Week 19 of the training plan begins and the tapering begins, sort of. According to the training plans the mid-week runs are still long-ish with a 4-miler sandwiched between two 8-milers. The weekend runs are shorter with 10 miles on Saturday and 60 mins on Sunday. Overall it should be a 36+ mile week depending on whether I go over the 10 miles on Saturday (the route I have my eye on is 13.5 miles).
Tuesday – 8 Miles
Today’s 8 mile run was a simple affair following a similar but slightly different route (I opted to go through Alway instead of Somerton) and felt good throughout. The mornings are gradually getting a little darker with the sun rising at 0509 and with warmer weather on the way the mornings are getting warmer and the 94% humidity certainly doesn’t help.
Distance: 8 Miles
Wednesday – 4 Miles
It’s been a while (possibly June 23rd) since I’ve been accompanied by the colourful skies of the civil twilight. A straightforward 4-miler today which usually means a few laps around the Riverfront and quite a few stops for photos along the way. Just three morning runs left before the big day – an 8-miler tomorrow, a 4-miler Tuesday and 30 mins on Thursday.
Distance: 4 Miles
Thursday – 8 Miles
For the entirety of the training plan I’ve stuck to similar routes with occasional variations when I need more or less miles on a run. This is mainly to keep things as simple as possible when rolling out of bed around 0345. I get everything ready the night before so that I can roll out of bed, put on my running kit and head out of the door to run a pre-planned route. Basically I don’t need to think about anything other than putting one foot in front of the other but today I decided to mix it up with a new route albeit one that I’m familiar with.
I knew it was going to be another stunning morning so there would be an opportunity to take some photos of things other than the Riverfront or Transporter Bridge. It was such a pleasant change and so peaceful running along the dark paths alongside the River Usk between Malpas and Caerleon. Wish I’d mixed up the routes earlier in the training plan!
Distance: 8 Miles
Saturday – 10 Miles
The last running adventure of the training plan and I headed to Melksham for what I thought would be a 11.7 mile run to Bath. The training plan called for 10 miles but the 11.7 miles was the shortest route I could come up with between the two towns.
The run didn’t get off to a good start with the route passing through three corn fields within the first mile and with established path through them the options were either a slow walk through the middle or go around the edge. The outskirts of the field would usually be a good option but the corn went right to the edge of the field and featured some rather large brambles.
Next I encountered a section where there should have been a path but all that was there was section of overgrowth sandwiched between two solar farms. By this point I was contemplating returning to the start and trying to find a route along the road. Eventually I managed to make my way along one of the solar farms and got back onto more established paths.
The route was a nice mix of trail and country lanes and along the way I encountered the 15th century Great Chalfield Hall, the quaint hamlet of Conkwell, nearby Conkwell Wood with it’s fairy doors, the scenic Dundas Viaduct and some interesting architecture coming into Bath.
I found the run rather difficult and I’m sure the strong heat was making things harder for me. With the big challenge just around the corner I’m hoping that it was the hear rather than something else like feeling tired.
Distance: 13.1 Miles
Sunday – 60 Mins
The final run of the week and I was aiming for around 6 miles. After yesterday’s tough run and for more heat forecast early in the day I wasn’t looking forward to the run. I used it as an opportunity to go for a recce run along the Wales Coast Path.
The section I was running was near border with Monmouthshire and it was a section I had run a few years back but things can change and they had. Probably due to the time of the year and the fact that certain parts of the path aren’t used often mile long section had become quite overgrown with knee to thigh-high grass in sections which made it difficult to run through. There is a bit of a more established path along side it which I could run along but ideally I’d like to be as close to the border as possible.
I wanted to keep to the plan of running around 6 miles so after about 3 miles I headed back inland where I encountered a corn field and like yesterday the path through it had disappeared but I managed to get around the edge this time. After navigating a couple more tricky fields I was back on the road through Redwick and it was back to the car along it.
Distance: 6.22 Miles