My plan for the next few months is to maintain half marathon distance until January, before I begin to extend the long runs towards the slightly overwhelming 20 mile distance. Winter long runs aren't very enticing, but if you can run them with someone else then they are much more bearable. Which is why last Sunday I got up at 05:45 to prepare for a 10 mile run at 06:30 with some club friends.
Four other equally mad runners met up and headed to Letchworth, on road for the first few miles and then via the Greenway once the sun was up. The pace was a touch quicker than I anticipated, but my heart rate managed to remain around 140 bpm so I wasn't too bothered, although my post-Stevenage legs weren't mega-happy. I started to struggle around the industrial estate in Letchworth, just by the tip, but I'd just run up a hill, and the next few miles were downhill, so I felt OK again quite quickly. I also set a few Strava segments from the tip to Nortonbury Lane, so I had to concentrate on running fairly fast!
As we headed back into Stotfold we spotted a car in a hedge, it had obviously crashed because the bumper had come off and there were tyre marks across the verge. We stopped for a minute to check there were no casualties, I wouldn't have felt right just running past. All seemed well.
At the end of the run, my friend produced peanut butter cookies from her jacket, which were perfect to finish with! They should be compulsory.
Next Sunday I'll be running 11 miles. I have a hankering to run around Baldock for a change, so I'm going to plan a route that meets that requirement but is safe for dark mornings. It might be impossible without a headtorch (Dear Santa...).
Other stuff this week...
On Tuesday I missed my Pilates class because of school parents' evening, so I ran at both club sessions. I took the beginners for 200 m sprint intervals, a session that I think they just loved going off the comments I received. I managed to swear at a new chap who I could hear catching me rapidly when I was "demonstrating" and who I assumed was Ed... He took it in good humour! Pulled my groin muscle again though, stupidly. The intermediate session was a run out to Arlesey and back, my first Arlesey loop for a long time. The muscle strain felt OK while I was running so I'm not that concerned by it. The second run was 4.5 miles, making 7 miles in total, so I won't bother running on Wednesday.
Instead I have Pilates, which I postponed by a day. I'm hoping this class sorts out my sore groin (from the sprints) and aching shoulder (from being old and creaky). I don't hold out much hope though.
Thursday will be club again. I've promised my friend that if it's speedwork again I'll take him for a run instead. He's had to do 2 weeks in a row of speedwork (1km intervals and then 400m/200m sprints) and I think he's getting a complex.
I need to get back to ab work soon too. I'm in a "can't be bothered" mindset at the moment. I know a plank a day and some ab curls won't kill me, but I'm lazy.