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  trailrunning > trailrunning blog > 10.11.2013
10.11.2013 – 23.49km / 1:43:01 Guildford 8
     Guildford 8 is one of my favourite training runs. A fast initial flattish 10km which undulates gently with occasional muddy, awkward sections to soften the legs up. Followed by a hilly, muddy, technical second half that really tests your endurance and the strength you have left in those aforementioned legs. For example, running fast downhill on a rocky, muddy, slippery, meandering descent after 18km really exposes tired legs. And then you have to hit 4min/km on the susequent flat section. At 23.5km it's a nice length too. Short enough to run fast in one sustained burst. Long enough to improve your endurance. Oh yeah, and I almost forgot, it's fucking beautiful. Mud paths through woodland, rural fields, ridiculously muddy sections that embrace your feet like quicksand, a gorgeous church at the top of one of the hills, awe inspiring views of the surrounding countryside .....

I have always considered sub 1:45 on this route to be a very good trailrun indeed (I had never managed this before). On Thursday of this week I ran 1:45:30 - which was close. It made me realise I could make a realistic attempt at sub-1:45. This led to a minor obsession in the intervening two days where I was desperate to get out there again but wanted my legs to be fresh and ready. So this morning I woke up ready. And ran. And this was a concerted effort. A tough, tough run. Attacking everything, hills, downhills, flats. Squelching recklessly through boggy, muddy sections. Breathlessly on the verge of red-lining. Always pushing. No let up. Single minded and totally focused (with the occasional cheeky glance at the amazing views). The last 5km pure pain cave. And I got it. 1:43:01. I was so euphoric at the end that I screamed for joy ... then collapsed on the floor to catch my breath.

And the moral of the story is? There is no moral. I set myself a subjective target time on a subjectively chosen route. Pushed myself to my physical limit to achieve this time and felt fucking amazing when I managed it. That's all. And wow it was amazing out there today. Trailrunning. It's just another story.