20k and no wrong turns :)

20k and no wrong turns :)

Well after last week's longer than expected run caused by a total break down of my ability to remember where I was supposed to be going I thought I'd have another go of a slightly different route.

This time I decided to drive the route I had planned first. That way, I shouldn't get lost! And it paid off. A lot of the route was the same as last time but the weather was kind today and I had a clear view of the mountains across the straits in the early morning sun. There was heavy dew on the fields and the lambs were lying against their mother's catching the first rays of the sun. The verges were awash with the yellow of celandines with splashes of white in the woods where the anemones were starting to show their faces. I was thankful for the coolish start to the day as the first 8k is pretty much uphill, albeit gentle after the initial hill. Pleased with my progress I was slightly slower on the first 10k than last week but still happy. Slow and steady as we say :) Turning the corner into what had last week seemed like hurricane alley there was a mere whiff of a welcome breeze as the morning was starting to warm. Or was that just me :D The steers in the field were curious today and a couple of them galloped down the field with me as I ran, just within reach over the wall had I cared to try. And on I went to the junction that had proved so testing last time! This time I turned with my face towards the mountains (couldn't see them at all last time!) and headed for the downward stretch.

In my naivety I thought that the gentle downward return towards home would be easier but alas I was mistaken. 15 or 16k done comfortably but as I turned into the home stretch I succumbed to a walking break for a couple of minutes before continuing to run. The road was busier by this time too so there was a lot more hopping into the hedge and my legs were getting tired and heavy. But then I topped the last rise and I was on the last stretch. Tired but happy :D

No records broken but I was happy with 20.13k in 2:20:19 at an average pace of 06:58m/k.

Lessons learned?

I think I need to check out some new trainers as my feet swell on these longer runs and the toes on my right foot get terribly scrunched. Left foot seems ok though!

Water? I need to find some way of carrying some.

Garmin or similar? Would love one. Can I wait until my birthday???

Distance? Is hard but doable. Should I stay at this distance or reduce it and build back up again?

I also think I need to do some sort of cross training.

Oh and this is my first running selfie ever, after I got home.

44 Replies

  • Wow wow wow! Looking good Hilary! This is such a big achievement, well done! Be careful not to overdo it though... you seem to have increased your distance very quickly?! Or am I just jealous? :)

    I think you should treat yourself to a Garmin, you definitely deserve it! And I would love to catch up with you on Garmin Connect, too :) xx

  • No I have increased far too quickly! I went from 15k to 23k initially which was why I dropped it down to 20k today. That 8k increase was purely a mistake on my part by taking a wrong turning and any other route back would have been longer than the one I'd taken by the time I realised my mistake. That 20k was still hard so I'm still wondering if I should drop the distance back down to maybe 16 or 17 and then build it back up again? Really don't want an injury at this point!

    I keep looking at these Garmins. So hard to decide which one! I think I might just have to pretend my birthday has come early :) xx

  • Early birthday prescribed!

  • Well done Hilbean, looking good, that's some distance.

  • Looking good Hil, glowing but not beetroot coloured! :) I absolutely love your descriptions of your routes. All mine are all along suburban roads, so are sadly lacking in the poetry of yours.

    You've built up your distance remarkably well, although with all that loveliness to distract you, who can blame you for pushing on further and further. I have no idea if you should pull back or carry on, but do keep sharing your wonderful descriptions.

    I'm sure someone will have advice on the best type of water belt, so you'll be able to pick one up when you get your new shoes. You could get a Garmin at the same time (you can see how much I enjoy spending virtual money) I have a Forerunner 10 and it does everything I need, although I believe the battery life on the FR15 is better and you can get a heart rate monitor for it too.

    Take care Hil, put your feet up and get your breath back, that was a L O N G run xxx

  • Thanks AM. Bear in mind though that I did have a 5 min warm down walk before I got home so I have no idea if I would have been beetroot at that point or not :D

    Haha. It's so easy to spend virtual money isn't it ;) I definitely think the shoes are at the top of the list though. The Garmin may have to wait for a week or so until I've thoroughly convinced myself! And checked out all the details on battery life etc.

    Definitely going to give my legs a couple of days break from running now.

  • Goodness, Hilbean, that is a long time to be running - especially at that pace - I can only keep that up for about 10 minutes! Your run sounded lovely, and you look ridiculously fresh faced if that picture was taken after!

    I'm so glad you're still out there running - I hope everything else starting to feel a bit more ok for you and that the empty house isn't quite so intimidating now.

    I've got a Forerunner 10 - had it for about a month now - and it's great. I can't comment on the battery life for the runs you're doing now - my longest is about 50 mins so far!

  • There are times when the camera lies useit! I was a proper sweaty betty at the end of that! But for once the camera was kind to me ;)

    To be honest I think it's the running that's keeping me going. Life is settling down as it tends to and I'm having to adjust to a new normal that I really would rather not have to accept but I'm slowly getting used to it I guess. I think it will just take a long time but life goes on as they say.

    The FR10 gets some good reviews and everybody seems to like it. I just need to check out battery life etc for these longer runs. Thanks :)

  • I love the description, makes it feel like I was there running alongside you and enjoying your beautiful nature (and that even without having to put in the effort... this is why I love reading people's descriptions of runs).

    Re water: Skip the donut-shaped bottle that you can hold in one hand while running and go straight for a belt. Far, far more convenient, and it allows you to carry other stuff as well.

    Garmin: A fair wad of money, but it's great fun to look at the results afterwards and the splits as you're running. Go on, you know you want it ;)

    Stay or reduce/build up: You have proven (twice) that you can run 20 km. Maybe give yourself an easy week next week and only do 10 km for the long run, and then the following week back up to 20 again? It's healthy with an easy week every 4-5 weeks anyway, and it sounds like you need a bit of R&R now.

  • Thanks. I do so love running here, and I know what you mean about reading about people's runs. Nothing like a bit of armchair running :D

    Funnily enough I looked at a donut bottle the other day and decided against it. Mostly because I carry a stopwatch in one hand and it gives me a really sweaty hand so I presume that would do the same. Yet another reason for persuading me that I would like a watch ;)

    Thanks for the heads up on the easy week. Sounds like a good idea, otherwise I can see me pushing too hard and that really isn't a good idea.

  • There's no stopping you beaner!

    Nearly as impressive as the run is you observing your surroundings. I walked past a field of llamas last week and only realised become one of them didn't appreciate my presence and honked at me.

  • :D Oh I have moments like those too. I do sometimes wonder where my mind goes on those occasions lol! :D

  • Wow xxxxx

  • A super description. I too felt like I was there alongside you. and I absolutely agree that you look remarkably fresh for such a mammoth distance.

    I love your top - do you mind me asking what make it is?

    Like you, I too felt the need to change shoes once I increased my distance as I was getting the dreaded black toes in shoes, that up until then, had been really comfortable. Imperative to have toe swelling room. it's taken ages for my nails to regrow, so I'd say go and get some new shoes without delay.

    A run like that really fires ones up. It's good to have something so positive in your life.

    Well done on the distance. I'm not quite there yet, so I'm full of admiration!

  • Yeah, I really don't want black toes! And like you say, it really does take ages for toenails to grow back! Might check out some shoes today.

    The top is actually a cycling top (because I like the pockets). Make is Trespass. A bit more pricey than I would usually look at but I managed to pick it up in a sale.

    Keep picking away at the distance. I'm at this point by accident rather than design but I'm happy my body has so far coped with it. Just thinking I should be careful about tempting fate!

  • Thanks for info ref your lovely top. I'm a pocket lover too - it always amazes me that running tops rarely have pockets! I'll have an Internet search for Trespass tops and also for cycling tops.

    Happy shoe hunting! (Photos are obligatory of course when you do make a purchase! 😃)

  • Sounds like a great run. I'm back on the coach waiting to get back out there. I could only do 5k still. I like the sounds of the early run. Great pic.

    First thing is get new trainers sorted or you will end up with some poorly feet. Go for half a size bigger than your usual size and make sure there is plenty of toe room. Try as many as you can on.

  • Sorry to hear you're on the couch Ania :( Hope you don't have to wait too long before you're back out there.

    Oh, and I got told off the other day for saying I'd done ONLY 5k! And that was by a very fit climber so I think we sometimes have to remind ourselves that the shorter runs have as much value (if not more!) than some of these longer runs. And that 5k is a long long way to someone on the couch! Strange as it may sound I sometimes find the shorter ones harder than the long ones. I almost feel like I'm only just finding my stride. I think it might be because I set out at a more steady pace when I know I'm going further but I'm not really sure. I know I was always the kid that came last in the sprint at school :D

    Thanks for the shoe advice. Will definitely try that.

  • I've taken some advice from a friend and am on pain relief just to see how things go. I'm going to try a run tomorrow to see how things feel.

    I've looked up your feet problem take a look yourself, it seems like you might be going too far just yet as your feet aren't ready yet.

  • Wow Hilary - there's no stopping you at the mo. I can't imagine ever doing that sort of distance - and looking so together at the end of it! All that lovely scenery feeds the soul doesn't it.

  • It certainly does :) And the weather is absolutely glorious at the moment so best to make the most of it while it lasts ;)

  • Wow Hil, you are one inspiring woman. Out of adversity comes greatness :)

  • Thank you for such an inspirational post. Amazing run!

    (Loving that running top too)

  • It's a Trespass cycling top ;)

  • I can't advise you on your distance dilemma......you are way ahead of me, but you really should have fluids available on a run of that distance. I use a water bottle belt, which came with a massive 750ml bottle, but I normally use a 330ml bottle in there, which doesn't slosh around too much. The reviews seemed to point up that it wasn't as comfortable for ladies as for gents, so you might be better off with a belt with smaller double bottles. I have tried running with a bottle in my hand and it just does not feel right, but many do.

  • Thanks. I'm seriously going to have to check this out. I've never been a huge fan of belts as I generally prefer pockets but where needs must!

  • That's an awfully long way, and you look as fresh as a daisy. I can't ever imagine popping out for a run of that magnitude, bloody inspiring!!,

  • Thanks :) If you'd told me that I'd be running those distances when I started C25K I would have laughed! So you can never quite tell where this running journey will take you ;)

  • Cor Blimey Hilly ! That is a long, long way and you look like youve hardly broken into a sweat ! :-)

    Fresh as a daisy, no mistake !

    Well done Hilly ! :-) xxx

  • Fresh as a daisy heavily covered in dew ;) The camera was extremely kind to me on this occasion (a rare event indeed!) Believe me! I was really sweaty lol :D

  • Well done Hils. That's some going! I did my HM training without out water. I just can't be bothered carrying it. To have water laid on for the race was a luxury! Mind you it's hotting up now so it's perhaps a good idea to get a water bottle with the gap in the middle. I have a very small one but have not used it yet.

    It would be fine to drop the distance back down. You don't want to overdo it and get hurt. If you feel like you want to then you must be feeling ready for taking it a bit easier. You can always take it back up a notch when you feel like it, now that you know you can

    Sounds like you're running in some wonderful landscape. That must make it much more pleasurable

  • Thanks MW. Interesting that you did your training without water. I don't seem to have suffered for not carrying any but as you say the weather is getting warmer now!

    Thanks for your advice on dropping the distance down too. Think I might do that for a week and see how I feel after. Knowing I can do the distance certainly gives me a bit more leeway as to where/how far I can go when I feel like it. And as long as I can avoid the main roads the running here is fantastic. I am so, so lucky and count my blessings when I'm out there!

  • Sounds beautiful. You're doing amazing runs HB. I hope they are providing you with some much needed peace.

    Oh - and the Garmin is good fun. I think an early birthday is in order.

  • Thanks :) The running certainly helps. i think I would be really struggling if I couldn't get out there.

    And I've definitely started looking at Garmins again, though I think that might have to wait until next month as I really should take a look at shoes first ;)

  • I'm gobsmacked, it only seems a few weeks ago you did 10...you look fab too! I've given in and ordered a Garmin, how long to your birthday? I'd say you deserve one now xxx

  • It was 2 months ago but I did have quite a break in between then and now. I have to say I've been pretty gobsmacked too but it's been sooo good for me to get out there and just run. Keeps me sane (or maybe keeps me insane! Not quite sure which ;) )

    Exciting news about your Garmin. Which one have you gone for? I keep looking at all the different ones and it's so hard to know which one is best but if I keep doing the distances I definitely want one with enough battery power

  • I asked in a post on here and everyone said Forerunner 10, so that's what I've gone for. I really like RunKeeper but I think my phone is on it's last legs and keeps turning it off, I can't be dealing with that when I'm running.

    My first 10K was in February, I've done it again once or twice, but not made any further progress, I seem to stick around 5 - 7K on my runs, so well done you!

  • I keep looking at that one too. Oh decisions decisions! Well, I'll still have to wait until next month at the very least and still might end up waiting until my birthday ;)

    I think running is great for its variety and I don't really think it matters what distances we prefer. We're all different and that's part of what makes it so interesting. At the moment I seem to need these long distances/time out sessions. It's probably the only thing that's keeping me sane ;)

  • Yes I agree! For me I've always felt that 45 minutes to one and a half hours exercise is enough, and I'm back in France now where routes are limited! I only really have one, it's about 6K so I have to do multiples of 6 if you know what I mean (there and back makes 12) does that make sense? Cordes is a massive lump that sticks up with an elevation of 120MTs so I can only really run around the bottom. Or I can just keep running back and forth on the same bit...good job it's fits what I want to do. I'm looking forward to some longer runs when I get back to Cambridge though.

  • Hi and well done your run sounds fantastic and very well described. It is a great feeling when you get to the stage where you feel you can just run and run. After a knee injury I am getting back up there thankfully!. You are faster than me, at these distances I m 7.3 mins per k but a lot of the time when you are running for so long, I believe it is more about the scenery and what you are taking in at the same time. Tried with the running belt but it is annoying how it shakes about and the effort it takes to drink through the small necks of the bottles then placing them back can be off putting for your breathing. I now just take Capri Sun that folds up and can be thrown on my trip as well as a couple of slices of water melon wrapped in cling film. All fits in my trouser or jacket pockets One question- do your hands get numb on your long runs? I wear gloves and mine are always so cold and numb strangely the right gets more numb than the left. With all your hard work you deserve to treat yourself to your shoes and garmin soon. Keep enjoying your long runs you look fantastic! :)

  • Thanks Carole. Glad to hear you're getting over your injury. I'm not much faster than you and it does tend to vary from run to run. As long as I'm in a similar ballpark I'm not too worried as I quite like that settling into a pace and just being able to take it all in really. Apart from the times when my mind does wander and even then I'm not sure where it goes!

    I've never really been keen on the idea of belts - I hate taking my raincoat with me for that reason (packs into it's own pocket with a belt). Not sure I want to carry a bottle either. I just seem to be really fussy, but that's why I like the cycling tops with the pockets in the back, just wasn't really sure about a bottle bouncing around in the back but the CapriSun sounds like it could work.

    I can't say that I've had an issue with cold or numb hands other than when weather conditions dictate. Are yours cold even in warm weather?

    And I have treated myself to some new shoes today :) Not quite sure when the Garmin will be on order - still not really sure what to go for.

  • Good you deserve those shoes! I have a fore runner 10 and it is very simple to use.The only trouble I find with them is if you are running on low terrainn, woodlands etc then Garmins can take a while to pick up signal. I have been known to run extra at the end of a run because it wasn't picked up on my watch initially!! Crazy :) Strange about the numb hands, hoping it wasn't just me and yes still the right one numbs in hot weather too. Only happens when long running- mystery. Good luck with the watch hunting :)

  • Do you find the battery life good enough for long distance as I read somewhere that it wasn't so good? Sorry can't help with the numb hands. Unless it's something to do with blood flow? Blood being directed to your legs as they're working the hardest? Check out sodium levels too as I think that can make fluid seep into the intercellular spaces which makes your hands swell and can compress nerves? It's been such a long time since I did any anatomy and physiology I really don't remember these things too well (mutters the number of years under breath!)

  • Thanks Hilbean I am sure it is a circulation thing as I am also very shivery when I return home. I have never run further than 25k and my watch is fine (plenty of life left) but it may be better asking our marathon forum runners. Thanks for info and reminder re sodium. I was a nurse a long time ago but so de skilled in that area now... Youtube have lots of reviews on the watches may be worth a look :)

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