A hard hilly 13.1km – 1:24:11

Posted on May 07, 2012 under 10-15k, Long Runs, Season's Best | No Comment

A rather grey May Bank Holiday Monday and I was ready for some running, having taken the previous week quite easy and had 3 days off.

Planned to do 8 miles and see if I had anything left in the tank for more, as this would be the last substantial run before The Great Manchester Run in 2 weeks’ time!

Set off at a light pace and found it quite chilly. My bladder spasmed a little and I wondered if I would be able to run for an hour and a half if it was filling, but figured it would settle down once I got into the run, which it did.

First km was quite quick in 6:09 so felt I would need to watch my pace, but this wasn’t a problem as I reached the snaking barriered path into the Bredbury industrial estate. This was the first time I had attempted this route since an abortive attempt last summer when it was too hot, but even now the incline seemed to get me puffed out.

At this point my legs started to feel very heavy, I slowed the pace, but either it was the cold or something else but they felt numb and sluggish. I knew some big hills and a lot more running were to come, so produced my secret weapon, a cereal bar, which I paused to munch down. I set off slowly, and felt a little better, and then came the next set of big hills. I took them slow and steady, felt it hurt, but carried, on, and took it easy on the downward bits.

At one point I crested a hill and could see Beetham towering over central Manchester spread out before me, which was quite a view, and showed how high up I had got! And then there was another incline before a series of gentle slopes taking me back down, however I resisted the urge to go hell for leather.

I got my breath back and got into a nice steady pace, then decided instead of taking the normal straight route back home, I could go via Mill Lane, which is easily the steepest hill for miles, leading right down into the Tame Valley. This was probably an insane thing to do, but I felt mad enough to do it, so I eased off on the descent before I started climbing, and climbing, and climbing. That hill is hard enough to walk up, but I made it to the top, and my legs, having come alive during the second half of the run, went numb again and almost on autopilot as I got my breath back. At 11.3km I wondered about going for an extra mile, but that last hill had really done me in and 8 miles was fine I reckoned given the hills, I didn’t need to push another mile for the sake of it, as I was close to home and starting to feel my energy levels drop, by this time I was jogging very slowly, and as I stopped the Garmin at 13.1km I was glad to stop and go to the corner shop for some well earned snacks and a sports drink before heading in for a relaxing afternoon!

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