Saturday, 4 January 2014

Never running again, until perhaps next week: day 4 of Janathon

At one time, I think Thursday night, I concocted a plan to run 15 miles today, and it seemed a good idea at the time. It came about because some friends from my running club said they would run our local 5 km race today, and they would run to Letchworth and back with me, making a 9 mile long run. I realised if I got up a bit earlier and ran a 10 km route, I could make a 15 mile long run and cross it off for the weekend. Plan sorted.

By Friday night I realised the weather was going to be pretty terrible on Saturday morning, but never mind, the plan had been set and people had agreed to run with me so I couldn't back out.

Simon and Jane came with me at 7am to run the local Standalone 10 km route (which turned out to be 7.7 miles, I'd not factored in me running to meet them and a bit of running up and down at the end to keep warm). The pace was fairly slow to begin but got a bit faster towards the end, as we headed back to Stotfold. The weather was awful, and despite wearing my waterproof jacket and doing lots of hopping around to avoid puddles, I was pretty soaked when we finished our run. I was a bit early to meet Lewis who I was running to Letchworth with, so I ran out and back to Arlesey a little bit to keep warm.

At 8:10am, Lewis turned up, super-prepared with his backpack and a change of clothes and trail shoes for the mud, I probably should learn from him (I didn't have anything with me, not even water!). It was pretty horrible weather, I was drenched already and I felt a bit guilty for dragging him along with me. We ran a nice slow-paced 3 miles to Letchworth and arrived at 8:45am, ready to register for the FSOM 5K that takes place on Norton Common (and completely sodden). I was really pleased to see we weren't the only crazy people who'd run to Letchworth, @movingalong79 (who is also doing Janathon) and @ChrisCrippsPT looking equally as wet as we did!

The ground was really boggy, and the organisers (North Herts Road Runners) had had to make some course adjustments to avoid some especially muddy sections (which made the route a full 5 km, instead of the usual 3 miles, so perhaps they should stick with the new route). There is a section at the start that we run on three times, and this was very muddy and difficult to run on (I don't have trail shoes so I was slipping everywhere). The next section on gravelled path was covered in either running water or puddles, so wet(ter) feet were inevitable. The new section was clear, but then we turned straight back onto mud, water, wet leaves: all the hazards in one place. The last path along Icknield Way was so flooded I just decided to splash all the way through making a loud roaring noise. Much to the marshal's amusement.

Shoes and socks after my run!

I've no idea yet of my 5K time; I met Lewis at the finish (already changed and ready for me) and we ran straight back home. But my legs were really tired from all the mud struggling, and I asked to walk twice, the last time I sent him on his way so he could get home (feeling massively guilty about me being slow and him being wet). I was prepared to walk the last mile home.

My friend Kate caught up with me from her long run, and she gave me an energy tablet to help a bit, because I was feeling dizzy. About half a mile later, another friend pulled up alongside in his car and made me get in. I've never been so happy to see anyone! 16.3 miles running/moving in total.

So that, I think, is a classic example of how not to run a long run. I should have at least taken Jelly Babies* with me, or some Lucozade*, although I did have money and could've stopped at a shop. Anyway, I've amended my long run plan now, which means next week I'm running 14 miles (the full Greenway), and I'll be racing Baldock Beast instead of running to it. Which I'm quite excited** about :)

*Other sweets and drinks are available.
**Not all that excited, but relieved to be running 13.1 and not 17 miles.


  1. Well done for getting out there, but lessons to be learned. I generally carry too much butyou should always have water and some sort of food for a long run plus a phone (in a zip lock bag! )

    1. Yes I know, I usually do but figured I was could pop home after the first run if I needed anything, and there would be help available at the 5k. I could've had water there. I don't usually eat on long runs, but I'll take emergency rations in future.

  2. Wow! Well done for this morning - you deserve a long rest this afternoon after all that :-)

  3. Holy crap. That sounds absolutely horrendous! I admire you and wonder if you're a bit nuts ;)

  4. Cracking mileage in all weather - impressive stuff. Esme came to the 5k this morning and had a spare Lucozade in her buggy, shame I didn't know otherwise you could have had it.

    Sorry I didn't catch you at the end, but you've seen my blog so you'll understand why!