Still in the Fens of Lincolnshire, I was out fairly early for a planned long run. In various incarnations, this run has been run on the last Sunday before Christmas for around the last seven years. A six mile dead straight road heading to Coningsby before finding another six mile long dead straight road to Gypsey Bridge. Interspersed with other straight roads and you have yourself a 23.5 mile long run.
The other USP of this run is that the entire run takes place at or around sea level with barely a noticeable change in elevation to be found – this despite passing through two hamlets that proclaim to sit on top of hills.
From the off and aside from some initial alarmingly green strings of snot barely ejected from the nostrils, it was apparent that body and legs were feeling noticeably more healthy than in previous days. There was very little of the run when I had a direct tailwind but much of the first half had a slightly favourable cross wind, so I deliberately eased back on the pace.
Coningsby is over halfway and after a welcome pit stop, I picked up the effort a touch on the way back, keeping the pace consistent or slightly faster despite the wind increasingly blowing more directly into the face. The flat straight nature of the run began to take its toll with several tendons and muscles in the legs aching from the repetitive strain.
At 20 miles there was a tough mile into a direct headwind before thankfully the final turn saw me back to having a crosswind, which allowed me to log the fastest mile of the run and indeed the week in the final mile.
Some considerable coughing later once stopped and it was time to drive back, having run over 82 miles for the week. Quietly and with not a lot of pace, I’d logged my biggest mileage week ever. Week one successfully accomplished.
Time: 02:51:24. Distance: 23.39 miles. Pace: 07:19.