This morning I headed out early doors for a long run of around 18K as I continue to increase the mileage of my long run building up to my marathon in August.
As I was building up distance I really wanted to focus on a nice slow speed at marathon type pace and work on a nice steady rhythm.
My aim was to head over to the chase nature reserve to run on the trails around the lakes there.
Although the chase is a nature reserve I can't help but think it was made for runners with a name like that!? Anyway the name inspires me to run there and it is a beautiful landscape to explore as you will see.
It was an inspired decision, this morning was so warm and so sunny and the sun was so bright which made things so enjoyable. As I had gone out early it was quiet with not too many people about, anabsolutely glorious day for a run.
Running trails does pose its own set of problems though, its a very narrow track and the vegetation being fully grown on both sides makes it narrower at this time of year. My exposed arms and legs bore the brunt of alot of nettles, thistles and thorns.
At one point my route was blocked:
Luckily I was easily able to get round as there was a well beaten path around the tree where many other people had evidently found themselves a way through.
My favourite part of this route is illustrated by my photos below. A raised thin wooden platform path over some marsh land. Its a kind of magical section as you kind of feel your running on the edge of the path where one slip could see you fall off the edge of the world or into deep shark infested waters! Silly I know but it keeps the mind entertained!
The route goes through and past several lakes that are part of the chase reserve. The one in the photo above is my favourite as it seems to have flooded a wooded area and created a stagnant swamp type area that looks so interesting.
I suffered with abother obstruction later in the run caused this time by several families of geese crossing the path. They were pretty much the only company I had seen other than the odd fisherman so I was happy to stop and let them pass.
Later on the route goes away from the thin trails and opens up into wide expanses of open country parkland.
It doesn't look any better than on a day like today, not a cloud in the beautiful pale blue sky.
It was at about this point I checked my MapMyRun to monitor my progress. Iwas informed I had ran 14.28Km in 42 minutes! I don't think so! I couldn't do that if I was trying but definitely not when I was aiming for a slow steady pace!
I don't know about you but I find it very demoralising when the technology goes wrong and I often find it difficult to continue with runs when in this situation.
I think I am too reliant on wanting to know exactly how far I have ran and what my time is.
Anyway I think I covered around 17Km, MapMyRun is saying 24Km but I should be able to edit this down to a more accurate figure.
Post run I am feeling particuarly fatigued and I think the main cause of this is the heat as it was suggested today might be the hottest day of the year so far. This is stark conparison to my run last weekend where a strong wind added a real chill to the weather. Additionally I know I didn't eat that well yesterday and wastherefore subsequently not adequately fuelled for a long run.
However I have the proud tiring ache in my legs, the kind only achieved through a long run and this sense of achievement will keep me going.