On Saturday I decided to do a long run route I know which I thought measured about 13 miles roughly. I thought that if I can do almost 2 laps of it, it should cover the required 24 miles needed for my session. The run seemed to be going pretty well with 12 miles gone when I noticed that my Garmin fr60 hrm watch began to play up. It initially stopped, then after resetting it and stopping and trying to fix it I finally gave up on it and decided to just guestimate the rest.
I new there was still about 2 miles left roughly of route and I still would have to do it all over again if I wanted to complete my desired 2 circuits.
To cut a long story short I ended up completing the run. It was the longest and most fulfilling training run I have done over the last 3 yrs. Also very pleased in the time it took 3 hrs 45 min’s (as my watch was banjacked I checked the listening time on my ipod music playlist to work out how long exactly I had been running). Based on the fact that now I know from previous runs that I can manage 22 mile in 3hrs I think I should easily have covered the other 2 mile (prob more) in the extra 45 minutes that I ran.
Pleased with this performance I took my usual cold bath afterwards which helps a great deal speeding up recovery I think about 50%. I still feel painful the next days after long runs but not to the same degree as I used to. On Sunday I decided to be flexible with my run schedule, I was still buzzing with being pleased with Saturdays run. I decided as the upcoming Causeway Crossing is essentially a trail run I should do a bit of trail running with some hill workout included. So I decided to go to Cavehill Country Park.
I have always wanted to go to Cavehill, especially as with recent runs in Carryduff there were parts of the back roads were I could stop and look into the distance and see both the Mournes and Cavehill in one panoramic viewing, its pretty breathtaking in those weekend spring lit morning runs! In my previous blog you can see one of those photos.
The night before I checked the Cavehill website for the route which showed a 4.5mile circular route which looked pretty decent. On the Sunday morning I started off with my trusty iphone to both take pictures and also use the newly installed imapmyrun app to track my mileage (as the Garmin at this stage continued to fail to work!).
Within minutes I was getting lost with the route with dead ends, trails leading to roads or going to junctions with poor signing. I finally decided to ditch any ideas of doing a proper 10 mile (2 route) run and just treat the workout as a fun run. I ended up basically stopping every few minutes to stop, take in the great views and take a few snaps.
In the end I only did according to my iphone 6 miles, but with the many stops I took 1 hr 20 minutes. Still, I have to say I really enjoyed the opportunity to try trail running. It is more difficult than road running with the constant up and downs, and side to side. It is also a lot more mentally draining as you are constantly analysing the trail in front of your accessing how to land etc. I suppose it’s the comparison to driving when on a motorway cruising along compared to road rallying, essentially chalk and cheese. I also had a chance to try out my addidas karrimor trail trainers. I had bought them a while back just as leisure trainers, but now they are added to the rest of the running shoe clan I have.
From hear on in I will do I modified training schedule taper over the next 3 weeks. I messed up my training plan a bit, so my printed plan thinks im doing the race in 2 weeks but im not doing the race for 3 weeks so I will play about with it a bit and do a slow taper before the end of march. Really looking forward to the run in causeway. I ordered a ‘Salomon XR Energy Belt’ do carry some fluids and gels in the ultra. The ‘High 5’ race belt I have used in the last 3 yrs for marathons and long training runs is great but now I need a little bit extra to carry fluids as well as the ultra will be 31 miles. I also ordered a Garmin FR70 hrm watch with footpod as replacement for the broken one I have. Maybe in the next blogs I will let you know how I get on with these and how im getting on with the saucony mirage minimalist trainers also. Here are a few pictures I took in the last run :-