Having been half term last week, I had Isabelle with me Thursday, Friday and Saturday so today was my first chance for any sort of training. Well technically it wasnt, I could have quite easily have persuaded Mum to babysit for an hour or two but I see that as cheating and it does no harm to have a few days off every now and then, although I may not like it.
The plan originally was to hit the Gym early doors on Thursday before Izzy arrived but the thought of a nice lay in and taking it easy felt much more appealing (and so unlike me)
So after three days of rest, what does one do with oneself?
I decided late Saturday evening that I was going to go for a long run. Anything about 10 miles for me is considered long. When I finally get in to marathon training, a run of similar distance wont be touching the sides I know but for now its long enough.
I ran from my parents. Dad was good enough to let me drive home in his car last night as I'd stopped to spend the evening with my brother, on the condition that I had the car back early in the morning.
No problem, the early get up on a Sunday is in the blood these days. I had the car back at just gone 9am and I was already changed and raring to go. Unlike me, I had a brain like a sieve this morning as firstly I came out with my HR monitor (and later discovered I'd forgot to bring any underwear with me either!)
It was the first time I'd run without my HR monitor in years. I hated the first couple of miles. I'm used to glancing down at the Garmin and seeing what I'm doing. Checking pace and time is fine but HR is just as important as you know how "hard" you're running. Same as when riding the bike. It was the first time I actually listened to my body. After running down Watling Street, it was like turning into a wind tunnel when I got to Bourne Road. It didnt actually feel like I was running. I was running at the right pace but I could feel I was having to work hard into the wind to make any progress. It was pretty much the same down North Cray Road too.
The plan was to hit the old cycling training loop. Up North Cray Road, turn left to Maidstone Road, turn left again at Birchwood Road (where Deja Vu used to be) and then head back to Dartford Heath and the drop down into Bexley Village. Strangely, the climb at the end of North Cray Road and in the middle of Maidstone Road feels nothing like a climb when running it, unlike on the bike.
Round the training loop and back to Bexleyheath. 13.1 miles via a quick detour via Mayplace Road East and Martens Avenue Park just to make up the mileage.
It was a good run. It was only the 2nd time I'd cracked 2hrs for half-marathon distance so have got to be pleased with that. However, it should be noted I felt as though I had a little more to give but I had other things on my mind. I can only describe it as exercise-induced IBS. I cant even begin to tell you what it feels like when you're 8.5 miles into a run, in the middle of nowhere when you get an urge greater than you would when stuffing yourself with indian takeaway. Thankfully, I managed to get home without mishap but as soon as that gut-wrenching feeling kicks in, every mouthful of drink consumed feels like its reducing any room in your stomach and could end up distasterously, so you tend to cut back on drinking regularly, which leads to cramping, which I had plenty of in my quads by the time I'd finished the run.
I will need to investigate this a lot more in the upcoming months as I cant be dealing with this through marathon training. That issue aside, it was an enjoyable run albeit very uncomfortable in the last few miles.