Run, run, fast as you can, you can’t catch me…

Posted: 13/03/2012 in Uncategorized

…because I’m already half a mile behind you.

No particular anniversary, but I thought I’d take a photo today to see if I am now brimming over with muscly goodness compared to November 2011:

Ok, so that’s kind of a scary look going on, I get that. In case you’re confused, right side is November 2011, left is March 2012 – that I have to explain that suggests there’s not really much difference, but I’m not going to let that put me off…

I’m taking a punt here, and suggesting that I look marginally thinner, the double chin is more like a chin-and-a-half and my shoulder has done something interesting. I think my knee looks a bit trimmer, though in fairness you need to see the original huge versions to come to that conclusion. You can quite clearly see my belly catching the light in the right hand November 2011 photo, and not (or at least not so much on the March 2012 left hand photo.

Feeling almost fighting fit, I figured it was a good time for a nice long, slow run (that’ll be an LSR in running parlance, apparently). I figure that now I’ve cracked the just-plain-running thing, I should up the distance a bit some times and up the speed a bit at other times, hoping that the two will spur the other on in leaps and bounds. See, I’ve got a training plan – clever, eh?

Mind, my left hip was a bit shonky today – I was at a book launch (I know, how Bohemian am I?) last night, and a friend noticed I was limping. I hadn’t noticed I was limping, but I think I was when I had a good look. So with that in mind, the “slow” bit of my LSR was high on the mental agenda.

Not a bad start, a touch of the “clonk, clonk, clonk” sensation from the hip, but I’ve learned to ignore all kinds of user warning messages from my body now, much like you can see the car blinking that it wants a nice drink of petrol, thank you, and yet you drive past a few garages because you don’t want to stop yet. Calves were a little twingy, but only in a “howay bonny lad, givus a rest” way, not an impending doom kind of twinge. So, on I plugged.

I had a notion to run to the far end of Seaton Sluice, turn around and head back, and things were going pretty good – reached the Spanish City, then Panama Dip, past the Mini Golf Course, and up the winding loop round the caravan park. Sweet. The hip wasn’t really improving, though it did fade into quiteness a couple of times. Given that I know I’m an idiot, and given the chance I’ll properly overdo things, I started to think maybe I should cut back round the headland by the lighthouse for a shorter run, and avoid the possibility of anything falling off.

Instead of heading into Seaton Sluice, I turned right, down the slight hill to the top of the cliffs and back on myself to run the trail along past the lighthouse. If you’ve read more than a couple of my random blogs, it’s likely that you’ve noticed I prefer to get off the road and onto tracks and trails. I find it quite interesting when I’m doing the Parkrun in Newcastle, that a lot of people seem to slow down on the bit of track you have to run on for a kilometre or so – I usually find myself opening up a bit then, stretching the ol’ legs and enjoying the uneven surface (not that uneven, just not asphalt).

I had a go at videoing myself running, holding the iPhone out in front of me (pointing forwards, I’m not stupid) and it was frankly appalling to look at. Not that I’m not some gazelle-like uber athelete, as I clearly am, but the jerky seasicky motion of the camera. Meh. Need me one of those GoPro cameras you can wear on your chest or head, but haven’t won their competition yet…

Anyway, back along the cliff tops by Whitley Bay beach, onto the promenade and along by the beach, cut back up to Spanish City and then it’s a short hop along to the start/end point. Simples.

Except I looked at my watch, realised I’d been running for 55 minutes and figured “might as well go for the hour, eh?”. But where? Then the brainwave struck, there’s an old promenade just where I finish up, hill down to it, flat run then a hill back out the other end. That should eat up five minutes, I reckon. The place reminds me of photos you see of Pripyat, the town near the Chernobyl power station disaster, that was abandoned. To give you a (not too clear) idea:

It’s clear there were things here – there’s still an empty paddling pool, and I’m sure I’ve seen a shot of some wooden buildings way back in the mists of time. The railing along by the sea looks like it isn’t actually connected to the ground (I’m sure it is), and the place is a proper washing machine when the waves hit hard.

Down the path I ran (the one on the right of the shot), along to the end and then up the path and back onto the top. Hmm, one hour done, but look, I’m on 5.95 miles – I should keep going until I hit six, right? So I did, pretty much finishing up where I started at the top of the path down.

A good run, nothing dropped off, nothing locked up, no animals were harmed. Reckon it’s time to hit the trails again – bring on the mud!

  1. Evie says:

    That is one freaky photo… And you appear to have lost a shoe and a sleeve somewhere along the way. ;o)

  2. You’re right there Evie – it’s giving me the creeps. The nose, however, joins up perfect.

    One other advange of this composite over the original November shot is that the legs of my shorts are the same length. Phew.

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