Today is a good day to die

25 10 2008

My plan today was to step up the distance as I now have a hydration system on board and much more appropriate kit for Autumn. I’ll talk about the hydration system I carried on another entry but it was a great help overall.

I started with a long slow climb out of Neston and up Hinderton Road. This is a 200 foot steady climb away from the coast in around 2 miles of running. It is non relenting but not too steep. I usually drive this way in the morning and always thought it looked quite challenging. I felt quite “ploddy” and was overtaken by another runner…but I reached the top of the rise in one piece and I certainly wasn’t going to use much of my energy knowing I had another 9 miles to go.

Shortly afterwards I was out into the countryside and faced with my first obstacle. A lorry was dropping off a skip and took up the whole of the narrow lane I was running up. I made sure the driver had seen me. A heavy skip being lowered onto me would not leave me in the best sort of shape ! The lane was little more than a dirt track and had been churned up by farm vehicles and so I had to take care.

Fortunately, it was not long before I was onto a tarmac road again and able to relax again. Running felt very natural today. It really took me back to my late teens. Running down quiet roads and having the time to observe the changing landscape does have a lot of appeal to it. Probably why I fell in love with running the first time. It has never really been about speed for me. It is about distance. The endurance. The slog.

Shortly afterwards I passed some large kennels on the left. My Goodness I had visions of a scene on the Simpsons when Mr. Burns says “release the hounds”. There were a lot of excitable dogs in there … a LOT. I picked up my pace slightly just in case. Pathetic isn’t it. I mean was it likely that I could outrun a pack of dogs ? I always think of who I am currently running for in my roll of honour (sponsors) so I couldn’t help taking pleasure in the thought of them chasing my mother-in-law (sorry Oma !).

Tranquillity returned shortly afterwards as I passed the Wheatsheaf Pub in Raby at the 5k mark certainly a favourite of mine. Oh to fill my hydration system with a fine draft cask ale ! Beer is meant to be very good for runners as it is full of minerals that are lost through sweat. I might reverse the route and pop into the pub one day. A beer fuelled last three miles home would be interesting.

My legs were now fully recovered from the initial plod up the hill and there was not much more to report on my run down towards Hooton.

Hooton station is the beginning of the Wirral Way and at the 10k mark for this particular run. I grabbed the bagpipe that is my running hydration system and drank greedily. How athletes can actually drink from these things when running God only knows.

Just 7.5 kms to go and my legs were still feeling solid. I now had the Wirral Way to deal with.
I always plan my runs so I have little route finding when I know I will be tired. In many respects it feels like you are at high altitude. My brain is just switched off and focussed on my legs by this stage.

There were so many people on the Wirral Way and the exchange of pleasantries such as the “Good mornings”, “Hi’s” etc. etc. are almost as tiring as the run. As I am going to be running in Madrid perhaps “Ola” would be more appropriate. Nah what could be better than the Klingon greeting Heghlu’meH QaQ jajvam which means “today is a good day to die”.

Click here:

(I assure the reader that I am not a Trekkie)

I finally arrived home in 1 hour 47 mins and had covered 10.9 miles or 17.5 km. Now we’re cooking with gas ! Slow I know but totally intentional.

My legs are certainly feeling it …




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