The Scribbler

9 January 2011

Bob on!

Filed under: run — The Scribbler @ 17:13
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I’d forgotten how lovely this route is. Beach, cliff top paths, muddy trails, tree-lined woods, a river, a couple of stiles and a track finish – truly something for everyone. It was a joy to run today and to experience it anew through someone else’s eyes.

It’s rare for me to run back to back and the Run for Bob would be my longest run of the year so far. In fact, it’s probably my longest since the Great North Run (I’ll have to check that). So the plan was to just enjoy a nice social run, take it steady and clock it as my long run for the week. In the end I did a bit more than that.

Brrrr it was cold out! Frosty pavements at the coast and tales of significant snowfall inland. Lessons learned from yesterday’s parkrun I double layered my legs and wore my warmest base layer beneath my Fetch top.

I thought I was quite early as I went to register, but the club house was already busy with runners sheltering from the chill wind. It was great to see Jeff just relaxing and taking it easy ahead of his third race this weekend and the one he was going to blast out. We had a good old chinwag as usual.

As I was heading out to jog down to the start, a girl in a lovely blue Gore jacket caught me at the door and asked if I was going to the start and if so could she follow me. We chatted as we jogged down to the front at Whitley Bay and stretched to warm up. I pretty soon sussed out that she’s a decent runner, with a faster pace than me, but as we lined up at the start she asked if she could run with me.

And so Caroline became my companion on the Run for Bob, keeping me honest all the way round. Swapping stories of runs done and planned and how we got into it in the first place. It was great to hear her enjoy the scenery, running along the beach and through Holywell Dene. It reminded me of how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place. I could do this every day if I wanted to, I thought as I ran along the sands. How fortunate am I?

Of course the chat made the miles go by very quickly. We were approaching 5 before I glanced at my watch and with 45 minutes on the clock I knew I’d been running well. I was surprised at how much of the route I remembered, not forgetting the tough old hill out of the Dene. But I picked my way up, still just about running and turned onto the waggonways knowing there wasn’t much further to go.

Pushing on the wider trail paths after the hill was hard and my legs were starting to protest. Caroline said she hoped she wasn’t slowing me down. I knew she was in fact pulling me on, keeping me going and helping to take my mind off my aching legs. But my breathing was calm and the chat continued all the way to the end. The promise of cake at the club house helped a lot too.

As the track approached I seriously wondered about my goal of a sprint finish to every race. As we entered the track, Caroline said, “Shall we stretch it out a bit here?” and showed her class as she effortlessly notched up another gear. I tried to push on, but it wasn’t coming, so decided to hold it until the last corner and then really put the pedal down.

Round the last bend and I kicked into a sprint. Not enough to catch my new running pal, but plenty to overtake another chap on the track and reward Jeff who was cheering me into the finish and who told me I was 47th. Thanks buddy.

I stopped the watch at 1 hr 09.50. I’d deliberately avoided looking at my last time for this route as I ran it in July, with some Great North Run training under my belt and Dave pushing me to a fast paced last mile. But I knew it wasn’t far off my previous time, and in the cold, with a bit of ice and mud, I am very happy with that.

Happy because I did what I intended and just enjoyed a lovely run in lovely surroundings. The fact I was fortunate to have a great companion all the way round was a big bonus. Caroline definitely kept me going and probably made me race it a little more than I would have if I’d been on my own. Thanks Caroline – I hope you find me online.

Cheery smiley marshalls and the promise of cake back at the clubhouse make this a really fun run. The flapjack was as tasty I remember it and hearing how well Jeff had done while scoffing down some post run treats was a great way to round off a Sunday morning running in the winter sunshine.

Stats and stuff:
7.49 miles 1.09.50
mile splits:
03.54 (0.49 miles)

Never mind the speed – look at the consistency of those splits!


1 Comment »

  1. […] Even the squats and lunges without any extra weight were pulling on muscles well worked by a hugely satisfying run on Sunday. A good stretch set me up for a relaxed evening and a good night’s sleep. Training well and […]


    Pingback by Hopes and a bit more than a recovery run « The Scribbler — 12 January 2011 @ 13:08 | Reply

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