Well what a difference a week makes. The sun has been out (when it hasn’t been foggy) and the water/mud is starting to dry out. My nose has also started to dry out and, apart from having a “bit of a cough”, the cold appears to be on its way out too.
After last week’s painful run in the Salomon Crossmax I decided that they would have to go. At the start of the week I popped into town and got myself a nice little deal on some Asics Gel Lahar 4. My road running shoes were Asics, so I knew what sort of thing they would be like. The Lahar come in Gortex (for about another twenty quid), but I decided against that as they can be a bit heavy and warm and if the water gets in it becomes a bit difficult to get out.
I am very pleased with my new purchase and they are very comfortable to run it. They have been well and truly christened this week with both road and trail running.
The first 50 minute run took me along the same route through Abbeymead/Upton-St-Leonards/Abbeymead that I ran last week. This time, however, I was doing very comfortably at an average HR of 144bpm. I realised I was doing comfortably when I passed my turn-around point from last week and kept going for some time. I ended up running about half a mile further than last week, at a reduced heart rate, making my pace just over an 11 minute mile, compared with nearly a fourteen minute mile last week.
For the second 50 minute run I took my Asics out for their first jaunt, across the meadows. The water by the stile has all but dried up and the sloppy mud through the wooded path is definitely better. However, it does make for a more gloopy, sticky run. This means I end up carrying more weight in attached mud than I was carrying in water-filled trainers. However, just as with the previous day, I was feeling in pretty good form. I ran the same route that I had done at the start of last week and again ran further than last week. My average pace this week was 13.48 minute mile. It was still slower than I would have liked for a trail run but definitely better than last week’s effort.
The next day, I went out with the dog for a 30 minute run through the paths in Abbeymead. It amazes me the amount of variables that can impact on the heart rate. My pace this time was only a little slower than last weeks 30 minuter (12.26 compared with 12.11). However, last week I ran with a cold, in the evening, in trainers that didn’t fit properly. This week, my cold was better, but I was running in the morning in different trainers. Go figure!
My long run was a 6 miler again (ten miles next week), which I did at a slightly higher heart rate. I ran along the same route that I did my 8 miler, around the side of Chosen Hill and into Churchdown. The fog was quite heavy as I set out and did not look much like getting any better. As I ran up towards the farm at the side of the Hill I saw a dog walker coming out of the mist in a field to the side of the path. I called good morning to him and he replied with a jolly, “Don’t get lost!” Very comforting.
The field at the other side of the farm was not as boggy as it had been before but there were still some sinking bits. I was glad that I had tied my trainers up tight enough as a couple of time the ground was trying to suck them from my feet.
I was well into Churchdown when I received the turn-around beep from my watch. I was feeling really quite good. A few times I went over the heart rate zone and received the warning, but I did manage to stay within it for a while. I had gone without musical accompaniment on this occasion so was able to adjust my pace as well as my length of stride to keep the heart rate within the right zone.
As I was returning along the path from the hill I was able to put in a bit of speed by increasing my length of stride. As it was a downhill section it had little effect on my heart rate and I felt like I was running on air. I was definitely in the zone, so to speak. I lifted my head, put out my chest a little and was really enjoying myself and flying. Needless to say, it was short lived because as soon as I hit level ground, which then started to incline, I had to cut my pace and stride length in order to deal with the increasing heart rate. But for a minute or so it was great.
Total distance – 6.03 miles. Average HR – 153bpm. Average Pace 11.43 minute mile. A good week.