Well I am glad that this weekend is over but also pleased with the results. I achieved two milestones with my longest month of running (108 miles) and also my longest non-walk run of 20 miles on Sunday. Having said that the diversion through the field was very slow progress – more later!
The weekend began with a run after my day working in Walsall. I had spoken to Dayna at Best Beginnings and agreed that I would try and make a short video to promote my efforts. I thought I would do a time-lapse of my run through Shrewsbury but forgot to take a video camera on my phone! The result a very jerky wobbly journey through Shrewsbury will be available shortly but take some sea-sickness tablets before watching. The run was steady and reasonably fast and quite good fun – yes I said quite good fun!!
Having studied the video I thought I would need to produce something a bit more professional so I set out a plan and on Saturday afternoon Susan and I went up to Bromlow Callow and recorded the footage for the video. The final video can be found on my Silver Black YouTube channel here. The filming involved several bits of running but I did not count them towards my total. But I did have my Best Beginnings vest – thank you Dayna.
I planned a 20 mile route from Minsterley for Sunday and having got down to the village ran a completely different course (as you do). I included a couple of hills including the loer bit of Pontesford Hill and then out to the Castle Country club (to top up my water). It was really good to start and I enjoyed a steady run at about 11 minute miles. I thought I had enough water with a 750 ml bottle and 500 ml refill. The worst bit was the stretch along the Welshpool road from Cardeston with a lot of traffic. Although the music and headphones helped it was still very noisy and uncomfortable.
I topped up my water bottle at the club and then crossed the road to avoid the traffic. The road to Rowton Grange shown on the map led to a marked footpath. The initial road section was ok but once I passed through the farm the track was two huge ruts with vast puddles. The gates were impassable and I ended up running along the edge of the field – wrong footwear Alistair!!
I eventually emerged onto the road and onto two examples of my least favourite running – long straight roads with the second being the Yockleton to Westbury stretch of the road to Montgomery. The traffic wasn’t that bad but showed little sign of slowing and by this stage it was very warm and I was becoming quite seriously dehydrated.
I ran out from Westbury towards Asterley and it took a great effort of will to climb the hill out of the village without walking. It was here that I acquired the 4th small stone in my right shoe and again had to stop.
As I passed through Asterley I was pleased that I only had to do another half-mile and achieved my target just before the Minsterly junction. Telephone call to Susan who came to pick me up. So glad to have completed the run and overall on schedule for a 5 hour marathon despite my wanderings. I hope the actual marathon will be easier with encouragement and without having to carry my drinks. I have also decided that although energy gels generally taste revolting and you end up with sticky hands they do seem to help.
I initially was very stiff and achy but this eased later and thankfully the pain in my left knee that is often a worry eased too as the day went on.
When I got home the run transferred easily from my Garmin to my Training Peaks account where my fitness level showed as 57.6 (my highest previous being 72 after Ironman Weymouth last year) so I looked forward to sharing my experiences on Strava. No such luck as for some reason it would not synchronize. Very cross!! Eventually had to upload a .gpx file so although the main elements of the run are available the heart rate data was missing. Average 146 and max 160. Total time 3:48.
Yesterday and today have got easier and I shall be doing a short run tonight in Shrewsbury. I have put together a plan for the next 17 days but cannot taper too much (as the others on BB are) as I have to still plan for the London to Brighton Challenge at the end of May.
Thanks to all those who have sponsored me over the last few days including Lindsey, Claire, Dev, Roz, Frank, Ursula and Hugh from work, Mel and Jess from Silver Springs and Tim, Chris, Bruce, Barbara and Jean from Holy Trinity in Minsterley.