Monday, June 27, 2011

Juneathon 26 - Mind over...

So. Day 26 was a short-ish run, and a very gentle one, and I'm blogging
this now so I can catch up and stop slipping behind again.

Before I start on 26, let's just nip back into history to fill in some
blanks about Runs 24 and 25. They were both long, as you can see. Not
intentionally so though, in either case.

Despite my insitence that I wouldn't do, I've found myself 'running by
the numbers' more in the later stages of Juneathon. Not specifically
going "I have to run X-km tonight, so I'll do Y-route" but definitely
going "This could do with being a long one because I want to make Z-km
this week so I can hit my 300 by the end of the month". My recent runs,
and both 24 and 25 in particular, started out with a particular route in
mind and just went off-plan at some point, but turned out okay. 24 was
going to be a short recovery run, just an out-and back to the Ramada
hotel at Golden Acre, about 8km. Then I got to the ring road roundabout
and turned left, mainly... well... just because I felt like it. It
turned into double what it was meant to be, and ended up a ten miler.
Not a very interesting one, but good mileage all the same.

25 was a different kettle of herring, definitely. Again, starting out as
a planned 10km-ish loop on known trails, I decided to investigate a path
I'd seen on the map that followed the line of a railway tunnel from
Cookridge to Bramhope, then over the Otley Road, then across some
nice-looking fields on a previously unexplored footpath... The next
thing I knew I was at Lineham Farm, which I'd been to in January, and
knew I was still a fair way from home. Oops.

As I'd not planned to be out quite this long, or to have run that far,
I'd not taken food or drink with me, and it was a very warm evening, so
I was starting to suffer. But, as Mr Churchill put it "When you're going
through hell, keep going", so I plodded on, taking a line to make the
return shuffle enjoyable rather than direct - no sense in flogging my
backside off on tarmac when I could at least have interesting trails to
distract me. So, I looped across more nice fields to Eccup Reservoir,
linked in to the top end of the Meanwood Trail and shuffled my way back
home for a 20km-er, flopping into the house with the words "That was
just about 3km too far." A couple of pints of High-5 and a bath later
and I felt vaguely human, though my legs are still irking me for it. Ah
well.

And so, boldly on to 26, in which our hero (erm... Me.) goes for a short
one again.

Well, it was kind of short. The Better Half's comment was "I thought you
were going for a *short* run tonight?!" when I said I'd done 8km. Maybe
it's an '~athon' thing that I've started thinking of 8km as a short run,
maybe it's just an increase in my own running confidence. But anyway.

I set off with not much of a plan in mind, started the tracker, and
thought "Hmmm. Tell you what: Let's start the countdown timer, jog for
half an hour, see where we end up, then turn round and jog back". I
couldn't find any reason to disagree with myself, so I pottered off,
jog/walk/jogging along the Otley Road, with a fairly arbitrary target of
the Ramada hotel, which I know is 4km away, therefore giving me a rough
pace of 7:30min/km I trotted away, and approaching the hotel, the
bleeper still hadn't gone. I got to the 4km mark with 20 seconds to
spare, and spent a short while laughing at that. Don't ask me why, it
just seemed funny to me at the time. Then I turned round, reset the
timer and jog/walk/jogged back, hitting home again with 20 seconds to
spare yet again, something I again found inordinately amusing. Strange
what running on a warm night does to you.

So that's it, up-to date. Until later tonight when I do the whole thing
again and probably fall apart. It's getting to that point in the month,
isn't it?

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