The plan for today was a sub 9 minute 20 miler, however, I’ve been on holiday, I set off too fast and it was very hot. There you are, all my excuses out of the way 🙂 I managed 15.5 miles in the end and it reminded me that you have to run to the conditions, you can’t just take your watch as the only guide. A timely lesson with 5 weeks to my marathon.
Robert Morgan, Paul Coates and Mark Greenfield joined me for a 7.30am start on a calm and hot morning. The temperature was already 15 degrees at this early hour and the cooling sea breeze was no where to be seen as we set off. Mark had already run to our Hill Head location and was sweating like a good’un so we knew what was in store for us. Paul was slightly late so he was the brunt of the initial banter as we ran along the coast.
The tranquil sea and early morning silence were only interrupted by the occasional seagull’s cry and the views to the Isle of White were clear. The weather would suit Mark’s Mallorca Ironman training and it would be a test for the 3 different marathons that Paul, Rob and I are running.
I think it’s fair to say that the stereotype many people have of us runners is that we are quite serious, today’s group couldn’t be further from that if they tried. We did have a laugh as the miles passed by, after all, when you are out for two or three hours with friends that’s what you would normally do. Lee on Solent passed by quite quickly, too quickly really and we were heading for Stokes Bay and the 5 mile mark. The shingle at our turning point was enjoyed by us all !!
I embarrassed myself a treat as we passed a lady and her partner who was wearing a pink top. A combination of sweat and sun cream in my eyes meant I was squinting and all I saw was the lady and the pink top, “Morning ladies” I said and then as my eye came into focus I realised the partner was a man and he also had a beard … Woops “Apologies” !! Needless to say I had a number of comments thrown at me from the lads for that 🙂
The return leg back to our car park base became increasingly harder for me and as I reached the 10 mile point Mark had carried on home and I told Paul and Rob to press on. I sat in the shade and gathered my thoughts, ok I hadn’t run for 11 days but I had made the mistake of running to my expectations and not listening to what my legs were telling me. If my previous marathons have taught me anything it’s never to give up. I chose landmarks ahead of me as markers and was thankful I now had my cap on. One other note was the number of cheerful Gosport runners out today, #community, good running 🙂
I’d averaged 9 & 1/4 minute miles for the 10 and in the end averaged 9 & 3/4’s for 15.5 miles. I was pleased to have motivated myself and even more pleased when I saw Paul and Rob returning from the full 20 miles, I’m sure they had motivated each other. With litres of sports drinks consumed it had been quite a testing day and as I got back in the car it read 23 degrees !! Mark’s earlier start and 18 or so miles looked to have been the best option but good work lads & cheers for the company………… P.S. I ran 4.5 miles late Sunday afternoon to make up the 20 🙂