Monday, 21 February 2011


...20 miles seemed so far away
Now I can't believe I ran all the way
From here to there, yesterday.

I don't have that pain in my right knee...
I thought it might be here to stay,
But now I know, it's fucked right off.

Okay, so it doesn't quite rhyme (I know, right? Away, way, yesterday indeed! Pfffffft) but you get the idea. Yesterday I went out and knocked out 20 miles the way a teenager might knock out a hand-shandy before school. Seriously. Everything that was wrong with the 18.5-miler, was right with this run.

Everything, in short, clicked. I changed my pre-run fuelling strategy – I drank 500ml of Lucozade Sport beforehand (I prefer Gatorade, but it's not that easy to get round these parts - and for US readers, the UK Gatorade is quite different to the US one), then went out. I had a friend stash another bottle outside her parents' house, which was 2/3 of the way round a 5.4-mile lap, which was also a huge help. And I had a Kendal Mint Cake in my arm wallet.

Oh, my arm wallet. I think I must have picked up a ladies' size by mistake. I mean sure, I've got big biceps, but I can only just get it over my forearm. I wear it right below my elbow, in fact, where the muscle comes back in toward the joint.

So, I ran three laps of Squirrel Lane (out from Ludlow, round it, then back via a different road), to total 16.2 miles-ish, then added four and a bit on the end to do something like 20.43 according to

First lap breezed by, though I consciously started out slower than last time. But it was fine; the slower pace didn't bother me, and it made me more conscious of form. By the second lap, I was thinking a drink might be nice, so I stopped outside the friend's parents' house, and had a third of the Lucozade Sport. Third lap, and I know by now I have it nailed even though I am far from finishing. Every step I took, I became more certain. I can do this. I even loosened up my arms with a little dance to Queen's Don't Stop Me Now when that came on the iPod. Well, quite a big dance. For quite a long time.

I had stopped briefly to stretch my quads at the friend's 'rents house on lap two, and this time I did my quads, hamstrings and ate the Kendal Mint Cake, too. And finished the Lucozade. Then went about my merry way.

As I came in to the last couple of miles, there were a couple of daunting hills. Not big ones, just hard ones. And luckily, almost in sequence, on came Eye of the Tiger, Gonna Fly Now, and Born To Run. Talk about timing. It's no coincidence that the last two miles of the run were by far the fastest. Oh, and when I finished, I finished with the thought 'I could have gone much further'.

Then, when I stopped, I pretty much seized up. But I could have run, of that I am sure… Today I have next to no aches and pains. My abs are a little sore, and the outside of my quads is a tiny bit achy, but apart from that - bring on London.

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