Last Long Run

Okay, so it it not my last long run ever, just my last long run before Loch Ness.  It has been a bit of a stressful week.  Had to take one of our furballs to the vet to get x-rayed, so that meant getting him knocked out too.  Was really stressed about getting him into the cat basket (he didn’t want to go) then when I got to the vet, there was no parking, because of all the folks dropping their kids off at school (whatever happened to walking to school?)

Turns out there is nowt wrong with him, so after spending several hundred quid, painkillers were the answer!

Anyway, I’m digressing.  I had decided to to my long run on Saturday, so that I had my Sunday free.  A decision I’m really glad about since it was cool yesterday and very warm today.

Had planned my route to take in parkrun, but I just couldn’t summon the energy to get out of bed in time, so I left a little later and redesigned my route in my head 🙂

The first couple of miles felt hellish.  I just wasn’t feeling the love.  I’d not felt quite right at work with a bit of a sore throat on Thursday and then sore glands on Friday, so I wasn’t too worried.  I had a back up plan if I had to bail out, but although I wasn’t feeling it, my legs were fine and I knew if I could just get going properly I would be fine.

Quick phone home to check in with hubby after 2.5 miles (basically to let him know I was okay and I was changing my route), I ended up going over the bus route at Kingwells.  It was here I started taking pictures 🙂

Lovely view :)
Lovely view 🙂
Along the old road.
Along the old road.

I’d decided to head over towards Hazlehead just as it was on my original route, although I knew I was too late for parkrun.  Went through a lovely down and up again with this bridge at the bottom.

Bridge :)
Bridge 🙂

Once I’d got further down the road I decided to take in a couple of side streets, just to increase the mileage a little more and again as an opportunity to take a few scenic shots.

I liked the tree on its own in the background.
I liked the tree on its own in the background.

This route crosses another bridge.

A bridge too far?
A bridge too far?

I then decided I’d better get on with the running, so I continued on (not before popping into my hairdresser to use the bathroom and book my next hair appointment).

I was feeling a lot better about my running by this time.  Things were still not feeling easy, but I was ticking the miles off one at a time.  It was fairly cool and there was a little drizzle, but at times there was also a bit of a headwind, which I knew would not be fun when I headed down to the beach.

There was a bit of a headwind on King Street, but by the time I reached the esplanade I was almost 12 miles into my run, so again after a quick check in with hubby I took the opportunity to take a couple of shots.

What's that in the background?  Another bridge?
What’s that in the background? Another bridge?
Wildlife - no bridges this time, but there boats instead.
Wildlife – no bridges this time, but there boats instead.

Once I got on to the promenade properly, the wind was behind me, which was a welcome relief.  On approaching half marathon distance I kept checking my Garmin.  Typically, my time was faster than my PB!

The proof.
The proof.

I also took this pause as an opportunity to get some pictures of the harbour and the supply ships.

Aberdeen Harbour from the beach.
Aberdeen Harbour from the beach.
Supply ships.
Supply ships if you look closely.

I continued on to Fittie (Footdee) and again just had to get some photos of this amazing little place.

Amazing little streets.
Amazing little streets.
Even more amazing sheds and gardens.
Even more amazing sheds and gardens.

By this point I was just a little over 14 miles in, so I headed back along the esplanade into the wind.  I was starting to tire, and gave up with the photography as if I’d started taking pictures I think I would have stopped running and just popped into the bus station for a bus home!

Things started to get really tough as I hit mile 17.  One of my toes was quite sore so I guessed there would be a lovely blister there by the end of the run.  From miles 17 to 18 took me past Duthie Park and along side the river, but then I turned up and headed towards Union Street.

There was another welcome stop at around 18.6 miles, when I dropped into run4it (other running shops are available) and said a hello to Matthew and Nick (whilst trying to get my breath back and working out how far the remaining 1.4 miles was going to take me!)

I couldn’t put it off any further, I had to head towards home.  By this time I was most certainly following a run walk strategy.  In fact I think my run was more of an awkward looking shuffle to be honest.  I’d pretty much had enough, but I knew there wasn’t really that far to go.

Headed along Albyn Place and ended up back on Queens Road, which is the road I’d come down several hours earlier.  I was now past 19 miles and I was counting off every little increment towards the 20.  I’d decided to get the bus home, so was looking for bus stops.  I would run past one muttering to myself that I’d have to go at least to the next one as I wasn’t at 20 miles yet.

Finally the Garmin reached that magical 20 miles.  I was most miffed that there was no bus stop at this exact point and I had to cross Anderson Drive, but this gave me a little extra.  Final scores on the doors were as below.

It's done :)
It’s done 🙂

Quick phone home to let hubby know I was still alive and on my way back, once a bus turned up.  When I did get home I was firstly surprised that I could still walk when I got off the bus and secondly also surprised to find out that the sore toe wasn’t actually too bad.

It wasn’t a very pretty run and at times it wasn’t very easy and it certainly wasn’t fast, but that’s it.  I have done all the prep I can do.  It’s really strange this year as in some ways I feel much more prepared and in others I feel that I’m not and have moments of apprehension and dare I say it, fear.

I know I can do this.  I’ve done it before.  This time I have the fueling sorted out which is a great relief.  I stayed pretty much positive all the way through the run, so that’s also a plus point which I haven’t had in the past.

Still now the taper starts.  I have the Great North Run to look forward to next weekend.  I’m going to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the race.  If things go really well, yes there is a chance of a PB, but I won’t be disappointed if it doesn’t happen.  I’ve already smashed my half PB to pieces this year.

Thanks again to everyone who has sponsored me and those of you who have put up with my whining and run with me on my training runs (where sometimes I’ve been less than happy!).

You guys rock 🙂 xxx

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