Thursday, 12 July 2007

Day 6 review - Poor start, lightning finish.

For the first time in 3 days I managed to start running before noon after a breakfast of cereal and a nice fry up. Oh how the standards are slipping! It'll be cereal only tomorrow I promise.

The sun was beating down at the start and I just couldn't get my legs working at all. Something to do with the fry up perhaps? Each step was such an effort. Mind you I was climbing 400ft over 6.5 miles.

Music on the iPod from the usually inspiring Killers did nothing for me and I soon realised that I was in a spot of trouble in those early miles. I was just too slow! The scenery was very nice and taking it in also probably contributed to my slow pace. I started wondering if this was the begining of the end and other negative things. I couldn't run another 720 miles at this pace. I'd miss the start of the new season!

To make matters worse, I was constantly being pursued by a load of flies which I found most irritating. Despite being covered in insect repellent I still managed to acquire a few new bites. Later, I noticed one particular bite. It was quite a nasty one at the back of my leg. There was a steady stream of blood flowing down it. The insects must have thought it was Christmas when they saw the mass of flesh they had to feast on in the shape of a fat Geordie runner.

I'd had 2 energy gels and an energy bar by 10 miles and started to feel a little better. This was evident in my pace as, at last, I was able to get some 11, 12 and 13 minute miles. There had been too many 14 and 15 minute miles for my liking up to that point. This is a sponsored run after all and nothing other than running all the way will do. By the 11 mile point I put music from the very appropriate Dire Straits on the iPod. This seemed to do the trick and I started to fell normal again. And when I say normal I mean as normal as someone who has just run 145 miles can be.

At the 17 mile point I decided against running through Avimore and stuck to the A9 (for a change). I was getting used to running on the bumpy grass verge and didn't need any distractions as I tried to focus on maintaining a decent pace.

In order to assist my concentration, a large helping of Elvis - Live from Las Vegas was the new order of the day on the iPod. Classic hit after hit made the miles go by a lot quicker and I was soon at the 21 mile point having a well deserved banana break. Although this banana break was made up of crisps, energy bars and a few litres of water.

I was soon on the road again for the final 5.2 miles and the rain started. It was welcome relief though and not the kind of rain that had pelted me on day 1 (Which incidentally feels like months ago)!

More hits from the King of Rock and Roll steered me into mile 25. Then on came a live version of "Suspicous minds". This was my cue to start running flat out. After a few hundred yards I was totally in the zone. All I could see were my feet and the immediate bit of grass on which I was running. I wasn't taking in any scenery. I wasn't aware of any oncoming traffic. I repeated the song a few times and before I knew it I'd notched up two 9 minute miles. I think these 2 miles are the fastest so far on the run. I'll try and get a sub 9 minute mile now. I'll try that around Bristol though when I'm a bit lighter.

I stopped running as soon as I got to the 26.2 mile point. That was another marathon over with and about 157 miles in total since Saturday.

All in all this run was a bit back to front. I'd struggled at the start and had a very strong finish. I reckon I had another couple of miles in me at that pace. I'll save those miles for the young mackem tomorrow!