#RU2C Challenge completed! #REDBED Day 23

I’ve mentioned in the last couple of days that the running this week has been heavy going. It was all made worthwhile today as I completed the Run Up 2 Christmas #RU2C Challenge.

A big week

During the six days of this week so far I’ve run over 52 miles which is much bigger than anything I’ve done since the injury. I must say it was beginning to concern me; after all I don’t want to end up injured again, let alone so soon after the last outage. In fact, over the 8 days, Saturday 16th – Saturday 23rd, no daily mileage has been less than 10k!

A busy week!

A busy week!

I was wondering how I would fare today, having being so tired of late. However, today I felt fine. I wasn’t going for any speed or distance records. In fact, the group were out to do 15 miles but I turned back before them. I needed 17km to complete the #RU2C Challenge and so gave myself 12 miles which was ample. Here’s the proof:

Confirmation of having run over 250km in December 2017

Confirmation of having run over 250km in December 2017

Just over one more week of #REDBED

Today is Day 23 of #REDBED and so the end of the overarching challenge I set myself is firmly sat on the horizon. Having completed my other ‘interim’ challenges i.e. 1000 miles in 2017 & 250km between 1-25th December the plan is to take things a little easier with the running. No more pressure on the distance now; even if I only did 1 mile each day until the end of the month, it will still become the largest mileage month for me, ever. Rest assured, I’ll be looking to do a little more than that! As it stands I’m 3 miles off that total! And actually 33 miles off my 2015 year total. So 2017 will be in the same ball-park as my biggest running year to date. Given the lack of running for much of the summer months, that’s really surprising!

As the challenge comes to a close next week, I’ll dig out some statistics. I may even plot a graph. No idea what of, but it could happen.

Today’s run

I’ve sort of given the game away about today’s run already. But as usual, I joined the ‘Saturday Crew’ for the weekly long run. Today we remained on the Middlewood Way rather than straying off to find something more interesting to do. The group plan was for 15 miles, but I’d already decided that I’d stick to my lower 12 mile limit. I turned around at the 6 mile marker – a wood sculpture of a rabbit, whilst the rest of the group carried on.

On the outward leg, I was chatting for most of it. We covered yoga, training plans, expectations about Ironman results (not for me!) and beer. Well it is Christmas after all!

I know for some people the idea of returning alone from a group run might feel quite difficult. Some runners need the encouragement of others being there to be able to keep going. It isn’t actually something that bothers me, as I’m so used to solo running. Despite the lack of chit-chat I can happily just zone out and enjoy the rhythm of the run. It wasn’t all plain sailing though. I was a little concerned about how much I had left in the tank, although it was a huge bowl of porridge that I consumed before leaving the house! Fueling really shouldn’t have been an issue today; it was only 12 miles after all. I was however getting increasingly nervous of any feeling (positive or negative) in any muscle on the off-chance my body might just give up after all this exertion this week!

As I passed the 10 mile mark (A6 Bridge) I knew that left only 1km of the #RU2C to go. I wasn’t sure exactly what distance that would look like in miles, but figured that by 11 miles the job would have been done. It was a long mile that seemed unwilling to end! But I got there and did mile 12 to boot and to make sure I was well over the 250km target.

It wasn’t a fast effort, but all in all, it wasn’t slow either, based on the similar 10k times I’d produced during the week.

Here’s the output from Strava:

Today's LSR along the Middlewood Way

Today’s LSR along the Middlewood Way

Looking forward

I’ve commented in passing that one of the disadvantages of doing a run streak is that all the paces end up about the same. Except during the track interval sessions. So what I’m hoping to do is to allow a better recovery over the next week of the Challenge before having a complete break immediately after it to iron out any injury niggles or fitness concerns. After that, it’ll be time to focus on the first race of 2018, a half-marathon that I’ve not done before. I’m out of practice at the distance, although I have no concerns about the endurance side of the equation after what I’ve subjected my body to this week. What I’m not sure is what pace I’ll be able to produce, having done a lot of plodding recently! I’m looking forward to getting back to proper training, that’s for certain!

#REDBED? I’ve forgotten what this is all about

Each year I set myself something challenging to do (when life itself isn’t enough of a challenge). In December 2017 I decided that not only would I do a Run Every Day (RED), I’d post a (running-related) Blog Every Day (BED) as well. Hence #REDBED was created. You can read a little more about that and the other ‘internal’ challenges on my first blog of the challenge!

It's a Red Bed for #REDBED

It’s a Red Bed for #REDBED

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