I’ve neglected my road running a bit lately for many reasons so today, I decided, was the day for getting ‘out there’.
I used a route I like because it’s quiet. I usually only see one or two vehicles and so I don’t have to worry about jumping into the ditch when a car comes flying towards me! It was cold when I started out, the thermometer was showing 2ºC, so I went out with my nice new Ron Hill hat, a long sleeved top, tights and gloves. Great! Hmmm, great until the sun burned through the mist that was keeping the temperatures down. Suddenly it was almost tropical out there!
The route is a mixture of long steady inclines and fast descents with one hard hill at the end. Previously I’d struggled with that last hill and started to dread it. I stuck to my Galloway 4:1 principles and soon I was running a faster pace than I had last time on the same route. Runmeter told me at 1km that I was 3 minutes ahead of schedule. By the time I reached 5km, at 31 minutes, I was 7 minutes ahead. I may have been running a bit fast by 5km, but I felt strong so I pushed on.
Unfortunately the road was flooded at one point and even though I tried to keep to the grass verge, that was sodden too. Result, two soggy Asics and I hadn’t even hit 5k. I hate wet feet! My socks must be pretty good though because no sooner did I feel the water hit, the sensation disappeared. I’m pretty proud of hitting my 5k at 31 minutes with having to slow for the water hazard. It was almost like adding a steeplechase to my route! Then at 6k a ewe sprang at me from the grass verge, evidently it had escaped from the neighbouring field; it half scared me to death! As Monty Python might say – I wasn’t expecting a sheep, no one expects a sheep!
As I hit the last hill I just kept going. I felt strong and the hill I once dreaded was nothing to me. I slowed down, yes – it’s a hill, but not by much and I didn’t stop.
My route took me away from my village and looped back again after 5 miles. I knew I was going to have to add a little more on to get close to my 10k target so I chose to run through the village, past my house and down the castle road. The castle road was where I started running a year ago. I misjudged the distance a bit and turned back too soon, falling short of my 10k by just over half a km. Rather than run up and down until I heard the magic 10k click through, I decided 9.33km was close enough.
Distance 9.33 km
Av. pace 6.57 min/km
Fastest pace 4.51 min/km
Climbed 87 meters
Descended 87 meters