It’s been a pretty busy week. I have been doing some cross training at the gym and yesterday I went to the Rock Choir summer workshop, which meant that I missed out on parkrun.
However, I had managed to drum up some support and company for todays long run which was 18 miles.
There was nearly a catastrophe before I ever got to our meeting point, as I’d managed to leave my inhaler at home, so it was about turn to pick it up. As a result I was a little later getting there.
When I got to Hazlehead I was the last to arrive as Bill and Ann (Abz1903) were already there waiting for me. I’d also forgotten to switch on my Garmin, so it took ages to get a signal, so we ended up doing a bit of a walking warmup to enable me to actually get a satellite signal.
Finally we were off. I started to wonder if pakora the night before was a bad idea as only half a mile from the start my stomach was gurgling. Thankfully Ann suggested I could nip into one of the local hospitals and she kindly showed me where the ladies was which was just as well. I was hoping things were going to get better.
As we ran further on my stomach settled down and all was well. It was pretty warm, although the sun wasn’t out, but I soon looked like you could probably wring out my t-shirt. I’d taken my hydration pack and plenty of gels so I was well equipped.
The route I’d roughly plotted was 2 loops of around 8 miles. This would allow folk to join or leave after the first loop. As we made our way round the loop the first time, we were a little behind schedule, this was mostly due to the slightly late start and comfort breaks.
It has to be said that I’m pretty useless at plotting routes. I never look at elevation, so usually end up with some erm ‘interesting’ ups and downs. Today was no exception.
We didn’t follow the route exactly so when we dropped Bill off after the first lap, bumping into some friends who were kind enough to take an end of first loop picture. Unfortunately as we didn’t follow the planned route exactly it was going to be a bit short.
Once we had let Bill make his escape, Ann and I headed off again. She suggested that we do some extra before we take on the loop again as that would mean that we would probably get the 18 in without having to run round the carpark a dozen times, so off we went towards Kingswells. This was the worst part of the run. I had no energy and didn’t feel I could go on at all. Ended up taking a gel and a couple of shot bloks and pushed on. Was still struggling by the time we got turned into Kingswells and headed up yet another hill. By the time we turned on to the old road (now a bus route) I was starting to find some energy again.
We pushed on and made another couple of stops to get water for Ann and to photograph unusual bins (if you are curious this is why – http://www.fetcheveryone.com/forum__58031__1__bin_there_done_that_new_highly_unofficial_fetch_photo_comp_for_august).
Just after the school we headed uphill again. This was my second low point. The first part wasn’t too bad, but then we carried on up Kings Gate, and I really struggled. I also started to get some twinges of cramp. I’ve often had a problem with cramp, but lately it hasn’t been bad lately as before a long run I’ve increased my salt intake to help (don’t add salt to anything at home).
Thankfully I had some liquid salts with me and I found they really helped. I just could not get rid of the cramp completely though. I couple more times it threatened to come back, so I had a little more salt. Although the sun stayed behind clouds for the majority of the run it was pretty warm. In fact I’d sweat so much I could have easily doubled for a salt lick!
By now though, the end was almost in sight so to speak. I’d now run farther than I had since last years marathon, so Ann kept distracting me to keep me going. We’d made a plan to go up and down side streets so that we could get a bit of a cool down walk back to Hazlehead, which was an inspired idea.
Eventually my Garmin beeped and I knew I’d got those all important 18 miles 🙂
We walked back to our cars meeting another friend Louise from our jogscotland Hazlehead group, and there was time for a quick chat before taking the customary ‘just finished a long run’ selfie 🙂
Then it was time to head for home. I managed a cold bath and then a lovely warm shower, although I think I also got a free salt scrub! Finally I decided to head to Costa to reward myself with a little treat.
The good news is that I only have one blister. It’s one I normally get and it doesn’t really trouble me. On the whole my feet look as good as it gets, which surprised me. So all that remains to be done this evening, other than trying to stay awake is a bit of foam rollering, which I’m not quite looking forward to I must admit.
Thanks to everyone who has already donated, I really appreciate it. If you have, remember you will be in the draw for the champagne, so let me know what you think my finish time will be. I’ll put up some details which may or may not help you to come up with a number 🙂 If you haven’t even a couple of quid really can make a difference, so go on, you know you want to, there is champagne up for grabs!
Oh yeah did I mention, only 7 weeks to go! When should I start to panic?