Last week was an action packed week. After completing the beautiful Cragside 10k with a manic run down the steep slope to the finish line (arms waving and big smiles), I started the new week feeling like what I imagine a 90 year old must feel like after they have ridden a horse at break neck speed along 10 miles of roads. (Apologies to any horse riding nonagenarians).
After having spent Monday hobbling around the office, I got home to complete a slow and steady recovery run. Whilst completing over 3.5miles I took the time to not only enjoy that the sun shining and the birds were singing but the run itself. I have missed being able to take a moment in my busy life to step aside from the stresses and strains and just relax. Clare Edge was my virtual runner for this run. Clare I am sure you would have appreciated the tranquility as I ran through the fields and wood by Heatherly Lane. I looked out for the deer, which can often be found roaming in the fields but I think it was the wrong time of day for them so didn’t see any.
After years of not bothering (I know, I know, I should no better) I am now taking my post run cool down very seriously, so I completed my walk and stretches with due diligence and I am pleased to report the knee niggle is definitely getting better.
Wednesday lunchtime I ventured out of the office into the gorgeous sunshine for my first ever staff lunchtime run in Exhibition Park. Newcastle’s Exhibition Park, is a beautiful park with a gorgeous band stand, boating lake (home to several swans, a sensory garden, play park and lovely cafe and Wylam brewery. I got the opportunity to look at all of these fantastic features I ran the loop of the park 3 times, to complete the weekly timed challenge.
As this was my first run, I wasn’t exactly sure of the route, and not wanting to be seen as a cheat by the other runners, I set off with another member of staff. This lady had warned me when we started, that she was very competitive. I repeatedly informed her that I was coming back from injury so please feel free to run ahead of me. If I am being honest I think I was repeating this information not for her, but to remind myself not to run too fast.
Sadly, I did not listen to my own helpful reminders. I followed my colleague keeping a steady pace, which meant I was running on her shoulder. After a quarter of the first lap she dropped back and out of my sight. I am trying to train myself to run at a steady pace, meaning when I am completing laps, I do so with a consistent pace for each lap. I managed to do this but on finishing the prescribed 3 laps, I knew I had gone too fast too soon. My knee was uncomfortable. I didn’t just wanted to stop straight away as I thought this would make things worse and as the 3 lap route only meant I had run 2.08miles, I continued my run at a much slower pace for a further lap to cool down and recover. Finally using the support of a helpfully located tree to stretch at the end.
My virtual running partner for this race was Al Logie. Believe me Al after the second lap, knowing I had been a fool, the thought of you striding round this rather small route, encouraged me to keep going, just trying to enjoy it more and loosen my leg muscles.
On Saturday I got myself ready for a long run with Paul as part of his Iron Man training. After a work celebration night out on the Friday, Paul wasn’t too keen on running. But it was an absolutely beautiful day, an opportunity that couldn’t be missed. Whilst I waited patiently(!) for Paul to get into gear, I was joined by my proper runner trainer, Clara. It was so lovely to see her excited about running, so I promised her a proper run when I got from my practice miles with Uncle Paul. She loved my running vest (it’s her favourite colour after all),
Paul and I finally went for a run. What a day it was for it! Running through the fields we could have been on holiday in France. However when I told Paul this he wasn’t convinced it was that warm! Spring had obviously sprung in Gosforth because not only was the buds bursting out all over but there were lots of runners, walkers and cyclists every where. Great to greet those we passed. I love running with company so it was great to run with Paul and Catherine running with me. You would have been very impressed Catherine with the discussions being had as we made our way round our 7.68mile route. It was a really enjoyable run, with relaxed muscles.
When we got home, while Paul got to work on his tight calfs I ran in the sun lit garden, with my proper runner partner with cheers from our support team (Mum, Dad, Beth, Chris and Paul) filling the air.
Then we tried Clara’s favourite running style, copying what she saw when I manically ran across the finish line at the Cragside 10k. We ran several lengths of the garden waving our hands wildly in the air and whooping for joy.
And we had lots to celebrate because my runs this week meant that I had hit 100km!
Thank you very much to Catherine, Al and Clare for running with me this week!