Turn out for the club, Tueday training session was lower than usual, last night. Probably due to the heavy rain and the resulting flooding. But an intrepid 5 manged to make it, of which four of us decided on an 8 mile run around Newburn and Scotswood Bridges with a 20 minute tempo run in the middle.
However, our agreed starting point, in Newburn, for the tempo section had to be delayed due to the flooding.
Main road through Newburn
Despite the added obsticles it was a very enjoyable session.
As I spent the weekend in Preston yesterdays run was a change of scenery. With a run through Avenham Park, alongside the River Ribble around Fishwick Bottom Nature Reserve and back to Preston City Centre.
River Ribble from Avenham Park
This is where I am honest and admit that this was not the plan when I decided upon heading to Preston this weekend. My original intention was to run the Preston 10km.
Only one problem - I was a week early, the Preston 10km is not until next Sunday.
As a result of believing I was racing on Sunday my weekly mileage was also down on normal with only 36 miles in for the week.
Well at least I know where I will be this coming Sunday.
Suffering from a definite case of DOMS meant that this evenings run was at a gentle pace, mind you the route from Medomsley through Broadoak and Milkwellburn Woods and back did involve over 1000ft of ascent and descent, over 9 miles.
Since I was taking it easy I decided to take my new camera for a spin also:
As I have done for the previous 6 years, I did yesterday's Great North Run as a chaperone for one of the celebrity runners.
Yesterdays partner (victim) was BBC's Countryfile presenter Adam Henson. Adam had never ran a half marathon before (or any other event for that matter) but had ran as far as 10 miles in training. Aiming to finish in under 2 hours, his ideal target was a 1.50 finish. We agreed that we would just set off at a pace with which Adam felt comfortable and I would monitor the time.
The GNR is a downhill start, and a first mile in 8.03 (just over 1.44 pace) meant we were already ahead of schedule so the pace eased and the next mile was covered in 8.41. However, Adam was feeling comfortable and miles of 8.15 and 8.17 followed and this included the drag up to Heworth.
The pace kept pretty much the same until we reached a flatter section of the course and miles 7 and 8 were knocked out in 7.41 and 7.38. We were now starting to pass quite a few of those who had flew past us at the beginning of the race.
We were now, however, fast approaching unknown territory for Adam and the long drag up John Reed Road. So, we again backed slightly of the pace, dropping back to roughly 8 minute mile pace. Adam was looking strong though and once we hit the road along by The Links and only a mile to run, the pace was picked up again, for our fastest mile of the day at 7.35 and a finishing time of 1.46.28.
For me it was an enjoyable Sunday morning run with some pleasant company. Adam seemed pleased with his time and hopefully enjoyed the experience. To be honest, I feel he could have ran a couple of minutes faster but we opted for a cautious approach.
Yes, it's that time of year again and The Great North Run is upon us once more. As was the now annual Great North City Games on the Newcastle and Gateshead Quaysides. As it was last year it was a competition between GB and USA and similar to last year it turned out to be a win for the USA.
Highlights were, Mo Farah who, after deciding not to run tomorrows GNR, duly won the 2 mile race in 8.40.
Berbard Lagart of USA ran well to hold on to win the 1 mile in 4.01.62 just holding off Britain's James Brewer (4.01.81). While the women's mile race was nearly a blanket finish, with the lead changing hands between four different runners in the last 30 metres. The eventual winner being USA's Brenda Martinez (4.34.99) from Hannah England (4.35.56), Anna Pierce (4.36.44) and early race leader Jenny Simpson (4.37.17). Julia Bleasdale , moving down from the 5000 and 10000 she ran at the Olympics had a great race and was in the lead as the runners came of the Swing Bridge finishing 5th (4.38.89)
Meanwhile in the sprints Jason Richardson won the 110m hurdles (13.41); Jeneba Tarmoh the Women's 100m (11.17); Men's 100m Dwain Chamber (10.04); Women's 150m Anyika Ouuora (16.70): Men's 100m Wallace Spearmon (15.13).
Chris Tomlinson won the Long Jump, while the Pole Vault went to Mary Saxer.
A great day of athletics and the perfect prelude to tomorrows GNR.
Did you manage to read today's issue of The Phuket News?
Well if you did, you will no doubt have read the article about Guy Ogden, entitled 'The science of running fast'.
The theme behind this article actually fits with a conversation I was having as we warmed up during last nights session. Which was an 8 mile run around the Newburn Riverside route with 2 miles tempo in the middle.
Over the last week I have been feeling a little under the weather (yet again) and have struggled with my running, especially when trying to do anything faster than a steady pace. I therefore eased off the miles, took a rest day and did some alternative training in the gym on two other days.
As a result, last nights conversation revolved around alternative and cross training as a way of maintaining, enhancing and improving performance. Anyone who knows me will already be aware that in the past my philosophy has been run, run, run, miles, miles, miles, and up until the last few years it has worked.
Although I must admit to still being a little sceptical / reluctant to fully embrace cross training I feel it is something I need to investigate further as old methods just aren't working the way they used to.
Which brings me back to The Phuket News. The article looks at how alternative training methods are being used rather than a reliance upon mileage, in this case, due to climatic conditions.
Following what has been a long wet summer with what seems like endless days of rain. Seemingly the wettest summer since records began. September appears to be intent in showing us what we have missed with a succession of warm sunny days.
Making the most of this welcome change in the weather, last night, I headed out for a mainly off road run of 8 miles as dusk approached under a phosphorous sky.
Conditions were perfect for running but the run itself could have been mistaken as a nature trail with numerous sightings of deer, a fox, a hare, a Red Kite, plus the usual assortment of rabbits and squirrels.
Primarily the route was down one side of the Derwent Valley from Medomsley, past the grade 1 listed 18th century Derwentcote steel furnace, along the river bank to Blackhall Mill then climbing up the other side of the valley before returning to the river and heading to Ebchester and a return climb to Medomsley.
It may have been an idyllic late summers evening, but on the climb back up to Medomsley I had a reminder of the recent wet weather as I ploughed through calf deep mud and then spent 5 minutes retrieving my lost running shoe which had been sucked off by the mud.
But all in all, despite heavy legs and feeling tired, a very enjoyable run - pity I didn't take the camera.