Archive for February, 2012

It’s difficult to be aware of the things around you when you’ve only just got up…

When I left the house this morning, I could tell that something wasn’t right, but couldn’t quite put my finger on it – what on earth was it? Shoes were one, earphones were in, Runmeter was going, I hadn’t inadvertantly left the house naked.

I plodged along, watching the scenery flow fast …backwards?

That’s it, I’ve put my left sock on my right foot, and my right sock on my left foot, causing me to run backwards. Tch!

Was going to save that for the 1st April, but I knew I’d have forgotten it by then.

Today was the penultimate run of the 13 week programme, and a jaunty forty minute up to the Lighthouse, where the tide was well and truly in.

Sometimes, you just have to turn around and head back.

Not a bad run today, still a little sore in certain muscles after Sunday’s hill-a-thon, but as usual that passed after a bit of a jog about.

Next run is the final run, thinking I may give it ’til Friday, as I’ve got an early start on Thursday, and I want to enjoy my 10k.


Route: New Route
Activity: Wk 13 Run 2
Google Maps URL:

Shortened Google Maps URL:
Import URL: Started: 28 Feb 2012 06:48:04
Run Time: 44:19
Stopped Time: 1:02
Distance: 4.30 miles
Average Pace: 10:18 /mile
Fastest Pace: 8:55 /mile
Ascent: 19 feet
Descent: 36 feet
Calories: 809
Official: No

An auspicious start ot the final week of my thirteen week Beginner’s Running progamme. A breezy fifty miute jaunt along the coast. I figured I’d give the hills at Tynemouth a go, as they will feature large in the North Tyneside 10k in April.

The first mile went pretty well, I got into my rhythm fairly quickly and, other than a quick stop to find a rogue spelk in my shoe, I was off and away – decked out with my shiny new Vegetarian Cycling & Athletics Club sweatband. I joined last week, after noticing someone my local Parkrun was a member – I like the idea of being in a club, but not the idea of regular organised training – I’m pretty much a lone runner, and I’m useless at keeping to set times for things outside of work. In the end, it came down to a choice between VCAC and the Northern Fellrunning Association, but as I’m still finding my feet at trails and so on, I decided on the vegetarians.

After two and a bit miles, I reached the clock tower at Tynemouth, and quickly decided I was going to go for the hills – I’ve been building them up as some kind of vertical ascent, and figured I needed to give it a go before race day.

Downhill still isn’t my forte, I’ve got to the “letting your legs go” bit, and lengthening my stride, but it feels kind of wierd, I guess from using muscles in different ways to usual. That aside, I got o the bottom and ran part way up the riverside path towards the Fish Quay until I reached my half way mark. Half way came, and I dutifully spun around and headed back to the hills.

Hill #1 – steepish, but not as long as I’d thought – small steps, same rhythm, and it went by OK – I was so shocked I took a breather at the top, then back to the run. There’s a dip between the two,that gives an excellent view of the second longer hill up past the Priory. On a sunny day, I can see this could be quite punishing, as I warmed up something alarming on the second ascent. Again, small steps, same rhythm, and though I was going quite slowly, I realised I’d just run to the top. Shocked, you have no idea. When I tried this on New Year’s Day, I could only manage a third of this one hill without walking.

After that, it was just a matter of the 2 mile run back home – I ran into Roy from work and had an unexpected five minute break – I was surprised to note that I could have gone without, and it was only that it would have seemed a bit rude to run straight past that meant I stopped.

I’d cooled down a bit after that, so sleeves rolled back down, and sprinted up the very slight hill afterwards to get a bit of heat back.

That’s it folks, two runs left to the end of this journey, then I think I should get a certificate or a badge or something.

Maybe an ‘L’ plate?

Route: New Route
Activity: Wk 13 Run 1
Google Maps URL:

Shortened Google Maps URL:
Import URL: Started: 26 Feb 2012 09:00:18
Run Time: 54:39
Stopped Time: 9:35
Distance: 5.59 miles
Average Pace: 9:46 /mile
Fastest Pace: 8:02 /mile
Ascent: 208 feet
Descent: 233 feet
Calories: 983
Official: No

Excellent run today – I should have run yesterday, but I’ve been a bit under the weather, so I opted to give it a day and see – still sniffly and some exciting stomach related action, but I felt it wasn’t quite bad enough to hide under the duvet.

Today was the first run in the progamme to just be a time, no intervals. Forty-five minutes for you stats fans, no breather in the middle, no walk-a-bit-run-a-bit-repeat action. I’ve learned that after the initial clunky bit of my legs waking up I can sometimes find a pace that keeps on giving – no idea what that pace is (or I didn’t) but I’ve sometimes got to the point in a run where I think “reckon I could keep this up for a bit”. Admittedly, it’s usually followed by me thinking “who am I kidding” but, like a complete set of Lego, the building blocks were there.

With much in common with Santa Claus, I programme my run into Runmeter then checked it twice – I’ve had two disasters in the last two runs from wonky intervals and non-existent warm up periods. Turned out it was “nice”, so I set off. Warm up was nothing to write home about, then into the run (singular, you’ll notice).

It’s hard to describe, other than to say I started going and kept going. Nothing fell off, nothin blew up, no animals were harmed. Just a canny 45 minute, almost 5 mile run. I’d have liked to reach 5 miles, but there you go. It wasn’t exactly effortless, but I tapped into my running nirvana and kept resolutely sticking one leg in front of the other. After a while, I reached Tynemouth, that seemed fine, then I kept going, starting to head out towards North Shields – surely the half way klaxon must go off fairly soon (see, I’m clever enough to remember to tell myself to turn around half way through) and it did. I duly spun around like a gyroscope and continued back the way I’d arrived. Plod, plod, plod, on I went and eventually got back – it was nice, it went well, I feel good, and that’s about all there is to it, other than to say I ran 45 minutes without stopping – I am an athlete!

Time-wise, I’ve never got the hang of times, as everyone else (the grown up runners) seem to talk in miles and I’ve used kilometres so far. I switch Runmeter over to miles today, and found out I was coming in at 10:09 per mile. Given that I seen threads about breaking 11:00 miles, I was a bit surprised. Maybe it’s that the slower pace is for longer races, but nonetheless I was quite made up.

Right. That’s Week 12 done with, next week is Week 13, the Final Week, the Return of the End Week, the Last Week Strikes Back and Indiana Jones and the Last Week of Doom (hopefully not).

Route: New Route
Activity: Wk 12 Run 3
Google Maps URL:

Shortened Google Maps URL:
Import URL: Started: 24 Feb 2012 06:52:17
Run Time: 49:24
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 4.87 miles
Average Pace: 10:09 /mile
Fastest Pace: 8:42 /mile
Ascent: 236 feet
Descent: 263 feet
Calories: 927
Official: No

Yesterday’s run was a bit tricky, wasn’t feeling at all well, and only managed the run to Tynemouth and back (about 4 miles).

Think I’ve been neglecting my foam roller, so I’m going to have a pop tonight, undoubtedly that’ll make me feel like I can’t walk tomorrow, but if past experience is anything to go by, then it’s clear up once I get going.

I can feel week 12 being repeated, as I also forgot that I’d removed the warm-up from the run last time out when I got the whole thing wrong – so I spent half the first ten minute section walking, which was quite annoying.

Still, got my membership through for the Vegetarian Cycling & Athletics Club, so I can order a spiffing yellow-and-green vest now. 🙂

Thining ahead, and looking at other races, I reckon marathons can wait until next year, but I’m on the lookout for a nice nearby half somewhere in the tail end of the year. Maybe get another 10k or two booked in for Autumn.