Monday 14 October 2019

#runsub17 - Week 9

The #runsub17 series of blogs is brought to you with the kind support of D-Line Cable Management.

After last week's talk of increasing the mileage and also using my new bike, this week was a bit of a disaster. I ran a couple of comfortable miles to the bike shop on Tuesday and that was the end of the running for the week. More on that later! I then managed to cycle 14 miles home from the shop through the rush hour traffic in 68 minutes. 

Given my history with bikes and broken bones, I was quite nervous when I got on the saddle. To my surprise, those nerves soon went when I was in the traffic. It didn't feel that different to running with Chappie through a bustling city centre or on the long busy roads of Serbia, Romania and Ukraine. 

After 12 miles, I dropped down the bank near Plessey Woods. I had always anticipated pushing the bike up the climb on the other side but, again to my surprise, I managed to reach the top no problem. I think this had more to do with the quality of the bike rather than my current fitness level. 

As I said before, that's where the running/cycling stopped for the week as I woke up the next morning full of cold. Disappointing. I'm usually quick to shake off a cold so I expect normal service to be resumed in week 10.

#runsub17 - Week 8

The #runsub17 series of blogs is brought to you with the kind support of D-Line Cable Management.

Having had that rare drink at the weekend, I was wary that traditionally I always struggle to run for at least a few days. This observation dates back to my a was early 20s. It’s the main reason that I stopped drinking prior to the run across the USA. And by “prior” I mean 3 years prior. 

The first run of the week was a 5k effort back to my car. I parked up at Northumberland Park, got the Metro to work and then ran back. I enjoyed that first run so much, that I repeated it on Tuesday, Wednesday and also on Thursday. 

My aim this week was to try and set a pace and stick to it for every mile. So far, during #runsub17, I’ve mostly just been trying to “get round”. Only on a couple of occasions have I felt like going all out. 

I set the virtual training partner on my watch on Monday to 00:11:40 per mile. Regular runners will no doubt read that and think it’s almost a walking pace. It definitely isn’t when you are carrying 18.5 stones. I was quite delighted to finish the 5k in 00:36:19 which works out at 00:11:42 per mile. 

I set the same pace on Tuesday for the same route and finished just slightly quicker in 00:36:02. That’s only 3 seconds per mile quicker than the planned pace. Wednesday’s 5k was 00:36:20 and arguably felt the most comfortable. Again, it was only a few seconds away from the planned pace. 

I dropped my planned pace on Thursday, only by 10 seconds per mile, to 11:30. I, again, felt very comfortable but ran at the required pace to get round in 00:35:44. 
It had been a good week proving that I could control my pace. It's a pace that is nowhere near what is required for #runsub17 to be a success but it's a start. 6 weeks ago, following Steve Medd's advice, I set out to run "a minimum of 3 times a week of at least 3 or 4 miles each time". I've achieved that most weeks, I'm glad to say. 

To say that there is room for improvement is an understatement. I need to improve on nutrition, discipline, consistency, volume of miles, hydration and variety of sessions. Over the next 8 weeks, I'll be adding more weekly miles. Now that I have a bike I'll be building that into my schedule too.

Wednesday 2 October 2019

#runsub17 - Week 7

Week 7 of #runsub17 saw just two runs done. The first run was a very poor 3 mile effort where I didn't feel like running at all. I haven't had too many off days during this campaign so I suppose I was due one.

The 2nd run of the week was a 5.5 mile effort with a bit of a diversion. I had planned to run due north after work to Cramlington and get a lift the rest of the way home. When I caught a glimpse of the hilly mound at Weetslade Country Park, I decided to run up and around that instead. It was a beautiful evening and you could see for miles from the summit.  

I'm getting a bit bored of my usual 5 mile after work route so it was nice to do something different. I felt like I had plenty of miles left in me but was pleased to get a lift home when Donna passed by.

Last week marked one year since I finished the challenge that I set myself to celebrate 25 years of fundraising for St. Benedict's Hospice and other charities. The 200 mile unsupported run to St. Benedict’s Hospice (where I'm pictured below) via the Lake District raised £500 meaning the overall total for the hospice surpassed the £120,000 barrier. The fund also nudged over £20,000 for 2018. Thanks to the generosity of so many kind people the fund for St. Benedict’s Hospice went on to hit £132,127.17 with the overall charity fund at £326,667.15 by the end of the year.

I commented on the Run Geordie Run Facebook page "The run around the world is all a big numbers game for me. Pounds raised for this charity and that. Miles ran across this continent, that continent, round the world so far and still to do. Numbers of pairs of trainers needed, optimum weight in Chappie, calories burned, steps taken, bottles of water needed to carry until I reach the next town and so on.".

Back to the matters of last week and I had a 3rd run planned up at Edinburgh on Sunday. We had been invited to celebrate to celebrate Donna's good friend Caroline's 40th birthday on Saturday night and I packed my running shoes.

I thought I'd have a few pints of orange and I'd be well hydrated for a 10k run up to Arthur's seat early the next day. That plan went right out of the window when a few beers saw our group of friends hit the tequila shots! 

Despite not running on Sunday, I did manage to bag almost 15,000 steps at the party thanks to some crazy moves on the dance floor. Thanks to Caroline (pictured below belting out "I will survive") for throwing a brilliant party. How I never had a hangover the next day, I'll never know.

I'll end this week's blog with the brilliant news of the #runsub17 project's first commercial sponsor. A huge thank you goes to my good friends at D-Line Innovative Cable Management for their amazing support and donation to St Benedict's Hospice. That kind donation has seen the overall charity total smash through the £330,000 barrier over at

For those of you who don't know, "D-Line is a UK company with a global reputation for innovative cable management products. Their range includes the world’s fastest cable trunking systems, as used by trade and consumers, to hide and protect cables in ways that blend with modern surrounds. 

Market-leading fire-rated Safe-D Clips secure cables, while eliminating the risk of fires causing potentially fatal cable entanglements. 

D-Line Cable Tidy and Cable Safety solutions include Cable Protectors that address trip hazards, Cable Tidy Units to contain extension sockets and cable clutter, and market leading Cable Organisers for cable management in homes and workplaces.".

Thanks again to D-Line for their backing. You'll start to see their branding a lot more across all of the Run Geordie Run social media channels and this blog of course.

If you'd like to join D-Line as a sponsor of the #runsub17 project then please get in touch at 100% of commercial sponsorship proceeds go to St Benedict's Hospice.

The latest fundraising position makes for very proud reading below. I'm proud and so should everyone else be who has made a donation over the years.

That's all for the blog this week. It'll be interesting to see how numerous beers and shots of tequila affect week 8 of #runsub17!