I had planned a 15 mile run today, which will be the longest run I've ever done, by a whisker (Garburn Trail was 14.8 or some such). I wore my new Wave Creations today, another pair of spangly white running shoes. The spangly white lasted all of 1.7 miles then I splashed through a big muddy puddle and covered them in crap, best to get them dirty quick!
My legs were noticeably fresher setting off this time, the first mile was too fast at 9:40 so I had to slow myself down. I decided to run the whole length of Cuerden Park and back today, the undulations and trails in there naturally slowed me down anyway. I had a bit of navigational snafu trying to get back into the park after it is split by the road (didn't want to do just an out an back) but I'd taken a map with me for this very reason and was soon heading in the right direction.
I got to the bottom of the park near Kem Mill then started heading back towards Lostock Hall again on the main cycle path. This half of the park is quite quiet really, I used to see deer boinging around in the adjacent fields quite regularly when I commuted though here of a morning. My right calf seemed very tight, I had to stretch it out quite a lot and it was beginning to worry me a little.
I crossed back over the road and into the other half of the park which as usual was a lot busier, car park crammed, dogs and kiddies everywhere. I spotted a footpath that seemed to head in the same direction as the main track so decided to have a bit of an explore. I did realise I was running alongside the wrong bank of the river and wondered how I was going to get across.
I came to the end of the footpath and there were some large stepping stones in the river. When I say in the river, one of them was completely submerged, the others were greasy. They looked like a dunking waiting to happen so I headed back the way I came (probably one for the summer I think). The path was quite grassy and muddy and all the slipping around settled my calf down for a while.
I dodged round various obstacles on the main track then climbed out of the park. I think I had done about 8 miles by then as I had another gel at the top, I was working on a gel every four miles as a strategy. I just had another 7 miles to go.
Out onto the tarmac again and my average speed started to pick up. I trundled along the same road as the last long run but I realised I wasn't going to need to go all the way to the bottom of the tramway. I did some more exploring of a couple of lanes around where we used to live. At the 13 miles mark my legs started to really hurt, which I was pleased about because they went at just over 10 miles last time.
The last couple of miles were a bit of a trudge, I dropped down to underneath the last section of the tramway and had to wait a little for a man and his dog to clear the gate so I could run the little rise back up onto the tramway track then home. My legs took some serious persuasion to get going again, it was only a small incline though it might as well have been Ben Nevis as far as my legs were concerned. I only had less than a mile to do so there was no way they were stopping now.
Back on flattish ground they trundled along ok.
15.02 miles at 9:29mm average, which is a little too fast actually, thought I was getting the hang of pacing.