Monday, 23 April 2012

The three faces of a run

One of those strange runs today that put me out of my comfort zone mainly because I was on a new section of the North Downs Way which later I realised I had run small distances on but not as a full run.

After meeting Gemma at Reigate and bidding our farewells to her partner Sam we set off for our 25-30 mile run at pace to then realise it was actually tough going. This was the first run since Tuesday last week basically as I didn't feel up to it but was hoping that today I would be rested both mentally and physically. Gemma and I were straight into the conversation and jabbering on about this and that which saw the first few miles fly by. We stepped out of some woodland to stop for a little while to enjoy a spectacular view across Surrey (note I wasn't in Kent today!) to take a nice picture where I felt great

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Indeed we were powering through the woods but stepped down from the pace noting that although it was cool, it was undulating terrain and this was a recce for Gemma to review the paths.

Conversation, as it usually does, moved to races and our various approaches to "The long one", how to deal with tiredness, other runners and a mix of subjects that floated in and out of our run as much as the scenery.

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I began to realise we were entering familiar ground as I started to enter paths I had either raced on or had crossed at some stage and was desperate to find the sign that denotes the 0 Meridian (which is in fact 100 metres too far east) and was very pleased to find it and get a picture of it with me standing by it.(I am amazed that I have obviously lost a little weight recently.)

We soon arrived to a horrible climb at Titsey Place but chose to push on to a view point to have a Smartie Cookie and a much needed drink to start the return journey...and this is when the wheel started to wobble and come off.

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I am not sure what went on, I think it was a mixture of general tiredness, sleeping and eating badly this week but most of all, dehydration. In the next picture, I am almost a broken man, you can tell by the body language which is sucken and low. I chose to kick on at a very much reduced pace  watching Gemma tippy toe around puddles and almost skip down the hills whilst I ploughed through them like an old cart horse.

Great lessons re-learnt today when I found my hands started to swell due to dehydration problems which was soon remedied when I drank a bottle of cola back at the car.

In all, a great 25 mile run out with Gemma that allowed me to get a few things off my chest as we ran along but it has made me think about future "Long" races which I may have to drop out of as I am just not able to recover so quickly now.

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