Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Half day skive

I booked a half day off work today, trying to use up my spare leave before the end of March - use it or lose it! So, to make the most of the time out, I packed my rucksack in preparation for another jaunt up the Simonside hills.

I knew the weather was going to be dry and bright, and particularly warm for this time of year. I picked a good day! I started at Lordenshaw's car park and headed up the first climb, veering to the left and aiming for Spy Law. The intention was to run part of the Simonside Cairns route. Having run the race before the route was familiar but I did tend to go off course on several occasions. There was quite a lot of standing water on the lower ground which didn't make it easy running, but I was out in the countyside away from the daily grind.

As usual it was quite breezy on the tops and I was trying to keep to the soft ground rather than the massive amount of paving there seems to be up there now. Could be quite dangerous with a bit of rain! (and tough on the legs)

I ended up running for around an hour and a half, approximately 8 miles. Great to be out there with not a soul around, apart from a jet flying so low I could almost touch it!

I intend to run the Brough Law fell race on Sunday so hopefully this will be a good training run. It's also the harrier league at Alnwick on Saturday but it's one or the other. I know which I'm going for!!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Royal signals road relays, Hetton

Turned up for the road relays today for a 2.3mile sprint. A long way to go for such a small effort but worth it for the club. As usual it was at the forefront of my mind for the last couple of days putting unnecessary pressure on myself! Always the same though, peer pressure and trying to be the best. When will I learn.
(Pic thanks to

Weather was cool and breezy but nothing to severe. I was 2nd leg in team B. 2 laps of the 1.15 mile course awaited. I went on a preliminary recce, there was 1 hill after 400m and another gentle climb near the end of the lap. This was highlighted by a club mate earlier saying I would "feel" it on lap 2. I certainly did!

Lap 1 was kind of all about getting into a rhythm. Conscious of the fact that I always go off too fast, I held back and attempted to stride out to avoid lactic acid. I made up a couple of places on lap 1 (5:12) and lost a place on the 2nd lap (5:30). The last incline hurt!! Overall I was pleased with my run, the team did well. I'll still worry about the next race, I can guarantee it.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Breath of fresh air

I headed off to the Simonside hills today for a change of scenery and to make the most of my annual leave from work. Weather was quite mild leaving Morpeth but I had my hat, gloves, wrag and double base layers just incase! Once I reached Lordenshaws car park it had become very overcast with a few spots of rain beginning to fall. I was prepared!

I set off on one of the marked courses aiming to do about 5/6 miles of easy hill running. Upon the ascent to Dove Crag the wind picked up very quickly and it was quite literally blowing a hoolie. I felt good and was enjoying the trip out
It was great getting into the hills, I don't do it often enough, but isn't that aways the same. Must make extra effort to vary my training runs.

It's the Royal signals road relays this Saturday and I'm running for the cub's B team. A 2 mile sprint, DO NOT GO OFF TOO FAST JOHN!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012


Today I took an impromptu half day off from work and decided to try a barefoot run along the beach at Seaton sluice. Cracking day but blooming cold!
Thoroughly enjoyed the 3 mile up and down route and felt great afterwards. Quite liberating really. I've been transitioning to minimalist shoes for around 6 months now and have had a few niggles during this time - plantar fasciitis for one!

Training has been going exceptionally well recently and the ongoing issue around my plantar fascia seems to be drawing to a close. The past few weeks have been pain free. About time too! 50 miles per week since new year including some great rep sessions at the club.
Tried my hand at a park run last weekend and same old story - nervous, went off too fast and couldn't get into a rhythm. I need to find a way to convert my training into a race....and soon. The weather didn't help either, i'm sure it didn't reach above zero degrees. Hands and feet were numb by the end.

On course for a 60 mile week this week. Off work next week so hoping to get to the beach for another barefooter and definitely into the hills for a change of scenery. Looking forward to the time off.

Simonside or Cheviot.......