‘Tis an ill wind that blows no good…

Posted: 04/04/2012 in Uncategorized

And saying that, it was a very odd wind blowing off the North Sea this afternoon. I had some stuff to take care of this morning, on my last day off before going back to work, so I busied myself with that before heading home. But where to go? The coast is wild at the moment, not as bad as yesterday by any means, but crtainly a bit…  well, blowy. Goodness knows what inland would be like what with tales of 7ft snow fall in Durham – I was tempted by Hadrian’s Wall, but figured that may be a bit too far to go, and there are other things I want to get sorted today.

So, up the coast it is then. Go left towards the Lighthouse. Now it’s only a few short days until Sunday and the North Tyneside 10k, so I wanted a short, easy run to keep me going but not tire me out. A nice circuit up to the Lighthaouse and back, 6km all told sounded about right. Try my ‘race pace’ again and see how it fares.

All well and good, but as I started, I realised I’d managed to shift the fields on my GPS and had neither the time ‘nor the wit to turn them back. So on I go, with chrono, lap split and distance. That’s OK, but I really wanted pace, and I’m not too grand at doing those calculations in my head while running.

Anyhow, the massive headwind takes my mind off the pace, and makes me concentrate on keeping going – I feel like I’m leaning at a 45 degree angle just to stay on my feet – it can’t have been, but it surely felt that way. I think it’s raining, but it’s just spray driven in from the beach a couple hundred metres away a a bit lower down. TICK, full marks fol putting on my old and knackered biking waterfproof.

OK, and we’ve made it to the half-way point. There’s a little road towards the lighthouse that runs at right angles to the main road, and when I turn onto this short path it’s all I can do to lean into the side and try not to be blown into the impressive municipal drainage gully that runs alongside. This really is some kind of wind. A moment later and I’m onto the cliff tops, turning my back to the wind and being blown back to Whitley Bay. It’s quite nice having that helpful hand, until I get to the bankthere’sabankandyou’reblowingmedownitaarghIcan’tstopandohhellherecomethestepsnow. The thought that passed through my mind was that I’d either make it down the steps in record time or not at all. Thank God I kept on my toes and made it, but it was a bit of a close call.

Having avoided death or dismemberment on the steps, I’m now feeling like a Greek God, and stride manfully across the tiny troll-bridge at the bottom and up he hill at the other side,ending up on the Promenade. The sea is right up to the prom, and there is huge amounts of foam – goodness knows what it actually is (I secretly believe it’s sentient and will take over at some point – ah, guess it’s not so secret now) but I’m quite sure I don’t want to swallow any of the clumps that are floating in the air, thank you.

Along the prom, andthen back up the very steep hill I surprised the tourists on last time – now you might have noticed that I’m quite proud of that? By this point I’ve run over 4km, I reckon, and I approach the (albeit not huge, though ver’ steep, it’s maybe 20-25ft high) thing and just keep on going. This must be how hill runners feel, only for longer – getting to the top and I wanted to do a little victory dance, but I figured it might be misconstued as my trying to control the waves, and as we all know, they’re still laughing at King Cnut for exactly the same behaviour.

So along I plod, past the Spanish City (as made famous by Dire Straits) and onto the home straight. Finish up, then stop my GPS – or think I’ve stopped my GPS, I’ve actually started a new lap by pressing the wrong button. Thirty seconds of walking later and I realise my mistake and stop the recording.

Stats:

Time: 35:05
Distance: 3.71 miles
Av. Pace: 9:27/mile – bit quick
Climb: 105 ft

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