Friday 27th December 2013

Workout Soundtrack: –

16.2km 1:19:37 (Country to City, session 3)

Well that was a fantastic, yet grueling run! A very difficult mixed trail (8km) and road (8.2km) run with plenty of ankle deep mud, big hills, strong winds and a bit of rain.

It is always fun to run off road by head torch though! The road runner in me is disappointed with the time but the trail runner in me overrides that with the elation of getting the job done!

This is the first time I’ve been able to get out since Christmas Eve Eve thanks to some pretty hectic shifts at work, and consequently, it’s the first time I’ve put my Salomon Skin Lab Advanced Hydro 12 to the test. Frankly, this is the best piece of running gear I have ever purchased and well worth every penny! It being the festive period I also thought I would have a laugh with my housemates and model the pack before and after this run – the resultant photo-shoot can be found by clicking here!

I left for the run at 1600hrs with the sun officially having set at 1557hrs. I ran the 800m to the trailhead and soon found that days and days of torrential rain had turned the downhill sections into rivers of mud and the flat had been washed out making for a very difficult, muddy and extremely fun 8km slog! I noticed I was slipping and sliding a bit on the uphills and going around corners so I am a little worried as to whether my faithful Asics Gel Fuji Attack are going to be up to the 45 mile Country to City on January 11th – I’m going to have to make up my mind pretty sharpish though because I don’t want to be breaking in a fresh pair of shoes on race day!

Anyway, as 1625hrs approached I found myself in a wooded area which meant I had to stop and get my head torch out of the pack – a smooth transition thanks to the wonders of Salomon engineering, I assure you! I was now able to pick up the pace a little under the guidance of artificial light and the emergence of some hard pack gravel sections – this lead me to the 7km trail mark and back out onto tarmac for 7km. I managed another off-road 1km around a very muddy field near to my finishing point and then back out again for the final 1.2km road run to home – overall I’m really, really pleased to see that I kept the pace, on average, to 4:55 per kilometre over 10 miles of difficult conditions! Something tells me that I won’t be doing that at Country to City on January 11th though and I’ll be aiming to finish those 45 miles with an average of around 5:15/5:30 per kilometre (but secretly I’ll just be happy to finish at all if conditions are similar to those in which I ran today).

Tomorrow I’ll be going for a shorter and faster all trail run followed by a session in the sauna and the pool. Until then dear reader, I bid thee goodnight!

Peace & Festive Blessings x

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