June 11th 2017
Today I accidentally ran a half marathon. By ‘accidentally’ I mean that when I started my run I had absolutely no intention of running a half marathon. I set out to do ten or so miles (16km) and just kinda sorta ended up doing a half marathon (13 miles/21km).
Recently I’ve struggled to do longer, solo runs at weekends partly because I’m generally lazy but also partly because I don’t know any routes around here. As such, I kind of end up just running in circles through fields of wheat (#NaughtiestThingIveEverDone).
But for this run, I took the time to use the (rather brilliant) Strava route builder. It allowed me to plan ahead more and to map out how far I wanted to go etc. My aim for the route was for it to be a long loop. I wanted to run pretty much as far as I could in a straight line, and then loop back around to home. Running far in a straight line means you’re further away from home than if you’re just running in circles around the town.
So that’s kind of what I did.
The route planner said it was going to be 17km and that was pretty much what I wanted, but mid-run I decided to take a different path that added a bit of distance.
When I got to the very western point of that map, I realised that I’d been trespassing for the last 5 kilometres. Basically all of the green bits on that map are part of the Bathurst Estate. The Bathurst estate and Cirencester Park is effectively just someones garden, I think. There’s a huge house in the middle somewhere, and the rest of the Park are his grounds, but they’re open to public between 8 and 5.
I was still in the Bathurst estate at gone 5. I didn’t realise quite how big they were, there were deer and everything.
(I realise that these are horses, not deer, but the deer were too quick to take photos of so here are some horses instead. The one on the left looks elegant as fuck)
The first 10k was basically all off-road, woodland or grass, and predominantly uphill and into the wind. That all made it slightly more difficult, but that was kind of the plan. The good thing about running up hills is that by definition you get to run back down them. And, with the wind behind you when you turn around, it makes the second half of the run easier.
The second half was all B-roads and country lanes. Running on tarmac is a bit harder on your joints, but a bit easier in general because there’s less friction. (also I found out the other day that ‘tarmac’ is actually short for ‘tarmacadam’)
Although it was downhill, miles 10-13 were hard. I told myself that if I saw a pub I was going to go in for a quick pint of water, but I never saw one.
Because of my slight detour, when I got near to my house I’d run close to 20k. 19.5k or something. Naturally, I wanted to round that up to 20k, but the thing about 20k is that it’s awfully close to 21k. And that’s awfully close to 21.1k which is a half marathon.
So, although it hurt, I decided to tack on a little loop at the end to make it up to a half marathon.
I’m glad that I did, but I have a feeling I won’t be when I wake up tomorrow morning.
Until tomorrow, everything hurts.