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Wednesday 20 March 2013

Week 14, Day 2: Avoiding Dog Eggs & Tree Climbing

Week 14, Day 2

Goal: 6 miles with 4 at marathon pace
Actual: 6 miles with 4 at marathon pace

I finally managed a weekday run in daylight and it wasn’t a (curse, curse) morning run! Well almost daylight. It was dusk and I’m sure that counts. I’m sick of winter and cold winds that creep up jacket sleeves and rain that runs down my neck. Finally it’s getting lighter and a bit warmer in the evenings

As I had some light to see by I decided I could reclaim one of my old summer routes and have a change of scenery. In winter I tend to stick to fairly busy routes with street lights in the evenings but I miss the interesting runs through the tall grass in the fields and the little hidden footpaths.

This route is an old railway line and the path is a mixture of cinder blocks, mud and gravel. If it hasn’t been too rainy it’s usually quite nice to run on so long as you keep your eyes open for dog eggs. It was nice to run it again yesterday and I actually saw other runners – 3 in fact! Usually because of the late nights I tend to see only the occasional dog walker so it was nice to see these even if our only greeting to each other was a nod and wave rather than a stop-and-chat about the state of pre-race loos and the problems with lycra.

The path slopes upwards but is straight and fairly scenic with old brick railway bridges every so often. The path comes to a stop with a wall at the end but if you look closely there’s a track on the left side that runs under the trees with boards over a couple of boggy patches and which comes out about 100m back down the track – great for a quick but squishy run. Or there’s a zigzag path leading up the high hill on the right side of the track. This is usually well hidden by trees but it looked as though the local arbourists had been hard at work and although the hill was clear, the path up the hillside was littered with branches.

I don’t tend to get put off by a couple of obstacles so I climbed the worst and jumped over the rest but when I got to the top of the path to turn into the picnic area, the gap in the bridge was blocked with a big metal fence. Bother. Turn around, back over the branches and back onto the usual route.

It was a nice run and it was good to have a bit of a change with the tree climbing.  I’d checked the Garmin to confirm I was at marathon pace, but on reflection, I should have covered the Garmin for the final 4 miles and run it on what I thought was marathon pace.

Distance: 6.18 miles
Time: 51:07
Total pace: 8:16 min/mile

First 2 miles average approx: 9:15 min/mile (stopped to climb over some branches)
Final 4 miles average approx: 7:51 min/mile

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