We are nearly at the end of June and my monthly total of running is 152 miles, which I am really chuffed with since it’s the best I’ve done since 2011! In December of that year I achieved by best ever monthly total of 179 miles. Back then I was routinely running 5K parkruns in under 22:30 and in January 2012 I got a half marathon PB of under 1:45. It was shortly after, that things unraveled for me when I started to get heart fibrilations.
It makes me so thankful that I am free of those problems now but looking at those running logs has reminded me that it takes months and months of hard work to get back to those levels of fitness. I have got off to a really good start over the last few months and I have lots of supportive friends to encourage me.
At the running club we did a “beep” test last night and I scored 7:2, which in my book isn’t brilliant but it’s a base to improve on. I did an 8.5 mile run tonight and found it hard going; I am tired and think it will be best to rest now for now but I am feeling positive at what I have achieved so far this year and what I have to look forward to.
The photo below is the Tyne Bridge which I passed today, part of the venue for the Great North Run which I will be running later this year.
“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.’” 2 Chronicles 15:7 NIVUK
I love exploring new running routes and it seems to me however much I explore my local area, there is always more to discover.
We are very fortunate around here to have plenty of local parkruns to choose from and it has been the custom over several years on New Years day, to stagger start times to allow people to “do the double” by running two parkruns on the same day. To add to the challenge, it is also cool to run between the two venues (if possible). This year I managed to do this stunt between Pontefract and Nostell (see what a difference a year makes).
Next year, I fancy doing this with Woodhouse Moor and Temple Newsam, an especially good challenge because Temple is considered one of the most challenging parkrun routes in the country! The route from Woodhouse is not so much long (around 5 miles), but a little awkward, because you need to traverse Leeds city centre and find the various paths and trails to avoid the main non-pedestrian-friendly, roads. So, today I decided to recci the route (nothing like a bit of long-term planning).
So, I took a bus into the City Centre and then jogged past Millenium Square and the LGI, through the university campus to Woodhouse Moor. I then set out, guided by Google Maps because I didn’t really have a Scooby as to the intricacies of the route. If you don’t mind wearing earphones and a voice barking instructions at you, it’s surprisingly good and seems to know about all the footpaths. The first bit through the city centre was quite tricky because it was busy with ambling shoppers. It got better as I ran through housing estates and then along cycling and footpaths and it was a relief to get off road. Although it was a warm day making the going quite hard, I enjoyed running the route. When I reached Temple Newsam there was some kind of event on and there were lots of people enjoying a day out in the sun.
The run home from Temple Newsam was quite lonely because you go through some rather desolate areas round the landfill and there is plenty of ups and downs so quite hard in the heat.
Overall, a really enjoyable run and now I know how to do the Woodhouse to Temple dash!
“By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.” Exodus 13:21 NIVUK
How wonderful it is to be able to go out running in a light summer evening, taking in footpaths through the countryside and along the river. How equally lovely it is for the flying insects which can exploit the warm evenings to come out and feed on passing runners!
Following some really nasty bites I received a few years ago I always plaster myself with copious quantities of industrial strength insect repellent (deet) whenever I go off road at this time of year. Did you know that most animals on planet Earth are insects? Well I can jolly well beleive it because when I went running by the Derwent on Wednesday, although I didn’t get eaten, many tiny flies did by accident as I ploughed into clouds of these things hovering by the riverbank.
I can’t and won’t complain though, I love the good weather and sunny days. I particularly love the smell of suncream because it instantly invokes the atmosphere of preparing for sunny days while on holiday in sunny climes!
So today, after doing the timing at Temple Newsam parkrun, Helen and I went for a lovely run along the canal in the sun, protected by my trusty deed-based insect repellent and hi-factor suncream.
“As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honour.” Ecclesiastes 10:1 NIVUK