Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Tough, difficult and hard!

That was my run today! 18 miles off road, and I had forgotten when the terrain is rough, how difficult it really can be. The intention was to run 20 miles, but to be honest, I gave up. It didn't help I had to do this week's long run midweek only 4 days after the last one, due to a commitment on Saturday. But it's done!

I felt fine until about 6 miles, and then I reached a steep descent which involved open moorland, and bogs. Circumnavigating the really wet bits, whilst still heading in the right general direction, and trying not to fall over, took all my concentration. Then it was a nice easy downhill path to the coast (I was paying attention to how far down I was going, knowing I would have to run back up it very soon). I then picked up the footpath leading me along the north edge of the Gower. When it was actually path it was fine, when it turned into fields with massive deep cow hoof holes, it wasn't fine. The fields were close to the marsh, and therefore liable to be a bit wet, so the cows had made deep imprints in the mud, which today was dry and hard as rock. Stopping myself from twisting an ankle, or going headlong was a real challenge. Coupled with the fact that I had horrendous hayfever, and as a result streaming, itchy eyes, which was making seeing the finer details of the terrain pretty tough. After 4 miles of it, I'd had enough and decided to turn round a little early. I was running (or should I say hobbling) at barely more than a walking pace, so it seemed sensible to head back to the better terrain, and try to make up some mileage closer to home. When I got to the better terrain however, I was a little concerned about a couple of aches and pains, and used them as an excuse not to do the full 20. On the whole I think a sensible decision.

What I learnt today -
  • Keeping running when you are tired is possible, it just takes quite a lot of determination.
  • Keeping the pace down to something I know I can sustain is the way to get the miles done.
  • Getting the calories in after a tough run is hard because I tend to feel a bit sick, this is something I really need to conquer if I am going to do back to back long runs.
  • Geobars are better than Nutrigrain bars on the run, more sustaining.
  • Shorts and nettles don't mix.
The best bit of today - finishing in one piece.
The worst bit - deciding to give up early.

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