Friday, 2 March 2007

11 amazing miles

This afternoon's run was an 11 mile route from Blaydon to Shotley Bridge down the Derwent Walk Country Path. I decided to run the route with a piece of equipment that I will hopefully be using on the big run in the Summer. The Camelbak Snoblast Hydration Pack (pictured) is large enough to carry 2 litres of fluid. This capacity should see me requiring less stops on the big run, meaning I will be able to run my daily mileage in as short a time as possible. Which in turn, should give me a longer recovery time and more time for sleeping/sight seeing!

The crucial thing, however, is deciding what kind of fluid to put in the back pack. I had intended to experiment with different things over the coming weeks but I think I've found exactly what I need - SIS Go Electrolyte (pictured). I drank about half a litre of the stuff during tonight's run and it had an amazing effect I can tell you. Every one of the 11 miles I ran felt like I was just running the first mile. My previous best at this run, last summer, was 1 hour 53 minutes. This time, however, my watch read 1 hour 42 minutes as I reached the finish point. I think, given the speed I ran the last 2 miles, I would have been on for a sub 2 hour half marathon time. This has given me a great confidence boost and it's just what I need as I will be attempting this 11 mile route over the next 3 Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

It's been a while since I've ran this route. Despite being chased by a few dogs and nearly being knocked over by a horse it was very enjoyable. And while I'm on the subject, I've got a new rule. I'm now going to stop and walk very slowly when horses are passing in the other direction! The highway code mentions "Look out for horse riders' signals and heed a request to slow down or stop. Treat all horses as a potential hazard and take great care.". Well there were no requests to slow down or stop or indeed any signals at all. From now on, though, I will be treating all horses as a potential hazard and taking great care. Dogs, however, need a different strategy. I think the best plan with those pesky mutts is just to get your head down and run as fast as you can past them.