16km 1:23:29 (South Downs Way 50, session 14)
I’ve been feeling pretty tired – mentally and physically – all week which is why I opted not to train on Monday and again, yesterday I opted to stay put and focus on some TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course work. As regular readers will know, the past couple of weeks have been pretty tough going and it’s impacting on my sleep pattern quite a lot! I find myself going to sleep at 2130 or 2200hrs and then waking between 0330hrs and 0430hrs, from there it’s a struggle to get back to sleep and I usually get up for work at 0600hrs!
Anyway, I vowed to myself this morning that no matter what I would go for a run this evening. I didn’t view this run as training, I viewed as something to be looked forward to and something necessary – running is my therapy and I needed to have some time away from 21st century distractions to think some things through! So, off I went for my second real night trail run ever. I covered 9km in the dark on Sunday and I had in mind that I might do 10 or 12km this evening. 10k, 12k…16km – there’s not that much difference there!
Anyway, I got home and got changed into my running gear before I did anything else. I gulped down a bottle of water and then pretty much turned and bolted for the trails! It was still light out when I left but it was fading pretty quickly – by the time I got to the first wooded section of the run I felt the need to switch the headtorch on and from there it got pretty dark pretty fast! I have definitely taken to running trail at night. It’s challenging to keep up the pace and pick where to place your feet and my brain seems to relish having to focus hard on basically staying upright and staying on the most solid ground I can find. The trails around my area are pretty muddy at the moment and there’s a lot of clay so it can get quite sticky if you put your foot in the wrong place! As I head out from my local trail and into some woods a little farther away the ground changes from sticky clay to boggy peat in some sections and that stuff is very wet and very smelly. Still, I absolutely love running when there is nobody else around – it’s odd feeling like you’re the only person out on the an entire trail!
All in all it was a solid effort and I averaged 4:58 per klick over the 10 miles – 1 klick was on road on the way to the trail head and I covered the same klick to get back to my house…running right on by to add one more road klick to round the distance up to 16km/10 miles! Granted, these last two road kilometres probably got my average pace per kilometre down by around fifteen seconds but it was still a solid, mostly trail and mostly by headtorch effort. I have to say, I’m looking forward to having some time to head out onto the trail in the summer when it gets darker later – I can’t wait to stay out all night and run to the sunrise but that is some time away yet!
Anyway, that’s Wednesday done and another night trail run done! I hope Wednesday has treated you well dear reader and I hope Thursday is good to you too.
Peace & Blessings x