This week my virtual runners are: Catherine Summers and Amanda Whittington. Thank you both for sponsoring me and joining me on such a gorgeous, sunny week of running.
I started my commute to and from work on my bike. Paul and I had a planned a nifty route that meant I spent no time on the main roads, which is great for a none confident rider like me. I love my bike complete with basket and bell!
Distance: 5.57 miles
Run notes: After my pootle on my bike home passed The Hoppings (one of the largest travelling fair in Europe apparently) being set up on the land owned by the freeman of the city. I was straight out for a 45 minute easy run, including 6 x 20 seconds strides. I like this kind of run because it means that I have variety in my running to keep me engaged and also I am not killing myself to be at threshold the whole time. A nice way to ease myself into the miles for the week. It was an extra special run as it was my first run from the front door of my new home!
It was gorgeous sunshine so I ran a relatively new route for me. It’s always great to see new places on your running travels, however as I made my way around the route, I quickly realised that my house is half way up a hill so after the initial few minutes of happily running down the slope every way I turned was up, including the long slow slog up cow hill. Another great reason to keep practicing those hill reps!
Average pace: 9:04/mile
– Mile 1 – 8:41
– Mile 2 – 9:41
– Mile 3 – 9:08
– Mile 4 – 8:35
– Mile 5 – 9:08
– 0.5 Mile – 9:15
Achievements: 4 x segment personal records
Location: Gosforth, Newcastle
Distance: 8.36 miles
Run notes: Ooh today was a hot one, not the nice kind of hot either. Very close and sticky. The perfect excuse not to get out and run, but knowing that I had Catherine and Amanda’s support, I got myself out and into the warm up section of my run. Today’s run following the warm up element was 3 x 9 minutes at threshold (with 90 second jogs in between), then into 30 minutes at marathon pace. I don’t know why this plan doesn’t do nice round number intervals. I could possibly cope with adding up the reps plus the jog gaps as I go if it was round numbers! But I shouldn’t complain 9 minutes is shorter than 10.
I combined a route from my old house and one from my mum and dad’s for this run and it was great to see how far I could go in my threshold reps. Despite the closeness in the air, it was a nice comfortable run. Once I got to the marathon pace I had the aim of 9:15 minper mile in mind (I just picked an aspriational number out of the air) and managed to stick to it er.. never.
A nice evening run, which when I returned home (back up that hill) I was surprised to see I had clocked up 8 miles!
Average pace: 9:03min/mile
– Mile 1 – 9:06
– Mile 2 – 8:30
– Mile 3 – 8:17
– Mile 4 – 8:37
– Mile 5 – 9:14
– Mile 6 – 9:07
– Mile 7 – 9:21
– Mile 8 – 9:48
– 0.3 Mile – 9:32
Achievements: 1 x segment personal record and 1 x gold cup with a number on!! Oh yes! I am 10th female over all for the ‘Ouseburn Shuffle’! (perfectly apt name for me!)
Location: Gosforth, Newcastle
Distance: 5.47 miles
Run notes: Wohoo by Friday evening I had completed my first ever week of commuting by bicycle! I am very proud of myself for this. I am not fast and I struggle with the blumming heavy gates on the Town Moor but I have saved us £15 in bus fares for the week and more importantly polluted the world a little less!
Paul’s Mum had joined us for a weekend visit, but it was another gorgeous evening so I was off for a quick 40 minute easy run. As the fair was here I thought I would do a tour on the outskirts of the event. It was the first night for The Hoppings and it is unheard of for the weather to be so good, so it was busy all around the Town Moor. Every path I ran, people seemed to be pouring in. Young, old, families, couples and friends. It was great to see. Unlike miserable Paul and Chris (my brother-in-law) I love this week! All of the community coming together to take part in something that’s just fun. It feels rather traditional. I love seeing the lights shining out across the expanse.
I completed a lovely late spring run through the streets filled with an atmosphere charged with excitement!
Average pace: 9:30min/mile
– Mile 1 – 9:29
– Mile 2 – 9:19
– Mile 3 – 9:39
– Mile 4 – 9:47
– Mile 5 – 9:27
– 0.4 Mile – 9:04
Location: Gosforth, Newcastle
Distance: 14.95 miles
Run notes: It was a boiling hot day, the hottest day of the week so far. Just before we set off to arrange my water stops (in my mum and dad’s porch and my car) Paul warned me to take it easy in the heat. Heat is not the friend of many people who have Multiple Sclerosis, it can temporarily make symptoms spike (along with another enemy – stress). He was absolutely right to mention it, as the heat is something I have been aware of for the last week, as the previous two summers we have seen my symptoms get more noticeable in the glorious warm days.
The sun shining is something I don’t like to complain about. It is important for us MSers to ensure we get our daily Vitamin D in take. As this can be very helpful. (Remind me to tell you about sun bathing with my mushrooms at some point – that is not a euphemism). Heat can often come with sun so it is ensuring that I am being sensible particularly as I also have sun sensitive skin (my moles and freckles are the obvious sign of this apparently). Two years ago, two days after my first appointment with my lovely MS Nurse who had encouraged me to be getting my natural vitamin D, I met with my lovely new GP (who is a skin specialist) to discuss a mole on my eyelid, she warned me about exposing myself to the UV rays of the sun and the harmful things it can do. I explained how I felt I was caught between the devil and the deep blue see, but have decided to take the sensible approach.
Knowing I was going to be out running for a long run, I slapped on factor 30 on all of my exposed areas and once it had sunk I headed out. I was due to meet the family for our annual walk through the fair in the afternoon, and it was important for me to run at a comfortable rate in the heat so I agreed with Paul that I would run less than the 15 miles on my plan.
It was a comfortable but sweaty run and I was pleased that I had put two water stops in place, allowing me to re-hydrate. Today was a run for getting in the miles not for picking any particular speed. I didn’t see many other runners on my route but did see a number of dog walkers which lead me to think of only mad dogs and Lucy out in the heat.
Once again I took the run turn towards the end of my run and unintentionally added an extra 2.5 mile loop before getting back to the car. I was so chuffed that despite the heat I had completed a long run and even more chuffed that I over ruled my competitive nature and it didn’t matter that I hadn’t hit the 15mile goal (ok only by 0.05mile but this is a big step for me) so I could get to my meeting on time.
However I discovered that even though I hadn’t run the full distance, due to my accidental addition, I was pushing it for my fair rendezvous. So I contacted the parents to let them know I was going to be late. It turned out the time had been pushed back in any case so they agreed to pick me up on the way.
After the quickest shower ever we moseyed across the town moor, being joined by Jamie and Maisie half way.
It was lovely to see Clara so excited by all of the rides whilst Eliza slept through it all. It was only as I stood in shade watching Clara and Chris on the helta-skelta (which she loved so much she took me and my mum on later) that I realised just how hot it actually was. I am still amazed that I managed to run so far in that weather.
It was such a fast paced day that when we were sitting round the garden table at mum and dad’s that I suddenly realised that I had hit my 500km mark! I am half way to my total!
And what a better way to celebrate that achievement but sitting with a glass of wine in my hand watching my dad perform the most amazing magic tricks!
Average pace: 9:56min/mile
– Mile 1 – 9:56
– Mile 2 – 9:47
– Mile 3 – 9:29
– Mile 4 – 9:38
– Mile 5 – 11:10
– Mile 6 – 9:34
– Mile 7 – 9:33
– Mile 8 – 10:20
– Mile 9 – 9:43
– Mile 10 – 10:00
– Mile 11 – 9:59
– Mile 12 – 10:00
– Mile 13 – 9:59
– Mile 14 – 10:33
– 0.95 Mile – 9:00
Achievements: Running in that heat! And doing it sensibly! 2 x segment personal records
Thank you Catherine and Amanda for joining me on this week of lovely sunny runs, together hitting the 500k target and helping me to support the MS Trust in the fantastic work that they do! I hope you had the opportunity to enjoy the sunshine (sensibly!) yourselves, do let me know what you got up to.