Yesterday I had a feeling today might be another day where I got lost, and I wasn’t wrong. I say lost, I was only really lost for about a mile or so… and only had to ask for help / directions twice so it can’t have been that bad. 😉
I was up just after 6am. I put on…
- Two pairs of 3/4 length trousers
- 1 pair of knee length socks
- My gaitor whatever they’re called
- A black compression top
- Red thermal tshirt
- White Saucony long sleeved top.
- Buff on my neck
- White cap
- Mighty deerstalker buff over my ears.
And had porridge and my first coffee crunch smoothie of the day…. it consisted of:
- 2 small bananas chopped up
- 2 tablespoons of chopped almonds and cashew nuts
- 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
- 25g chocolate protein powder
- 5mg bcaas
- 3 (!!) crushed up Pro Plus
- 230mls cold coffee capucino drink
- 200mls milk
It made two portions, one smaller one (250mls) for before the run and one for afters. 🙂
I left the flat with all of my bits and pieces and as I was 10 steps away, I realised I forgot my GARMIN. So I went back in for it. I was in my car for 6:49.
It was cold, at 2.5’C… and dark and raining. Great fun.
I drove to Pollok Park and parked next to the Police Dogs place (6:59am). I was sitting there wondering why it wasn’t lighter as I was sure it was lighter through the week. And realised that I would be running through Pollok Park in the pitch dark. Oops. I thought I swore I’d never do that? Oh well. The sun would rise soon enough.
Entrance to Pollok Park.
I gathered my thoughts together and eventually managed to get myself out of the car and started to run at 7:10am. I had planned around 24 miles, or 4 hours of running to be more accurate. My last long run was around 3 hours, so I wanted to do 4 hours this time (irrespective of the distance).
This was the route I was planning…and nearly made it… 😉 All that matters to me is that I made my 4 hour target, and got home safely.
I went through the familiar (but dark) Pollok Park, and ran with 1 ear of music in so I could hear what was going on. At about 5 miles in I realised I could hear birds singing and noticed that dawn was finally breaking. I took a caffeine energy gel.
It was 8:03 as I passed the Canal Street railway station in Paisley. I took a left, as I had planned to up Neilston Road, but wasn’t sure I was on the right track so asked a passing runner to make sure ‘Is this the way to Gleniffer Braes?’. After a quick thought he replied ‘Yes’ and we went our separate ways. Good good.
I got to an hour / 7 miles of running and I became unaware of where I was again…. I stopped briefly to check my phone, and thankfully my Maps app was working (sometimes It doesn’t get connection). It confirmed where I was and that I was (again) on the right track. I was just to keep running, up the hill and take a right up to Gleniffer Braes. Simple. I had another gel and went on my way.
At about 8 miles in, I hit the Braes.
I took a right, then up a hill, then a left and I was at the Braes.
In the park I came across my first big hill… ouch… I ended up walking up some of it, but I was ok with that. I was trying to keep my heart rate around the 150-160 (80% – 85%) mark I kept it there most of the time – Average was 153 (81%), Max was 170 (90%) at the top of a hill.
It was a bit icy underfoot at points, but not too bad, but you could see it clearly which was good.
The really good thing about the ice on the Braes was that the areas which were really muddy, were frozen hard. So instead of getting muddy feet, I just ran over frozen solid mud. Suited me and my trainers! ( I wore my Saucony’s by the way – I thought I would keep my new Inov 8s for when I do more running on trails / the West Highland Way / less road running).
I got my first high up view of Paisley and kept on climbing. Once again, with the trails, I needed to concentrate way more than I would on the roads, but it was good and I felt strong.
Oh – and did I mention… I did 45 minutes of muscle ripping squats and leg work on Friday morning in the gym?? = Sore glutes!! Ouch. I figured it might be good for me to run long after tiring my legs out….and after 2-3 hours or so of running I didn’t even notice the pain in my butt!…. 😉
I got to Robertson Car Park and had good views once again. I knew I had to go up again, and crossed the road to keep on going. I didn’t seem to get to the same viewpoint as I did with Cris when I ran this route before, but I kept going and was glad when I realised I was finally going downhill…rather fast… 🙂
My highest point was 699ft…. which perhaps makes the 330ft peak of the Barrathon (above) seem a little easier?? We’ll see when I get there!
Here’s todays run’s elevation. 🙂 Quite a monster of a marathon if I do say so myself!
After the peak, the route kind of went downhill…. both literally and because I kind of lost my way. I think I was on track until about 12 miles in. I think I took a rather neat looking path (turned right I think out of some trees – click on 12 miles on the Player here), instead of going straight on.
Here’s the route I did with Cris in June 2011, up to Elderslie and Johnstone then along the cycle path. We ddi the run the other way around though. I decided this time I would run the Braes in the first part of my run and run back on the flat cycle track towards the end of my run today….so it meant doing the route the opposite way to how Cris and I did it.
Here’s the route I took today. After running on a nice newly laid soft path for a bit, I ended up at a T junction of an offroad track. A farm off road track with deep tractor tracks in it. I had to decide whether to go right (towards some buildings I could see in the distance…or left towards where a gate was (and I’ve realised where Auchenlodment Road – where I wanted to get to, was). I chose to go right.
After running for about 7 minutes / half a mile, on very uneven and icy ground, I ended up on (not that I knew it then….) Mackiesmill Road – a cross roads at a farm. I had to decide again whether to take a right, left or go straight on. I chose straight on towards an estate of some sort.
After 2 hours, I stopped to take a look at my Maps app again. I sheltered behind a van (it was raining by this point, not too heavily, but the added wind made it not nice to stop. I found where I was, then suddenly my phone seemed to turn itself off and show me the white apple on black sign. Oh well. I’d noticed that I was close to ‘Foxbar Road’ – not that that helped as I had no idea where that was. I was totally lost … in Foxbar / Paisley(?) of all places!
I put my phone in my bag and had another gel. Onwards. I turned left for no other reason than it seemed right and continued down Breidland and Lounsdale Road. Did I mention I had NO IDEA where I was? At least I was running kind of down hill. I noticed a guy out for a walk and decided he was my best option to get me back to the cycle route I was supposed to be headed for (N75 to Paisley).
I ran up behind him and said… ‘I’m going to ask you a really silly question, but where am I?’ He said. ‘Foxbar’. I said… ‘Ok, well can you tell me how I get to Elderslie or Paisley please?’. He said to contiinue down the road and turn left at the end. Simple. He wished me good luck (‘Good luck running all the way back to Pollok Park in this weather!’) and we parted ways.
I was about 15 miles or about 2:15 in and I suddenly felt good. The fear of being lost was fading away as I thought I would be able to get back on track. As I was running down the hill, I passed a bus stop … one of the street names on it was Lochaline Avenue… I got strangely emotional… as Lochaline is where my Granny lived (and is buried)….
A lot of the street names around there were after places… Achray, Katrine, Lochinver, Gareloch, Dee, Don, Spey, Helmsdale, Melrose, Selkirk, Beauly, Orchy, Jedburgh, Montrose, Hawick… I won’t go on… but Lochaline was definately my favorouite. I ended up with the two last miles (14 and 15 being my fastest… 7:51, 7:53_ 🙂 Thanks to the man, my Granny, and Lochaline Avenue for pushing me on. 😉
I kept running and eventually met the cycle route 75. Thank F for that I thought!! The first sign said 1.5 miles to Paisley, and the second said 6 miles to Pollok Park. It meant I would get to Pollok Park after around 21 miles. I decided I would round it up to 26.2 by running in and around Pollok Park, and I would try not to cross over my route too much.
I gathered a steady pace from then on in, fluctuating between 8:20 – 8:40 minute miles. I was comfortable with my heart rate where I wanted it to be. After about 18 miles in, as I was taking another caffeine gel I managed to go down the wrong path…. I quickly noticed and corrected my path… and continued onto Pollok Park.
I could feel that my clothes, cap and buffs were wet but I was managing to stay warm. I got to Pollok Park after 21 miles, and decided on my route to what I thought might get me to 26.2 / 4 hours.
In along the river, out towards the exit at Pollokshaws/Haggs Road, in the Park again at the entrance on Haggs Road, past the Burrell, down past the cows…. up that damn undulating hill…(of the women’s 10k route)….. 24.1 miles in….. out the park at the top, along Dumbreck Road and in the park at the next entrance. After I left the park on Dumbreck Road I was running strongly because I knew the end was soon. I only had about 1 mile to go… so ploughed on, my third fastest mile of the day: 8:08.
I ran in the park, past about 10 horses with riders…. and continued to where I’d parked my car. My Garmin clocked 26.2 dead on at the car park. 🙂 How’s that for timing? I’d finished in 3:49:41 (not including 13 minutes of stops) after leaving my car 4:02 before. 🙂
I was well pleased. I got to my car, and quickly began the recovery process. I took off my wet cap, buffs, and three tops and put on warm dry ones. Then I drank the other half of my Coffee Crunch milkshake. I turned the car on and got some heat.
After a bit I got out and stretched and had a muller rice to get some carbs in me. I felt surprisingly good. 🙂 After I got home I got ready and we went out for lunch at Bella Napoli in Shawlands.
I had chicken and leek soup to start, then a medium done sirloin steak with a poached egg on top (and brocolli on the side). It hit the spot and was very tasty.
It was pretty expensive, but I think I’d earned it!
Hopefully my legs are ok tomorrow and the next day now!
Map – from 26.2 miles Pollok Park to Gleniffer Braes back to Pollok Park.