I really should think it through a bit more before I start wittering on about 'wanting to be pushed' and training with faster partners to get 'dragged along' and experience greater training benefits. I certainly did experience the 'training benefits' today. I was a bit daunted by today's long run prospects. Not only did I know the pace was gonna be challenging over this 20 miler, I also knew it would be very hilly. Stewart M had forewarned me that this was a bit of a toughie but it would 'make me strong' for my marathon adventures. Most people would have heard the alarm bells ringing and the sensible sirens sounding loud and clear. He's such a nice bloke that I was somehow reassured that it would all be okay.
I pulled up bang on the button at 10am eager and a bit nervous for the start for this long pack run. After a bit of a bender last night celebrating XC success one or two were a bit ropey and so bowed out of the full 20M. We were joined too by Nigel B from Keighley who is a very useful runner [he got me round the brass monkey HM last year in 76mins] but he was also turning back at 10M. It then sunk in that I would be alone again chasing Stewart at eyeball popping pace but this time on the horriblest, hardest and never-ending hills out of Bingley to Oxenhope, on to Haworth and back.
It was hilly alright. It was silly hilly. All of this whilst trying to respond to the pleasant chat and marathon talk. You can imagine I'm sure. My legs were pretty much blown half way round and the knowledge of another hilly 10 to follow was a mental challenge that would make a Mensa member's eyes water. Anyway, my determination and eagerness to be fit and strong for my first marathon somehow got me round. I was even feeling reasonably human up to mile 19 but then the last one, with the last sting of a climb just finished me off. To top it all I have no Garmin record to show off how good I did. Mental calculations approximate around 6.55 miling average today. Not so bad going given the climbs that were conquered and the massive training week I've had. So, another biggie in the bag, another week running strong, another run with the fast boys survived. Thankfully a recovery week next week. P.s. Well done to blogger boys at the Dewsbury 10k today, great runs were had in what was a very classy field, (congrats MH), results here.