Week 1 long run of training for the Clyde Stride. Saturday morning and I was really looking forward to my longest run since the marathon about 7 weeks ago. I’d run 16 miles a fortnight ago, and I was planning a 20 miler to start my long run training for the Clyde Stride Ultramarathon in 7 weeks time.
The plan was to run part of the first part of the route, 10 miles, then back. It would probably be better if I could run 20 miles in one direction, but I don’t really mind out and backs. And it might get me to know the route a bit better too.
The weather forecast was cloudy with possible rain, 12′C and I was a little over cautious with my knee length shorts a warm under long sleeved top and a Tshirt. Not to mention my buff in case it rained.
I had porridge and a caffeine lucozade before I got going.
I left the flat just after 8am and aimed to do the run in about 3 hours. I had about a litre and a half of water in my back pack, 2 caffeine energy gels, a blackcurrant energy gels, some sports beans and a portion of my new mashed potato n oats mix.
I ran from the flat under the Kingston Bridge and along to the Squigley Bridge. After less than a mile I noticed that I dropped one of my caffeine energy gels ( tucked in my waist band of my shorts ). Duh. I considered going back for it but I decided I’d get it on the way back (as long as it was still there).
As it was ‘meant’ to be raining, I figured I wouldn’t need my sunglasses but how wrong was I? I was running west to east and the sun was in my eyes the whole way out. Arg. And even worse I got a few flies in my eyes. Yuk.
It seems yes. After about half an hour I got into a comfortable easy pace. My aim was to run the first half nice n steady between 8:00 and 8:30 minute miles, then I’d see how I felt and maybe try and run the last 8 miles a bit faster.
I’d heard there was a diversion in place but I hadn’t paid much attention to it. Oops. It was pretty well signposted (NCN 75), turn right, then right again through a one way housing scheme, up following the signs until you get to a t junction. . It was at the t junction that I wasn’t sure, there were no signs saying where to go. So I went back on myself, to check the last signpost.
I thought it was ok to keep going, so at the t junction Turn right and keep going until you see the new velodrome and Celtic Park on your left. When u get yo London Rd, turn right again and follow the signs to turn right again towards the Clyde again. Phew! Back on track. I knew the area of the East end ok, but I didn’t want to be lost there!
Here’s a map of the diversion if you’re interested:
I was running nice and comfortably. I was repeating the phrase I’d read in ‘Born to Run’: “Easy, Light, Smooth”. I wasn’t concerned about the 4th word (fast), but I did feel strong. the splits were good too, between 8:00 – 8:30 minute miles as I’d planned.
The path was pretty quiet and I’d noticed the pathway had been relaid since the last time I was on it. Last time it was tarmac with lots of cracks and bumps through it from tree roots blistering the surface. Now it was nice, flat black tarmac.
There were some trees split and leaves all over the place in parts of the route from the storm earlier in the week, but nothing obstructed the path. It was nice and flat running along beside the Clyde river. No frightening or challenging hills. Just pleasant cycle paths.
After about 45 minutes I had my remaining caffeine gel and after an hour I’d run about 7.2 miles. Great I thought. I still felt really good. A bit further on and I ran under the new M74 road, the one I’d run along last Saturday.
I got to the bridge at Cambuslang and instead of going over the second footbridge (like you’re meant to) I went over the first, then missed the rest of the path going left along the river. I came out at a road with the sign for route 75 pointing up the hill. It was a little confusing, and I thought I should maybe not go up the hill but I did. Then changed my mind and turned back. I found the path again.
I didn’t notice when I did it but after that I turned right at some point to go towards Newton, away from the Clyde and past a construction site. Apparently I shouldn’t have done this, but should have continued on a kind of trail path along the side of the Clyde… (see maps below). At about this point my wee camera light started flashing red and green so I couldnt take any more photos from then on.
Anyway, as I’d done a few detours today I decided I’d run to about 11.5 miles then turn back to make sure I did 20 miles.
At about 11.4 miles I came across a pretty little park next to a railway line with 6 benches which seemed to be in memory of people who had passed away. Each bench had 3 plaques on them with names and dates. It was quite touching and I noticed one had the names of 3 children it seemed from the same family. Sad.
It seemed like an ideal place to stop and eat my mashed potato and oats mix. A small tub, it was ok, but could be better with more honey or brown sugar to make it more appealing. I took a big drink to wash it down and after a few minutes I was on my way back.
I was on my way back only to find that the wind was in my face. But I still felt good and decided it was time to run easy, light, strong and fast. . I picked up the pace a little and did about the next 5 miles in just under 8 minute miles (7.5mph). I crossed the foot bridge at Cambuslang at half marathon point in about 1:48.
After about 16 miles getting back up towards London Rd it started to get a bit tough, so I decided to ease of a bit and run easy and light again. I remembered ‘if it’s getting tough, you’re working to hard’, so I eased off a bit. Easy.
With about 5 miles to go, back past the velodrome I took on another energy gel and looked forward to getting back along side the Clyde. Once on the route again, I was trying to keep running strong. I had about half an hour to go, and would be home soon.
I ran through Glasgow Green again and crossed the road at the lights between cars (without stopping). When I got further along the wind was really string and in my face, the last 2 miles were going to be hard work.
Just under the railway bridge and I met my old mate Elaine who was running in the opposite direction. I said hello and kept going. Back over the Squigley and along the front, under the Kingston Bridge and I found the gel I’d dropped. Lol. Not far to go now (less than a mile).
I finished in just under 3 hours and felt really good at the end. I stretched my calves a bit and fumbled into my bag for my keys, when my neighbour opened the front door for me.
I’d drunk most of the water on the run, and then post run I had a tropical lucozade, a shower, then another lucoazade. Then I had some chicken and rice for lunch.
I felt really good running long again. I LOVE running long!! And I managed a nice wee negative split too. Sweet.
First half: 8:17 minute miles (7.2mph),
Second half: 8:05 minute miles (7.4 mph). :-D
‘Easy, light, strong.’
Run: 21.5 miles, 2:56:49, Pace: 8:09 , 7.4 mph, Calories: 2,140
Ave HR: 157 (83%) Max HR: 167 (88%)