New Shoes, New Routes

So, I’ve done a bit of running since my last post here. Not much, I have to say, but something to write about anyway. Three runs since my last LRE run, one alone and two with hubbie.

The first was an escape run. Sometimes I need to run alone and so I choose a time when hubbie isn’t home or just can’t do it. Don’t get me wrong, I love running with him! It’s great that he’s chosen to train up so that we can run together, but without a doubt he slows me down. I have to run at his pace and his pace is what I was doing last year. In the back of my head I’m worried that if I carry on running at his pace my speed will suffer. It’s bound to, surely? So now and again, and with his full support, I go alone or he accompanies me on his bike.

I headed off into the woods with Murphy, my Jack Russell. He’s a great wee runner, tiny legs and huge enthusiasm! I love being able to take him with me, which is maybe why I love running this route so much. Seeing his little legs racing away and his tiny tummy nearly touching the ground as they do warms my heart. He loves running too and it’s great to share my love of the woods with him because hubbie isn’t as keen on the unstable surface!

It had been raining heavily and so I didn’t quite know what to expect as I headed into the trees. It wasn’t quite as bad as I thought it might be, but bad enough to slow me down. Sometimes I think I should just leave my iPhone at home and forget about timing these trail runs; they really are a heck of a lot slower than a road run because of the nature of the floor! Rocks, ruts, mud, roots, branches – you name it, it’s there! I managed 2.38 miles in 27 minutes. Not bad.

A couple of days later hubbie and I set off for a 30 minute run as part of my half-marathon training. In my new shoes :o) Pause for photos of said new shoes!

I’ve been saying for a while now, mostly out loud so that hubbie could become accustomed to the idea, that once I hit my 300 mile/500 km target I would treat myself to a pair of new runners. I decided that I would stay with the Asics brand that has done me so well over the last year and even stick to the same model, the GT-2150. I need some support as my running style is “awkward” to say the least! A slightly twisted right leg makes me run in an odd fashion and puts some strain on my knees and ankles and the GT-2150 has helped even that out, to some extent. Knowing that I was sticking to a particular shoe made shopping easy; I just Googled GT-2150 and waited for the cheapest option. Good ol’ Debenhams department store had a half price offer on and my Asics were purchased at a bargain basement price! Making everyone happy!!

The old and the new
My new white *eek* Asics

 Back to my run. I decided to run along the shore road. I usually make the mistake of asking hubbie which way he’d like to go and I always get the same reply… “Wherever you want”, so I skipped that bit and decided. Job done, or as Steve would say, giddy up :o)

It was a bit blowy, nothing like it was last Sunday, but we set off at a decent pace. Unfortunately it was too decent for hubbie and he soon started to flag, even with walk breaks every 4 minutes. When I see him run I realise just how far I’ve come in a year. I backed off the pace a bit just so that he could last the distance. With the wind in our faces on the way back we were desperate to turn the corner leaving the wind behind. It’s amazing how strong a force Nature can be when you are against it! 2.55 miles in 29 minutes and one exhausted husband!

We went away at the weekend to a car show at Sunderland Hall in the Scottish Borders. It’s a couple of hours from where we live and just a couple of miles out of Selkirk. It’s a really nice place. Normally. On Friday when we arrived it was raining. Raining hard. And we were camping in a field. We drove in, the last two cars to drive in under our own steam; everyone else had to be towed in by a tractor. And there we stayed for a couple of days. On Saturday I had a 4 mile run to do. It was sunny but nicely cool so I was happy to run. As hubbie had successfully managed a 4 mile run the Sunday previous he decided to come with me, provided that I left my new trainers in the caravan and ran with walk breaks (apparently my new trainers are sprinkled with fairy dust and make me **faster** how great is that?) I agreed and we set off for a there and back run, basically because we didn’t know the area well enough to plan a route. We were to run alongside the River Tweed, which should have given us a fairly flat route. Should have!!

First of all we had to scale a fence with barbed wire in order to avoid the twelve inches of mud at the field gate. That was when I gained my first trophy nick. Great, bloody shins before I started! We walked to the main road, the A7, and then started to run on the path alongside it. We were spoilt by the luxury of having a path to run on; usually we have to run on the road, dodging cars, lorries and tractors. This was heaven. I noted that the outward run was slightly uphill, however hubbie decided it couldn’t be as we were running alongside the river. Until we reached the bridge which we had so obviously been climbing up towards! The path crossed the main road and went off down a side lane, still alongside the river but on the other side of it. It was so pretty. We had a fairly even 11 minute mile pace with the walk breaks. In between walk breaks we were running at about 9:30 – 10 pace. I wish I’d taken photos of the route, it really was lovely. Not as flat as we’d hoped, take a look at the elevation chart!

The hills look horrendous, but they are basically 30 foot climbs – still enough to slow us down a wee bit. We kept a fairly constant pace, although coming down the final hill I decided to crank the pace up a little bit. Not too much that I might lose hubbie, but fast enough to give us a final push. We completed the 4.02 miles in 47:58 (11:57 pace).

Climbing back over the fence gave me another shin nick on the wire, but at least I had another 4 miles under my belt in one of the loveliest places I’ve run for ages.

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