As I mentioned before, I took my running things with me to France as I thought I would get the opportunity to run.
So- my first run was on Monday. We’d walked along the cycle path the evening before- it was right at the end of the track that our gite was on, so not hard to find at all. I went left, and decided to do an out and back. I got slightly confused as I ran beyond where we had walked (we’d only walked for 3 miles in total) and at one point the signs directed me up to a road, across it, back down again only for me to end up where the signs had started. As I got back to our road I had run 4.5 miles so I ran out in the other direction for a bit to round it up to 5.
The early morning sunlight was just gorgeous on the rows of trees and the river. There was so much bird life there too- as I was leaving I saw a red woodpecker on the tree out the front, and later on a jay flying across the path (I also saw a red squirrel on the roof of the gite when I was reading one morning).
On Tuesday I headed out, this time turning right. The tarmac path quickly changed to a rutted track so I kept switching from one side to the other trying to find the smoothest path. After I had run out for 2 miles, I turned around and came back, and then decided that as I was feeling good I would go for 1 mile along the tarmac before turning back, for 6 miles. All good.
More beautiful flowers to spot along the way too.
I spent some time on Strava on my phone trying to find my monthly mileage, as trying to do 100 miles in August had briefly crossed my mind. Of course when running maths is harder, and I could not remember all of the runs I had been on. When I look at Strava on my laptop I can see my monthly and yearly miles, and this year I have not been doing such high mileage (whereas in 2016 I did 1000 miles in total including 100 miles in July, September and December). This year I managed 93 in January and 85 in February (half marathon training) but then I’ve hovered around the 60-70 mile range. All fine, but I fancied a challenge.
Anyway, you can’t see this on the app (well I couldn’t work out how to anyway) and by scrolling through and adding up my runs it ranged from 60-70 miles- with only a few days left in August once I got home I didn’t know if it was possible.
Anyway, Wednesday was a rest day (walking around gardens instead) and then on Thursday I decided to go on a bit of a longer run. I headed along the track, and after a few miles I kept feeling like a had a tiny sharp stone moving about under the ball of my right foot. It would make me hop as it was so tender. A few times I stopped to take off my shoe and shake it, but then a bit later I would feel it again. It was as if there was a tiny stone that was moving about a bit as I couldn’t always feel it. I took my sock off in case it was stuck in there, and then carried on. It happened again and was so painful that it worried me, so I limped over to some logs and sat down. I took off my sock, and then took the insole out of my shoe. Inside I could see something dark and sharp sticking up- it looked like a huge rose thorn. I tried to get it out but it was really hard to get any grip- I’d undone all the laces to get the tongue out of the way, but I couldn’t pull it out. It was really hard and then I started to worry it was a rusty nail or something- when did I last have a tetanus injection??? I knew I couldn’t walk back without my shoe on as the path was so stony, so I picked up a stone and tried to push it back down into the shoe, hoping that I had done enough for it not to make another appearance. I should have messaged Andy really because the 7 mile run took me 90 minutes and he was starting to wonder where I had got to.
When I got back I got some scissors and managed to poke the offending item out by pushing the scissors up into the sole of the shoe. It turned out to be a shard of (brown) glass. Now, it doesn’t look that big in the picture, it was maybe 1cm long, but having that digging into your foot when you are running is pretty painful.
On Friday I had my last run in France- a very enjoyable 6 miles along the tracks again. My left calf was super tense though- I think it had taken a bit of a battering from all my hopping the day before.
The morning was fairly overcast (storms had been predicted) and it was really muggy- sweat was pouring off my when I got back and I hadn’t even gone very fast!
Despite doing fairly similar routes all week, it was really enjoyable as the paths were very quiet- I passed a few cyclists and saw a couple of runners on my last day (up ahead just as I turned around). I listened to some podcasts while I ran, stopped to take photos when I fancied it and generally just enjoyed being out in the countryside. I would not want my running to get in the way of our holiday, so if we were sightseeing or traveling around I wouldn’t want to use that time for running, but as we were having fairly laid back days it was good to stretch the legs and see some scenery to start the days off.
When I got back and looked at Strava I had reached 81 miles, so I decided to still aim for the 100. I had a long run of 9 miles on Monday (boy that was hot) and then a 5 miler on Wednesday and Thursday to total 102 miles (I think it always rounds down so all the .2’s made the difference in the end).
How was your bank holiday weekend?