13 times Round the Block – Have I gone mad?!

Last week I didn’t really feel like running much, but this week has been a pretty good one.  On Sunday I did a 16 mile run which turned out to be the fastest I’ve ever run 16 miles (8:34/mile average – not earth shattering, but about 2 minutes a mile faster than I was a few months back).  And today, I had a moment of insanity…

The area I was running around.

You see, as I mentioned in my last post I’ve entered The Stickler and it’s worrying me a bit – 1500ft of hills over 10 miles, and I live in a place that’s relatively flat so I don’t get much exposure to hills.  So I decided to combine a local lump (I can’t really call it a hill) with a repetitive loop to try and get a bit used to what it’ll be like to run in Endure 24.

The loop I picked was 0.8 miles long and went past my front door.  I stuck a water bottle and couple of gels behind the front wall of the house and set off on the down section.  0.8 miles isn’t very long, and soon I was back round to the house.  And on I went… 13 times!  Here’s the somewhat uninteresting elevation profile:

Elevation Profile

I’d use Garmin Connect to try and work out how many times I had to run round for 1000ft of ascent, and I guessed at 13.  It actually turned out as only about 850ft of ascent, so the run I did (which totalled a little over 10 miles) had slightly over half the ascent I’ll be running on Sunday in The Stickler.

It was  agood run.  I thought it would be a mental exercise in running around such a short loop, but it turns out I really like the familiarity of it.  Even on the last pass round I was still enjoying the different sections.  Around lap 8 I had a bit of a hard time, but lap 11 (when I swapped from audiobook to music, and night properly kicked in) was really nice.  My final pace was 8:36/mile which I’m very happy with, and brings me to over 26 miles run so far this week.

So, was it useful? I think so – I feel slightly less worried about Sunday now.  And it’s given me the idea of doing a longer version – maybe 20 miles, or a marathon (33 laps), or even 30 miles (38 laps).  It also made me realise that I do enjoy these slightly mad runs, and if for any reason I’m ill for Endure 24 next year I’ll just make sure I’m recovered then do a 24 hour run locally (and try and get support from a few locals to do bits of it with me).

Onwards now to The Stickler… I’ll let you know how I get on.


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