to work out is fuel.
For all my moaning It was actually a really good run. I surprised myself and was so glad that I’d come through and even although I felt pretty rough, I was still smiling and not really much worse for wear.
Photo courtesy of Ann Stephen
I’ve got my first blister caused by my socks (which I’m never wearing again for long runs!) and I had a touch of sunburn despite lathering myself in the stuff and re-applying mid run with a little help from Ann.
A tough week, but a good one. Got a cut back week next week and I’m heading off down to Glasgow to collect my uniform for my volunteering stint at the Commonwealth Games, so that is going to be exciting.
For those of you who are interested, here is what fetcheveryone.com predicts for my marathon time now. Happy guessing 🙂