Yup, it was in the car all along, under a packet of mints…
OK, it’s been a little while, and I’ve done a few odds and ends. We went to France, I ran in a couple of lovely towns, and camped with the best of them (in a tent kind of way). There’s something lovely about cooking outdoors on just a slightly battered Trangia, even if it’s just making a cup of tea. So much so that last week, after a difficult day, we set up in the back garden and cooked in the French Campside Style. It certainly helped to relax us and I can heartily recommend it.
Anyhow, the clock is ticking for the Jedburgh Ultra at the end of October, not to mention the Great North Run in a couple of weeks. My training has been almost as poor as my bank balance (though not quite). I started well, with a 14 mile long run four weeks ago. That should have been followed with a 15.5, 17, and 19.5 this week.
This did not occur.
I managed a 6, and 8 and somehow pulled an 11 out of the bag last week. This kind of approach just wouldn’t get me to 38 miles for the end of October. To be honest, I’d lost my Mojo, and as anyone knows, small black chewy sweets are difficult to locate.
In a blast of motivation, I think I found the Mojo in question, and had planned to run “a bit longer” this weekend. Maybe about 14, for a more swift build-up than originally planned, perhaps make up the difference.
Off I went today, with only a vague idea of where or how long I would run. The drop down from Greenside to Wylam looked good, so I headed North. Intuition is a funny thing, and it was a dandy run – I passed a chap near Wylam, coming the other way, looking like he was feeling it, despite being at the bottom of the hill, with the whole hard bit yet to go.
Over the train line and along the river bank to Newburn – stay on the Keelman’s way and then turn in to Blaydon. Past Axwell park and on to the Derwent Walk. Getting dark now, and glad to see that my fear of badgers has subsided – I think because I feel they’re now scape-goats in the latest TB cull shenanigans.
At the top of the Derwent Walk, at Rowlands Gill, I hit the 13 mile mark. That’s pretty much there for the Great North Run, and I was feeling pretty hoopy.
A gel, a swig of water and stick me head-torch on my head, like a mobile lighthouse, and off to the base of the “Hill of DOOM”, as it’s now become known (honest). It’s a tough plod from the bottom to the top, but I’ve got my mental game in place for this one, and I just keep on slowly.
Up to the top, eventually, another swig of water and I hobble off along the top to home.
Got home, turned out 16.7 miles, rather than the 14 I’d initially planned. Ankles are complaining, I think they’re still getting used to the longer distances again, but other than that it all seems good.
Right, I think a glass of wine may be in order…