Come on Irene!

Hurricane Irene hasn’t been in that much of a hurry really.
For a hurry-cane…

Today what’s left of her has been battering the west coast of Britain and, more specifically, my bit of the west coast. Despite it being hubbie’s birthday I’d decided that I needed to get this run out of the way, another LRE (Longest Run Ever) of 9½ miles. Hubbie gave his permission and even agreed to come round with me on my second lap which would be slightly less than the first but still a good mile and a half longer than he’d ever run. I was fairly confident that the Galloway Run-Walk-Run system would allow him to do this without feeling too tired.
After gearing up with jelly beans and sports drink I headed off into the drizzle for lap one. As per usual the first mile was the hardest, all up hill and leaving my (asthmatic) lungs little time to open up. As I ran up the hill I wondered if the water running off my face was sweat or rain. It was warm, humid and wet all in one big weather front! Thankfully the wind was behind me up the hill. That, however, was about to change!
I was running around an 8 minute mile pace and then taking my walk breaks every 4 minutes which slowed my overall pace down to 10 minutes. I knew that was maybe a wee bit too fast for me considering that this would be the longest distance I’d ever run and so I slowed it down just a little to around 9 minute mile pace. That meant I was doing 11 minute intervals. Great. Spot on for me to last the distance and so much faster than I was running just a few months back. I really don’t know where my speed has come from, but I’m delighted to see it and also know that I’m holding back! I think that maybe the 5k training programme I did, with all the interval training, has really helped and I’m thinking of incorporating that into my regular routine once I’ve achieved my longest distance of 14 miles.
The wind and the rain were pretty full on. I was buffeted from the side and then head on as I ran home. My face was being distorted by the force of the gusts, it really was that bad. Undeterred I plodded on, wading through puddles that covered the road and ignoring the fact that my clothes were soaked from rain rather than the usual sweat!
I made 3 miles in 33 minutes. Perfect!
I was particularly worried about my iPhone as I could see moisture starting to eek under the protective cover through the earpiece hole. I’ve taken to wearing the armband upside down so that the unprotected earpiece and on/off button are pointing downwards and should be less likely affected, but today I’d have needed to put the whole thing in a polybag if I was wanting waterproof! 
The last hill before I drop back into the village is always a bit of an ordeal rising 20 feet within two tenths of a mile. With the wind in my face it was even worse! I reckon the conditions alone will have been worth an extra half of a mile!
I ran through the village and into the house. 4.89 miles for my first lap. I grabbed a loo-stop and quickly taped up my phone as best I could before setting off for lap two with my incredulous husband “It’s raining!” he announced as he stepped outside. “Tell me about it!” I replied. It was, by then, steadily raining. 
My husband has, so far, only run 2½ miles on his C25K training and was taking a bit of a chance coming with me for a 4 mile run. I tried not to slow down too much for him. I was sure that he could manage 11 min/mile pace if we were using the Run-Walk-Run method. He did extremely well, although he said himself that the last 2 miles were really hard work. I don’t think that I’ve ever been prouder of him.
We didn’t really talk much. I was pretty tired by the second lap and focusing on the fact that I had another 4½ miles to run. We managed some chat on walk breaks over some rather soggy jelly beans. We maintained the 11 min/mile pace pretty much throughout the run, although that last hill was a killer on lap two. BOY OH BOY!!!
Once I reached the top of the hill I knew that I had just a half of a mile to go, so I sprinted, leaving hubbie behind! By the time I reached the bottom of the hill I was just over 7 minute mile pace and loving it! I ran out of steam just as Runkeeper announced 9½ miles.
My LRE is, therefore, now 9½ miles, achieved in 1:48:38. My overall pace was a fairly consistent 11:26 which, as my husband put it, is F***ING BRILLIANT!
My stats, map and intervals can be viewed at my Runkeeper page
I finished off my run with the dreaded, but so necessary, cold bath. I think I might be getting addicted to my cold bath; I find it ever so slightly wonderful after a long run. 
What’s next? Feet up in front of the telly. Thank you very much!

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