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?