After the highs of my 33 mile ultra I had a weeks rest and then caught the flu. However, there’s always a silver lining to every cloud because it’s given my legs time to recover. After a 3.6 mile test run on Wednesday I needed a half descent Bank Holiday run as I have the QE Spring marathon April 3rd. The plan was 10 + miles with some good hills and hope my chest would take one and a half hours, or more, of running !!
The weather was surprisingly good (considering it was a Bank Holiday) and as I set off the rest of the world must have been having a lie-in because it was eerily quiet 🙂 As I ran past Fareham creek the sun was actually quite bright but the perfect opportunity for a quick photo of the yachts bobbing on the morning tide was dashed with a battery flashing fail !!
Bath Lane recreation ground runs parallel to the creek and as I ran across the surprisingly firm grass I was reminded that Spring and Summer aren’t too far away with the sight of rows of daffodils and the cricket square being roped off. Heading out of Fareham I turned up the wonderfully named Paradise Lane which is a narrow track that takes you across the fields. A curious section of tarmac appears here from when Military Road used to link Fort Wallington and a number of the forts along Portsdown Hill.
Running past Fort Nelson there’s a footpath that takes you across the fields and between the crops to Portchester Lane. The Google Maps Street View link here shows you the gradient, a half mile section has 215 feet of elevation so 3 of those and it was time to head back as the wind from that side of Portsdown Hill was making me cough again. I had one last surprise before I made my way back, a pheasant landed within ten feet of me, what a sight, striking colours and almost an arrogant strut (that’s the pheasant and not me !!)
Once on the southerly side of the hill the temperature warmed up and by the time I arrived home it was quite warm so I had a well earned cup of tea on the patio. I bumped into Jason from body-fusion this weekend and he said he’d be at QECP so I look forward to some post race massage and banter. In summary, 11 miles and just under 1,100 feet of elevation run at a slow/steady pace.
Today’s run was enough to suggest that next weekend’s marathon was still a viable option, I won’t be breaking any records but the miles will be great training for my ultra in May.