I've made a good solid start to training in week 25 with a mixture of pace, terrain and elevation. The week got off to a flyer with a PB of 00:51:48 for the hilly 6 mile route through Jesmond Dene. Patrick Aynsley-Smythe and Colin Moore set the pace (slow for them!) which ensured that I beat my previous best by 2 minutes. I followed this quick one up on Tuesday morning with a PB for 5 flat miles on the treadmill (00:39:54). 3 hours later and I was running with another speed merchant - Mark Cass who had shown good form at the Redcar Half Marathon on Sunday with a time of 1 hour 27 minutes. Mark and I managed the combined Havannah/Race Course route in 01:36:37.
I managed 5 miles at lunchtime today with a route around Gosforth that I doubt I could find again such was it's random nature. I couldn't face doing the same old Race Course route so I simply decided to explore roads and streets that I hadn't ran on for a while or indeed had never ran on. This course included 2 laps around 6 football pitches and I was quite pleased with the fact that it was exactly 5 miles when I reached the end. It makes the maths easier for the week!
My running wasn't over for the day and I used my new treadmill for the first time in anger with a quick 4 miles (00:33:28) tonight. The only problem with this was that the treadmill is in the garage and all I had to stare at was the wall! I've got a few ideas as to what to put on that wall to keep me focussed. I think my old posters of Maria Whitaker and Kathy Lloyd are in the garage somewhere. I'll have to dig them out!
I'm now left with 5 short runs, Beach Bootcamp and a steps session over the next 3 days. I don't want the runs to be too fast as I've got arguably my most difficult run of this campaign to get through on Sunday. I'll be re-acquainting myself with the gruelling 22 mile Pennine Challenge route from Castleside to Middleton-in-Teesdale. This will be the first of many runs in this area as I look to further build my strength, power and endurance.
There are only 10 weeks left before I undertake the Chevvy Chase run in the Cheviot hills. Hills, hills and more hills will be on the menu more often than not for me between now and then. Nice!