Day 203 – Looper

Posted: August 11, 2012 in July
Tags: , , , , , , ,

If yesterday was a nice change from the norm today was a definite return to type – a long, long slow run. Quite incredibly the weather had held up for more than a few hours and I was up nice and early to make the most of it. Some coffee, a big bowl of porridge, some new podcasts on my Clip and then out the door and heading for bandit country. The loop I had planned for today was Bracknagh, Portarlington and back home, each leg of which was about 7km, all on nice, quiet, pan flat roads. A couple of times before on my really long runs I got very tired/thirsty/hungry so even though this wasn’t going to be that long a run I still brought €2 with me so I could stop in Port and grab a drink, which also meant I didn’t have to bother with the inconvenience of carrying a drink with me.

I headed for Bracknagh first, keeping a nice, steady pace of about 6mins/km. The running was really easy and I was just enjoying being out on my own in the countryside, on a glorious morning, with the dulcet tones of Joey Diaz tickling my eardrums. Even the swarm of bogflies that decided to accompany me for a couple of kilometres couldn’t dampen my mood, though they did make me glad I’d worn a hat which stopped them getting overly easy access to my lovely dome.

While running through Bracknagh I did think it was a little odd that I’d now clocked up 9km rather than 7, and then seeing a sign saying “Portarlington 9km” did make me think I’d slightly miscalculated when plotting my route. Still, not much that could be done about it now apart from carry on putting one foot in front of the other, which for the last few kilometres had been coming much easier and I was now ticking along quite nicely. At about the 14km mark I began to get the first rumblings of hunger from my stomach, which usually causes quite a downturn in my mood. Now though, with the coin I had safely stashed away and shops only a few kilometres further up ahead I knew that there was absolutely nothing to worry about. For the remainder of the distance into Port I seemed to get into a semi-trance state, where I was vaguely focused on the yellow line in front of me, plodding along, not thinking about anything or even really feeling much. It was great to be able to do this because I know when I’m running London to Brighton I’m going to be out there for up to twelve hours and I’ll need to be able to zone out like this for long stretches at a time.

Running up through Port I snapped back to attention and began thinking about what I could get for my €2. When I thought I was just going to be running 21km all I wanted was a bottle of Powerade, but with the extra distance I knew I needed something solid in my stomach. I popped into a garage just about on the way back out of town and spent a few minutes pondering different combinations before going for a slightly left field choice of chocolate milk and a banana. I’m not the biggest fan of chocolate in the world but I’d heard lots of people recommending chocolate milk as a good post workout drink due to the combination of carbs and protein. I had some misgivings about how it was going to sit in my stomach but I soon forgot about that and necked almost the whole bottle in one go. I hadn’t realised quite how thirsty I was but I was parched. I sat outside the garage in the sun for a minute, finishing my drink and banana, happy as a pig in shit and thoroughly looking forward to the last leg of my run.

I’d gone through two Beauty and da Beast podcasts at this stage, and much as I love Joey Diaz my ears deserved a bit of a break. Just in case my legs started to tire a bit I decided to stick on some music for a change, and with the day that was in it I though some reggae might do the trick. Well, a little bit of reggae anyway, followed by some dub, some beats, some some breaks, some metal, i.e. some Major Lazer (the Diplo and Switch back to back Essential Mix to be precise). On my way out of Port then I noticed to my complete lack of surprise a sign saying “Monasterevin 9km”, so each of the legs were in fact 9km. God only knows where I got the 7km from.

Anyway, though my legs were starting to hurt a little bit at this stage the kilometres were ticking away and I was enjoying the run as much as I did at the start. Soon enough I’d crossed the bridge which marked the point where you enter proper bog territory and from there it’s only about 4km home. Not long afterwards I was surprised to see my wife drive past me, until I remembered that I’d arranged to pop into the house on my way past at about the two hour mark and pick her up to do a few km’s together. I’d obviously been out for a bit longer than that with the extra, previously unaccounted for, distance and bearing in mind my problems on very long runs before she’d popped out to see if I wanted collecting. Feeling fantastic I instead sent her on her way, and having dispensed of her services also discarded my t-shirt (which in my defence was starting to chafe), and then ran the home stretch in rare, glorious sunshine in as little clothing as decency would allow.

27.5km in 2:48:55

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