The One With Endless Hills

When starting a week of running, timing can always be an issue from time-to-time.

Your usual midweek run might have to be delayed because of life or illness – let’s face it, the latter has been rife with heavy colds and sickness bugs!

It can’t always be helped but sometimes, as much as it annoys people, you just have buckle and let life take the lead sometimes.

I found this out when my normal Tuesday 5K had to be moved to Thursday and, as much as it frustrated me, I just had to let it go and get on with it. I was still sore from the Trail Run at Rosebery Topping, so maybe the extra rest worked in my favour!

It was odd not to run for a couple of days, however, when it came to Thursday and my usual 3.1 mile run, I felt quite refreshed and it was nice to look forward to getting out – had I known that it was going to be -1 degrees outside, maybe that would have changed!img_5051

Yes, it was a chilly encounter around Cramlington, one I didn’t want to be outside for too long as, we all know, that’s where injuries can be picked up. Even with the layers I had on and my fuel of Totum Sport, including the latest piece of kit, my buff/neck tube, the icy cutting air still managed to find a way to penetrate my running attire with, as weird as it sounds, my thumbs taking the full pelt of it and going numb within minutes.

I still enjoyed it, don’t get me wrong but it’s not ideal conditions, particularly as it started to ice over, ever so slightly, it was more about clocking and banking those vital miles ahead of the training plan for the Sunderland 10K.

As the weekend drew closer, my need to run a Parkrun would have to be put on hold as I would be working over the Saturday, no stress, there’s always next weekend! I’m already excited ahead of the big move!

That left me with Sunday to get in a long run once again and thankfully, I managed to use the frosty morning and the tranquility of Alnwick’s Hulne Park to register 5 gorgeous and very hilly, miles.

After downing my Totum sachet, prior to the run, the goal was to take it nice and easy, nothing too hard while simply enjoying the run, which I did.

Once I entered the park, I seen a gathering of deer, oh how I wish I had my phone with me, it would have made an amazing photo with three of them grazing before bounding away from my presence. There was one part of the route that featured during the last season of ITV’s Downton Abbey, that I ran across, which, being a fan of, throughly enjoyed.

That aside, I love how quiet the run was. The peace provided the key ingredient to focus on the task in hand and get to 2.5 miles in, turnaround and then come back. As soon as I completed that objective, I turned around, little did I know that what lay before me – a monster of a gradual, steep climb.

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With a strong and slightly annoying winter sun in my face, which cruelly reflected off the melted ice, causing me to look down, I took a deep breath and battered the climb with each foot strike made. It was so tough and I did struggle, wondering to myself if it would ever end – it did, eventually, with a peak HR at 181bpm!

a quick detour briefly around Alnwick and the glorious sound of my Garmin beeping to signify my fifth mile was done and dusted. I was shattered, it was definitely testing but important as it was more volume in my legs!

I’m hoping I’ll be back to normal this week with maybe, a 10K ahead of my long run, who knows?!

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