I wasn’t too hopeful about today’s long run: ’18 miles’ said the schedule and, after a week of zero mileage, yes zero mileage, I wasn’t feeling very confident I would make it to the eighteen mile point. It’s just been a busy sort of week: half-term holiday, so fun, fun, fun with my lovely boy, lots of social engagements with our Mummy friends and little ones, fun on the South Bank and then I simply didn’t feel like going out in the evening, with Edward being home late two nights in a row. I did make the mistake of helping Edward, Hector and our friend Iain load up the hired van to take some rubbish to the dump: old carpets, underlay, skirting boards etc, all very dusty and not favouring my asthmatic lungs. So off I set.
I decided I needed to do an out and back run, so I could run for nine miles then turn for home, I find these easiest on a really long run. I headed towards Deptford, then along towards Surrey Quays and realised I recognised it all from when I ran the London Marathon, not one of the jolliest stretches of the marathon in terms of scenery, but I do remember the crowds being enthusiastic along Jamaica Road. I won’t bore you with all the details, as it was pretty uneventful, but I eventually joined the Thames Path then negotiated those horrid steps by London Bridge, the ones that are at a silly diagonal angle and hard enough to deal with whilst walking, let alone traversing on tired legs, then weaved in and out of tourists until I reached Vauxhall Bridge where I took a swig of my drink, ate a gel thingie then headed home.
I felt ok on this run, not delighted, just getting on with it, but I realised how truly dreadful I had felt on last week’s long run, and wondered how I managed the almost ten miles I did. I had armed myself with a few energy-boosting tools to get me to the end: a bottle containing some more Orbana energy drink, which really did the trick – I took sips every so often and found it really gentle, but just right to give me a boost to keep going (it was really sunny on my run, and almost warm). I also had some Clif Shot Blocks because these will be available at the Brighton Marathon and I wanted to give them a try before hand. They are tasty and sort of refreshing to a point, but are not easy to get down: it’s a bit like eating a cube of jelly whilst trying to breathe and keep running, a bit challenging. I think they might be aimed at cyclists, as I bought mine at Evans Cycles, and it would be a doddle on a bike, but not so great when running. They did give me an energy boost though, so get full marks on that score. With the Orbana, it recommends mixing the sachet with 250ml of water, but I would double up on a run like this, as I only just had enough for the eighteen miles (it was warm though, remember). You could carry just the sachet if you wanted, then buy a bottle of water along the way, to save carrying it for the first few miles, it’s easy enough to mix.I think I will be using this one for the marathon, rather than the Powerade on offer, I find it too artificial in flavour and BLUE?!!
As I got closer to home, I decided to employ my third tactic in combatting tiredness, my iPod Shuffle. Last week I carried it with me for ten miles, but didn’t listen to anything, but today I needed a distraction so plugged in at about mile fifteen and suddenly found myself going faster and smiling a bit more than I had been. So it was a steady routine of swig, chomp, nod head, and that’s what got me home, though I must say, the smell of Deptford Market is best avoided during your sixteenth mile when you are starting to feel slightly queasy.
Time: 3 hours 9 minutes 24 seconds
Distance: 18.00 miles
Average Pace: 10.31
Best Pace: 7.09
That’s just short of 2000 calories and I can’t eat cake! I have been truly tested this week. I was berated by some friends on Friday when I turned up to Coram’s Fields armed with my pesto and cheese muffins, because I knew there would be cake, and I thought they would go down well anyway – it seems a muffin is a muffin whether savoury or sweet, which Jogblog emphasised on Twitter, anyone else agree? Yesterday the boys tested me by eating these in front of me:
And they were busy making chocolate muffins when I got back from my run. Harrumph.
After the big old run I did this morning, I felt like lying down, but there really is no rest for the wicked, and I was encouraged out into the garden to get our raised beds in place before it’s time to plant the seeds.
We worked really hard all afternoon, although Hector disappeared over the fence to play with the girls next door for ages, we love having such friendly neighbours, so nice to be able to pop round and play and Hector hasn’t had children next door before. While he was entertained we got loads done, and I realised that this was probably better than lying around feeling knackered, it was good to keep active. We were really pleased with the results of our work, and need to get some top-soil before we can really get them going.
(you can see it was dark by the time we finished!).