Running up that hill

The week was 01.05.17- 07.05.17, my Virtual Running Buddies for the week were Anonymous (27/10/16), Lara, Sue. Thank you so much for your support and joining me on what was an epic running week!

Date: 01.05.17

Location: Gosforth, Newcastle

Distance: 6.41miles

Time: 56:57:06

Run notes: My first run after our gorgeous holiday in the Northumberland countryside. The training plan called for a warm-up, then long threshold reps: 5×8 minutes with 90 seconds jog recovery in between. Followed by a warm-down.

This was a great run, the weather was fine and I was really looking forward to the challenging to see how I could push myself running at threshold. There were a number of other walkers and runners out, and it gives you a real boost exchanging greetings or a wave. I knew I was running at a quick pace for me, but even when I was slowing for my warm down the pace didn’t drop too much. I just felt great.

When I got home I was thrilled to see the pace that I had set, and I had managed to continue to run to without it ever feeling like a chore. My dad and Paul always ask how my run went as soon as I get in, and honestly I was on such a high. Showing them all of the run details on Strava and talking them through step by step (OK maybe not that much detail). I felt amazing that night!

Average pace: 8.54/mile


– Mile 1 – 9:01

– Mile 2 – 8:48

– Mile 3 – 9:06

– Mile 4 – 8:19

– Mile 5 – 8:27

– Mile 6 – 8:52

– 0.4 Mile – 10:54

Achievements: 3 x segment personal record


Date: 03.05.17

Location: Gosforth, Newcastle

Distance: 4.82miles

Time: 44:30:1

Run notes: 40 minute easy run was called for today! I like these runs. Pacing myself depending on a number of factors: the weather, how busy my day has been and how I am currently feeling. I like the phrase ‘easy run’. Really there is no such thing as an easy run. They are all challenging in their own way, but you are already telling yourself before you start, this is a good run to be enjoyed. And I obviously enjoyed this run. My pace was steady throughout and several personal records for segments achieved. What’s not to love with an easy run?!

Average pace: 9.59


– Mile 1 – 9:38

– Mile 2 – 10:14

– Mile 3 – 10:27

– Mile 4 – 9:53

– 0.1 Mile – 7:43

Achievements: 6 x segment personal records


Date: 05.05.17

Location: Gosforth, Newcastle

Distance: 6.16miles

Time: 01:00:01

Run notes: Oh dear lord! After the first two fantastic runs of the week came: warm up, then 10 minutes at threshold (2 minutes jog), then 8×40 seconds on flat (40 seconds jog/walk in between) and 8 x 30 seconds hill climb (jog back recovery and 2 minutes jog between sets), warm down.

Firstly Paul and I sat for a little while working out what the heck that actually meant – particularly and most importantly for me what are sets that I get a jog back recovery in between?! Then I had to think of a hill to run up! Googling hills in my area didn’t really help. Then I had a brain wave and off in the car I went.

After a little pep talk, I set off warming up through Weetslade Country park, after 5 minutes, I was off running at threshold, passed the hill that I would be running back to climb. Running at threshold along the old waggon way was a good kind of tough with the hill always looming in the corner of my eye.

As I turned around and ran back to the bottom of my climb, I kept telling myself, to think how I would feel afterwards completing this challenge. And so I found myself sprinting for 40 seconds on the flat and jogging back to the start and repeating 8 times. The looks that I was getting from the dogs I passed repeatedly and their owners said it all. If I had the breath to explain to them what this idiot was doing, I would have done.

Then here I was jogging towards the base of the hill.


I had found a side that didn’t have a path but was the most aggressive side I could see. I didn’t want people to think I had taken the easy option. Do you know how long 30 seconds lasts? It feels like blumming ages when you are running up a hill but never making it to the top, to turn round and go back down again. But I had my virtual runners with me and I didn’t want to let you down. After my final rep I couldn’t help the huge smile (while trying to hide the sense of nausea). Goodness it was tough but I actually felt like a proper runner. Clara and Annabelle would have been proud!

Forget your glass of wine, this is now how I roll on a Friday night…

Time: 1:01:00

Average pace: 09:54min/mile


– Mile 1: 9:38

– Mile 2: 8:14

– Mile 3: 8:56

– Mile 4: 9:49

– Mile 5: 11:03

– Mile 6: 10:53

–  0.1 Mile : 9:14


Achievements: I ran up a hill for goodness sake! 8 times!!


Date: 07.05.17

Location: Gosforth, Newcastle

Distance: 13.22miles

Time: 02:22:34:01

Plus: Distance: 0.33miles

Time: 03:02.54

Average pace: 09:54min/mile

Paul and I went for a long run together. Having started from Weetslade on my last run, it had sparked my interest. So I had created a different route to usual, leaving our car in the car park and running two loops passed the car so we could grab some water at about 6.5 miles. We ran along the wagon ways, through the nature reserves and country paths. Then as we were running back through the race course I realised I had got my distances a bit wrong. We had clocked up 8.5 miles and we found out Paul had hit the mental brick wall (apparently my prattling about how he hadn’t eaten anything for breakfast wasn’t helping.) At 8.6 miles we discovered that me singing happy birthday to him to remind him that his Iron Man and therefore all this training was his birthday present from me, really, really wasn’t helping. We got to the car grabbed some water (while running on the spot or around the vehicle) and an mini malt loaf and we continued on our way. Once again along the wagon way taking a different to a point where we could turn round and run back to the car.

Paul and I currently have different paces, and when there is a hill, he is definitely the king of the mountains – he’s just off! But I catch him up on the flats… Have you ever noticed when you are trying to get somewhere it feels like it takes for ever? Getting to the turn round point seemed like it took so long! I kept pointing out the tree that it would be, oh no, maybe the next cow pat, erm ok well the further telegraph pole. All of which I am sure was appreciated by running partner.


By the time we got back to the car, I was thrilled and really proud. Paul and I had run further together than we ever had before, faster than our Great North Run and we were still speaking to each other! I was also thrilled because the last time I had run a half marathon with Paul, I had had triple vision (as I didn’t know at the time, I was running through an MS relapse) it was pretty scary and I didn’t enjoy. Despite the tough time half way through it felt like a real achievement for the both of us.


– Mile 1: 10:46

– Mile 2: 10:39

– Mile 3: 10:16

– Mile 4: 10:42

– Mile 5: 10:48

– Mile 6: 11:19

– Mile 7: 10:46

– Mile 8: 10:39

– Mile 9: 10:16

– Mile 10: 10:42

– Mile 11: 10:48

– Mile 12: 11:19

– Mile 13: 10:47

–  0.55 Mile: 10:22

Achievements: Best half marathon effort, best 20k effort, 2 x segment personal records

Thank you again to my virtual runners, Anonymous (27/10/16), Lara, Sue, it was great running and feeling such a sense of achievement with the three of you. Remember whatever the hill is you’ve got to climb you can do it, particularly with the support of others! 🙂

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