Archive for May, 2012


Bit of a wash today, but I’m getting ahead of myself…

Planned a 10 miler today, part of the training for my half marathon. For a bit of variety, I figured I’d run up to Cobalt, down to Silverlink, along the Coast Road and into North Shields to drop down to the Fish Quay. Then along to Tynemouth and back along the front. All sounded good, and the first three miles up to work went well. However, the constant slight gradient seems to have taken its toll – my left knee started hurting, and was hard to run on.

A little further on, and heading down to Silverlink I had to stop and walk for a bit, it was just too much to continue hoofing it. That improved after a bit, so I ran a little further. Then walked a bit.

I decided to cut the run short and head back the way I’d arrived, alternately walking and running.

Good points about today:

  • I was able to run/walk the way home, it wasn’t all walking
  • Nothing went ‘pop’, so I’m confident things will right themselves
  • The actual run to Cobalt wasn’t too bad, much easier than the last time I tried it, so I reckon running to work is more of a likelihood now

Bad points about today:

  • Knee – ouch!
  • It’s really frustrating not being able to run because it hurts – I wasn’t tired, out of breath, or lacking in motivation
  • I don’t appear to have won the lottery…

Used Runmeter for the first time in ages, as I took my phone along – realised when I was on the 10 miler last week that if anything was to go properly wrong I didn’t have any way to contact home. See the auto-entry below for details.


Route: New Route
Activity: Run
Google Maps URL:

Shortened Google Maps URL:
Import URL: Started: 20 May 2012 08:11:59
Run Time: 1:24:25
Stopped Time: 2:17
Distance: 7.63 miles
Average Pace: 11:04 /mile
Fastest Pace: 6:40 /mile
Ascent: 649 feet
Descent: 619 feet
Calories: 1268
Official: No

After today’s first attempt at 10 miles was cut off unreasonably short due to a flooded countryside, I was keen to get back out. Returned home with great plans to head out, went to visit my father-in-law and sister-in-law and her two girls instead. Came home chomping at the bit and (after a nice cuppa) suited up and headed out (see how I’m painting myself like an astronaut or superhero there? That’s because I’m worth it). Bit of a blowy one, so I stuck my bargain Karrimor waterproof on for good measure.

Out onto the coast and tootling nicely along past the Spanish City and up to Panama Dip – I became aware that my left calf was feeling achy. I contemplated a shorter route, but decided that common sense is for another day and pressed on. Up past the Mini Golf, round the caravan park and up to Seaton Sluice. Calf still aching, but have just read Dean Karnazes first book I wasn’t about to let that faze me – the man runs 100+ miles with limbs dropping off – a little calf ache wasn’t going to get in my way.

All the way through Seaton Sluice, and now I’m up to four miles. Not bad going, though by this point I’m feeling a little tired and wondering if sense might not have been a good companion. The last mile, out towards Blyth along the dunes seemed to go on for ever. Kept checking my GPS and watching the numbers creep oh-so-slowly upward.

Finally! Mile 5 out of the way, and I can turn around. I necked a gel – always good for the brainbox’s view of the world, and spun around like rootin’ tootin’ gyroscope. Back toward Seaton Sluice, which now seemed an awful long way off in the distance, and past the dog walkers I’d passed coming the other way only a few minutes before.

I reached Seaton Sluice and headed along the front, aiming for the trail around the headland. Took the wrong turning and for a moment was running into the sea, but realised the error of my ways and turned around sharpish. Around the trail, which goes around the other caravan park – no sign of the alpacas today. Into the carpark and along the trail past St Mary’s Lighthouse – feeling proper tired now, and heading towards my eighth mile.

Now onto the links, and the run along the waterlogged mini-golf course – having trouble feeling my legs and feet now, but plug on regardless. I did think about walking for a bit, but realised that way led the slippery slope of more walking and ultimately not running. Down the stairs at the stream , over the wee hill and then drop down onto the Promenade along the top of the beach. Plug, plug, plug, it becomes a wager between your brain and your body – which will give in first. As it turned out, neither. Up the stairs onto the top, past the Spanish City for the second time and along the home strait of the path along the road above the rocks. Bish, bash, wallop, job’s a good ‘un.


  • Distance: 10.05 miles (yee-ha!)
  • Time: 1’40.34 hours
  • Average pace: 10’10” per mile – not too shabby, given I was raking in 12 minute miles towards the end.

Got home to very sore legs and feet, a slight inability to co-ordinate and some freshly made bread. Sounds about perfect, don’t it?

Damp on the moors…

Posted: 13/05/2012 in Uncategorized

Fist run of the day – might pop out again later. Mrs Bees wanted a trip to somewhere called Sparty Lea in Northumberland. It was picturesque little hamlet in the classic Northumberland style, or a bit dark and damp to put it another way.

Looking at a map, there was a path called “The Long Drag” leading out of the village and into the hills. Perfect for today’s 10-miler on the plan. We arrived, I packed up and headed off, only to find that a few hundred metres up the path was a large “Private Property – No Entry” sign. Sometimes I would hop over and go on,  but that wasn’t the way I felt today. I turned around and headed back to the car, but Mrs. Bees had headed off for a wander in another direction. I chose the public footpath over the road, and sure enough caught up with her a minute later.

After explaining the predicament, I headed off along the path she was on – very nice it was too. Over the river, and along the banks, past the church and some evil-looking cows. The ground was waterlogged, and there was a bit of strategic hopping over streams coming down the hillside and leaving swamps in their wake. The path turned up the hill, and off I set.

Now I’m no expert at the hills, and to be honest I ended up walking pretty quickly when the bank got steep. The path turned along the hillside, and I started crossing fields. I soon discovered that the fields were also properly waterlogged, and every step was kicking up a puddle of water. My feet were soaked, and the it was tough going through the mud.

Four or five fields in, and the next style led to an expanse of standing water, so I did the only sensible thing, I turned around and headed back. Caught up with Mrs. Bees on the way back to the car and headed home, slightly disappointed.

In total, something like 3 miles in about 35 minutes, I think. Back at home with a cup of coffee now, wondering if getting up at 5am to watch the sun rise was a great idea given that I feel a bit knackered now.

If I feel up for it later, I may go for a trudge up the coast this evening – will see how it goes – I wanted to get my 10 miler under my belt today.

Drip, drip, drip…

Posted: 10/05/2012 in Uncategorized

It was raining this morning, that special North Sea Coastal Rain that uses deceptively small droplets, freezes them to just this size of ice, then hurls them sideways at you around Mach 2.

That didn’t stop me.

However, I did figure a shorter run might be better, so the Lighthouse and back. It soon became apparent that it was a bit chilly – my legs turned the colour of beetroot, and I couldn’t feel my exposed neck.

On the return journey, the sea was right up to the Promenade at the top of the beach – never seen it that big before, and it was fun running right next to the waves. By this point I was wet enough that a bit of spray wasn’t going to bother me.

Came home to an aching left calf – more of a bone-ache than a muscle ache – could be the damp, the cold, of maybe poor form due to not being able to feel my legs – hoping it passes.


  • Time: 32’33.57
  • Distance: 3.62 miles
  • Average pace: 9’05 per mile – better than I expected!

So this morning was a nice short run, as it’s back to work. A nice short morning run is about 3 miles, up to the Lighthouse and back. Or is it?

I ran to the turning for the Lighthouse, and figured I wasn’t quite satisfied, so I headed up to Seaton Sluice. Arriving at the turn off down to the headland, it still wasn’t quite enough, so I tootled into Seaton Sluice and around the further headland. That felt about right. Back along the front and it was a lovely day.

Seems to me my short morning run is slowly morphing into a 10k – when did that start? Maybe it’s as the longer weekend runs ramp up, I don’t know, but it’s not long since 10k was a good long weekend run. Go figure.


  • Distance: 6.12 miles
  • Time: 55’37.99
  • Av. pace: 9’13 /mile

Nine Beautiful Miles

Posted: 06/05/2012 in Uncategorized

In the ever-increasing quest to increase mileage, this weekend’s Long Slow Run was down for nine miles. Because I haven’t made it onto the trails for a while, I figured the Rising Sun Country Park was the place to go, a circuit around the part is about 2.3 miles, so three and a bit of them would get me to my goal.

Today was a great day for running – bright, with a bit of cloud, a very slight breeze and not too hot (or not at 8:15 when I started). Yesterday’s lunch was pasta, as I experiment with carb-loading and the ever exciting research question that is “how much pasta can you consume without your bowel exploding?”. Turns out it’s quite a lot of pasta – to be fair I haven’t reached the event horizon on this piece of investigative nutrition. Whether it’s all in my tiny brain or not, it definitely helps when plodding off along the track.

The country park is a great place to run, well maintained paths, a nice hill, a bit of forest and as much dog-walking, Sunday running and horse-riding as you can shake a stick at.

First lap went well, I was feeling springy and groovy – a good combination, I’m sure you’l agree. Up the hill and it didn’t feel like a push. Down the other side, lots of quick-quick steps to avoid the impact on my knees. Back to the start, and that’s 2.5 miles down.

Second lap, and it’s the familiar mid-run feeling, lovely and frothy, muscles warms up, joints working well and a positive pleasure. Second time up the hill and the top of my right knee was a bit achy – figure that’s just the way things are sometimes, and it’ll pass. Back to the start and now I’m at 4.4 miles, if I remember. Not bad, and on track time-wise at a little under a ten minute mile.

Third time around, and my vision goes twang – in a good way. One of the things I’ve always found interesting about smoking (more on the giving up smoking timeline in another post, I reckon) is that a couple of tabs into the day and my vision springs into focus, the tunnel opens up and I’m alert. I’ve started noticing that running sometimes has the same effect – something that I mentioned in an earlier post. Well, it proper trumped it this time – if I had to try and describe it (which is clearly what I’m trying to do) it’s some kind of hyper-alertness, I see things I wouldn’t normally expect to notice (and not in a hallucinatory way, either), my distance vision is better, shapes are sharper and the world is brighter. It’s massively enjoyable, and happened around mile 7.

Third time up the hill was a bit harder, knee was wobbling again, but not in a particularly intense way. End of the third circuit and I need to decide – I can cut the circuit to length, and make a nine mile finish, or do the whole thing again and go over my target. What the heck, it’s a lovely day, the sun is out, the world is fabulous, let’s go for it, once more up the hill!

The fourth circuit was both easy and difficult – that sounds mad, I know, so let me explain. As the fourth time round, there’s the psychological high of knowing you’re nearly there, but the physiological tiredness of approaching what is, for me, a long distance. The hill was a proper slog this time, the feet didn’t want to know, and I could feel the site of last week’s blister heating up alarmingly. Luckily mind trumps body, so I forged ahead. Just as I’m about done, I run past a dog, it’s owner up ahead of me. It looked a bit too interested, and as I ran past and headed to the owner, I felt the dreaded sensation on the back of my right calf – I jumped about ten feet in the air, with a mild scream, but luckily it was just a small damp nose, rather than pointy teeth. The owner looked around as though I’d been sexually assaulting his dog (which I hadn’t, for the record), and I plodded by figuring that it takes all sorts.

Run done, all over bar the plod back to the car, though I felt very light afterwards – need to eat something. Got home with a funny sensation in my chest in the left nip area – for the first time ever (and maybe due to a new top) I’ve had a bit of nipple chafe – the poor fella’s bleeding and very tender. Hopefully this won’t happen again, but perhaps I’ll purchase and stick a pack of nip-o-lube in my bag… 🙂


  • Distance: 9.38 miles
  • Time: 1:32.12
  • Average pace: 10’00 per mile – spot on!