Following Sunday's race, last week's running comprised just easy five-mile runs on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Having then taken Friday as a bonus rest day, and knowing I won't be able to get out tomorrow, the pressure was on today to get some quality miles under the belt.
Luckily I was joined for my run by Lee, a man who finished over three minutes ahead of me at the Fred Hughes 10 and clearly a chap unfamiliar with the concept of nine-minute mile pace.
I had in mind a 10-mile(ish) loop taking us out in the direction of St Albans before bearing left opposite the pick you own farm. The plan then was to follow the path over the railway, skirt round Heartwood, and down to Sandridge. From there we would continue the loop round hopefully coming out towards the east of Wheathampstead. I’d done a similar run a few months ago with Niall and so although only vaguely familiar with the section between Sandridge and Wheathampstead thought I’d be able to pick it up OK.
Needless to say I didn't. Close but no cigar. We came to a road crossing. I should have gone right. We stuck to the trail. Next thing I know we're at Nomansland. Oh well not what I intended but not a disaster by any means.
Up until now the route had been reasonably flat - a few ups but all very gradual and hardly noticeable. So it was only after six and a half miles that Lee played his trump card: he doesn't slow for hills. Oh no - quite the opposite. He accelerates. Apparently this is something he picked up off Simon (thanks mate). So that made the last few miles fun with noticeable less talking (well from me at least).
Back to Harpenden via Southdown (Lee's idea - I think he was keen to run up Crabtree Lane) and home gave me just over 11 miles on the watch. Average pace was 7:48 although the uphills were run much quicker. Day off tomorrow and then back to speedwork next week. And, at last, maybe some warmer weather...