I hadnt run since Sun 2nd Sept (fab busy week in Croatia from 5th to 12th, walking the Istrian hills, plus lots of sightseeing trips, but offset by eating and drinking for Wales, lol!) but had to run 8 miles yesterday, in line with the training plan for my 10k race a week today.
It was a "bit "hard to say the least!
I knew I wouldn't have lost fitness so soon (having climbed some challenging Croatian mountains in very hot weather & then Penyfan in icy winds on Thurs!) but I knew my recent nutrition was . . . well . hardly Olympic athlete standard!
I toyed with doing the easier flat canal route but discounted this, it is a bit tedious for longer runs (although unwanted excitement sometimes occurs when we - that's Boy the Bedlington "Terror" and I - suddenly realise that one of the local farmers has moved some sheep to one of the usually empty fields nearby!)
So I went back up to my favourite varied forestry loop. The way I run this is up the valley (gentle incline) on tarmac to Cymmer, then dip down and up across the valley on a road bridge to Abergregan, an undulating cycle path section, then, pausing to put the dog on a lead whilst we run past a meadow TEEMING with bunnies, a long flat rough track through forestry, then near the end a steep drop, over a footbridge (spotted a kingfisher near here once), followed by a BUGGER of a long climb, but with a nice gentle incline to get back to the car.
At 3.3 miles my quads had started giving me jip & it was very tempting to just turn round & run back down the incline to the car - after all, 6.6 miles is better than nothing. But I knew I would have to "fess up" to my sister (who had done 22 hilly miles earlier as part of her marathon training) so I kept going round the loop.
I nearly gave up at 4.5 miles. My legs were HURTING. The only thing that kept me going was the fact that I was so far from the car now and it would have been dark by the time I walked back!
I started repeating one of my mantras "Strong legs, powerful legs, strong legs, powerful legs!" (the reason I run in lonely woods is to avoid witnesses who might call the men in white coats to take me away!), and somehow I then found myself "suddenly" at mile 6, running as fast as I could, like a big kid, down the steep hill
I did my very best to "run" up the nasty hill, but had to stop half way. Caught my breath & tried a bit more running but had to stop 3/4 of the way up. Stopped my timer (mile 7). Rested. Walked to the top and then started running again. Ran for a good 5 mins before I realised I hadn't restarted my timer! Bugger! Restarted my timer, ran 1/2 mile back to the car and then (despite my glutes being numb!) FORCED myself to run quarter mile back down and quarter mile back up to make 8 miles on my Garmin.
I was very very proud of myself.
This morning I am mostly sitting on my backside watching some wonderful folk to the Great North Run!
The pic is of a view part way up one of those Croatian hills!