Sunday, 3 July 2011

Getting out and around, getting lost, finding my way

I've lived here for about 5 years now, but I still know relatively few of the trails and footpaths round here.  I've spent the last few years learning some pretty nice cycling routes, but it's only lately that I've been starting to get off the roads in running. 

The main cause of this is in August. Now call me flighty if you like, but I do like to look out for new physical challenges since my rugby involvement dwindled.  I've entered the British Indoor Rowing Chamnpionships, I've cycled a few century sportives, joined the local cycling club and started time trailling, ran a few local 10km races but for some reason this year the idea of a half marathon popped into my head.

Now I'm a sucker for a good structured training plan, so I found one that looked reasonable, and I'm now almost following it with a few nuances and additions of my own learned over the last 37 years of being here. This means that instead of my usual 5-6 miles a few times a week when I'm away from home, I'm now being tasked with ever increasing distance up unto race day mid-August, which brings me back to the tracks and trails; a) they're a lot more interesting than running the same loop again and again and b) I'm surrounded by some spectacular wildlife and countryside like this

Or this (although this is last year's picture as the dragonflies wouldn't sit still today)

Today's prescription was what the plan describes as "race simulation", in this case 6 miles easy pace, then 4 miles at target pace plus 20-30secs or 8:00-8:10.

My vague idea today was a sort of loop starting on the road and then heading down the footpaths and farm tracks between the villages.  The map was fixed in my mind, I had my waist pack with water and a couple of gels and candys, the sun was shining, all was well.  All except the footpath, which wasn't there.  Plan B, still in the mind, but hazy.  After about 5 miles, it wasn't that I was lost, just slightly unsure of my position relative to where I wanted to be, but in the right ballpark.

Luckily, just at that point another runner came down the track in the opposite direction, knew the locale better than me and ran a mile or so with me putting me back where I needed to be, with a nice chat until we parted.

Run went well, to target
Total) 10.0mi / 1:21:27 / 8:08.7 / A149 / M 165 / cad 87
1) 6.0 / 49:36 / 8:13 / AHR 142 / MHR 161 
2) 4.0mi / 31:50 / 7:57 / AHR 160 / MHR 165

The rest of this week will be a little slack.  I'm off working locally for once, at a nearby airport, so I'll be communitg daily, and arriving home late.  I may manage one or two cheeky rows if I have time

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