14 October 2012

So many roads


Not a great week of running, but the comeback continues. A couple of sessions between the office and Paddington (or vice versa) but nothing longer, until this morning, when Hugo and I managed 12.26 miles - out via the field to feed the ponies, then along the Ridgeway but keeping going for an extra couple of miles to the Wantage Monument. Actually, 2.6 miles or thereabouts. The weather was superb and of course the scenery is pretty good too. Lots of walkers and cyclists  on the Ridgeway, plus a couple of other runners and a family out with three ponies, one with rider, the others hitched to a vehicle - not a trap, I think, but something of the sort.
Hugo at the Wantage Monument

2 hours, 9 minutes and 30 seconds. That makes just slower than 10 minute mile pace, but for that distance I am content. It is not fast running terrain, although it is fairly flat once you're up on the Ridgeway: too much jumping over mudbaths and leaping over ruts. I almost went over, my feet slipping on a patch of mud, but that's part of the price you pay for running in such lovely surroundings.

I wore my Vivobarefoot shoes, which have immediately become my favourites - even for general wear, although I have a pair of more formal Vivobarefoot shoes for that. My Achilles tendons are a bit sore now, but nothing too serious, and at one point it felt as if my knee injury was returning, making me wonder whether it was this particular stretch of the Ridgeway that brought it on.

Down the tarmac to the school, a mile-long gentle downhill section, I started to feel footsore. With no cushioning under my feet, this isn't entirely surprising (must follow Dean's suggestions for strengthening my feet: I think the barefoot shoes are helping to do that) but it makes me wonder whether a Marathon on the roads is ever going to be possible (having proved I can do a half with only a thin sheet of Vibram under my feet). But apart from that, there's also the important question of whether next Sunday's Marathon is going to be possible - first, whether the time turns out to be free, and second, whether I can get round if I have the opportunity. I think that, with 10+ minute miles, I stand a reasonable chance of making it. I wonder, though, whether my future lies in going longer, and whether I should stop thinking of going faster ...

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