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Lord Lawson of Beamish

by Val Baxter

February 24, 2014

Two for the price of one…

Two weeks episodes today, my secretary/web editor has been on the piste all last week (I think that is what she said) she said she wouldn’t be able to publish as a result…….just no commitment is there??

Another week closer, and I am starting to feel there is improvement. Having done 16 on Sunday, I wasn’t going to waste Monday. Monday was my day off and so having taken notice of Ian, I thought I would try to run twice in the day. Arrangements were made with my friend who is helping/encouraging me, and together we ran a very pleasant 6 miler along the river. That was a bit bizarre as it was only 18 hours since I had run, and my legs were tired when I started, imagine 6 miles later. It was good though, what I am told I need to be doing, you know…get used to running while fatigued.

Well to be honest I was so fatigued that when I got home I went to bed. Anyway I woke up 2 hours later. Linda had known I was going to run and so didn’t leave me the usual huge list of chores, so I turned over and dozed for another hour. Not often I get the chance to do that!!!

Later in the evening Dave Cleugh met up with me and we did another 6. That was the route from my house to Harraton church then Bonemill lane, to the motorway roundabout and back home via Barley Mow. Did quite well, but despite being tired, I am told that will be better for me than doing one long run. I quite liked the fact I did that, strange really, but Ian has said that the benefit will be realised on the day. I wonder does he think I am doing half in the morning and the other half after dinner???

Tuesday, being club night I made an effort, but not much more. Still aching from missing last week’s massage, I couldn’t manage the lamppost session Tommy had planned, so just set off home, the long way round. That was about 4.5 miles. Sorry Ian, I know it was a poor effort and I am ashamed of myself. :( But it was more than Wednesday, I did nowt that day cos I was at the monthly club meeting, trying hard to help mould the future of the running club I have been a member of for the last 23 years.

Thursday was a different matter, not so much a long run, but it was (for me) eye balls out for about 5.5. I went out with Lee at front of the group, big mistake, but I was engaged in conversation. Mind you my contribution was mainly to randomly grunt. I felt really good after that run, very dry though. Anyway I know somewhere not too far from the club that sells this potion that rehydrates you and makes you feel soooo good…yep I succumbed to the temptation. But on Friday, after I had realised it was Valentines day, and that it was too late to book a meal for the lady I, ahem…love, I stayed in on Friday night to keep myself right for Saturday’s race (really it was the PC thing to do under the circumstances).

On Saturday, I went to the Saltwell parkrun’s 2nd birthday. Saw friend Chris Cowie there running, and I have to say for one who professes to be so unfit, he had a good run. But then I went home had a coffee, and then Linda and I went off to the Signals relays (Linda wanted to watch me, but while she was there noticed Adrian trotting round the park). I felt really good, and felt that I had given a half decent account of myself considering I was running in the v40 category (which I just fit in). Yeah it was fun, and life is good at the moment.

Sunday morning was just going to be a bit of a rest/recovery weekend. I arranged to meet Ruth and we would do a 10ish miler. We set off from my house, and ran to Harraton church, but changed the route a bit…in fact entirely. From the church we kept going down to the river at Penshaw, and the bridge, crossed the bridge then ran past Les Todd’s house, and right up the hill to what I would call Shiney Row roundabout. From there straight across the roundabout and down through Shiney, past what was Lambton garden centre (or Lambton lion park……younguns ask ya parents or grandparents) straight down to motorway roundabout, and home via Picktree. Well here is the way I can tell we are running better. Last time it was 9.3 miles, this time we ran so fast it was only 9 miles. That being the case Ruth made us run down the estate and back, which got us up to 9.5. I am happy with that.

Now I am down at Staffordshire as I write this, and travelling back tomorrow evening. I have a feeling I won’t get a run in tomorrow, but am off work the rest of the week so should be able to get a decent run in midweek. Friday is my massage day.

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Thanks. YB

The week after the week before…

So, how much of my plans actually happened? As predicted I didn’t get anything done on Monday, just sat in the car for 4 hours, that isn’t fun in the dark on yer own. Not that I am frightened of the dark, more that when I am driving in the dark I need someone to read the signposts for me cos my eyes don’t focus quick enough when travelling at speed. Note to self…really need to either get eyes tested, or find a volunteer to be navigator for me!

Tuesday was poor, club night and I just couldn’t be bothered with a session, this is me listening to my body again, as it screamed for a rest. I broke away from the group as they warmed up, and did a steady 6.5 miler, even that was hard work. I made myself run round the loop, and then met the group as they went for their warm down, which was another 2 miles, would have been short sesh if I hadn’t done that bit as well. Anyway the bonus was running with Chris Tiffen, and hey would ya believe it, he had nothing to do the next morning. (Was working night shift, so all he had planned was to go to bed).

Wednesday morning at the crack of…10:00. Chris turned up and we set off on a 10 miler (I have rounded up there, it was really 9.5). I actually like this route, I have done it a few times now, Harraton-Fatfield-Shiney Row – then back to Chester le street and home via Barley Mow. It is a useful run to have midweek. Enjoyed the run, and it was good crack Chris, thanks, I appreciated the company.

Thursday was a steady run with the club, 7 miles run with Lorna G. Felt like I was working hard all the time especially at the end when Adrian came past us as if we had stopped. I am finding now that after a long run at the weekend I am tired at beginning of week, but if I have a midweek run, I desperately need the massage on Friday. There is definitely a pattern forming regarding rest and recovery…so there ya go, you’ve guessed it, didn’t run Friday, but did have a massage, and she laughed at me as I squealed. She also left me bruised!!

Saturday was the Nationals that I had planned to take part in, however, I had a BIG one on Sunday and just didn’t think it was the right thing for me. But I wasn’t going to not bother at all, I was asked to support the first running of the Gibside park run. I know it was only 5k, but it was something, and I did draw some positives from it, there was a hill…all the way out, but I got up it ok, then we ran back down the hill, I was quite happy with my time, and did feel stronger than I have for a while, so that has to be a plus point, and really I haven’t had one of them for a while. Thanks to Ian Goulding for the lift to Gibside.

Sunday was always going to be the day for me though, the week’s biggy, and the biggest one yet, although I am told it won’t be the biggest. Ruth arrived at 10ish and neither of us were up for 18 miles!! I was concerned because I still haven’t done a lot of 16 milers and had struggled normally over the last 2 miles, but this time when I start to struggle I would have 4 miles left. I hadn’t managed to get out of bed 2 hours before the run for breakfast, and so tucking into my Weetabix an hour before running was a worry as well. As it happened that worked well for me :)

I took my gels with me, trying a different kind this week, not too keen on them though, too syrupy and you needed to have a drink to cleanse your mouth and lips. That was another first today as well, carrying a drinks bottle, that wasn’t easy to use, it didn’t seem to want to empty, I had to suck, and that isn’t easy when running.

We set off planning to run the 16 mile route, and then add a loop on the way back by running up to Waldridge, but that didn’t happen. Conscious hat we hadn’t run that distance we made a big effort to pace slower than usual, and set off at 7:50 pace. That was good for the first mile, then the wind came for the next 7 miles. It was awful, the pace at times dropped to 8:30 pace. Together (not blaming either of us here), we decided that Waldridge is an unknown quantity (yes I know, so is London) so we decided to just run out for 9 miles then retrace the out route. Good idea that though cos that meant the wind was behind us returning…except for the bits where it changed direction!!!

We worked hard all the way out, and then maintained the effort on the way back, and with that, we ran back quicker than we ran out. I know we had the wind behind us but after 9 miles against the wind, you could be on a skateboard with the wind behind you and you will hurt for the second 9 miles…a lot of you will just have to take my word for that, but honest it was hard!!

When we got back home and checked the pace, we had done 7:46 miles average, and for me that was great. The previous 16 milers had all been just under 8’s and so something has come right for me this week, I have run further, and improved my pace…pleased with myself.

So, next week is 20 miles, I will need the sat nav for that, I could get lost that far from home, and I have the Alnwick harrier league the day before…ooooer missus! Thanks to Chris for Wednesday’s run, and Ruth for the long run, I do appreciate the help and encouragement :)


PS. Well done to the Birtley lasses winning the gold team prize in nationals, and also to Lydia for winning individual gold.

PPS Please try and visit my fundraising page if you can – it’s that big button halfway up the page, and it’s for a great cause. Thanks :)

Earlier entries in Brian’s Marathon Blog can be seen here.

Posted in Diary entry 4 years ago Permalink


  • Author's Avatar baxter February 24, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Not long to go now Brian!

  • Author's Avatar Dadswell February 24, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    Good, strong running on Sunday (with a couple of stumbles). Well done. 20 miles this week - any suggestions for a course that is flat and wind free are welcome

  • Author's Avatar YB February 26, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Thanks Val, it is a bit of a worry, how much "not long now" there is !! Cheers Ruth, gotta learn to not trail my feet, always used to get wrong for that off Mam and Dad, I reckon we will be running to Newcastle and back, via Whickham this week :)


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