ParkRun and Long Runs

Week: 21.08.17 – 27.08.17

This week my virtual runners are Bethan Kelly, Denise Baker, Amanda Charge and Graeme Harris. Real world runners Paul Sharpe and Paul Sharpe (not a typing error!). Thank you for joining me for a week packed full of miles!

Date: 21.08.17

Location: Newcastle

Distance: 7.1 miles

Time: 01:03:26

Run notes: It was back the marathon training plan. Tonight’s run was a warm up followed by 14 x 90 secs at 3k/5k pace (60-90 seconds), then 40 minutes at marathon pace. The first part of training is called Fartlek training, which being an immature person always makes me laugh, but I don’t particularly like doing the training. I have mentioned a number of times how rubbish I am at counting and running, and it didn’t get any better on this run, as I ran across the town moor ( I chose this location because there wasn’t the added complication of crossing rounds to confuse me even further!)

I can only really comment that this was a run, a good training run. But another run where my virtual running partners are so important to me. I know these runs are about building up the speed and consistency with my running but god, I don’t enjoy them too much. It’s the feeling you get afterwards knowing that you achieved something. That you didn’t moan or complain but you just got out and did it. And I managed over 7 miles in just over an hour so that’s pretty good for me.

Average pace: 8:51/mile

Splits: (min/mile)

– Mile 1 – 9:10

– Mile 2 – 8:28

– Mile 3 – 8:25

– Mile 4 – 8:38

– Mile 5 – 8:41

– Mile 6 – 9:28

– Mile 7 – 9:13

– 0.1 Mile – 8:16

Achievements: 1 x segment personal record

Date: 14.06.17

Location: Gosforth, Newcastle

Distance: 3.6 miles

Time: 32:48

Run notes: We had some visitors coming tonight so I went out for a quick run as soon as I got back from work. I had little time but I felt like I wanted to stretch my legs after being behind a desk all day.

It was a short local run which involved some gradients. I found this run tough. It was one of those runs where you feel like all the training you have been doing hasn’t worked and I was actually really pleased that I was limited by time.

Again once I crossed the threshold I felt chuffed, that I had bothered even to get myself out and squeeze in a short run.

Average pace: 8:56min/mile


– Mile 1 – 9:09

– Mile 2 – 9:00

– Mile 3 – 8:56

– 0.6 Mile – 8:27

Achievements: 1 x segment personal record

Date: 26.08.17

Location: Town Moor, Newcastle

Distance: 3.1 miles

Time: 29:05

Run notes: I had been really looking forward to this run. Today I was running my local ParkRun with my friends Paul Sharpe and PS2. They are such good company and Paul has been a family friend for, well actually I have known him all my life. Our families go a long way back, although no-one will probably appreciate me saying that.

After a flurry of texts from each other about how slow we both are and apologising in advance (Paul is not slow, and has done A LOT of running, including the Brighton Marathon earlier this year) we met in the sunshine at the start.

The three of us started off together and the run was so lovely. It was great to have company and have a good catch up with Paul. I didn’t notice the 5km as we ran it. It was when we were discussing our running loves and hates that we both agreed that it doesn’t matter what training etc you are doing, it all depends on which you shows up on the day. Some runs are tough because of a reason or not and others can just be great. This run was one of those great runs.

After we had finished and had our barcodes scanned by the brilliant volunteers (yes, we both own ParkRun wrist bands we are that keen) the three of us headed to a local cafe for some brunch.


This was the Paul’s regular haunt, and they very kindly treated me to a breakfast butty, which I thought was very tasty but it was not quite up to the usual standard, apparently.


I feel I should explain this photo. Whilst catching up I explained how when I saw a runner (of any ability) out running, I always want to say ‘well done!’ to them (I must admit particularly the plodders like myself). Not to be patronising but because I genuinely think they are doing a fantastic thing. So the Pauls and I agreed we need to introduce a sign, which could be globally recognised to mean good one! So here it is my ‘good one!’ fist pump!

The Pauls dropped me home a very happy running bunny. Thank you Paul and Paul for a really lovely morning, great company and great running. I had with the rest of the day ahead to have a much needed sort out of the garden!

Average pace: 9:07min/mile


– Mile 1 – 9:24

– Mile 2 – 9:01

– Mile 3 – 9:09

– 0.1 Mile – 8:01

Date: 27.08.17

Location: Gosforth, Newcastle

Distance: 26.3 miles

Time: 04:30:56

Run notes: So the run plan stated that I was to try a 22 mile run. The longest run I would be doing before the Yorkshire Marathon. So Paul and I once again made our way to Mum and Dad’s to set up our water station and then our second water station at the local country park. Using my running routes we planned a longer route which included no repeated loops (I am not a massive fan of repeating where I have run before, I get bored far too easily). Paul announced, ‘you know if we are running 22 miles I am tempted just to run the whole distance.’ Why does he say things like this?! Sometimes I am so competitive. I don’t want to be faster than anyone, I just don’t want to miss out on an opportunity. So I agreed.

Once back at ours with everything set up along the slightly longer route, we were off, running to the first water station. Paul is a great running partner because he is very skilled in setting a steady pace and sticking to it. I am not that good. As I mentioned I get distracted. However Paul will happily admit himself he’s not so great on small talk whilst running and 26.2 miles is a long time. This is particularly when I miss Mum accompanying me on her bike on our many running outings, when I used to be plodding the miles. She is the queen of prattling distraction (and that is very much a good thing). When Dad and I trained for my first marathon, I learnt all about when he was growing up because I forced him to talk to me for hours when we were out running. We had a compromise, I would get several hours of accompaniment and he could teach me to play Bridge (I had no where to go I was stuck by his bike).

Paul and I were getting along fine, I was chatting about the different sections of the route, what we could see and which virtual runners were accompanying me when at about 12 miles something happened. Paul had developed a niggle in his knee. We slowed the pace right down but eventually Paul was having to regularly stop (whilst I ran on the spot next to him – I can imagine this was only slightly irritating).

At 14 miles we decided it would be best for Paul to stop and walk back to the car. I was going to stop too, but Paul decided I should keep going. It is the first time in my life I left someone behind and I wasn’t comfortable with it, but he insisted. We agreed to meet at Mum and Dad’s.

So off I went. I didn’t have my head phones with me so I was running 12 miles completely on my own. It’s not something I am used to. I couldn’t quite remember the agreed route either, so I made a bit of it up. I got really thirsty towards the end of this section and felt zapped of energy, I needed a sugar hit! When I got back to the agreed meeting point I was around one mile short. I ran around Paul grabbing a Boost chocolate bar and told him I would be back and headed away again. That first 0.5 mile was tough, running away at 25 miles, from the place that was the finish. I passed a young family walking and I heard the boy say to his mum ‘Look at her run. She must be fit.’ (Bless him I was very much plodding in the sun).

When I turned round to head back to the meeting point again, I passed the family again and heard the boy repeat his original exclamation. I smiled and said ‘thank you I am trying, but at 26 miles I am not as fit as I would like to be!’ I waved as I carried on, hearing him loudly say ’26 miles mum. wow!’ That boy will never know the boost of encouragement his words gave me.

I rounded the corner into the close and there on the drive was Paul, Mum, Dad, Eliza and Clara clapping me on. Oh I cried! It was so lovely to see them all cheering me on as I completed my unofficial marathon and to know I could stop! I was even more chuffed when I discovered I had actually run 0.1 mile further than a marathon – the furthest I have ever run! What a buzz I had for the rest of the day and still do now!


This is the only photo I have from the mammoth run. Both of us shattered, sitting on the bottom step refusing to move!

Average pace: 10:17min/mile


– Mile 1 – 10:14

– Mile 2 – 10:08

– Mile 3 – 10:06

– Mile 4 – 10:05

– Mile 5 – 10:36

– Mile 6 – 10:12

– Mile 7 – 10:06

– Mile 8 – 10:13

– Mile 9 – 9:57

– Mile 10 – 10:12

– Mile 11 – 10:25

– Mile 12 – 10:18

– Mile 13 – 10:15

– Mile 14 – 10:16

– Mile 15 – 11:19

– Mile 16 – 10:03

– Mile 17 – 9:58

– Mile 18 – 10:11

– Mile 19 – 10:06

– Mile 20 – 10:20

– Mile 21 – 9:50

– Mile 22 – 10:08

– Mile 23– 10:14

– Mile 24 – 10:18

– Mile 25 – 10:57

– Mile 26 – 11:17

– 0.3 Mile – 9:13

Achievements: Running more than a marathon!

Thank you Bethan Kelly, Denise Baker, Amanda Charge and Graeme Harris and real world runners Paul Sharpe and Paul Sharpe. You joined me for a great week of training that meant that I was ready to undertake our unofficial marathon and finish feeling on top of the world!

2 thoughts on “ParkRun and Long Runs

  1. I echo that little boy’s exclamation. Wow Lucy!!! You are amazing. More than a marathon Wow! Very well done. But I hope Paul’s niggle it’s nothing serious.
    I giggled at the thought of you grabbing a chocolate bar off Paul and then running of again. And I had tears of joy reading about your family waiting on the drive cheering you on as you finished. What a wonderful, caring family you have. You are so very lucky. Your photo after your run belies your exhaustion. How on earth can you still have been smiling. Keep up the good work Lucy.


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