An almost-marathon in four easy stages

Easy stages, HA!  A month of flattish one-mile runs on the machine is ‘easy stages’… four 6.4-mile runs, with a height gain between them of 4250 feet (almost 1300 metres)… well, these runs seem to be getting more difficult, that’s all I’m saying!

Though maybe this was because they were spaced out between January and June!

Runs with my pal Daren are always really special things.  For starters we follow the same route that we’ve been running for about 5 years now… though infrequently enough that I’ve not tired of it yet.  It’s also more of a perambulating conversation than it is a run per se… the run simply happens while we’re chatting.  Aside from anything else it is slightly mind-bending, since we seem to be experiencing time-travel… the other versions of ourselves are running around the same circuit at around the same speed, separated only by time.  I swear that you can hear the different versions laughing at each other on a quiet day.

For some reason most of the horizontal distance seems to be downhill (it’s just an illusion), but there are three major inclines: a relaxed 300 vertical-foot hill that you could chug up in a 4×4, barring the various gates & stiles; an anything-but relaxed 150 vertical-foot scramble that is almost impossible to crawl up when it’s slippery; and the much-vaunted tank tracks, a very steep 400 vertical-foot climb that occurs near the end of our run.  The latter is a barometer to our level of bouncy zing: we have so far always managed to run up it without needing to stop (or stop talking), though on occasion that run has been a near stagger.  However, this last time it was only Daren’s enduring positive mental attitude that helped my mind to pretend to my body that it could make it to the top… I say pretend, because I couldn’t walk for about 4 days afterwards!

I’m pretty happy though that I still managed the run at all, given the pitifully small amount of training that I’ve done over the last couple of months!

So that’s all my running for the last year accounted for… which means that the next post must be about the sedate art of gardening. 🙂