(You may want to scroll down and play the song so you can listen as you read…)
On Saturday I went to Run Geek to purchase some new trainers, and to get some gait analysis done (over pronation if you must know, especially on the left foot, I’m a little more neutral on the right foot).
After trying on numerous pairs I finally settled on some Hoka Vanquish 2. As I’m training for and will be running a marathon I need some extra support and these really give it. They where super comfortable on the treadmill, and hopefully this should transfer to out on the road (more on this later). I was very impressed with the great customer service, time and advice afforded to me at Run Geek.
So, Sunday was time to give them a road test. Well, I say road, partly path and trail too.
Sunday morning’s run was a wet and cold “slow and steady” 8 mile loop starting from and finishing at Sweat where at 8am I met up with my running buddy Stu Abel. Believe me when I got up a 7am and put the fire on I really didn’t want to go out running in the cold and wet (1°C and pissing down). I was wrapped up all nice and cosy:
I used do the 6am classes at Sweat with Stu earlier on this year. That was when he was sound. Since then he’s joined the dark side. he’s trained up to be an instructor at Sweat and now has a reputation for really tough training sessions. Stu’s a top man though, and it’s really appreciated that he’s up for getting up early on a cold wet Sunday morning to come out running with me. That said Stu’s idea of slow and steady is slightly different to mine.
Our route takes us from Sweat, down Tanhouse Lane, and picking up the “Trans-Pennine Trail” path running up the side of the Sankey Canal, and the back of Fiddlers Ferry Power station. This is a long, flat and straight Section, and Stu being Stu was setting a pretty quick pace, a little quicker than I had planned but that’s ok on this flat straight section.
As it was on a trail path it was also a chance to get my brand new trainers nice and dirty. We didn’t see another soul on this path at this time, and in this weather, though we did disturb a large Heron hiding in the reeds and he went flying off rather perturbed.
We got up to the marina then we cut through the housing estate to get to Penketh. It was at this point that I discovered two things. My Garmin had stopped working (it had actually stopped at the marina so I lost about a kilometre) and that I was getting some rubbing on my toes from the new trainers.
With some sock re-adjustment and a restart of my Garmin we then turned on to South Road which is the back road from Widnes to warrington (I never knew it was called South Road till I looked on Google maps). This is a long slog on an exposed road so we really got the wind and rain hitting us hard here. This road also has a sting in its tail, that being the hill in the run up to The Horn’s roundabout. I was blowing out of my arse here and falling well behind Stu, in fact I didn’t catch up or recover from this until we got to Peelhouse Lane for the nice long downhill section of the run.
The final section goes through the bus route on Morrison’s carpark, then dicing with death playing real life frogger crossing Widnes’s version of spaghetti junction (actually was quiet on a Sunday morning so wasn’t too bad – I’m embellishing a little bit) and back up to Sweat.
Total distance of 8.1 miles taking 1 hour 9 minutes, at an average pace of 8.31 min/mile which is pretty decent for a “slow and steady” run, and 8.1 miles is the furthest distance I’ve ran in ages, so I’m happy with this.
Some musings on my new trainers. I’m pretty happy with them so far, super comfortable, very smooth ride and no ankle pain during the run which I’ve had from some of my previous trainers. I have got some blisters on the front of my toes from them. I went purposely half a size up to leave a bit of room for foot swelling from the extra mileage I’ll be doing, so my foot was moving about a bit. The girl in Run Geek did show me how to “loop lace” to avoid this, something which I omitted to do so I’ve only got myself to blame. I’ll do this next time and if there’s no rubbing or chafing I think I’ve found the perfect shoe for this running challenge.
My Garmin is now becoming a big cause of annoyance. It’s taking ages to pick up a GPS signal, and now dropping out mid run. I’ll be in the market for a new one come next pay day (or I could wait and see what Father Christmas brings me!).
Finally I’m on a two week roll for not having a hangover on Sunday (this is the longest I’ve gone without a Sunday hangover in months!) so in tribute here’s my favourite Sunday morning hangover song.
Peace and love.
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