How could I have left you so long?

You’d think that when I have three weeks off of work that I’d be able to actually keep you abreast of my training – almost to the point of over-indulging my blogging because I have soooo much free time. And yet, here I am writing today, this blog that has seen a whole fortnight (at least) since my last post.

I suppose I have been really quite busy, so I’ll try and keep my story short and not bore you:

I did some running, some driving, some more running. The End

what’s that you say? You want something a little more informative than that? Oh. Well…

Since last I wrote, we have ticked over into yet another month of 2013, which is quite scary. I have also been very much enjoying my Easter holidays. Swimming hasn’t been happening so much, and even this week that I am back at work has not yet seen me at the pool – my argument is that I am easing back into a working routine first ;-) Next week, I promise.

I have done a little Pilates, but last week we had to change from our usual Thursday night slot to the Monday morning. Lynds and I were two of just four intrepid pilate’ers on Monday monring, and Dawn worked us super hard. I thought I was actually melting as the crazy sideplanks with as-many-limbs-off-the-ground-as-possible took their toll on me! But, that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it.

The previous week I had covered 51.5 miles including 18 on Saturday and a further 13 on Sunday which was split into 1 hour of easy running and 1 hour at Marathon Pace. This was a pretty tough session at the end of the week and called for all of my reserves.
On Saturday, Lynds and I had also taken the opportunity to actually enjoy the rare visit of that golden orb in the sky to take a walk to the top of Leith Hill. It was funny that whilst at the top I met Tim, who I’ve known in the virtual world for ages but never met, and now I’d seen him two weekends in a row. He was 22 miles into a 39 mile run!
Also that weekend we headed down to sunny Bexhill for a visit with Ma and Pa. It was an opportunity to say hi, as our next term at work is a long 11 week stretch so not much time for getting out and about to see them till the summer.

Last Tuesday we drove up to the other end of the country to Lyndsey’s Mum and Dad. I couldn’t be bothered to run after a five hour trip, so instead I settled in to sample beers with Father in law. The weather was pretty glorious on Wednesday so we took a family trip out to Helmsley for the day, which was very nice. The Walled Gardens were free to get into – but this was mostly because there was nothing growing there. Damn global warming/cooling. Upon our return I set out on my first run since Sunday.

My legs felt sluggish, but soon picked up and I enjoyed a loop of Saltburn including a trip to the end of the pier before running all the way up the cliff top steps. According to Strava this took me 1 minute 16s. The leading guy has done it in about 45s. Ouch! It was a beautiful evening evening for a run and a really nice way to round off the day.

Thursday was our real reason for being up there, the wedding of Mr Anderson to Miss Smith. It was a lovely ceremony, even if it was a little chilly on the balcony. Thankfully though, no rain fell and the evening was a roaring success – the fish and chip dinner was definitely a highlight :-) oh and the number of times the bar staff forgot how to add up, so drinks were surprisingly cheap!

It was a fairly late night, but I was up nice and early the next day though for my epic run.

I had decided earlier in the week to do a longer session over the moors at some point and had plotted a 31 mile route. This seemed a little longer than maybe I had confidence in completing, so I also mapped out a 26 mile version. I was pretty much set on this one, until I saw fellow NDW50 newbie Graham tweeting about his upcoming 30 miler. I decided that was the gauntlet challenged so I had no option but to scrap the 26 and go for the 31 mile option.

Friday morning started drizzly and overcast and I took some time deciding what I wanted to wear for the day. I packed my bag and decided to include my waterproof rather than start wearing it, and instead opted for the gilet version of my weatherproof jacket. Within moments of setting out the door the drizzly rain started again and I began to question my decision. I was less than half a mile from the woods, so I decided to wait and assess the situation when I came out the other side of them. I was glad I did so, as it turned out that I didn’t need my waterproof all day long.

My carefully plotted route was called into question fairly early on as I was bought face to face with a barbed wire fence and a great big ‘private land’ sign which meant a 0.5mile deviation. But this was to be the only navigational issue of the day as I had spent time uploading my proposed route onto the garmin.

360 degree view from the edge of Highcliff Nab - or not
360 degree view from the edge of Highcliff Nab – or not

The route itself took in some beautiful vistas as I completed the first half following the Cleveland Way having joined it in Skelton. The open fields and rugged moorland were beautiful – well, the ten yards of it that I could see were. The fog and mist was so thick I was pretty glad that the route is so well marked and that I had a gps route marked. I had planned to deviate from the Way to scale Roseberry Topping after about 13 miles. I drove past it every day for about 3 years, but had never climbed this regional beauty. In the mist and damp the steep, wet stones made for an interesting and very careful ascent. At the top I look over the edge and saw nothing but a sea of grey. I could see nothing at all.

This is a shear drop off the edge
This is a shear drop off the edge

The descent was even more hairy, and resulted on my one meeting of my bum and the ground. Thankfully though, I picked a soft bit of grass rather than a stone that could have done some damage. I rejoined the Cleveland Way and headed for Captain Cooks Monument. I assumed I had plotted the course wrong. I was heading up hill, seemingly near the top, but I still couldn’t see anything. Bearing in mind that you can see the monument from the A19, miles away, I was about 25ft from it before it towered in to view. It was eerie up here all on my own.

As if from nowhere
As if from nowhere

I’d like to think that it was all downhill from here, but sadly not. I was enjoying myself though; trying to eat and drink regularly and keep an eye on any injury issues. Thankfully though, despite forgetting my anti-chafe stuff, the chamois cream was working wonders. My knees felt good and my feet felt fantastic. The only thing that hurt was my fat wobbly bits taking a bit of a beating on the downhills.

remember that view I couldn't see off the edge of - well 13 miles later I could see the top
remember that view I couldn’t see off the edge of – well 13 miles later I could see the top

There isn’t much more to say about the run itself. I slowed down a bit – expectedly. And I suffered mentally a bit at times – but not drastically. I finished in 6:20 (plus about 20 minutes for faffing around eating and taking pictures) so a fraction quicker than the Hardmoors 30 on New Years Day. Hardmoors had a tough final few miles in the mud, but Fridays run had 300ft more elevation. Additionally, the sheer fact that I was running solo took the run to a whole new level. Add to that the fact that I was able to go out on Friday night to see friends, and to wake up on Saturday and consider going to parkrun, I am really happy with the outcomes of that run.

As it happens, I didn’t go to parkrun though I felt like I could. Instead I decided to be sociable and joined the family in Saltburn for a wander around the farmers market. And jolly nice it was too. We drove home that afternoon.

On Sunday I went for a 12 mile run. I think I had hoped to go a little further, but my legs felt understandably a little tired so I chose not to push it too far. 50+ miles over three runs in a week is pretty good going.

This week I have been back at the track where we did 300m, 6x 800m, 400m, 300m all with 1min rest. I was pretty pleased with perfect splits of 3:11 3:13 3:13 3:13 3:12 3:10 for the 800s especially as I thought I was gonna die on about the third rep!! my last 300m was also 2 seconds faster than the first :-)

I did have to shorten my run home last night a bit though as the mega downhills were causing some concern in the level of discomfort in my right ITB. The one thing I don’t need right now is another dodgy ITB as the left knee still isn’t really ‘right’. A fun and muddy cross country run tonight followed by a tough Pilates session will hopefully have done the trick though.

So, there you go. You are now all caught up. Sorry about that folks. I promise to never do it again, unless I need to, or I forget.

Until next time…


5 thoughts on “How could I have left you so long?

    1. yup. That pretty much sums it up. I seem to have rather weak glutes which is where a lot of bother originates. Done some rehab exercises, but my problem there is that I can’t even squat anymore as the pain kicks in at my knee before I’ve gotten to about a 120 degree bend at the knee!!

      Pilates seems to be helping quite a bit too – I can definitely feel my lazy glutes having to do some work.

  1. I used to live in Saltburn, love running around the area and the Topping and Monument are just two of the great places you can run to. Saltburn steps are brutal!

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