Tonights Long Thames Run

As my wife is out tomorrow evening I moved this weeks long run to tonight. On the plan was 17 miles and after the mishaps of the last few long runs I really wasn't looking forward to it.
The temperature was nicely cool and there was no sign of rain. Weather, tick. I also forced myself to have a gel before setting out plus I'd added a carb sachet to my bladder. Fuel, tick. And I'd decided I would take it easy and just see how I felt. Pace, tick.

So I set off around 5.30 and headed East along the river from Greenwich. It's funny looking back as when I started these long runs I imagined I would be running West into Central London. In fact the first few runs were running a Tower Bridge Loop. I thought I'd gradually extend the distance West as necessary. However, I found the route very busy in summer. At the same time I discovered you could run pretty much as far as you wanted East. I had always though the path stopped at the barrier but actually it's just a small detour around it and you're back on the river. Only took me 7 years to suss that one...

Pace for the first hour was between 9:45 and 10. It was a very pleasant evening and the low sun behind me was turning everything orange. Metallica was playing. I felt great. Life was good.

The next hour was similar, listening to club mix 2001. I had another gel and I could feel my stomach start to rumble but I didn't have any solid food - no matter I wouldn't be eating solids during the marathon next month.

The final hour did start to feel hard, but my pace stayed similar, ever so slightly tapering off towards the end to just a little over 10. My HR was stilll well under control. I forced down another gel and that really made me feel sick. It passed quickly so was just a mental reaction to the sickly taste I think. I think the gels were giving me a boost though so I need to sort out this out for the race.

The light started to fade and it started to get quite dark. There are plenty of lights along the river - problem was that many stretches were not switched on. I'd already taken a tumble along the river in broad daylight Monday so really didn't fancy another. Some sections were also quite creeepy and I admit to slipping off my headphones just in case someone tried to jump out of the bushes! I might have to sort out a small torch.

I was still feeling good so decided to do a little extra out and back West towards Greenwich. I was also getting ravenous and started to fantasise about pizza. I thought of Dean Karnazes getting pizza delivered on the road during his late night ultra runs. I did the next best thing and stopped a the Co-op to get a pizza on my way back...

I quite enjoyed tonights run - 18.5 miles in just over 3 hours giving an average pace of 9:55. HR average was 144. I have to say I'm feeling a bit sore now though!

Passing the Thames Barrier on the way home

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