Friday afternoon, I had my last half shift of annual leave left to take from work, so I thought it’d be a good opportunity to get a long run out of the way before the weekend. It’d be my last long run before the marathon in 3 weeks time. After this I’ll be tapering down, 12 miles next weekend, then 8 the next, then the marathon!
It was nice and sunny all morning, and warming up as I started. The forecast was for rain at about 3pm, but the forecast had changed since then to just white cloud. I expected rain though so wrapped up a little, 3 layers on top, warm long sleeved, and two tshirts. Knee length shorts and a buff for my ears…oh and my sun glasses! 🙂
I decided I’d try to run for 11 miles up the Kelvin River and back. I wasn’t sure how far it would take me, or where I was going after a point… but I tried.
I left the flat at 1pm. I had my water pack, SIS caffeine gels (x5), jelly beans, little camera…and I managed to forget my Garmin. Just out the door, I went back to get it. Duh! The plan was to see if I could do 8 min miles for the first 8 miles, then increase to 7:45, then to 7:30 for the last 7 miles or so. I managed to lose one gel, so I had one at the start, one at 4 miles, 10 miles and 17 miles. And I felt fine throughout and after.
I started out too fast, which made me rethink my plan for the marathon. That’s what this run was all about. Getting a pacing strategy for the marathon. I’ll be less prescriptive of what pace I want to aim for on the day. I’m just going to run…aim for starting between 8 – 8:15 min miles to start, then try and run steady until about the last 7.1 miles where I aim to run a bit faster. That leaves it loose for me, and doesn’t put any pressure on, whilst reducing any pressure from the start of the race (slower pace).
I ran for 2 miles and realised I didn’t need a buff so took it off, then stopped at 4 miles to put it in my bag. At one point, with my long sleeved warm top on I was quite warm, but later (in the rain) I was glad I’d worn it. I dropped my little camera at that point. Oops. No harm one. A few dogs later and up to Maryhill Road…I was about 6 miles in and now was in unknown territory.
I followed the cycle path signs for Milngavie as that was the direction I was headed in. I was aiming to follow the route which takes you up to the start of the West Highland Way which I’d seen on an OS map. I got up to Maryhill Road and had to decide what to do next.
Off the cycle path I remembered that the path followed the Kelvin River so I crossed the road and continued to follow the Kelvin. Into a Golf Club…which I thought was a little odd… but thought the path might continue. Little did I know that I was on the wrong side of the Kelvin river by now. I should have realised when the ‘cycle route’ signs were no more that I was on the wrong route.
7 miles in and the path went through where the golf club stored their sand….then the path ended and I was on a practice green at the end of the Golf Club grounds. I couldn’t face going back…and continued to follow the river sort of. Then I came to the end of the practice green and had to choose whether to go back, or keep going over rough ground / fields. I saw housing in the distance (Bearsden) and figured I’d aim for them. I ran through a field, slowly watching where I put my feet. Injury at this point would NOT be good.
In the field north of me I saw a group of baby deer. They were startled by me and ran away. (Not surprised!). I decided the only way I could go was north through a (farmer’s) field, and ran up a hill of mud and finally saw what looked like a road. I ran down the hill, and back up towards the road. After I’d crossed a small river, and about 5 fences/walls, I managed to get to the road. Oops. Ha ha. Freedom eh?
I finally got on the road and back down towards Maryhill Road which
takes you up towards Milngavie. There was a cycle friendly route up this way, so I decided I’d try and follow it. When I got to Maryhill Road, just after the Asda I noticed a guy with big earphones on, who I’d passed on the cycle path. He’d walked
all that way after I’d over taken him and made up the time from not going through unknown fields etc. Lol.
I ran up the hill to Milngavie and past the well known marker for the start of the West Highland Way. Onto the train station and my garmin read 11.1 miles. I refueled there and turned around. I knew the route back now and felt comfortable. Although the weather was turning for the worst…the rain was spitting but not too bad. I felt a little silly in my Oakleys now. 😉
I ran back down the cycle path and towards the Clyde. I got to the Clyde at just before 4pm and I ran up to my gf’s work to meet her. I was a little early so forced a loop up Finneston, then met her and walked her home. Nice end to the run.
I had some lucozade jelly beans on the way home. Then when I got home I had an apple and a for goodness shakes milkshake.
Run: 21M, 3 hours, Pace: 8:30, 7.0mph, Calories: 2088.
Ave HR: 154 (81%), Max HR: 171 (90%)
Time until Lochaber Marathon: 3 weeks 2 days.