How to burn up 15,245,530 calories…apparently.

After a week of not running I decided that the best course of action would be to test myself with another longest run ever, because that’s what I do to validate the fact that I am indeed certifiably crazy. Most people would say “I’ve not been well, I’ve not run my two lots of 30 minute runs in the week – better knock my 11 mile run on the head for a week.” Not me. I say “Well, I’ve not been running, but I drank Guinness on Thursday – that should do the trick!”

Ahem.

So, with very tired legs I set off early on Sunday morning to do my 11 miles. Come what may, I was going to finish them. Sometimes I’m too bloody determined for my own good. But sometimes, as you’re trudging around the circuit, that determination is the only thing making those legs work. Certainly on Sunday my legs had no go. They felt sore and stiff from the start. Clearly I hadn’t had enough Guinness.

I rarely see wildlife on my runs, even though I live in the countryside, but this morning I was initially joined by a beautiful fox who ran ahead of me in the road with its gorgeous bushy tail acting as a rudder as it ran from one side of the road to the other. It darted up the embankment at the railway line and was well hidden by the time I past by. Seeing such beautiful creatures running with you fair warms the heart; sadly most of the foxes I see are lying dead on the roadside. Much like the baby mole I found further up the road. So very sad.

It took ages to get into any kind of stride. I almost regretted starting out. My first circuit of 5 miles was tough, really tough. Far worse than any other run I’d been on. I was too weak. My splits are all over the place and that probably reflects my state of mind as I was running.

To make matters worse the clouds or possibly my new waterproof armband were stopping me getting a good GPS signal and I started getting some spurious reports of distance and pace. I got to mile 3 in 34 minutes, so Runkeeper announced, but I knew that mile 3 arrived a good few hundred yards earlier, having run the route many times before. I popped home after circuit one to fill up my water bottles and say hi to hubbie before setting off again knowing that one circuit was just shy of 5 miles. My app told me 4.2 miles. Then, not long after I’d set off, it jumped to 5 miles. It continued to do this all of the rest of the way round, jumping at one point from 7 miles to 10 and reporting a pace of 4 minutes. In my dreams I am a Kenyan!

I tried every diversionary tactic I knew. I looked at the scenery. I counted. I joined in with my running tunes. It was hard going, but I was going to do it! However, despite the GPS problems, my second lap was far easier. Yes, I was tired, but I was running more smoothly and much faster. Maybe it was helping that I was trying to work out where exactly 11 miles would finish. I knew that my lap was just under 5 miles, so two laps would be about 9 ¾. I needed to find a mile and a bit. I decided that I would run to the road end and back, hoping that it would be about 11 miles. As I reached the end of the run my app told me I’d run nearly 13 miles.

I finished in just over 2 hours. If I was right I’d run a fairly good 11 minute mile pace. All I could do was get home and check the map to see what had gone wrong.

Runkeeper has the fortunate advantage of being editable online. Once I’d uploaded my data I could see that the GPS had placed me a mile away on the A75, apparently making the two mile journey in several seconds! A click of the mouse and the extra marker was deleted and my data returned to normal. I couldn’t believe it. I’d run 10.98 miles – how much closer can you get without measuring?

Sadly my splits and coaching times are out of the box. Time, I think, to treat myself to a Garmin.

Distance  10:98 miles
Time        2:02:13
Av Pace   11:08
Calories burned 15,245,530 apparently but I’ll settle for wiping out my full English breakfast on my return!

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