The Deer Runner

The Deer Runner

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Lunar Activity

Bleary eyed I switched off the alarm, three fifteen, a crazy time to get up for work considering I didn't start till nine. I needed to give myself plenty of time to run the marathon distance to work so left the house at four o'clock. Five hours did seem like overkill, but it was just as well I gave myself the extra time, I needed it later on.

After a couple of slices of toast for breakfast, two bananas and a chocolate milk shake were fuel for the commute to Dyce. Perfect weather, a clear cool night. I walked the first half mile to warm up stiff muscles and joints then broke into the run. I decided on eleven minute miles, an easy pace giving an ETA of 0845.

I travelled on the back roads to Ellon, I didn't expect to encounter traffic at this time of morning and had to get off the road as delivery vehicles passed by. A jogger on the road would be the last thing these drivers would expect at this time of morning. I passed through Knaven as quiet as possible, aware noise might alert dogs which would waken sleeping households. I then ran on quiet country roads where it was just me and the moon, bright enough for me to switch off the head torch. I put an episode of Marathon Talk on and settled into the run, a bit quicker than my eleven minute mile target.

The roads travel through some farms on the way south and was on the approach to one such farm I heard barking dogs through my ear phones. They picked up the noise of my footsteps in the still of the night and let everyone within earshot know there was an intruder on the go. I ran through the farm, wary of the dogs and hoping they were not loose, free to chase me down. I quickened my pace as the dogs howled, quite fittingly under the full moon.

After ten miles I joined the disused railway track which leads all the way to Dyce. The surface wasn't that great, I switched on the head torch which was too dull, it needed new batteries. For the next couple of miles I tripped and stumbled along the track, it looked like tractors had been using and tearing up the path.

Ellon and the bridge over the river Ythan, thirteen miles, two hours fifteen minutes, time for sustenance. Two bites of banana and the chocolate milkshake, still working on the nutrition! It was getting light as I left Ellon with the sound of chirping Blackbirds in the background.

It's a slight incline towards Udny Station and it felt good running in daylight. This didn't last, as my watch bleeped seventeen miles a dreaded cramp feeling began in my stomach. Slight at first but it worsened until mile twenty where I had to stop running and start walking. This was a blow and with six miles to go I had to keep to a speed walk, that's the peril of ultra running.

Once I reached Dyce a couple of colleagues were walking to work. There's no way I was going to speed walk past them and got back into a run for the last quarter of a mile, arriving four hours fifty minutes after leaving New Deer.

With my long run completed on Friday, thirteen miles was on the cards for Saturday. Coach wanted to do five miles on the Garioch 10k route so I cut my Saturday run to eight miles so I could accompany Lynne on Sunday. With three weeks to go until the race, Lynne ran the whole route in one hour sixteen minutes, a great time for a 10k novice.

Tues 04 miles Wed 10 miles Thurs 04 miles Fri 26 miles Sat 08 miles Sun 06 miles  Weekly total 58 miles.

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