After a hiking week, then a rest week that segued into an ill week I was unsure how to step back into my long run programme. After much debate about swimming, approaching it in small stages I decided to jump straight in. Saturday swimming was there when I couldn't do long runs and now the evenings are darkening it isn't ideal to do a long trail run in an evening.
My ongoing programme would suggest that today's long run should have been about 15km so I decided to run my Devil's Elbow loop; walking as required to keep my hear rate below 140bpm so that the effort didn't make it too intense.
The weather was damp and still in the woods, very humid and I was please to reach Houndkirk Road where there was a little breeze. I had to walk any ascent that was visible to keep to my target zone and this made it clear to me that I was stressing myself too much when I was aiming to do this type of run at 6min/km pace. Towards the end of the run it was clear that the distance would be more than planned (why didn't I check my records?) and I walked a few descents too as I could feel that my knees were fatiguing.
Overall the loop was 18km and although pace isn't an issue for a 'Long Slow Day' I was pleased, and indeed slightly surprised, to see that it was under 7min/km. After rollering and stretching I didn't feel as worn as usual, perhaps the pacing had worked? I'll need to see if the sudden restart has had an adverse effect on anything, of course the left knee soft tissues being the real concern. I noted a slight twinge at 8km when stepping up a rocky path but nothing significant thereafter.
I also had a good look for ticks, my new concern, as I'd pushed through damp heather that was overgrowing the moor path. Luckily I couldn't see any!