Sunday, 20 May 2007

A PB for 22 miles rounds off a superb week of training!

I set off at 09:15 from Castleside for today's planned 22 mile route to Middleton in Teesdale. I was accompanied by Michael for the first 11 miles and our road side support for this first part was his identical twin brother Graham. Michael set off at a very good pace and I trailed behind right from the off and was never to catch him. I was very pleased with a consistent 10ish minute mile pace for the first 8 miles. Miles 9 and 10 on this run are downhill and as a result they were done at 9 minute mile pace. By the time I left Michael and Graham at mile 11 in Stanhope I felt in very good form.

I found the next 1.5 miles uphill a lot easier than usual and was soon at the base of the major climb on the run. Again, I found the 700 ft climb over 2.2 miles a lot easier than usual. I think the tunes on my iPod really helped. I had a mixture of Hed Kandi, the Rocky soundtrack, AC/DC and a few songs like Heather Small's "Proud" on there. All good motivational stuff.

Katy and Jack passed me in the car at mile 14 and I waved them on to the 18 mile point after they saw that I was in good fettle. The miles seemed to be going over really quickly and I was soon at the final summit ready for the 2.5 mile descent into Middleton. It's a good job I had 19.5 good quick miles in the bag as my legs seemed a little sore at this point. My energy levels were as high as ever, though, thanks to the electrolytes mixed with the water I'd been taking and the energy gel and bar I'd eaten.

I was pleased to see Katy and Jack at the finish line. Jack sprinted over to me a jumped up for a cuddle. What a rewarding way to end a run!

I thrashed my previous best (04:20:04) for this route with a time of 04:05:59. Tremendous! Overall, I felt a lot more positive than the last time I ran this route. I think having some company on the run really helped. Thanks Michael!

At today's pace I would have easily beaten the times of any of the 2 London and 2 New York Marathons I've done. Tremendous! So after 47.4 miles and 3 intense gym sessions the only fitting reward was of course a king prawn madras! Tremendous!