The Explorer

Killingworth LakeI was going to title this post “what a difference a month makes”, comparing how I felt one month ago wondering when I would be able to get back running, to now, able to run 10 miles mid week.  However, since  this evening’s run was quite interesting, I thought I would write about exploring new areas instead.

When I stay anywhere away from home, I love to find running routes that let me explore the local area.  Tonight I am staying next to the Gosforth Park race course near Newcastle and my run took me around the towns of Killingworth and Gosforth.  There was quite a contrast; Killingworth had the feeling of being designed, which is hardly surprising since it is one of those new towns of the 1960s era – kind of a mini version of Milton Keynes.  I ran around a road that circumnavigated the Town Centre and ended up crossing a lake, which was quite nice (shown in the photo).

Gosforth on the other hand is a classic suburb town connected to the City of Newcastle.  Lots of different types of architecture and much more of a hustle and bustle (together with the traffic which wasn’t so welcome).

As for me, I was glad of some variety in my running and the fact that I was able to run a steady 10 miles mid week without trouble, building my mileage to 66 for the month.

I’m quite happy with that!

“See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.”

Isaiah 43:19New International Version – UK (NIVUK)





The Hare


After running Temple Newsam parkrun, the Thirsk 10 Mile at the weekend, and with some of our newest runners at the club this evening, I have been reflecting.

Over the last few weeks I have been running at a measured pace in order to build up my mileage without due haste and making sure I avoid injury, something that, if you follow my blog, you will know. But this weekend I realised something. Something to which I would certainly give lip service to before, but was brought home as vividly real to me as I ran these two events.What I realised was this: that there is no such thing as slow!

Certainly, runners take all sorts of different times to complete the course and run at vastly different paces.  I am not denying the laws of physics but consider this:

As I ran with these athletes, different people running at a different pace than what I was used to, what really became real to me is that they were giving at least as much, if not more than runners completing the race much sooner than they.  They were giving it their all and in terms of effort, commitment and competitiveness, there was no difference between them and other athletes I have run with before.  All of the runners are amazing, fit athletes giving all of themselves to compete in the event.  In a running race there is no slow.

This to me goes to show what an amazing participation sport running has become.  If you look at the Sport England web site, those participating in “athletics” weekly, has increased by 1 million in the last 10 years (in large part due to parkrun I would guess).  In fact, it’s a close second to swimming in terms of popularity but wins hands down in terms of numbers participating in competition.

And here’s the thing that in my opinion makes running such a fantastic competitive sport to take part in.  Unlike team sports (like football and cricket) and one-on-one sports (like tennis and badminton), with mass participation running events you don’t have the “loser” concept; you simply find a level and at that level, you are just as great a competitor as anyone else.  This feeds the culture of the sport which really embraces the fact that everyone who puts in the training to reach the start line, is a winner!

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭2:3‬ ‭NIVUK‬‬



Thirsk tenAfter recovering from being ill for three weeks, the second run I did was 6 miles (from 2 the day before).  This was a big mistake and for the last 1/2 mile one of my knees was really aching!  This tought me to be very careful in upping my mileage because I can’t even think about running 26.2 miles if trouble starts at 6.

So first came a careful 3 miles, then up to 4, followed by a tentitve 6 last weekend.  After a midweek 8 miles (still pain free) I felt confident to do 10 this weekend.  I chose to do the Thirsk 10 because I really like the race (I got my 10 Mile PB there), even though I had to pull out one year due to hamstring trouble.  It was great to run with people rather than do a lone run and I did resist the temptation to race and the bottom line is that I got round pain free.

Bring on the 1/2 Marathon distance next weekend; I really feel like I’m getting somewhere!