Today was a straightforward run. I decided on a tour of Southampton, something of a canter around it’s central perimeter. The course, as far as my questionable cardio-respiratory physiology allows, is a reasonably taxing one and effectively involves going up a big hill and then down a big hill.
The run was taxing in terms of its ascent. I am sure veteran runners would snort in derision at its elevation but for me, the climb up Burgess Road (the northern aspect of the main quadrilateral) is as stimulating as it gets. From it’s origin in Swaythling and termination in Bassett at The North-West spine of The Avenue, the 2km is a relentless 2% climb.
Furthermore, from start to finish it provides no element of inspiration or encouragement. It is a miserable passage of crawling traffic and kebab shops. Bus stop passengers who refuse to move out of your way and narrow paths at the origin of the Common. Old ladies with iceberg like movements. In short, it is a route I avoid with an honest and unchanging passion.
Having completed this the middle 3-4km were really nothing to comment on. More or less downhill throughout their entirety, they passed without issue. Towards the end, I began to feel sick and developed some strangulating and persistent abdominal cramps. I could feel my stomach churning in a familiar and insidious manner, in solemn anticipation of events to come. In short, I wanted to shit myself.
I was thinking about expanding upon this comment but I’m going to stop. Partly because I don’t want to relive the feeling, partly because this is a family blog and no one wants to read about a grown man soiling his shorts like a fucking dickhead.
Anyway, all in all I completed the 14km at a 5:05min/km pace which was, as it happens the exact pace I had aimed for. The goal pace for this years Half marathons is 4:45 and +20s off goal pace is allowable for a intended paced run. I will try and keep the 10kms at 4:45 from hereon in which will hopefully give me a feel of what I can and can’t do. We’ll see. Tomorrow, the MONA fartlek.