Well - kind of :)
My heart sank when I saw the bright sunshine yesterday morning, not because I'm some kind of vampire with an aversion to sunlight but because it was the day of my 20 mile long run, and I had to do it then because I'd booked time off work specially, and I really don't like running when it's hot. But I'm telling myself that it's all good training for Edinburgh Marathon which will no doubt once again have tropical temperatures.
Got myself all togged up in all my fab gear: new Balmoral 10k t-shirt, Camelbak bottle belt (containing Nuun-enhanced water), sunglasses, dodgy HRM, sellotaped-together Garmin, MP3 player with latest episode of Marathon Talk on it for entertainment purposes, etc. My plan was to do the same 3 mile loop as last week and then head off along the Deeside Way (mainly off-road). Basically the same as last week's 18 miles but going a bit further before turning back. I am a creature of habit. (An added incentive was the prospect of seizing some Conquercise zones.) I took with me a packet of Shot Bloks and, rather warily, an out of date Lucozade gel (Best Before End Dec 2010). I can't really imagine them going off, but they taste crap enough when in date so heaven knows what horrors an out of date one might unleash.
Legs felt heavy for the first couple of miles, and although I know it usually takes me this long to get properly warmed up, I was thinking oh no, this isn't going to be good. But I did get a bit more into my stride and the first few miles were shady enough not to be too uncomfortable. Then emerged into the rockier and less shady section of the run, thankfully there was a cooling breeze.
HRM was all over the place, particularly in the first few miles, going way up high, even though I didn't feel I was exerting myself unduly. I don't think it's working properly. I kind of hope it isn't, because if my heart rate is really like that it's a bit alarming. It suddenly shot up to around 200-220 at mile 4 and stayed like that for about a mile, for no apparent reason, then went down again. It wasn't uphill and I wasn't running faster.
I got to the point where I had turned back last week and had to push myself a bit to keep on going, especially since this involved going uphill a bit before emerging on to the main road at Drumoak and running along that for a short while. Not my favourite part. Marathon Talk was evidently an extra long episode, because Tom and Martin were still talking in my ear (interviewing Louise Damen at this point). I was feeling quite tired and hot, had been taking the occasional Shot Blok and regular water, considered the gel but couldn't face the sugary gloop and was a bit concerned about it upsetting my stomach, so I gave it a miss. I maybe should have had it, though, because after turning at 11.5 miles I started to feel I was struggling a bit and "adopted a run-walk strategy" (ha!) for some of the remaining 8.5 miles, but split times were still reasonable albeit a bit slower than in the first half.
Felt completely knackered by the last mile, though, and wondered how I am ever going to manage 6 more miles in Edinburgh, especially if it's hot. I will, though.
On the positive side I managed 20.03 miles at an easy pace in 3:32:22, knee was OK, and legs actually feel fine today. Though the dreaded DOMS yet be lurking ready to pounce! Oh, and I gained 2 Conquercise zones, the Deeside Way WILL one day be mine :)
11:03 10:13 10:20 10:50 10:14 10:13 10:37 10:38 9:43 10:00 11:02 10:05 10:47 10:52 10:49 10:38 11:11 10:58 10:29 11:27