It’s only two weeks now to the Purbeck marathon so today needed to be a descent test of my form. I managed just over 19 miles with 2,170 feet elevation in quite Autumnal conditions. Also my Tailwind trial moved into its second week which you can read about further down.
Todays added bonuses were bumping into Ray Gunner from Stubbington Green who I haven’t seen for ages and Rosie from my club Fareham Crusaders who again I haven’t seen for quite a while. On my way home at about 18.5 miles with two lanes of heavy traffic to my left I also spotted the bright red Absolute Running van with owners Nick and Kim in it, so that was a great “pick me up” with waves and shouts of encouragement.
Well, September is with us, the football posts were up next to the cricket boundary, the leaves have started falling onto the path and todays drizzle was (although refreshing to begin with) fairly constant from mile 6.
However, none of the above dampened my spirits because today was the furthest I’ve run since June and being on the move for over three hours gives you “belief”.
As the initial miles ticked by I contemplated on my liquids and nutrition strategy. I’d filled three 500ml soft flaks and only packed one gel and one energy bar. Ordinarily for a 3 hour + run I’d have taken three or four gels as well as a couple of SIS energy bars so it was going to be “sink or swim” time. Granted I was running conservatively but when I say the first time I thought I may need something extra was at 15 miles then that’s a big thumbs up to Tailwind. You read the recommendations but it’s always best to try it for yourself. I’ll come back to this later.
The first 6 or so miles were really an introduction before I reached Portchester Lane. This Lane is a favourite of mine due to 3/4 of a mile giving you 270 feet elevation. I set myself 4 reps and I wasn’t alone as a number of cyclists passed me too. As I mentioned earlier Ray Gunner passed me going up one of them. Ray has always been quick and he was on good form as he easily caught me up.
I really believe hill reps are an essential part of any runners training regardless of their race distances. The strength work really pays off physically and mentally.
The route may be tarmac which isn’t idea and it is open to traffic but generally on an early Sunday morning its quiet. As you can see it’s a hill that just keeps giving as it snakes up to the horizon.
The fields to the right had wheat growing three weeks ago but that’s all been harvested so this was another reminder that Summer is disappearing.
I generally use a “bump bag” these days that I swivel around when I want something. My preferred choice of liquid containers are soft flasks because once empty they take up no room at all, they can be rolled up like an empty toothpaste tube.
Once heading down Portsdown Hill there’s a section with no pavement and it was starting to get busier as the morning progressed. I always like to run towards the traffic on these sections as I’d rather see them and move out of their way. Naturally I avoid doing this wherever possible.
Once heading for the creek at about 15.5 miles I’d taken a gel just for good measure and it was all flat from now on. Passing my friend Rosie was a surprise and then waving to Nick & Kim was a great motivator. At 17.5 miles I had the energy bar just to be on the safe side but to be fair I was still feeling good on the back of the Tailwind. Is Tailwind the answer to all our running needs ?? I will let you know over the coming weeks, however, the signs are promising.
Finally, I thought this sign from our local council was well thought out by aiming it at the kids 🙂 Although to be fair most people are pretty good.
So, great miles, plenty of hills, more Tailwind feedback and a few surprise friends along the way. “Good Times”