The last three weekends I have done back to back long runs averaging about 50miles over each weekend. Fortunately I have been lucky to have friends who have joined me on some of these runs and that has made it easier. The good thing is I have now run all of The Saffron Trail so no excuses for navigational errors on race day (night, this race starts at 6pm and is 70 miles long!).
This weekend began with parkrun, the training plan said 25-27minutes, it took 28 and that was pushing it, hadn't really felt great all week and had just put it down to tiredness, but possibly had a bug of some sort who knows?!
Saturday afternoon I threw a few extra miles in by running to Colne Engaine with some friends, Colne Engaine had declared themselves independent for the day and had a WW1 themed fete, Richard thought it would be fun to grab our passports and run over to support a friend who is involved in raising funds for a war memorial in the village. So on Saturday afternoon Richard, Len and myself set off from Braintree we met Michelle (yes she really is my sister!!) on the way and arrived in Colne Engaine to a round of applause and free beer!! It was a really fun afternoon and a very pleasant run.
Sunday the training plan said 30miles. I had arranged with Brian to run from Chelmsford to Saffron Walden to recce the rest of the route we hadn't already done, we thought it would be just over 30 miles. I woke up feeling, tired, grumpy and achy and didn't even feel like running 3 miles let alone 30 but it needed to be done so I reluctantly got my kit ready and headed off to meet Brian. We weren't starting till lunch time so I expected a late finish as I knew it wouldn't be quick.
As we ran across the park in Chelmsford we ran into Naomi who was also doing a recce of the route, so we joined forces and off we went. My earlier reluctance to run soon disappeared and I was soon enjoying the sunshine and the company.
A quick stop for more water and some snacks in Felsted and we carried on our way. The route was good a little overgrown in places but navigation was good and I didn't feel too bad. By 20 miles though I was starting to feel very tired and my legs were protesting, I ran when I could, walked the hills, kept eating and tried to keep positive. We came to one bridge over a river where the foot path was closed, there seemed to be no obvious (quick) detour so forgetting all this equality stuff we let Brian test the very dodgy looking bridge, he didn't plummet into the river so Naomi and I followed suit, fortunately we all made it safely across!!
Big orange barriers are meant to be climbed over aren't they?
Naomi left us at about 23 miles for her lift home and Brian and I carried on towards Saffron Walden. I wasn't particularly happy that we still had 12 miles to go but kept moving forward. It was starting to get late and I hadn't packed a head torch so we needed to be finished before dark, it was the longest day so I guessed we'd be alright. Brian suggested we see what time it was when we reached Newport and then decide what to do. I interpreted this as stopping there and getting a taxi back to Saffron Walden. I may have thrown a slight tantrum when we eventually got there and I discovered his plan was to just run along the road to Saffron Walden. At that moment I hated everything but as Brian just ran off I had no option but to follow but told him there was no way I was running! I hadn't eaten for a while so grabbed a cereal bar, some chocolate and jelly beans and gradually my mood improved, I refused to run along the road, if I was going all the way then I was doing the proper route! At that time I had a message from Richard asking how my run had gone and I replied we were still running (shuffling) and I wasn't hapay, he replied with just the right words of encouragement to get me back on track, pick up the pace the best I could and get it finished, thanks Richard. I am so glad now that I did and that I managed to snap out of the lowest point of the day and get it done. Eventually 37.5 miles after we started we arrived in Saffron Walden. We followed signs to the car park only to find it wasn't the car park where my car was. We asked a policeman who was in his van who very kindly let us hop in and they drove us to the correct one, an amusing end to the day's running!
I do have to say a massive thank you to all of you that have been involved in my running exploits this month, nearly 200 miles so far, it's been fun (most of the time!) just one week of tough training left before tapering for Saffron Trail Ultra. Love you all x
Have a great week and happy running xxx