An improved training period this week, following Offa’s Orror the first run of the week was on the Tuesday. I have changed the Garmin from KM to Miles so this run was the first I had done with the new pacing information.
As the weather had been so awful the ground was soaked so I stuck to a road loop, getting a 4.7 mile run in. The pace wasn’t the quickest in the world but it was a case of trying to balance speed and the need to recover from the Sunday run.
On the Tuesday run I had been lucky with the weather and avoided the worst of the rain, however Wednesday was a different matter. Donning my Paclite jacket I headed out into torrential rain, it really is hard to get motivated to run when you step outside and are soaked in seconds, but I carried on. This was a 6.30 mile run, with the first 2.5 miles was uphill which along with the rain made the start of the run particularly unpleasant. The downhill that followed allowed me to speed up, but this only lead to the rain getting seemingly worse. Thankfully I had the opportunity to slow down, with another uphill before heading to the end of the circuit.
Not content with a morning run, I did a cheeky 3.2 mile run after work (this time the rain held out to the last 5 mins). Thursday I decided to risk the off roading and went around Lloyd Park. The rain had done the business and the park was more like the course from the Grim, with slippery mud all over the place.
Following Offa’s Orror I had started to notice that the traction on my trainers was becoming almost non-existent, and the run on Lloyd Park was confirming this, with my feet slipping out every other step. It wasn’t the nicest of runs so I kept it short at just over 4 miles.
Friday was a day off, and Saturday the long run. For the long run I headed to run part of the North Downs Way with Gareth, taking on Box Hill and the trails around it. On Friday the weather report had said it would be cloudy but dry, waking up at 6am on Saturday it was clear this was wrong and with the rain coming down it was a case of just getting on with it!
Starting at the top of Box Hill (opposite the cafe) our first point was to head down the steps to the bottom of the hill. It became immediately became apparent that the terrain was going to be tough, with the mud everywhere on the decline. This was not good as I had already established that the grip on my trainers was rubbish.
Getting to the bottom of the steps we had planned to go over the stepping-stones, however looking at the river they were no longer there. The river’s water level had covered them so we had to find an alternate route around, this wasn’t too much of a problem but it was a sign of things to come.
Following the route that Gareth had planned we started on an uphill that continued for about 3 miles. My legs were feeling pretty sore and the mud and lack of grip on the trainers was causing me to tense up, further causing my legs to ache. This was causing me to get a bit frustrated, and when we started to descend from mile 5 – 7 I just couldn’t keep up with any confidence.
Its funny the things that can make a frustrating run suddenly great fun, and this was about to happen. As we reached the lowest point from out decent, we reached a river that had burst it banks with no way around. There was only one thing for it and we ran through, feet getting absolutely soaked in the process. So, my feet were soaked and as we started to run off again we were picking up more mud which made it feel like we were wearing lead boots! This whole episode bizarrely made things better, and from that point on the run became far more enjoyable.
It was an other uphill then a further decent, taking us to mile 11, then the last uphill to get back to the top of Box Hill and the car. Overall despite the rain, the mud and the flooding the whole run ended up being good fun.
Sunday is a rest day, but my new trainers arrived (New Balance MT110) which as of writing I have not tested, but I am going to pop on the treadmill shortly. I have tried them on and they seem to fit great, they are based on the Minimus Last with a 4mm drop, the difference is different materials, improved grip on the sole and a raised stack height. I will take them on some longer runs and give a review when I have a better idea of the pro’s and cons.
Total Distance Run: 30.31 Miles, Total Time: 5:15:16, Avg Pace: 10:24/mi, Total Calories: 4069