Hills, More hills, 4 miles and another hill

It has been pretty good running bank holiday weekend. It needed to be because we didn’t get out during the week. It was a crappy week. I was on strike for a couple of days and on the second strike day I started really struggling and I didn’t really get much better on Friday. Hiding on the sofa was absolutely fine by me.

However, on Saturday we got our butts out and started catching up to get back on plan. The first run we hadn’t done was a 45 minute hill run. So, I pulled my trainers on and followed Kath out the door, to the end of the road, longingly looked left and then turned right. We walked the first stretch and then started running. We didn’t set the intervals for some reason so made it up as we went along. The hills were tough, really tough but I kept going even though on some of them I only managed 20 second runs. We didn’t get to the top but that wasn’t the aim anyway. We ran almost all the way back down and it felt pretty good to have done it but I can’t say I enjoyed that one!

Sunday morning we went to Bolton Abbey and ran our loop again. We were a bit faster than the week before which is always nice but then we didn’t stop for pictures this time! I managed all the hills apart from the one towards the end which I never manage but I ran a bit of it, then walked a bit and then ran the last bit to the top. One step closer to conquering the bugger! It was a beautiful run and we saw lots of birds including a pied flycatcher. This run also served as my May One Big Fat Run which if you haven’t heard about it is a virtual monthly 5km run ‘hosted’ by Too Fat to Run?.

Today we were going to run in the morning but we needed to our sheep ready to take some to market and vaccinate the lambs. So we decided we’d postpone the run until this afternoon. We didn’t have to do too much running around with the sheep but it’s always a funny feeling taking them to market. We took 6, keeping 2 of last year’s lambs for breeding. We had lunch when we got back and pottered around a bit and then set off about 2 hours after eating

I think it was a little too soon after food for me, I felt a bit sickly for the first couple of intervals. We were due to do 4 miles with a 1 minute surge every 10 or so minutes. We set off from home, went downhill and then hit the canal. We were running 2.5 minutes and walking one. We did the first surge not long after we got onto the canal. I struggled because I somehow couldn’t get my head round speeding up a little and then maintaining that speed. Instead I kept getting faster and faster. So when the second surge was due I deliberately fell in behind Kath and that worked much better. We did the surges in the middle of our 2.5 minute runs and I think it’s a really good way to learn how to recover a little by just slowing down rather than stopping to walk. The surges weren’t fast – just a little speedier than we were going anyway but it seems quite effective. Neither us can now remember whether we did 3 or 4.

I liked going along the canal. We saw ducklings, swans, a few geese, dogs, cyclists, runners, sparrows, blackbirds and a cat or two. We finished our 4 miles with an average pace of 11.57 and it was a bit exciting to go under 12. That’s probably the first time since Dopey that we’ve gone under 12 – I don’t think we did between Dopey and London. Although I found it hard, I enjoyed doing the surges – it felt like we were actually training, like we had some sort of purpose rather than just plodding along. We finished our 4 miles with just a little walk left on the canal and then had to walk back up the hill. I wasn’t really looking forward to that hill. We went straight up using a footpath which is the shortest but also the steepest way to our house. My calf muscles were protesting a bit and my back was niggly by the time we got to the top but actually overall I found walking up there after the run easier than I sometimes do after a day at work.

All in all, a good long weekend of running. Now I just have to get my head round going back to work tomorrow!


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