This morning I was up and out of the door at 6.45 am for my Sunday 'long' run, the first since the Cardiff Half-marathon on the 17th of October. I have been running consistent 4.5 mile runs 2-3 times a week since then but this was the first time that I had intended to push the mileage up towards the 10 mile mark (which is where I want to be, comfortably). The morning was ideal, the night turning to dawn, overcast and cold and yet bright with it. Mist hung over the river along the Cut, lending an air of antediluvian mystery to the bridges hanging over it. The docks were clear and quiet, the water calm, just the sounds of the breeze in the trees, and the birds in the air. Beautiful.
And the run was comfortable, almost easy in fact. Eight miles in 1 hour and 21 minutes, just a little over my 10 minute mile pace. I enjoyed every moment of it, had not one moment where I thought to cut the route short (despite multiple opportunities to do so) and I feel as good, if not better, than when I did when I started.
I have found that, at a certain rhythm and pace (and believe me, it isn't fast) I can sustain a run for a lot longer than I think. This morning I think I could have squeezed another 2-3 miles out before beginning to feel it. But I wanted to enjoy the first one and enjoy it I did.
I am looking to run the Forest of Dean Half at the back end of March. Ideally I would like to run another half just after Christmas/New Year's, just because. A recent twitter conversation, off of the back of a conversation with M about the Cardiff Half and the joys of smaller, more intimate, 'amateur' events, has led me to look at these as a viable alternative. I'd like to do the odd 'big' one, but I know from my experience with the Mells Scenic 7 that I like the small events too.
So the plan is to build, to run, to enjoy it, and to make my way to a comfortable 10 miles, and then 13, and then onwards, as far as my body and my enjoyment of running will take me.
If you are interested, my RunKeeper profile can be found here.