Yesterday was my longest run of the year to date.
Ahead of leaving the flat on Sunday morning I felt somewhat unsure how the run would turnout as I seemed to have a bit of a niggle on the bottom of my foot from my run on Friday evening. I had been out for a 30 min run and in the last 500 m I felt a sharp pain which then eased off again. I got home and treated it with a tennis ball – massage of the sole of the foot. Saturday was a rest day so I continued this treatment in the hope that I could get out for my run on Sunday. The pain dulled over the course of time until it seemed to vanish all together.
On Sunday morning I felt the ache when getting up first thing in the morning so massaged it again but decided I would at least start the run and see how things developed.
I left the flat just after 11am and took the most direct route to the Water of Leith at Saughton Park in Edinburgh. I could feel the ache under my foot when I started out for the first 1.5km along the tarmac pavement on Gorgie Road. When I got off road at the park the ache was instantly gone.
My run route took me through the Dells and under the Edinburgh Bypass up to Currie where I turned off the Water of Leith path onto a direct route up to the Pentland hills. This bit involved a couple of steep ascents before flattening out to head over to the Harlaw and Threpmuir reservoirs. Upon reaching Threpmuir reservoir car park I turned around and headed back via Balerno and the Water of Leith path back down into Edinburgh.
The conditions were very wet and due to all the rain in recent days and on the day it was very muddy too. When coming through the dells some large trees had come down causing for a more interesting course than planned. The part of the route up into the Pentlands looked extremely washed out in places.
Thankfully the wind that had been blowing in recent days had died down which meant that it wasn’t too cold even with the rain.
I was running to a 10/1 run/walk strategy meaning that I ran for 10 minutes and then power walked for 1 minute before resuming running again. In that walk break I would usually have a drink or a couple of energy chews. Both nutrition and the run walk strategy meant that my pace remained consistent all the way through the run and I finished strong too.
Even though the weather was very damp it was good to see a good number of runners, mountain bikers and walkers out on the trails enjoying the outdoors despite the weather.
The ache on the sole of my foot never resurfaced which I am either accrediting to the fact that 90 % of the run was off road and/or the massage I gave it with the tennis ball in the previous 36 hours really did it’s job. I guess the reason for it flaring up in the first place is that I have done quite a few runs on tarmac recently.
Overall this turned out to be a really nice run. When getting home I did have to take my shoes, socks and calf-guards off before even entering the flat as everything was extremely muddy. And I literally walked straight into the bath (a cold one for the muscles) to wash the rest of the dirt off.
I did 34 km in just over 3 hours and this included around 500m of ascent – a very pleasing result at the end of quite a big training week. It is also pleasing to note that the legs appear not to have taken away much tiredness from this. We will see what they think about tomorrow’s 20km tempo run though.