Blue Runnings

Race Reviews, GPX files and more from North-East England

17th – 23rd October

on 22 October 2016

With a 10 mile run at Kirkley being booked in a while ago for the end of November (in an attempt to give myself a kick up the pants to get out for the longer miles again as the weather cools down), and with the Kielder 10k successfully negotiated, I’m trying to get back into a regular running routine again. P’s back on days again for a while – which helps with my getting into some sort of routine: I wasn’t even the one working the shifts but one car between us and trying to make sure we got some time together was awkward on my schedule as well as his! We’ve both been working some long hours, but I made sure this week was when I started really committing to some me-time.

I made my first reappearance at Run England for quite some time on Tuesday (despite going to the wrong carpark to start with – they’ve moved back to the sports centre for the winter), and am hoping to make this a regular feature in my week through the winter again – and beyond if the summer doesn’t melt me again! I really need to learn to run in the heat. 😦 Run England has gone back to two groups at the moment; fast and slow. Feeling very very rusty, the slow group was a definite must for me! It’s nearly impossible to do a flat route around Consett and I’d already resigned myself to hills somewhere along the line, but we did at least do about as flat as you can get; down Blackhill, up Genesis Way to Tesco and round the housing estates while doing as little of Delves Lane as possible!

I did make it up the inclines; Genesis Way is a long slow killer! But I did also do rather more walk-backs than run-backs and was very much in the middle of the group. 8’C outside and I was just in a t-shirt; it should have been perfect for me but you could still have cooked on my face by the time I got up the inclines! It’s really made me realise how much fitness I’ve lost over the summer – I would have laughed round that 4.5 miles and covered much more ground in the hour with run-backs last winter! A motivator to get it back this year and make sure I don’t lose quite so much of it next summer. 😉

The other thing I was rather aware of was how much of a pig I’ve been this summer…very aware of several months binging on chocolate and cakes when my capri waistband was rather tighter than I remember and I was feeling slightly nautious on the odd occasion as I flubbed my way around my trouser-belt! The remedy is the same – more exercise = more endorphins and less junk food craving, and takes away the side-effects of previous binges!

I’m not sure how much longer it’ll be continuing for, particularly as I still haven’t invested in any bike lights yet, but I’m still doing my 11-12 mile cycle ride on Wednesday evenings along the river – work permitting! So far, the weather has been kind and clear, but the wind’s definitely been picking up again, and it can’t seem to decide on a direction; it feels like pot luck whether we’ll be leaving with a head wind or a tail wind, though it is at least consistent while we’re out and we don’t end up with a head wind for the whole route! I’m actually starting to break out my winter gear again – long sleeves (which quickly got pulled up as I was getting a bit warm) and my windproof gillet from last winter has been putting in an appearance again.

A & I went out after work, with J catching us up when we were on the return leg: standing and yacking when we met her actually meant that because I hadn’t stopped my watch, J coming out for a cycle ride actually made us slower than normal – particularly as we had a worse time and didn’t even get caught at the level crossings! This is very much a technicality, but with J being something of a speed demon and it being very unlikely I’ll be able to say she was the one who slowed me down again, I’m taking it!

With it being my first ‘proper’ week back into an exercise schedule again, I wanted to concentrate on getting a couple of shorter sessions in through the week rather than demoralising myself with trying to go too far and do too many things and then bunk off again. So, we aimed for Tuesday (Run England), Wednesday (cycle – god could my knees feel it doing these one after the other!) and Saturday (parkrun). I do NOT feel at all ready for Blackhill parkrun after Run England on Tuesday, so in the interests of committing to doing something I decided I would give Riverside at Chester-le-Street a go as I had heard whispers of “flat”: something that never applies to Consett and Blackhill!

It was raining at about 07:30 this morning, as if to test my resolve to go out at all that day. It’ll not be the first time I’ve run in the rain (definitely got that merit badge!), so I determined to just take my waterproof jacket and go anyway, despite not really knowing where I was going. I’ve seen signs for ‘Riverside’ before when driving about and figured I’d find it – just follow the neon yellow jackets; noone wears them at 08:30 on a Saturday unless they’re joggers or dog-walkers!

I was standing by two runners at the start-line before the starting announcements who were talking: one had been to Riverside several times but the other was very nervous as this was her first parkrun. I headed off with her from the start-line when we left and we got chatting: she’d lost an amazing 3.5 stone since April and not only was this her first parkrun, it was her first run ever! I don’t think I’d have signed up for that on my first run in anything other than ignorance as to how far 5k was! She did really really well – Riverside parkrun is two big loops and 1 short loop into the finish line and C managed 1 big loop and the short loop (about 2 miles total) with only a few short walking sessions. It’s certainly a lot more than I managed the first time I did my trainers up! It’ll be interesting to see if she goes back next week or if she’s been put off forever!

I carried on to finish my big loop (the finish line was about halfway round it) and come back round on my short loop to finish my 5k in just under 40 mins, which given I was very much within my comfort zone for the first half hour I’m happy with 🙂 40 mins exercise anyway regardless of pace and I kept my commitment to myself to go out and do something. 🙂

I can attest to Riverside parkrun being almost the flatest few miles I’ve ever run (the river at Prudhoe being the only thing flatter – and that’s only if you don’t go as far as the hill by the houses!) and I look forward to hopefully getting a good time on it sometime in the future. I’m hoping to do a parkrun most weekends for the rest of the year as long as I’m not away or being invaded (and maybe even then if we’ve been invaded by lazy morning people!) and this is definitely a good one to know about when wanting a slightly easier Saturday morning 🙂


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