Happily Ever After

Life in The Rural Retreat with a beautiful wife, three cats, garden wildlife, a camera, a computer – and increasing amounts about running

Earlier posts can be found on Adventures of a Lone Bass Player, where this blog began life. Recent entries can be found here.


Race To The Stones – Day One

by Russell Turner - 22:52 on 06 July 2020

The Virtual Race To The Stones began today, not aided in the slightest by a nasty cold wind, but by the end I’d completed 27km – or 48km according to the race website because a glitch in the system, which is synced with Garmin, included my step count too. The IT boffins are supposed to be sorting it out.

My race plan is flexible, ie being dictated by the weather and life. I’d half hoped to run a 50k ultramarathon today, while at my freshest, but the wind put paid to that. Maybe Wednesday, or maybe not at all if I set off tomorrow and discover that big runs on consecutive days don’t meet with my legs’ approval.

The plan for today was to do two sets of around six miles, each set split at halfway by a walk break while I took a gel, and the two sets divided by a pit stop at The Rural Retreat to top up the water bottle and have another gel. The first set, on a deliberately flat route, was easy paced, the wind the only problem, turning a sweaty T-shirt into a chill blanket.

By the time I’d gelled and watered and changed into a dry T-shirt, stepped outside then back in to change into a long-sleeved shirt, the five-minute break I’d expected had doubled in length. Not that it mattered – distance, not time, is the target this week.

The second six miles, which was nearer to seven, included a couple of modest inclines. I followed Matchgirl’s advice to walk some of it (time doesn’t matter etc) because I have a lot of miles (or kilometres) ahead of me. Approaching the Retreat I hit 13.1 miles/21km – half marathon – which seemed like a good place to end the first run. If the weather had been kinder I’d have attempted another six-mile set, or even more, but climatic conditions weren’t my friend.

Time might not matter but I couldn’t help notice that despite the walking I’d still beaten my Great North Run time, which was run every step. I blame the Newcastle heatwave.

While lunch was enjoyed I admired my Dominic Cummings Eye Test Challenge medal, newly delivered by Mr Postman, and examined the bumper bag of Tailwind which had arrived just too late to be used today. I’ll activate it tomorrow, when the plan is for two more six-mile sets unless I get carried away. The wind should drop overnight.

I finished the day’s activity with an afternoon 5:1 recovery run/walk at slower than easy pace to make sure my legs stay loose. It seems to have worked – I’ll be sure tomorrow – and added almost four miles to the day’s total. Barring a breakdown, the 100km target is looking good.

Six days to go, quarter of the way there.

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