Friday 4th March – Thursday 10th March
Distance to Date – 276.17 miles
37 miles this week has put my well ahead of the game for the 1,000 mile target and, touchwood hasn’t paggered me too much with the marathon looming. Under a month to go to Paris now and my main concern now is picking up a bug off one of the bairns or twisting my ankle or something daft like that. I’ll hobble the whole way round if it’s twisted as a result of a 90th minute Ayoze winner against the Mackems, I’ll not be best pleased if I knacker myself running up John Reid Road!
Anyway, a really enjoyable week running and an absolutely shitty week for United.
I managed a nice run round the Fell on Friday evening – it’s a bugger at half five on a Friday afternoon dodging happy looking folk nipping for a post-work pint in all the boozers but still nice to get a run in before the weekend starts. I was still fuming from the Bournemouth debacle when I set out for a 17 and a half mile run along the coast on Sunday morning and I was still livid when I got back home at the end of it, which was nice because it diverted my attention from the fact that my nipples were actually bleeding. Canny unpleasant and a timely reminder to pack an industrial strength tub of Vaseline for Paris. Insert joke here.
While we were all hanging on for NUFC to finally get shot of fucking McClaren, the week seemed to drag on – surely he couldn’t remain in post could he? I managed a three and a half, four and a half and six and a half mile run on consecutive nights from Tuesday through to Thursday and arrived home at the end of the last one thinking that this is the healthiest and fittest I’ve been in my adult life – clean lungs, grateful liver…..I’m looking forward to undoing all the good work after the marathon!!
Friday 11th March – Thursday 17th March
Distance to Date – 302.05 miles
Friday started with a ridiculously early start to drive down to Birmingham for work and on the way down, the wireless pointed towards McLaren finally going and Benitez coming in – I didn’t believe we’d actually get him so when he was appointed, I was absolutely cock-a-hoop. I’ve gone from being at best ambivalent about us staying up or otherwise to now really wanting us to beat the drop – great bloke and great appointment.
I wouldn’t say I breezed through an 18 and a half mile run on Sunday morning, but
it was the longest I’ve done and I was still running at the end, so I was really chuffed with myself. It was a route I love, all the way along the coast from Cleadon down to Roker back to Shields and Tyne Dock. The sun was shining, it was warm and as I ran along the coastal path at Marsden, I felt grateful to live in such a mint place and glad that I was able to get out and run like this. I must have passed there at about 10am so I was really shocked to read the next day that some poor bugger had fallen to their death over the cliffs there just a couple of hours before I ran past full of happiness. I’m not sure of the reason for the tragic fall but as everyone knows, many people have met their end at Marsden committing suicide. I’m proud to be doing all this running and raising a few bob for Mind, you can never take your mental health for granted and the work they do is amazing.
I only managed a couple of short runs over the rest of the week with barely any time between graft, bairns and football – one three mile plod around the houses and a four mile run doing laps round Saltwell Park on Thursday after work watching the most stunning sunset over the Valley. I’ll be slogging round my last long run this Saturday before Paris with an increasing knot in my stomach – 20 mile is a long way to be ruminating over the outcome of the biggest derby in twenty odd year.
Gareth Harrison – Follow Gareth on @truefaith1892