Because I'm going to keep up with this running lark all through the winter (oh yeah) I have jiggled my routine so I can run twice a week while it is still light but one run is going to have to be at 6pm and in a few weeks time I'm fully aware I'm going to be running in the dark. My favourite route is along country lanes with no pavements and no street lights. This is one of the reasons I love it but I realise this is not going to be particularly safe in the dark. Also my favourite route is very flat and I know at some point I'm going to have to deal with the hills. So to cut a long story short, today I tackled a hills and residential streets in practice for when it gets dark.
Due to where I live I have no choice but to do the hill right at the beginning of the run, which is exhausting but very rewarding when you pass somewhere called 'Hill Head Close' - slightly disappointing only to round the bend and see that it was a lie and there is actually a little more of a climb before the real hill head!
A few things I've learned today;
1) Pavements are horrid and uneven and pot holey (possibly even dangerous) The road is smoother, so it helps to run on the road, if no cars coming but then ... speed bumps ... oh.
2) Running downhill is not nearly as much fun as it sounds. makes me feel a bit wobbly like I'm going to fall over. This will come with practice I assume?
3) People are generally quite nice. Why have I been avoiding them so long? This is my first run with lots of people around. Most smile nicely at you and get out of your way. On a particularly narrow bit of pavement one woman almost pushed her baby into some stinging nettles so I could get past. Felt a bit guilty.
4) The whole thing wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I still miss my little shetland ponies on my other route but I will be seeing them twice a week. I don't feel too bad about doing this once a week and the hills can only improve my running right?
5) 2.41 miles in 25.40. Average speed of 10.39 miles/min,whilst climbing 196ft which is pretty much the same as last time on the flat. I guess you make it up on the downhill. I wasn't expecting that.