Scaling the heights of Mount Doom

Posted: 26/02/2012 in Uncategorized

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?

  1. Well done for tackling Mount Doom! I find the downhill sections hard too, LD is always shouting at me to “let gravity take over” but it’s not easy when you’re scared your face is going to end up making friends with the Tarmac if you do!

    • Amen to that! I like my face, in as much as I don’t want to wear parts of it away on the ground.

      I like most of me, to be honest, and consider tarmac-brushing to be an extreme method of weight loss.

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