The title says it all really,
After a week of doing next to nothing, recovering from the Northumberland Coastal Run with my two black toenails, I had decided to go out for a bit of a bimble on Sunday morning. The weather was beautiful, and in the absence of my other half who was off killing golfs in Scotland, I had to take the hound out for his daily constitutional first.
We donned our running kit, me in my brand new shoes, replacing the now defunct 964mile trainers, and him, resplendent in his bright red doggy harness. Collies do suit a bit of scarlet. We set off up the hill, then round to the gardens, where all of his favourite sniffs may be found. Afters several 'pit-stops' and an emergency stop to avoid another canine, we cruised down the hill, and round to the main road. It had been raining almost constantly the day and evening before, but the sun split through the clouds, causing me to sweat profusely in my cotton t-shirt. Sensing I wouldn't be able to continue in the garment, I headed back up the hill to swap it for something more appropriate, and to let the dog chill out in the shade.
I had accomplished my second task of the day, dog fed: check, dog walked: check two.
Once changed I locked up again, and set off to meet up with Alan & Helen. I knew I wasn't in time to get to our normal spot, but figured if I went in the opposite direction I would eventually bump into them (not literally of course). The heat was starting to increase, but a handy techie t-shirt did the trick, and I wasn't leaking enough to look too grim yet. I spotted the pair coming up the hill to the Black Bull, they were smiling (or perhaps grimacing), as I waited at the top, we, or should I say I, did an about turn and headed back up Felling bypass along the path to Heworth.
We followed the normal route, heading down from Heworth, through Pelaw and into Hebburn where we met up with Coach Jim. The route then continued downhill, our conversation concluding that Helen was 'returning to form' after completing the Sunshine Run in her fastest time since 2005. Jim, Alan and I headed to Jarrow once Helen left us at the lights, I was actually feeling like I was starting to bake now, but once we'd made it to York Avenue at least we were in the shade of the trees. This is where I would normally leave the car, and I was wishing I had, but still, at least it would mean that I'd be doing that little bit extra on my run, maybe twelve miles, or thirteen perhaps.
**Pause for breath**
Alan would have normally headed off home, but he was upping his mileage too, so we continued ending up back on Mill Lane. The breeze had picked up a little and it was really making a difference, no overheating! Alan left us on the bridge, and so Jim and I headed back up to Victoria Road once more.
This is where I had the make or break decision.
a) Head back up towards Felling, and the mother of all evil hills back home.
b) Downhill all the way to my parents house
No contest really.
I took the right-hand option and headed back downhill, Jim went on home, and I was left to bimbling along at my own pace, merrily making my way to my folks. Feeling rather pleased with myself and the imminent cold drink which was going to be available, I picked up the pace a little and finished off my run in a tad over 2 hours. Perfect!
My parents weren't in
Now, I did try their neighbour, imagining that he'd have a key, but hopes were dashed. He did give me a cup of water though which was some blessing at least. I couldn't phone my hubby as he's swanned off to Scotland, my sis was at her mother in laws in Grimsby, and my great aunt was in Northampton...bloody typical. Add to that the fact that the metros were off the only option available was to run back home...uphill all the way.
Actually I could have cried, but I didn't, I just took a deep breath and started bimbling back up Victoria Road for the third time. At least it had clouded over a little, but the wind picked up and by the time I got to Bill Quay bridge I had to stop and walk.
Oh the shame, but I figured a ninety second break wouldn't do me any harm.
Then (the saga continues), some ignorant tw@t in a silver estate car decided I needed the value of his wisdom. Rolled down his window and shouted "You should be running you lazy git!"
I swear down if he'd have been walking past me, I'd have lamped him.
I burst into tears
I guess it was just the emotion of having ran sixteen miles, then someone (who was prolly driving 500 yards to get his Sunday paper), had felt the need to try and humiliate me for a two second laugh. The tears were wiped away, and I started running again. I was starting to feel like the naked bloke in the Visa advert, and thinking about the tune helped me get some kind of rhythm going again. I made it up the next hill without stopping, but bumping into another runner I knew who stopped for a chat (result!).
Breathing back to normal, I was ready to go. Only three more (evil) hills to go - the next time I move house we're going somewhere flat . I had to walk again as I neared the top of the next hill, just as an old guy came out of his garden. We got to chatting as I was walking at much the same pace as he was. After a brief convo about the weather, and how far I'd ran, he finished with "Don't give up, keep on running"
It was just the boost I needed to make it up that last of the hills. I practically crawlled through the front door, drank enough to feel I'd quenched my thirst, then went to bed.
So that was it, my unintentional 18 miler, my longest ever run, even if I did have to stop and walk.