Tyne Bridge, Red Arrows and a Cup of Tea

Yes the Tyne Bridge and the Red Arrows. They were the best bits. Apart from getting a sub 2 hour for my first ever half. The atmosphere was pretty much dead. Not that I have a great deal of running experience but Manchester 10K was buzzing all the way around. Newcastle is off course a lot bigger and therefore people lining the streets or having music at every point is hard to do and because of this there was a sheer lack of drive to encourage you forward.

Now I love Newcastle, and it contains one my favorite bridges and we crossed it within the first two miles, the Red Arrows for the first time started the race with a fly over followed by their tradition fly over at South Shields and of course the Tyne Bridge where they did the missing man formation in tribute to the pilot who tragically lost his life back in August.

So the day started at 5am and eating my breakfast. My very kind best mate has agreed to drive me up as a couple of months ago I was unsure if my foot would be fit enough to carry out the miles I was asking of it and as a consequence the hotels were all booked up and those that had rooms were charging an arm and leg for them and I needed both my legs to run. So with that alternative means of transport was needed. The plan was to drive up and drop me in Newcastle for about 9 as the race started at 10:40 and the pens closed at 10:30. This would give me enough time to find the porter-loos and spend 30 minutes queuing and then spend a good amount of time soaking up the atmosphere and warming up. He would then drive to South Sheilds. It turns out that he arrived at the finish line five minutes before I crossed it apparently it took him nearly 3 hours to travel the 13.1 miles from the City to the coast.

As I entered my pen and began warming up, listening to the music travelling down the central motorway with the annoying local DJ informing us of the weather conditions and the special people who were running, small tears came to my eyes. I never ever thought I would be running a half marathon and never thought I would be taking part in the biggest. I started to think of the money I had raised and the messages of support from my friends. This time last year I was out of breath and curled up in a heap after running for two minutes and now I was limbering up and stretching my calves ready to embark on a distance that for many isn’t even thinkable.

I was slowly getting worried, as I had never ran 13.1 miles before, and my longest distance had been 11.5 and that hurt, at ten miles my legs were like jelly. But the pistol sounded for the women’s race and shortly after those iconic planes though over with a large applause and cheering that started the main event and thoughts of not crossing the line flew away like Arrows above me.

I was off, I had set my watch and it found it’s satellites, I went to start it and found it had gone to sleep desperately I tried to wake it up wishing it would quickly latch back on to the GPS signal it had found minutes before hand, by the time my left foot had crossed the start line my Garmin was ready for use and I pressed the start button. I was now running at 7 minute a mile far to quick, I also now needed another pee. Of course the great thing about men is we can do it anywhere, and within minutes the field of male runners were heading to the bushes and trees myself included.

Off we went, 55,000 of us for the ones at the back of the pack it would be 40 minutes till they crossed the start line. As I climbed the first hill I quickly descended into one of the tunnels where ‘Oggi Oggi Oggi‘ was sung. The crowd at later stages would also chant this but there would be no retort of ‘Oi Oi Oi’ as there was no point in wasting breath.

At the 2 mile stage I was running on one of my favourite bridge’s as the red arrows flew over. I was comfortable and had settled into a comfortable 8:45 pace. Which was just as well as the next 10 miles had several gentle climbs. By the half way mark I was feeling good and was on course to get my sub 2 hour.

There was music and bands in some places, and water and powerade in all the correct places. at 8 miles I started to slow down, but then the Bupa Boost came, loud music and lot of support allowed me to strive forward for half a mile my pace increased. While the atmosphere was not as intense as Manchester 10K the locals came out in force with sweets, water and oranges to show their support. My name was called out a couple of times by strangers willing me on.

By the time we got to the 10 mile point I knew I was almost home and dry. Well not that dry as the heavens started to open which was a welcome rest bite from the sun and helped me to battle on up the last hill to the roundabout before the coast. As I reached the top and I saw the sea on the horizon and it was a steep hill down and a sharp corner to the left to reach the 12th mile marker. This was the longest mile in the world, but I sped up and sprinted to the finish as the rain battled on down and echoes of cheering surrounding the coast road, I held my head high and crossed the line in 1 hour 51 minute and 25 seconds.

My legs felt like they would drop off, and the only fix was to head to the charity village to claim my free cup of tea and get a wonderful photo for their website. The day ended with a fantastic display from the Red Arrows and a pleasant car trip home. The question of would I do it again, never even crossed my mind as half way round I had already planed on entering for 2012. I enjoy long distance running and am now hooked on the running bug more than ever, I am in search of all kind of half marathons and hopeful this time next year I may talk about going the whole 26.2 miles. As for my sponsorship that has been the hardest part, and I still have a way to go until I have met my pledge but my Just Giving page is still open for any one who wishes to contribute. www.justgiving.com/thomas-Scott1

I’m now resting for a week, until I go for a quick run before my 10K race on 9th October and then I might enter the Birmingham Half on the 23rd October. Running is addictive and the weight loss, competition, feeling good about yourself is all side lined by the fact that running rules and is fun.

I like it, and I loved this run.

 

A day to go!

Tomorrow is the day and I am bricking it. It is the largest half marathon in the world and my first. My fund-raising has been going steady so excuse the plug for a call for more donations in this blog to enable me to reach my target.

My mate is picking me up and driving me up to Newcastle tomorrow, this my tire me out, but its the cheapest option.

So today I will be resting and eating lots of nuts and carbs with a good healthy dose of protein.

So here’s to a rest day and lots of eating. Oh and here is the link for sponsorship. http://www.justgiving.com/thomas-Scott1

 

 

Leaving

This is a short post, as I have thinking to do. I’ve mentioned this before but can’t find the post to reference.

I’m fast approaching 30 and feel my career is not going anywhere and I wrote a while ago about giving it up or maybe moving to London where all the work in the industry is. Once again after a spell of work all be it tiny little designs the thought once again crossed my mind as I was confronted by a realisation.

So I am now thinking of leaving Manchester (which apart from friends and family I have no other ties) and following Dick to where the streets are paved with gold or quite simply say good-bye to the industry that has formed the back bone of my life for the past 12 years.

Lots of thinking ahead.

Today I went Running!!!!

Well I finally got one of my mates who also reads all the mags to come running with me. However he reads Mens Fitness and is more into weights then jogging out doors. He does run but prefers it inside where he can control the incline and speed. I like running with him as he is slow. Were talking about 10 minute a mile, which is a lot slower than my usual jogging pace but it means we can chat and it’s an easy jog for me. A big workout for him but we both win as he gets a good hard run while I get a gentle easy 5 miler.

Because he’s into a different fitness game it shakes up the usual running and today we did a lot of sprinting and increasing pace and reducing etc. While I don’t feel I’ve had a workout I know it will be good as I have done some fast running and gentle jogging all which increased the heart rate and caused some deep breathing at times and according to my magazines have helped improve my running in some way. (Some what think I may need to do more session like this rather than one a month). Also I didn’t over do it which my body will thank me for next Sunday.

I think I will spend my training this week on the cross trainer and doing some hill sprints and then maybe take Thursday, Friday and Saturday off as rest days.

Getting really excited now.

A week to go!!!

Yes, a whole week. Well a week and day as I am writing this on Saturday, but you may be reading it on  a Sunday in which case I’ll either be crossing the start line or walking over the Finish line. I am off course taking about the Great North Run and I’m shitting it. It’s my first half and I don’t think I have done enough training. I get to 11 miles and my leg become heavy. I’m hoping that on race day they will hold out and the cheer of crowd will keeping me going.

the trouble is that last week I only had time to run once as I was busy and this week I am also working a lot and it is advised not to do a lot of running but if I do decide to wake at the crack of dawn to go for a quick three miler then I will be so tired after doing a 13 hour day I may ware myself out before race day.

But maybe some rest is what I need… Oh well of to send yet another email about call for sponsorship to try to encourage me to do it in a sub 2 hour which I would love if I could. I’m doing 11 miles in 1.30hr and doing 8 min miles so it’s not far away from achieving it.

http://www.justgiving.com/thomas-Scott1

 

Getting Lost in London!!

Well not quite, as I would say I have knowledge of London and by that I am not saying the whole of London, but the main bits. However I am staying with my friend in Brockley which I kind of know and the surrounding areas have made themselves known to me over the years. So I thought I know I will go for a long run. I needed to as my run is in 2 weeks so I need one last long training session. I thought about going into town and maybe running around one of the great parks.

In the end I decided to just going running around Brockley and I got lost. At one point I ended up in Lewisham, which is not far away but at the same time it is not a run  around the block.

Anyway the run was good, it pissed down which weighed my T-Shirt down a bit, but I love running in the rain and the street and park areas were really quite hilly which was good as I needed to concentrate on some hill splints. I may do another quick run on the Wednesday around the block depending on my call times in the theatre as the routes or areas to run are quite nice. Being able to run in a different area helped me to push on through that and the fact I was lost and trying to find my way back to the main road kept my legs working.

The trouble with running in Manchester is it’s getting boring, doing the same routes week after week. Hence why I am trying to get my friends to join me. however this run was enough to shake my usual pace and thinking up, and it kept the running fresh and it felt good.

Oh well off to see some more friends in London Town.

http://www.endomondo.com/workouts/21552376

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/111754349

Sums it up

There is some one who I follow and follows me in return on Twitter. The only other way we know one another is that he is the younger brother of one of my very good mates. We are also friends on Facebook and while tweet and click ‘Like’ on the others status’ from time to time we have only really meant once and do not know much about the other.

However I am in London now doing work and working down here for a bit. I tweeted several lines of my usual rubbish today, about how the area I am staying is nice and if I did move down then that would be the chosen location as not only is it leafy but several other friends live in the area.

The young pup was quick to tweet that “You’d never move out of Manchester” the point being that some one who does not know me as a person but only from what he reads of my social activity and what his brothers may say about me then he has me pretty summed up and it’s a fair point. I wouldn’t.

Or would I? I have now for many years been thinking about the move. I feel like I live down here when I stay and anyway I have my Oyster Card and know my way around like the back of my hand. I fit in. I’m not like some tourist or someone on business who gets the tube to go two stops and then stops to puzzle over if it is the Charring Cross or Via bank line, or to go Northbound or south where in fact the easiest and quickest route would off have been to walk round the corner. The true question is would I? I think my young follower sums it up correctly with his line ‘You’d never leave Manchester’ The trouble is I am going to have to leave at some point and if I make it as an LD the large amount of work will be in the big smoke.

So yet again another visit to our wonderful capital get me thinking of a move once again. Lets face it I do not have any ties in Manchester apart from two really good mates and a handful of other close friends who share the same interests. I can run in London, I will see trains in London I just would not be able to do any walking.

It’s a question I will have to answer soon.