This week's long run was along the 2nd section of the Ridgeway National Trail from Wendover to Watlington. A 17.5 mile section so 35 miles in total, which makes it my 5th longest nonstop run to date (Kent 50 mile Challenge, Ultrarace 45, Wiggle 12hr (67m), and Fellsman (61m) being the other 4).
I'm not going to give a blow by blow account of this one. Suffice to say that the trail and the scenery was once again stunning. There was also a stark difference in part of the Ridgeway with the first half being mainly undulating woodland trails with some steep decents and the second half being a 7m very flat but long trail that just went on and on. The equilivent to a motorway in the trail running world is how thought of it as I ran.
Watlington was a lovely picturesque english town with traditional farmer market opposite the cafe that I stopped at for a cuppa and a cheese and ham pasty. Yummy. After I'd refueled and refilled my water bottle it was up and back for the return leg to Wendover. Things got tougher for the first part mainly because I was back on the motorway! (which also incidently goes under the M40 at one point - see route map here http://www.flickr.com/photos/50882061@N02/4674666696/
Once that part was over though it was like finding new legs for the remaining 10 or so miles, as I was back on my favourite type of tree lined trail as it wound up and over the Chilterns. What a super feeling. A solid 6hr run and i'm feeling stronger and better for it.
Bring on my next long run which is going to be a slightly different format! I've decided that I need to get some serious mental strength training in which will be required for running a 24 hr race round a 10km loop!! My idea therefore is to run round a local 440yd track for 12hrs. And to make it even more interesting I'm going to do it from 6pm to 6am to get use to running tired throughout the night. If I can survive that I should be able to survive anything! Bring it on :-)