Last week was my biggest week ever at just under 67 miles for the week and it also took me to 1,000 miles for the year. There aren’t many weeks left and just one really long run left on June 26th. This week is going to be an easier one in preparation for that long run.
Tuesday – 8 Miles
Today was another stunning day which meant that there would be some good photo opportunities along the Riverfront so for my 8 miles I decided to run around there. The run went well but the legs were feeling a little tired towards the end so glad it wasn’t a 10 or 12 mile run. The legs were expected to be tired after a 37-mile weekend and the easier week will allow them to recover. Tomorrow is a shorter run of 4 miles and can’t decide on what route to take as most of my planned routes are 6+ miles.
Distance: 8 Miles
Wednesday – 4 Miles
Oh boy, it was a hot one this morning. It was only 13°C but the 96% relative humidity made it warm right from the start. It was only a 4 mile run today so rather than the simple loops around the Riverfront I decided to run over George Street Bridge to get a different view of the city. Unfortunately despite being largely clear, the sky wasn’t as colourful as on yesterday’s run.
The run went well although the stoma was being over-active and I knew this before leaving so decided not to wear the hernia belt and it was a good job as the bag quickly filled up with poop and gas. When a bag fills up it does tend to get in the way when running and the hernia belt would have helped keep things from moving too much but it also would have guaranteed a leak. Oh the joys of running with a stoma!
Distance: 4 Miles
Thursday – 8 Miles
It’s been warm all week including in the mornings and today was forecast to be 15°C with 90% which for someone who sweats a lot is not very comfortable and to potentially make things worse rain was also forecast. I’ve invested in one of Inov-8’s most breathable jackets but I still sweat loads so ideally I could do without wearing it in warmer temperatures. Thankfully the rain that we had overnight didn’t amount to much and by the time I was ready to head out Dark Sky wasn’t forecasting any rain for the hour I would be outside. Result.
With it being cloudy there wouldn’t be a nice sunrise this morning and no photo opportunities so it was out to Somerton and along the SDR to the Transporter Bridge for an easy 8 mile route.
With only a 14 mile run on the plan for Saturday at this stage I’m not sure where to go for the weekly running adventure. Trail or road? England or Wales? Coast or inland? Near or far? I’m sure I’ll figure something out by Saturday.
Distance: 8 Miles
Saturday – 14 Miles
With this week being an easier week I needed a route that would be around 14ish miles so didn’t need to plan anything too adventurous. There are score number of stations throughout the West Country that I can use for running adventures so I either travel to one to start the run or head to a new station and run to one of the core stations. This week I headed to a new station — Stroud.
The route planned was a good mixture of trail and road climbing out of Stroud along the Painswick Valley towards picturesque Painswick where I spent far too long exploring the village and photographing it. Known as the ‘Queen of the Cotswolds’ I just had to stop to photograph the picturesque streets, the old buildings and the 99 yew trees of the Church of St Mary.
The first big climb of the run was up to Painswick Beacon which offered sweeping views of Gloucester, the Severn Vale and the Welsh Black Mountains. At this point the route followed the Cotswold Way and after dropping down through Pope’s Wood and Buckholt Wood it hit a busy road. At this point I was meant to cross over and join a path that would lead around Prinknash Abbey but I was struggling to find it. After walking back and forth twice along the a busy bend with no pavement I noticed a footpath sign in an overgrown area to the side of the road. I needed to climb over the crash barrier and down through a lot of nettles before I reached a more open field. Clearly being hidden on the side of the road the path was little used.
The route passed beneath the M5 and I joined the Glevum Way route which was familiar to me as I had run the entire 20+ mile route a few years back. I also passed through Sneedham’s Green which is a parcel of common land that sheep graze on and judging by some of the photographs online, they been there for at least a few years.
The second big climb was up to a vantage point in Robins Wood Hill and it offered equally as good views as the Painswick Beacon. It was also popular with rabbits and a spotted a number of them near the top. A fast downhill towards Gloucester and along the Wysis Way through ‘The Park’, the docks and then the finish on Southgate Street.
The distance was a lot less than last week but felt a lot tougher particularly with the climbs. I made sure I took it easy throughout and walked the climbs. I also used Tailwind exclusively on the run and it worked well although it becomes a bit harder to drink as it warms up.
Distance: 15.4 Miles
Sunday – Active Recovery
Today was active recovery day which means exercising bu not running but on past active recovery days I have done some running. Today I was going to run 5/6 easy miles and plotted a route in Herefordshire but my parastomal hernia had other ideas and was causing abdominal pain which meant that after just a few yards it was clear that I wasn’t going to be able to run. In a way this was good as it ensured that I didn’t run and as I’d made the effort to travel I decided to walk the most interesting portion of the run. By the end of the walk the pain had subsided but the urge to run had gone and I was happy that I had enjoyed a pleasant walk and will be suitable recovered for next week’s big run.