Long run company and an epic refuel

Living on the South coast of England at the moment is quite interesting with storm Imogen howling about the place. Last night it was crazy; ridiculously strong winds, lashings of rain, thunder and lightning. All very exciting, but not much fun for Alfie, my dog, who freaked out. Then he decided (by the way this was 1am) that the safest place for him to sleep would be on my chest. This slightly restricted my breathing I must say…

Luckily the weather seemed only to be terrible in the evenings over the weekend. Saturday morning was actually OK at parkrun, albeit very windy. Our new signs had arrived! So much lighter than the previous ones. IMG_8174This was great in theory (less effort carrying them along the course to the right spots) but it meant in the wind they were in danger of blowing away. They had to be stuck very firmly into the ground.IMG_8176

The ‘Keep Right’ signs are huge! And we have so many now. Because our course is three laps there are quite a few spots where people are overtaking or coming back in a different direction and some of the course is fairly narrow so it really requires people to be sensible and, well, keep right. We don’t have a huge number of people at our parkrun (150-250) but if it’s busy then it will become quite dangerous and collisions could happen. Happily though the signs seemed to work (previously we had two very small ‘Keep Right’s).

It was clear fast times weren’t going to be easy due to the wind. Part of the course runs alongside the seafront and the wind just blows straight across you making it very tough running in a straight line. Though it did push us up one of the hills which is always much appreciated! I took it steady (I think that’s always what I do now, I want it to be a good effort but not full-blown sprint). On the third lap I caught up with the usually very speedy Chris, who I used to be faster than but since my injury and him getting better and better he’s probably a 30-50 seconds faster than me overall, and Mark (very speedy). They’d decided to take it easy, rather than me suddenly become super speedy Winking smile Mark helped pace me to a fast finish which was tough but helpful.

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My time was 23:04 which I’m pleased with considering the wind and the effort I put in.IMG_8213

After clearing down I had to dash off to get ready for a lunch out with my mum and Di (Ben’s mum who I still keep in touch with).

We headed to Hayling Island where we had a nice walk along a coastal path (incidentally along part of the Portsmouth Coastal marathon route) and then headed inside, out of the wind, to have some lunch at The Ship Inn.IMG_8218

Between the three of us we shared a mezze board, which had a lovely selection of dips (hummus, tzatziki, taramasalata and an olive dip), feta, roasted tomatoes and pita bread. Very tasty. For mains we all had the fish stew, which was lovely big chunks of salmon, haddock and prawns in a tomato broth with sourdough bread on the side. We were all rather saintly and forwent pudding. It was a nice light lunch I must say, which is a change from my usual as of late!

During the week I’d received a message from a woman I used to know a few years ago, Shantha. She’s an awesome runner and had been chosen for the 26.2 Project for Women’s Running magazine in 2014. Through their very cool sounding scheme she trained and ran the London marathon in an incredible time of 3:19:20 (though her PB is around 3:14!). Anyway, she messaged me and asked if I fancied doing a long run with her as our paces seemed to be similar (she reads my blog: hi Shantha!). Normally I do most of my long runs on my own unless I’m combining it with a race so I was a bit nervous at first. What if I’m really slow? What if we have nothing to talk about?

I really needn’t have worried though. We met at Royal Victoria Country Park Sunday morning and straight away were nonstop talking. She’s training for the Race to the King ultra marathon in June (52 miles!!) and had previously run a longish run the day before and needed to run about 14 miles. I needed to run 17 miles so we agreed I’d add on the miles at the end. She’d planned a lovely route around Netley, Hamble and Burseldon. We were off-road at times in the mud and splashing through puddles and there was a tough stretch at the beginning on shingle and some testing hills throughout but otherwise it was a lovely relaxed run. The pace felt good though I did worry I was going too slow for her. I wasn’t sure I could have gone faster – not when the terrain was more varied than I’m used to on a long run. We even caught a little chugboat ferry to cross a small stretch of water (£1.50 and took less than 5 minutes – brilliant!).IMG_8219

Ferry boat selfie

It was such a nice change to chat away on a run instead of just zoning out. Don’t get me wrong, I still love a solo long run – mentally it’s just so refreshing. But it was nice to chat to someone so likeminded and at a nice pace. It was also really interesting hearing about her training for the ultra. The miles ticked by and soon we were back at RVCP and saying goodbye. Thank you Shantha for such an enjoyable run! Hopefully we’ll do it again soon.

In the end I had about 4.5 miles to find to get to 17 and I popped on my podcast to get me through. My legs were feeling fatigued and now I was on my own it felt quite tough mentally. I decided to just run a loop and do some of the Netley parkrun but it did feel like treading water in terms of not being very mentally satisfying. Running loops to get miles in never is. But I got it done and felt fantastic at the end. 17 miles done!

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Average pace overall of 8.30min/miles which I’m really chuffed with considering the terrain. Some good miles in the bag!

I got back in my car afterwards and felt on top of the world. Honestly if I could bottle that post-long run feeling it would sell for millions. I got home, ate my breakfast (I didn’t eat before I ran – though I had made sure I had a big meal the night before. I think this was pushing my capabilities of running fasted though. I’ll talk more about this on another post), showered, walked Alfie and then treated myself to a Starbucks. Starbucks is dangerously close: five minutes by car. I took it home, sat on my sofa, got Runner’s World out and fully relaxed.

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I was so chilled it was lovely. I did some odd jobs and just kind of floated around in a post-long run fatigue and satisfaction.

I met up with my parents for an early dinner at….Coast to Coast (I know, we’re obsessed). We were celebrating my dad’s birthday early (which is Valentine’s Day) and we all love that restaurant so it made sense! I was absolutely famished. I’d had breakfast (well, porridge for lunch considering the timing) and though I’d had some good snacks during the day I was FULLY ready for a big meal.IMG_8250

I went for chicken wings to start (delicious), then the St Louis ribs for main (with the BBQ sauce this time – which made them far more tender) and chocolate brownie for pudding. I felt quite stuffed but absolutely satisfied. Yum.

Then I headed home and had an early night. I was pooped!

Have you been affected by any of the storms recently?

 Do you workout or run fasted?

Do you prefer to run long runs alone or with others?

19 thoughts on “Long run company and an epic refuel

  1. Your run sounds amazing! With the wind and terrain your paces were great!!
    I am kind of a long run weirdo…up to about 10 miles I can handle having people with me, after that I prefer to be alone. When my legs get fatigued I feel like I run better when I can focus. I listen to my breathing, pay attention to my form, and try to make sure that I am not physically falling apart as I run.
    That meal looks amazing!! I think I need to find me a brownie!!!
    Staci recently posted…Weekend Wrap-up!My Profile

  2. Poor Alfie 🙁 My pups don’t like storms either. Actually, my little pup Opie freaks out over most things. The fire alarm started beeping the other day to tell us to change the battery and she immediately started shaking uncontrollably and hid under my legs. What a wimp 😉
    And I’m a Love Day baby too! Happy early bday to your dad!
    Kat recently posted…White Chocolate Raspberry CupsMy Profile

  3. What a lovely run! It’s nice to have company too- this Sunday I did a long run with another club mate- we did 12 miles and chatted the whole way, which passed the time nicely. Plus we went along an old railway line which I would not do alone, so it was good to do a different route. I much prefer running before breakfast- I think last year I got up to 15 miles before I started feeling like I needed to eat something before, so this year it’s good as I don’t have to run that far.
    You are doing so well with parkrun too- such consistent times, even in windy weather- and this wind has been extreme!
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…So that was January!My Profile

  4. I absolutely love a mezze platter, though don’t get the chance to have one all that often. I think my last one might have been in Cyprus.

    It sounds like you had great run! And good job on the parkrun signs all staying up! We have had really bad winds and rain here. I left to pick my car up from the garage on Saturday morning, and by the time I came back up, all the fields on the way home were flooding.
    Steph recently posted…Ultimate Coffee Date | February 2016My Profile

  5. Thanks for the fab run – having run solo for such a long time, interspersed with runs with either my husband or little brother it was a real treat. Plus you gave me a healthy dose of inspiration for getting back out their in our amazing running community! Looking forward to one next month – fingers crossed!

  6. The weather has been crazy lately! Well done for your long run – 17 miles is awesome! I have done very few runs with someone else – I get really nervous that I’m not going to be fast enough to run with a friend but the few times I’ve done it its always been great, think it’s just a mental hurdle to get over because I wouldn’t mind doing a run with someone a bit slower than me! x
    LilyLipstick recently posted…London Dining – February Round-UpMy Profile

    • It’s really tough to judge I think but as long as you’re both clear on a pace range before you start it’s usually OK. But I do find it daunting and a bit pressured because you don’t want to let the other person down, so you are constantly checking the pace and wondering. But the conversation is always much appreciated 😀
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…The most sensible route to takeMy Profile

  7. That wind at last week’s parkrun was crazy wasn’t it!! Glad you had a lovely long run too, though I have no idea how you can do that on an empty stomach! If I’m going to run in the morning I like to have breakfast and then wait an hour before going, whatever distance. Now that I’m doing more evening runs with SGR I’m finding it really hard to plan my dinner cause I don’t like to eat a big meal before a run, but I get back at about 8/8:30 so then it’s getting a bit late to be cooking!

    When I’m in the flat I hope to either run or cycle into work most days so I might have to start getting used to fasted exercise in the morning and eat some breakfast when I get to work!

    Ps the moment I saw those coast to coast ribs I couldn’t help laughing, you’re truly obsessed!!!! xxx
    April recently posted…Ryde 10 Mile Race!My Profile

    • When I find a restaurant or a meal I love I literally have it all the time. Some places and food I’ll get bored of (during university I had the same ham and onion salad sandwich every single day for lunch for three years – not even joking, my flatmates thought I was hilarious – and then one day I just stopped). It’s like Jamie’s Italian – I love that restaurant and have the same meal there every single time (I think I’ve been there about 8 times now!)
      I am fine running on empty. I find that it really helps when it comes to races as then I’ll have breakfast and suddenly my body is like “wow food, let’s do this!” and it really boosts me.
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…The most sensible route to takeMy Profile

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