Negative Splits on Sunshiny Days

Summer has appeared in Scotland. It’s definitely summer; I distinctly remember that large yellow ball of light from last year. Actually, I jest. We did have a good patch of weather before Easter. The rain between then and now just washed it from our memories. This time though the heat has joined the sun, making running a sticky prospect. We went away for the weekend, only to Stranraer (about 80 miles from here) and arrived home on Monday to a shed load of jobs. I wrote a huge list and invited hubbie and son to choose from it and I picked the things they didn’t like. Inevitably my jobs didn’t involve machinery, apart from the washing machine to which I appear to have become harnessed over the years. I spent most of a hot afternoon weeding the garden.

I wanted to do 8 miles, but decided to content myself with 4 because by the time it was cool enough I doubted I would have had enough light for more. I opted for my 5 mile route which with warm up and cool down walks would be just about right. Hubbie decided to join me…on his bike.

I’ve relented and got an asthma inhaler to try and avoid that panicky feeling I get about half a mile in when my chest tightens up too much for me to properly breathe. It helped, for sure. My biggest problem on setting off was getting a GPS signal. Despite clear open skies Mr Garmin refused to link up and I ended up starting without him. I chose a steady, comfortable pace which, when he finally decided to appear, was between 9 and 9.5 minute/mile. It was still warm and I didn’t want to set off too fast.

My route takes me up out of the village, up being the operative word here. The climb is a long one, about half a mile or so, and it zaps your quads and calves. Once I reached the top I walked for a wee while and swigged my drink. I’ve been buying Lucozade low cal sports drink, quite enjoying it. Once I’d caught my breath I carried on, this time downhill for a while. With my muscles recovering I hit the next hill with more ease, accelerating up it – much to the surprise of my husband who had to notch down through the gears in order to keep up!

I wasn’t follow a particular training programme; I ran comfortably, at the higher end of my limit and walked when I felt like it, which wasn’t actually very often. Having my husband there kept me running and I was distracted enough to note the silage being cut and some lousy railings on a house we passed! (My husband is a blacksmith; you’d never believe the state of welds, rails and gates wherever we go!)

By mile 3 my IT band was causing trouble, pulling on my left knee so that every footfall was painful, but I ignored it and allowed myself to be distracted by the sun, the blue skies, the birds tweeting in the trees and the calves feeding greedily from their mothers. Oh, and my husband.

When we headed down into the village I felt strong enough to sprint to the “finish” otherwise known as the village speed limit sign. We all have to dream. 3.99 miles at 10.34 pace. With the uncharted half mile added from the start I’d more than achieved my readjusted goal! And *cue fanfare* I had a negative split with my last mile being the fastest!! My quads are still aching…no kidding!

Today is equally as hot so I’ve decided to not run until the cool of tomorrow morning when I’ll take Murphy down through the woods. I’m pleased to have my sensible head on.

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