Running has greatly evolved from the days where you just stuck your shoes on and headed out the door with only a stopwatch or a calculation from the hands of your watch to tell you how long you’d been running for. Now we are blessed with GPS devices to tell us how far we have run, our pace, cadence, elevation and many other things that help us measure and improve our performances.
This is an extremely useful tool and it gives us runners a whole new level of information that we can discuss with one another or share (or bore the pants off) with our non-running friends. The only thing it can’t help us with is the weather, particularly in Scotland, when at this time of year it’s not uncommon to experience snow, hail, sun, gale-force winds, rain and sun all during the same run! Allison experienced most of the above while doing the Great Winter Run yesterday and it was dry but threatening to rain when I went out this morning. It’s what I call character building weather!
I met up with Graeme and we agreed on a road run as it would be less muddy and icy than the riverside path we had originally discussed when arranging the run. With some frost overnight, the pavements around Perth were very icy and so we decided on a flattish route out of town by Scone Palace and to Stormontfield, a road I’ve run many times over the years and is one of my favourite marathon training routes. We managed to use the cycle lanes where possible and hopped onto pavements where necessary before hopping back onto the road when the traffic had passed. We got past Scone Palace and all was going reasonably well until we got to the top of the road to Stormontfield which looked like it hadn’t seen any traffic recently let alone a gritter lorry so we turned about and headed up the steep brae and headed towards Scone. This road was fine and as were fortunate that the roads were pretty quiet so we could stay on the road. When we turned onto the main road through Scone, the road was a little busier so we had to spend most of the time on the pavement. These conditions make it tricky as there can be a lot of black ice and it’s hard to tell if the pavements have been treated or not.
We managed to get most of the way back into Perth on the road via the cycle lane although we did have to hop onto the pavement when a bus approached and the driver didn’t appear to understand the concept of cycle lanes or that other people could use cycle lanes when there are no cyclists about. We got back into Perth and went our separate ways home and got back to complete 8 miles (after I had run back and forward a few times after getting to my door at 7.68 miles) in 1hr 12mins. Now, normally I would be a bit hacked off if I had just run 8 miles in that time when I generally do it comfortably in around 56mins or so but when the weather is poor or the conditions underfoot are a challenge then you quickly realise you aren’t going to break any records.
It’s easy to analyse your mile splits etc and compare them but I think January isn’t the month for it. January, for me, is about getting back into it after the festive break and getting some consistency with your training and worry about anything else another time.
Relax, do what you can and most of all, enjoy your running