Monday, 14 April 2014

Bulls, guns and sunshine...

Stop me if this is getting boring but another great week of training! 
47.57 miles last week and 531.61 for the year so far. This week I have run trails, intervals, a tempo run amongst others and I have done my usual two Essex Boot Camp sessions, I am feeling fitter and am slimmer than I have ever been (only downside none of my clothes fit!!).

Yesterday I was down to run 22miles on trails and I decided whilst many of my friends were pounding the streets of London (you all did amazingly well, very proud) I packed my race vest and headed off to run some of the Colne Valley Path which runs from Great Yeldham to Colchester, the plan was to start at Yeldham run 11 miles turn round and run back. 
It was a beautiful morning and I was looking forward to it. The previous evening I had obsessively packed 10 bags of snacks so I could eat every two miles right from the beginning as advised by Lindley. I was determined to get the nutrition right this time.

      Long run snacks!!

This strategy I am pleased to say really worked, even though for the first 10/12 miles I only ate it because I knew I had to, by mile 15 I was actually looking forward to the next mile passing so that I could eat!! I felt much better than I have on previous long trail runs but at mile twenty was craving proper food (a cheese and tomato sandwich and orange juice!!) so next time I'm going over twenty I will take some savoury food too.

The Colne Valley Path is a really pretty route and I really enjoyed it, I ended up running a bit further than planned as at 11 miles I knew I wasn't far from Earls Colne (where my Mum lives) so I decided to go on so I could top up my water bottles and use her loo!!! 

I had a couple of interesting moments one was being very closely followed by a herd of young bulls in a field, I always assume they will be relatively harmless if they're in a field with a footpath, but I was wearing a bright red t-shirt and race vest (not sure if bulls not liking red is true but one of those childhood things that sticks with you!!) I slowed to a walk as thought running might upset them and I was pretty speedily though the gate! Fortunately on my return journey they ignored me.

The second slightly unnerving moment was some sort of gun shooting thing going on across the footpath!! I could hear the gunfire but assumed it would be away from where I was running, but as I followed the footpath they seemed to be set up exactly where the map and gps was saying I needed to be. In the end I decided to take the road around and link back with the footpath as this seemed preferable to being shot!! Fortunately my navigation skills do seem to be improving and this wasn't an issue. Not sure how legal it is to shoot across footpaths but wasn't going to argue! It seemed to be some sort of official event as there were signs to it pointing the same way as the footpath sign! 

     Deciding not to follow footpath marker!! 

All in all I had a great morning out running, was worrying that I still seem really slow on trails but covered 24.91 miles in 5:20 which ok isn't going to win me any prizes but I was still running at the end and it's a few months until Saffron Trail which is my next ultra after Halstead Marathon. 

     A few pics from a great morning on the trails.

Have a good week and happy running xx 

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