Turns out that a shabby end to a shabby day is just the thing to get you moving – who’d have thought.
I’ve been doing lots of little short runs recently, as the family have got in on the act, so we’ve started working through the 13 week programme that got me where I am today (in a vest and shorts being buffeted by the North East coastal zephyrs and loving every moment of it). Because of that, I’ve ended up doing shorter runs after those sessions, usually a couple of miles or so just to make sure my legs still work and in a hopeful continuation of my transition to wearing barefoot shoes. Also, due to bruising the bone on my left foot while wearing said barefoot shoes on an especially spiky/stony path, a shorter run was good recuperation for my feet.
In an earlier post I broke out of that position and ran a jolly five miles – it was fab. However today was one of the darker, wilder runs when you know you just need to get out there and run in the hope that it will stop the top of your head exploding. Not literally, as that might be a bit scary, but sometimes running really is “The Percolator of the Soul”.
So, after the 13-week session tonight, I entrusted Mrs Angrybees with the keys to the mansion and gamely headed off up the coast. I initially planned on maybe going to the lighthouse and back, another five miles or so, figuring that was more than plenty, but also knowing that the calm that comes from a good long run sometimes hides until later on in the mileage.
Along the promenade, and the weather was pretty good, my little brain was rumbling away and I was concentrating on keeping my cadence up while monitoring for limbs dropping off. Luckily the count of jettisoned extremities was none, so on I went. Off along the trail to the lighthouse, and it was a little rocky for the barefoot road shoes – it may be my neophyte barefoot running style, but I haven’t got the hang of pointy rocks on trails yet – maybe the barefoot trail shoes are what I need?
Up to the top of that path, and the internal monologue is still underway, so I headed off up the trail to Seaton Sluice – heading the opposite way around the loop to normal, just to confuse myself. Feet still holding up well, not twingy pains and my knees were having their own little party it was all going so well.
I arrived on the road at Seaton Sluice, avoided being knocked over and had to make a decision – turn back toward Whitley Bay and make a 6 mile run of it, or turn to the far end of Seaton Sluice and add on the distance. I headed further out, along the road and to the pub on the headland, then onto the headland, then to the end of the headland. There’s a channel that runs through, and a beach on the other side, with a good 10′ drop to the sand. Some children on the other side started shouting “ee’s gonna jump“, though they may not have been quite that cockney. I assured them I wasn’t going to jump, had a good think about jumping and decided it would end in two broken legs, so plodded back up the hill.
The return journey tends to be where the aches and pains arrive, and the knees get properly on with their sorry tale of woe. However, in my barefoot shoes it didn’t really happen. Yes, my feet were feeling a little sore, but nothing terrible, so I plodded back. Around six miles in, the light struck, I felt calmer and balanced.
Ran home, got a bit wet in the rain and felt pretty good.
See, when I say “running makes me a better person”, it’s true, just not always in the way you might think.
- Distance: 7.34 miles
- Time: 1’11″21
- Average pace: 9’43” – I seem to run faster when I’m frothing… the very idea…