Sunday, 12 May 2013

Northumberland Coast run

I'm "training" for the Edinburgh marathon on the 26th of May. I say "training", but to be honest I'm not very good at that. I prefer to run and see what comes of it.
That said, after having a few leg problemsI thought, with 4 weeks to go, I'd better actually think about this and I pulled a plan from the marathon website. Yesterday's run was to be 4 mile at pace. What did I do? 4 miles of technical trail with my dogs ! Very hard going but not exactly pacey. Todays run was to be 12 miles.
If you've read any of my blogs, you will know that I dont really road run. I prefer anything off road, be that trail, hill, bog or beach. Of course the Edinburgh marathon is a road race ! I did do a 10 mile road run a few weeks ago. I didnt enjoy it but as it was a 10 mile PB I figured that off road training would be fine !
Today's run: the Northumberland coast. A very cool place indeed in my opinion. I love it here and its only 30 minutes from home.
I parked up at Cocklawburn beach just south of Berwick and headed south along Cheswick sands. The tide was quite far out and going out so I decided to run along the water line. This lent itself to some decent paced running as I was going downwind too. I was geting quite near Holy Island when I remembered a conversation with someone who knows the area well. He told me that its possible to walk from Goswick to Holy Island at low tide on the sand bar. However during and after WW11 several bombs were detonated there which created pockets of quicksand.
I had not intended to run to Holy Island anyway, but I seemed to heading that way. With the quicksand in mind I decided to head back to land. I was about a mile out at this stage and guess what ? Yes, as soon as I headed towards land I ran into some very soft areas ! Whether or not this was the pockets of quicksand or not, I dont know but I was beginning to worry a bit.
After I cleared this area, all I could see between me and land was water. Oh shit! I reasoned that, as the tide was out, the water must be shallow. It was, mostly only a few inches deep and I was able to run through it quite easily except for the fact that I'd now turned back into the wind. I must admit to being quite happy to join the sheep on the salt marsh!
I realised now that if I turned north my run would be around 10 miles rather than 12 as stated on the "plan". Who needs plans anyway so I decided to make up for the lack of distance by working harder. I ran back north through the sand dunes, into the wind at a decent pace. The last mile saw me back on the beach pumping the legs and breathing hard. I stopped at 10 miles, waded into the sea and then walked the half mile back to my van (now sporting photos of my girls on the back windows!)
I didnt take my camera today, but the photo at the top is what I'm looking at as I write this. You can just pick out Lindisfarne on the left and Bamburgh Castle on the right.
According to my "plan" thats my last double figure run prior to the Edinburgh marathon. Hmm, who needs plans !
I feel duty bound to add that I'm running Edinburgh in aid of Chest Heart Stroke Scotland dressed as a clown. You can guess whats next:-) If you could support me via then there'd be lots of winners. Thank you

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