A Superb 18 Mile Long Slow Run Through Hertfordshire And Back Into Tottenham.
Today I travelled by train up to Ware in Hertfordshire. My plan was to run back and hopefully complete a long run of over 18 miles for the first time in nearly a month.
I’m delighted to say that I managed it and this week is shaping up to be one of the best for running in a while. In total it took 2:55 to run 18.17 miles through the Lea Valley Navigation towpath at a 9:39 minute/mile pace.
It’s the first time I’ve ever ran a negative split on an 18 mile run. In truth at the end I probably could and should have kept going but I was starting to become a little bored by the run.
Sometimes running does get boring.
The scenery around Ware and Broxbourne is fucking amazing. The only bad bit of the route I found was the road crossings near Nazeing. You’re kinda forced into stopping and that’s not something I like to do at all.
It really feels like cheating even when I jog on the spot.
I had another dog encounter that kinda soured the run a little bit. I hit a hilly rural stretch around 3 miles from Waltham Abbey and saw a man “walking” two of his dogs. When I say he was walking like they were off the lead and were free to wander all about the bike lane.
One of the dogs ran over to me and I immediately sensed danger. It jumped up and put it’s paws on my stomach and I fucking freaked out. I think the dog was just trying to be friendly but whenever that happens to you, you can never be sure of the dog’s intent.
To make it known that I was extremely pissed off with this gentleman I shouted “For fuck’s sake!” as loud as I could and glared at his head (which at the time I fucking hated).
He didn’t do or say anything. He looked quite resigned in fact. I almost felt sorry for him and ashamed of myself for being such a rude bastard.
It’s pretty fucking dangerous to let dogs just roam on a cycle path that’s meant to be shared by walkers, cyclists and runners.
I know that the owner of the dog probably thinks that him and the dog are bros and that the animal is fucking harmless and wouldn’t touch a fly but the truth is that given the right conditions dogs tend to resort to their base nature of being rapey death machines when intimidated.
And dogs seem to get angry whenever I’m about for some reason. Perhaps they can sense evil.
I kinda got lost around Waltham Abbey and asked a resting cyclist if he knew the directions. Whilst asking the question I refused to stop running so I was jogging very slowly past him whilst talking. He just looked at me without saying a fucking word and I slinked off, embarrassed. I think I jogged around in a circle for about 5 minutes until I managed to locate the exit.
But the run was fucking brilliant after that.
The plan with my long runs now is to try to increase the speed of each of these 18 to 20 milers by 5 seconds per mile every week up until the Munich Marathon on October 12th.
Next week’s run will hopefully be a 20 miler at 9:35 minute/mile pace from Hertford East this time. I’m really looking forward it! My plan at the moment is to do 3 shorter tempo runs a week at a pace of 8:59 or better. As my fitness improves I’m pretty certain I can continue to run faster at the weekend without hurting my body too much.
Here’s the Garmin Connect entry for today’s run!