Monday, 14 March 2011

Excellent tow path 20 miler

I had a really great 20 mile run yesterday, and to be honest, i feel relieved more than anything.  My 17 mile run last Sunday was awful - I found it hard, and to be honest, boring.  I lost interest, and couldn't for the life of me remember why I wanted to run a marathon.  So, I was not looking forward to this weekend's 20 miler and didn't know if it was something I was going to be able to do.

To try and make it as positive an experience as I could, I decided to break a habit of a (running) lifetime, and not run from the house.  Instead, I drove half an hour to our nearest canal, and ran along the towpath - different scenery and a flat course...instead of the usual hilly courses I run.

As I arrived and parked up, it immediately started to absolutely tip down with rain - and I'm talking those big, heavy raindrops that really get you wet quickly.  I couldn't believe it - I hadn't brought any waterproofs, and just sat in the car for 20 minutes looking dejectedly through the windscreen hoping that it might stop, and wondering whether I'd actually be able to make myself get out of the car and get started.  And then the rain stopped..and it brightened up...and I got out of the car...

I ended up having a really enjoyable run.

The towpath is a great place to go - lots of things to look at, interesting wildlife, plenty of other runners to share a nod of the head and a knowing grimace with...I can't believe I've not run along one before.

I think the best bit was having toilets along the route (which I of course took advantage of, for the novelty factor if nothing else) and one of the barge owners who was moored along a quiet stretch at about 9 miles had set up a mini-cafe and was selling drinks from his door.  This made a massive difference as I'd got through a lot more of my water than I'd expected by 9 miles, and was starting to worry...after turning around at 10 miles I ran back past the cafe barge, and bought a couple of bottles of water from him and was able to sit down for 5 minutes and fill up my belt bottles, have decent drink, and then run on.  Perfect :)

I do have some pain in my knees this morning, and definitely feeling a bit of an ache all over, but generally feeling so positive about how it went...and if I'd been running the marathon yesterday, I think I could have done it!

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