I went out this morning on the trail that I did in the winter with the snow and mud. Needless to say it was a lot drier and better going than last time. Mind you it did start hail stoning on the way back. Hail storm at the end of May!! What is going on with this weather?
The meadow was nice and dry with no muddy patches and the route around the back of Cooper’s Edge didn’t take me through any midges. I was running to Podrunner’s Skyline 3 again and had determined that during the faster segments (165bpm, 170bpm and 175 bpm) that I would put in a 30 second or so burst of speed. That was the plan. What I actually did, so as not to put myself off my stride, was increased my length of stride while keeping the same pace. It did actually make me go faster and I could feel it increase the heart rate. This type of speed work is called Fartlek which I believe is Swedish for “speed play”. I believe it is english for knackering, but I could be wrong.
I did a couple of 30 second burst during each section and felt quite pleased with myself that I kept going after wards. I even managed a burst up Nut Hill.
The field after Nut Hill was a bit uneven where the farmer had replanted his crop. I’m sure that the farmer had been spreading over the field as well as there was a disturbing brown substance in among the green crops.
I started to feel it a bit in the last couple of miles but my run back down the track towards the meadows was not filled with midges as it had been previously so that cheered me up a bit. In fact, although the track was uneven, I still managed to get an increased pace section in here as well. As I came up to the last half mile the hail stones started falling. Blimey, they stung. As it had not been particularly warm I had worn a long sleeve top but the hail was hitting the top of my head and my legs and was definitely stinging.
My finish time was just seconds below the hour. I was really pleased with this as it meant that I had done about 6.3 miles in under an hour. This worked out at about 9m30s per mile which was definitely faster than last time.
I have been mulling over the idea of binning Mudrunner (due mainly to cost) and have been looking at other challenges. I recently read about Ultra marathons which (madly) have appealed to me. I am not daft enough to think that I could get straight into an Ultra but I have been looking at training up for a half marathon first. I might train over a longer period and enter the Forest of Dean Half Marathon next spring. Once I have got one of these under my belt, I might aim for a marathon. The issue is committing to a training programme that is going to condition me for running these distances. No easy feat when I work shifts, have children, want to maintain my marriage and am by my very nature, lazy. We shall see.