I set out to do 16k this morning and 16k it was. Nice and slow in pleasant temperatures of 18oC. Runkeeper told me it was my third longest run EVER but I'd like to get a few more long ones in and consolidate the HM distance I did in May (so far just a one-off). On the animal side I saw dogs, cats, crows, magpies and rabbits. The rabbit let me get really close before startling and dashing into the undergrowth. Maybe I'm not as loud and clod-hopping as I think! I was passed by cyclists, in-line skaters and super speedy, pony-tail swishing youngsters in bright red trainers. But I also got to encourage a rather overweight, lumbering man, kitted out with all the gear, who came staggering towards me in the middle of nowhere - with a big grin on his face. I gave him a beam of encouragement and wondered how far he had come, he looked pretty knackered, but good for him, I thought. Another super fit, mid-20s youngster loped towards me and we exchanged conspiratorial smiles. "We are runners" said our smiles "we are among the select few who go out for long runs in the countryside on Sunday mornings". I helped a group of Chinese tourists find their way to the aeroplane museum and sat on a log at 11k to have a cool drink of water and prepare myself for the final push.
The last 5k were covered without stopping, and the final km was really hard. But if you set out to do 16k you just have to, don't you?
The next long run will be 18k and then I want to do that HM distance again. Just to prove it wasn't a fluke.