So, 20 miles is a long way! Our long runs haven’t exactly gone to plan so it was good to get out and get it done today. We were sort of hoping we might get 23 in but that would have meant going quite a long way past home and coming back and I just wasn’t up for that mentally today.
So, here’s how it went:
- Wake up repeatedly in the night worrying about not being hydrated enough and to go to the loo because I clearly was hydrated enough
- Get up at 6am, pull on running gear, eat bagle with peanut butter, drink mug of hot water.
- Drive to Mum’s place at the bottom of the hill, get bus to station, get train into Leeds.
- Toilet stop, bottle of water and a short walk to the Leeds-Liverpool canal and we were off.
- First bit of Cliff bar (oh my goodness, the sugar rush) at about 6 miles
- Going quite well along the canal for a bit longer
- Canal towpath shut with diversion instructions next to useless – couple of miles or so of randomly following road/footpath vaguley in the right direction. Mentally really struggling with things not going to plan – walking a fair bit
- Met lovely bloke with lovely dog who gave us directions. Ran a bit
- Found canal
- 10 miles- first niggles and some additional walking
- Oh my goodness we made it to Shipley! More Cliff bar and a mobile catering van for water
- Saltaire – but shop boat shut so no more water
- Reversal of intervals – running one minute, walking 2. Hips now very tight and back beginning to ache
- Mentally nothing left. Resisting urge to call up in a ball and cry
- Called Mum to give her an ETA with 3.5 miles left
- Don’t remember – it hurt a bit but I just put one foot in front of the
other and then I saw the now almost familiar flash of blue. For about a mile or so we ran with a kingfisher. It kept flying out and then stopping a little further down the canal. We stopped to watch it just sitting on a branch and when it flew off we followed again. It kept me going.
- Half a mile left – I ran for 3 minutes.
- Less than a quarter of a mile left – we ran out of intervals on the garmin and had to restart it.
- 4 hours, 59 minutes and 20 seconds after we started we completed 20 miles. Slow but within RunDisney required minimum pace.
What did I learn?
- We need more water along the way. The small bottle to start and one at Shipley wasn’t enough, we both felt the lack of water later on
- I need to fuel more in the second half of the run – I had a bit of my Cliff bar at 6 miles and at 11ish but then nothing. Partly that’s a water issue, I don’t like eating anything without water. I only had about half the bar – I’ll need a full one for 26 miles – possibly even 1 and a half.
- I am mentally struggling at the minute – I’m tired and I don’t have anything left to push through when the running gets tough. I didn’t deal well with the diversion – it zapped all my energy
- I also didn’t deal well with the fact that I couldn’t keep to the intervals – I really wanted to be able to do that and not doing so zapped more energy because I started second guessing my ability to do this thing.
We got to Mum’s, had some water and a banana and then drove home. We did some stretches, had a bath and then great recovery food – a chicken breast on quinoa and mixed grains with avocado and cherry toms. Yummy.
I feel a little sore but I can move, my feet are in one piece and I suspect my hips are going to be tight tomorrow but let’s see!