Today I was down in North Shields with Mandy and while she was doing her course I went out for a long run. No real distance in mind, I just knew I had to meet her back at a cafe at 1pm. 3 hours to just run.
I headed down to the coast and turned left straight towards the sunshine and the miles were just clicking along nicely. I would stop, take some photos, then start running again. I ran along some cycle paths, a couple of beaches and even a harbour wall out towards a lighthouse. It was really refreshing to run somewhere new.
Once my watch said 5 miles I turned around and ran back to where I started. Then I ran another 5 miles out the other way, this time running along more coastal paths, some trail, a short spell of beach but I gave up as it was so slow going! It looked much firmer than it was!
At 14 miles a cyclist came up beside me and asked me to slow down because he couldn't keep up. He was in his 80s I reckon but it made me laugh. I wasn't even pushing the pace hard, I think I was averaging 7:30 mins/mile. I did say to him not to worry because I was about to turn around and run back to Whitley Bay, I don't think he believed me as he just smiled. Either that or he didn't understand my accent!
While out I did meet other local runners and they were really friendly, every one of them gave me a wave and a "Morning", Edinburgh runners could learn a thing or two from them. The other thing I was really impressed with was the cleanliness of the local toilets. I had a couple of pit stops and all the public loos were spotless. Brilliant!
I got back to the cafe at 1pm, right on time and managed to get 20 miles in. This is the longest run I have done in a long time and it felt so comfortable. I think my long runs will stay at 20 miles now for a while and then take them up to about 25 on the run up to Stirling marathon.
A really great day and I'd recommend running the North Shields coastline to anyone! I also had a chance to test my new ashmei light jacket but I'll blog about that another time :)