Friday, 6 January 2017

Half Marathon Distance? Tick. And Beautiful, Ancient Bosham.

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We decided to do a long run through the frost first thing yesterday. A run that starts and finishes at home, covers about 10 miles and goes through woods and fields, along lanes, beside lakes, up hills and down valleys.

The first seven miles were painful. It was horribly hard work. I was slow; my legs wouldn't work properly and everything felt heavy and effortful. The hills were not steep but I could barely run up them. It was off road, but I'm used to off road. Half way round having crawled to the top of a hill and endured an old lady walking her dog scoffing about the lack of running I was doing (!), I considered cutting it short and heading for home, but I'm stubborn/ determined so I pushed on and things started to improve. My km times came down to 5.15/ 5.40 per minute instead of the 6 or 7 or more they had been at, my breathing  began to feel smooth, the leg heaviness abated and my running rhythm improved. My head switched on and all the negative you might as well stop thoughts disappeared.

This is what I'm learning from running longer distances: things develop as you go across ten miles in a way they don't over three or even six. The way you start a long run doesn't define the way you will finish it. Running teaches you so much about yourself; your capacity to endure and just what you are capable of.

We came out of the woods half a mile from home at about 9.5 miles, but I was feeling so strong I decided to push on and see if I could do 13.1 miles (which constitutes a half marathon). We added at extra loop which we reckoned was about 5k (3 miles) and jogged on along the lane. The dogs had come with us and bless their paws they did fantastically, especially Teddy who is now seven and a half and really doesn't much like running on roads. He did 12 miles in the end and I am so proud of him. We dropped him off at home on the last leg while I ran on up the hill to get the extra distance. I was like an automaton by then, unable to think about anything except putting one foot in front of the other and not stopping. It was trance-like. In the end I ran 13.8 miles in 2.15 hours, and was able to put in a sprint finish (it's amazing what knowing you're on the home stretch does to the mind).
 
I was completely out of energy at the end but managed to stretch and do some yoga in the garden. M ran me a hot bath - it's the best bath I've ever had. It felt so luxurious! I steamed in it for half an hour. I wasn't sure I'd be able to get out of it or that my legs would work, but they did and they weren't too sore.

Running burns about 100 kcals per mile, so I reckon I got through 1400. Ordinarily, a short while after running you expect to feel very hungry and need to refuel. I was really thirsty all day after getting back and drank pints of water but had no appetite at all for several hours. I forced down some fruit and cheese but I was starting to get a little worried at the lack of hunger. I have experienced it before. M puts it down to the body registering a certain degree of shock at the level of work it's done and tells me it'll right itself once I get more used to running those kind of distances. He had it himself after running an ultra endurance event of 60 miles (!).  Even so, I was glad to get tummy rumbles by about 6pm which coincided with my energy levels finally giving out.

M made the most delicious sausage pie (a la Nigel Slater) and I'd made some Bath buns earlier, so I stuffed those down with a medicinal pint of beer (good source of vitamins and minerals, eh?) and was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow soon after ten.

Today, I've been up and about and felt OK. I did a great impression of a little old lady hobbling along when I got out of the car earlier, and I have been very hungry today, but otherwise all is good. The half marathon in September presents no real fears now, because I know I can do the distance in a reasonable time. I'd like to do it in better shape and get in under 2 hours, but more training should sort that.

What I'm not yet sure about and won't be until I work at it more, is what distance will ultimately suit me. I have no urge at present to do a full marathon. I'm finding three miles easy and six miles is OK. Ten is a good challenge and 13 really tested me. I think I prefer endurance running to speed. There is a poetry to running steadily over ten miles which suits me and at the end I feel I've had a really good work out. We have friends who run marathons and love them, others who prefer 10k races. It'll be interesting to see how I feel at the end of this year having done a mix of speed and distance. I'd like to find what I'm good at and hone it.

I'll leave you with pictures of Beautiful Bosham (pronounced Bozzam), an ancient place on the sea which has more History than you can shake a stick at, and where we have spent the day breathing the sea air and buying a few bits of lovely Bosham-made pottery (I have a weakness for pottery jugs) :o).

Hope all are well?

CT.



Bosham Harbour

Bosham church with the Raptackle on the right
(an old barn elevated on pillars to be above the high tide mark, once used for housing boat rope)
Ancient Mass scratch dial in the church

Wooden chest dating from 1300 in the church

King Canute's (995-1035) daughter drowned near Bosham and is buried in the church beneath this stone 

Late 12th Century font with metal catches from the 13th C to close the water off and prevent it being used for witch craft.


Bosham church as depicted in the Bayeux tapestry
Crusader crosses at Bosham church (Crusaders would blunt their swords at the first church they came across upon returning from the Crusades. Bosham was a main port at that time, hence the crosses etched in the door stones).

35 comments:

  1. More inspiration CT. it's lovely to read your posts and see how you have matured in your running over the last few months. You make it sound so easy. Which it is not. You clearly are a very determined person who will do very well when that half marathon arrives. 'Bozzam' looks gorgeous. Another area I need to visit. Have a great weekend. B x

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    1. Thanks Barbara, very kind words. I'm not sure I make it sound easy! Possibly it helps to be stubborn :o) xx

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  2. Oh I love a nice pottery jug as well. Terribly impressed with your running. I can imagine how amazing you felt afterwards. Also terribly impressed with Ted's running. That must be about fifty miles in short-legged Westie miles I think. It's really interesting that things improve the further you go. Well done you! Sausage pie and Bath bun very well deserved. CJ xx

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    1. One of the benefits of running- you never worry about what you're eating! Ted did amazingly well xx

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  3. After a strenuous run cold water on the legs is better than warm or hot. This brings the blood to good effect.

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    1. I'm afraid I'm not a cold water convert. Hot has always been my recovery temperature of choice after exercise.

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  4. Well done, well done. Glad you've had a peaceful trip to relax and refuel in such a pretty place. x

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  5. I'd like to draw your attention to this paragraph of yours CT.

    "The first seven miles were painful. It was horribly hard work. I was slow; my legs wouldn't work properly and everything felt heavy and effortful. The hills were not steep but I could barely run up them. It was off road, but I'm used to off road. Half way round having crawled to the top of a hill and endured an old lady walking her dog scoffing about the lack of running I was doing (!), I considered cutting it short and heading for home, but I'm stubborn/ determined so I pushed on and things started to improve. My km times came down to 5.15/ 5.40 per minute instead of the 6 or 7 or more they had been at, my breathing began to feel smooth, the leg heaviness abated and my running rhythm improved. My head switched on and all the negative you might as well stop thoughts disappeared."


    It's like I wrote this myself about me!!!! Except here is my version....


    The first seven metres were painful. It was horribly hard work. I was slow; my legs wouldn't work properly and everything felt heavy and effortful. The hills were not steep but I could barely drag my fat arse up them. It was off road, but I'm used to off road. I'm used to being off Road, in my warm house on my warm comfy sofa. Half way round having crawled to the top of a hill and endured an old lady walking her dog scoffing about the lack of running I was doing (!), I considered Punching her in the face, but I was too knackered. My cm times came down to 5.15/ 5.40 per minute instead of the 6 or 7 or more they had been at, my breathing began To stop, the leg heaviness was at its worst and my running rhythm ceased to exist. My head switched on and all the negative you might as well stop thoughts disappeared. All my thoughts disappeared. I was dead from running !

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    1. I much prefer your version, Rach :o) xx

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  6. Am impressed with the running - Bislama is a great place. Hastings Battleaxe did a post about it a couple of years ago: http://hastings-battleaxe.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/bosham-to-bognor-battleaxe-appreciates.html#gpluscomments

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    1. It is fab. I like the spell check version!

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  7. Your run made me tired just reading about it. (I almost had to go and lie down!) but the photos of Bosham are absolutely fascinating and make me want to visit.

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  8. I agree with Barbara - you do make it all so sound so easy! I'm stuck at home at the moment with a stinker of a cold - I can't bear the thought of leaving the house, so the running is on the back burner for now. Give Ted a well done pat for me - will he be doing the half marathon too?! xx

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    1. Oh no, poor you! What rotten luck, colds can be so debilitating. Ted says no thank you, running rounds the fields is one thing, a half marathon quite another! Pop on the other paw... :o) Get well soon x

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  9. One of the great things about getting out and pottering around in blogland is that you find that someone who has been on a blogging break is back! I haven't been here for ages but have just spent a happy half hour reading back through some of your posts. Welcome back, and I'm impressed with the running!

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    1. Aww, thanks Elizabeth. Hope all's well with you x

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  10. I always called it my second wind....and it usually started at about the 5k part of my run. Then it was like my whole body was different and I could have run much further than 10k. What a wonderful feeling when this transforms your entire body, eh. Lovely Pottery, I like to collect odd bits and pieces.

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    1. It is fascinating how the human body deals with exertion. I'm not sure we fully understand its capacity yet.

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  11. Well done :-) I did my longest long run a few days ago, 10 miles and that took me over 2 hours and I thought my calves were going to seize up when I'd finished. Not sure I'll enjoy the HM distance but I will stick with it (race is in March, looming up rather too quickly...). Bosham looks like a lovely spot too. Will have to explore that part of the world someday...

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    1. Ooh, not far now. I'm sure you'll be fine, just take it steady. You know you're fit enough to do the distance at any rate, which is what I'm holding on to for mine in Sept!

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  12. Well done with the running once again. Lovely photos of Bosham with all that interesting history.

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    1. It's a lovely place to spend time, especially in the winter without the tourists :o)

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  13. You are going from strength to strength with your running CT, just think how you are going to fly along as the ground dries out and the days lengthen, you must feel that your whole being is being transformed. Bosham is very lovely, a favourite with us too but I didn't know there was a pottery there. For Christmas my son gave me a beautiful old pottery jug, for my flowers he said! So straightaway I filled it with dried seedheads from our local chalk downland - still lots despite the chomping of the Belted Galloways!

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    1. I meant to say how impressed I was with your ten miles in under an hour- a target of M's too. I don't think there is an official pottery at Bosham, these were for sale in the craft shop and handmade in the village somewhere.

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  14. Hey CT,
    I ran my first 6 miles on Tuesday. I could have gone further, but was so chuffed that I reached my goal a few weeks earlier than expected. I was interested in your thoughts on running; I'm not pushing for speed, but rather like the idea of how far I could run. Also hunger; I'm never hungry until later in the day after a run, but very hungry the day after. I definitely don't drink enough water, and need to address this. My recovery time is very quick, but although I stretch etc. I stiffen up quite a bit. Anyway I think you are rather inspirational lovely!!
    Leanne xx

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    1. Excellent! I'm not surprised though, you're doing great guns. I'm soothed by you having a similar hunger experience. I guess it's just the way individual bodies respond. Keep the water up though, dehydration will make your muscles weaker and stiffer. Well done! Hope all's well? XX

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  15. I am always in awe in what you have achieved with the running. It must have been nice to visit Bosham and breathing the sea air, we do love it there. Sarah x

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  16. Extremely impresed with your running...extremely -- superbly well done!

    gorgeous photos...so very much history soaked into every stone. xo

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  17. 13.5 miles in that time is amazing, well done! I find that I always start a run hating every second but end it euphoric, thinking I could go round again.

    Lovely to see your pictures of Bosham, a much visited favourite place of ours. I haven't been inside the church there for years, I must go and have a look. x

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x