It was pouring with rain last night and Peter was planning to take a day off today when the weather was looking better so we decided to (guiltily) skip the club session and do some other kind of session today.
Peter let me dream it up, which I like, so I had a think and this is what I came up with.
I was thinking we needed something hard enough to compensate for missing club and one thing we've done which would fit the bill is mile repeats with half mile jogs at the Meadows. Its easy at the Meadows because they're pretty much exactly 1.5 miles round so the distances are easy to work out.
Its the school holidays and there are masses of "visitors" to Edinburgh, so the down side of running round the meadows - other than that it gets a bit dull running round in circles - is that people get in your way. So I thought we could do the same session but in a nice spot with no one about. The Pencaitland cycle path- MacMerry route seemed ideal, being about 11.5 miles and nice running with only 2 road crossings, but in order for Peter to know the distances he'd need to wear my old Garmin.
Peter has a kind of disaffinity (new word, mine) with the Garmin. He gets very impatient with it and it responds to him by not working well. He went out for a 23 mile run with it on once and when we uploaded the data to the computer it said he had run 46 miles at 3.30 pace. Unless he's lying to me about what he does. Today it was refusing to beep for him so he had to watch for it coming up to the end of a mile but he worked with it and did some very good mile splits.
I'd set us the challenge of running "marathon pace" miles with half mile jogs in between.
It was a beautiful day and we took it easy to warm up for the first mile and a half and then Peter sped off into the distance. I tried to stay around 8min/miles for my marathon paced miles meeting with a reasonable success rate. There was one long uphill where I missed my target and another muddy windy bit, but I wasn't far off. The main virtue of the session was that the last 2 mile stretches were much harder work than they had been initially, in much the same way as the same pace in a marathon is infinitely harder later on. It was hard to know just what to do to get back up to pace, I had to really push to get going again. Sobbing and wheezing seemed to do the trick where nothing else would.
Peter had been back at the van for about 5 minutes when I got in. The sunshine and the nice surroundings and the session had us both in high spirits for the drive home.