THE secret to a successful Sunday long run is to get up and go.
That’s exactly what I did this morning. Before my body had chance to work out what was happening, I’d bounced out of bed and hit the road – well road and trail actually.
The weather was cool but nice enough for shorts, vest and sunglasses. There were no flies buzzing about and no people strolling with their Sunday ice creams. It was a perfect time of day for long distance running.
I absolutely loved it. I did a lap of Notton, took the trail to Newmillerdam, circled back up Barnsley Road hill, back onto the trail and home for a final loop of Notton. I speeded up when I felt like it and slowed down when I needed to (like up the Barnsley Road hill). The sun came out for the last few miles, which was lovely. It was going to be a good day.
I ran 13.1 miles in one hour and 44 minutes, and because I was still half asleep when I set off, it didn’t actually feel like I’d run at all. It was relaxing, which sounds completely ridiculous because you wouldn’t normally think of running as being relaxing. Maybe it was the rhythm of steady running, because I definitely felt relaxed. Although, after mile ten I was slightly less relaxed, but I still felt happy and was enjoying every step.
The secret is obviously to get out early and don’t faff about. This is going to be how I approach my marathon training. If I get out of bed and attack, I’m sure my marathon miles will fly by.
When I got home from running my neighbour was in his garden, cutting his hedge. ‘Morning, Elizabeth,’ he shouted over the noise from the hedge trimmer.
‘Have you been running?’
I smiled and nodded. Nothing can get past Dennis.
I wanted to tell Dennis just how good my run had been. I wanted to tell him about my one 44 half marathon, but he was holding a very loud and dangerous-looking hedge trimmer, one wrong move and he may have taken my head off.
I nodded and went inside to tell Chris all about it. Chris wasn’t in. He was out running. He’d set off later than me and was doing more miles at a faster pace. By the time he got back home, I was tucking into strawberries and yoghurt waiting for the tennis and athletics to start on TV. ‘Good Run?’ I asked.
Chris looked a bit hot and bothered, dripping sweat everywhere. ‘I hate running!’ He bent down to take his shoes off.
‘Why?’ I asked. ‘What’s wrong?’
‘It’s just so hard.’ Chris did look rather fatigued, but he had run 14 miles at 6.49 pace.
‘I feel fine.’ I told him. ‘I’ve done a half marathon in one hour 44 and actually enjoyed it.’
‘Well done.’ Chris sat down. ‘It was hot out there. I think I need a hat. What do you think?’
‘I think you need to get up and go early…like me.’ I smiled. For the first time ever after a long run, I couldn’t help but feel slightly smug. Now I’ve discovered the secret to long distance running, I can’t wait for next week’s Sunday run.