Friday 24th April 2015

10km  48:19 (Ox Ultra 56k, session 8)

I have been very disciplined since my awful run on Monday! I held off the urge to run in the spectacularly sunny and warm weather we’ve been having these past few days and instead focused of resting, napping, using my foam roller and doing yoga everyday. However, the urge to run has not left me all week and late Wednesday evening I ordered an Ultimate Direction Fastdraw 20 handheld as I intend to run the Ox Ultra without a pack – I want to go light and fast!

So, the handheld arrived this afternoon and the weather has held out all week. I resisted the urge to get straight out and instead did a 20 minute yoga session, took a nap (in my running gear) and then did some foam rolling before heading out the door for what I was expecting to be a gently paced, out and back run on some crushed gravel trail. This did not quite happen – the local council have replaced a section of crushed gravel that I used to enjoy running on with flat pavement! Nooooo!! Well, I know I’m a trail runner for sure now because on one side of this immaculate pavement is some left over crushed gravel, dirt and grass so I ran on that instead. As I approached a road crossing that would have led me onto the next section (which, so far as I can tell, is still trail) I found a very busy road in both directions! My out and back plan was foiled at this point so I took a left onto the pavement and hit a hill that I held the Strava CR for until last Friday…well, I took that back with aplomb and beat my previous best by 13 seconds.

I was in a quandry at the top of that hill – carry on road running or turn left and enter the park I had just left? I decided to do that and again ran on the edge of the pavement on wonderful grass and dirt! I came to a crushed gravel path that led back down to the canal side I had been running along originally – it was fairly steep and had a couple of gentle switchbacks so I hit it hard. As I reached the canal path I noticed a set of steps so I decided to hit those (I later found that they are 8% grade) and then bomb back down the gravel, dirt and grass running alongside before continuing on to repeat the paved hill mentioned above! I did this circuit three times and then tacked on two ascents of the crushed gravel path, with two descents on the dirt next to the steps before finally taking on the steps one more time and bombing down the gravel path and heading for home.

I’m really pleased with how the workout went! Considering I was feeling pretty drained, tired, achy and demotivated on Monday and my original plan for an out and back had been thwarted I gave everything I had to the hills and steps of my local park loop and took back a CR that I had held for quite some time. It seems my overall training is paying off and it makes me smile to acknowledge that fact – 2015 is the year I decided to change it up and I had my reservations about doing so but those reservations are well behind me now and I’m looking forward with excitement to my races over the rest of the year.

That’s it from me for today dear reader. I hope Friday treats you all well!

Oh! One last thing – I carried my handheld for the entire run but honestly could not figure out how to work the Ultimate Direction kicker valve system so I finished feeling pretty dehydrated, thirsty and with a dry mouth! I’m such a dumbass because I should have checked before I left…so, in the hope of providing information that may save somebody else from this problem here’s the UD instructional video from YouTube that I should have watched before running!!


Peace & Blessings x


2 thoughts on “Friday 24th April 2015

    1. Al Flowers Post author

      Thanks! Even what felt like a crappy run on Monday ended unexpectedly well when I looked at the data. Looking forward to getting out there again tomorrow…going to try the out and back I meant to do today! Hope you’re recovery is going well Jesse and that your training going is going great Taylor.


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