For those of you who have already read the summary of this on my Facebook page, I apologies for the repetition, but, this isn’t really repetition. What follows is a narrative of my longest run ever to date. Longest ever, honest, ever!!
This is amazing people. In fact, if it wasn’t me who did it, I probably wouldn’t believe it.
The gym was full this morning so I decided to go for a run. You all know by now where I run (around the Marina, 2 laps = 5k/3m). So I set off and once I reached the beach, I had two options. The usual option, turn left and do 5k round the Marina. Or, option two, turn right and see what happens. I like doing new things as part of my exercise, so I turned right.
It was a b.e.a.utiful day. It’s just after 9am, the sun is beating down, the skies are blue with just a couple of wispy white clouds and a nice gentle west to east breeze as I run north, lovely. There isn’t too many people out and about and only a couple of folks with dogs (I’m terrified of dogs – seriously). I’m breathing well, Israel Houghton is in my ipod (volume low – I like to hear my surroundings too) and no pains or niggles at all, in my ankles/shins/knees. Conditions are perfect.
At this point, I’ve no clue how far I am going. Forrest Gump flashes through my mind and I wonder if I can just keep going and maybe call Jan from Scotland in a couple of days, saying I need a lift home haha 🙂 Nice thought, but, not gonna happen (obviously), just keep going.
I’m running along the Crosby coastal path, sand dunes left & right and the River Mersey going gently to-and-fro on my left too, still lovely.
In the distance I see Crosby Leisure Centre (about one mile ran). Shall I turn back and run along the beach I ask myself. No, I’m feeling good, carry on me thinks.
2.5 miles now and I’m approaching The Coastguard Station (closing down, funding cuts – WRONG SEFTON COUNCIL, JUST WRONG!!!). You know what, I still feel good. Yeah, lots of sweat, but, still breathing good and no pains, carry on to the the next section after the Station Paul.
Grass left & right now. The tide is coming in and I can hear the water lapping onto the rocks, very lovely. There is a P&O Ferry Boat on the river and the wind turbines are turning nicely. The air is really salty here and I can feel the sun on the back of my neck. I’ll get a great tan on the way back thinks I 🙂
If I keep going, I’m gonna come to that white monument sit down thingy where I waited for Jan one day when she
forced encouraged me to walk along here. I had back pain, leg pain, chafe and as much as I wanted to enjoy it, I couldn’t, I was too unfit. That was then, this is now, any minute, I’m going to come to it and I’m running!
The path becomes gravel so I can really hear my footsteps now. I’m aware of my rhythm and it sounds great. Still no aches, pains and I’m breathing fine, here comes the monument sit down thingy. Shall I stop and turn back? No, I feel really good so I’ll continue on the gravel path to the right.
Some guy runs past me in the opposite direction. I think he just said “Well done lad.” Not sure, Israel is still playing and my feet are playing a nice tune in the gravel, oh crap, here’s a dog and it’s looking at me. Keep the lead short Mrs owner and I’ll keep left, very left. Phew, I’m past it and both ankles are intact.
There’s a funny little ‘t’ junction ahead now. Totally new territory for me. Looks like a housing estate to the left, I’ll go right and start to loop back. I’m a little unsure where to go, but, the detective in me tells me to follow the bike tracks. Ah yes, Jan would be proud (she should have been a detective, amazing ability to see detail). The tracks seem to run parallel to the sand dunes (now on my right) if I keep them to my right I can’t go wrong surely.
There is a sign up ahead, can’t quite see it, what does it say, “PRIVATE LAND BEWARE OF FLYING GOLF BALLS” (or words to that effect). Oh crap, the golf course haha. It’s all good, I’m running back the way I came. Oh yes, there are people up ahead to the left playing golf, good shot old chap!
There is a fence to the right with a break in it. It looks well worn under foot so people must run/walk/ride through here to get back to the path, let’s see. Hey presto, left turn, back on the path and I can see The Coastguard Station in the far distance. How am I feeling? Still surprisingly good. My right nipple is stinging a bit, probably sweat and tee shirt rub, but, nothing too serious. Too serious, haha, nipple sting, really, shut up fatty.
Okay so now I’m entertaining the possibility of actually running the whole way, there and back. Just to add some spice, I’m wondering if I can run along the sand at some point. Don’t think so, the tide is in near the Station and people are fishing, ah well. No, hang on, it looks like the beach is still visible further south, it smells great by the way.
At about 5 miles there is a ramp down on to the beach. Go for Bentley boy, find the firm sand and keep going. Up ahead I can see the dome of Crosby Leisure Centre. Lad, you are getting close!
About 5.5 miles and I pass the Leisure Centre. The sand is a bit soft here and I’m struggling a bit, but, just up ahead is firm sand again. Keep going.
This is great and I believe I can do it now. Ahead of me is the ‘t’ junction where I turned right. I could go back the way I came or continue to the end of the beach and back to Lakeside via the usual Marina route. Yes baby, you know I’m going that way. Come on big boy, one foot in front of the other.
Just over 6 miles and I’m reaching the end of the beach. The sand is soft here and I’ve got to make it up the ramp. I lengthen my stride and push up the ramp. Dude, you are almost home. It’s down hill for a bit now, keep going. The legs are feeling it now. Not really the distance, but, the push up the ramp. Stay loose, take it easy, no way you are stopping now.
The Marina looks great and I pass a couple of other runners coming the other way. I’m still ‘a considerable fatty’ and I run really sloooooow, but, my tee shirt is saturated with sweat. Even these ‘proper’ runners must be impressed with my sweatage. Nah, they probably just think, “look at the state of him the fat get.” Haha, no, they ARE impressed.
I turn left on to the grass. Man with enormous white dog. Keep right Bentley, keep right. That one will take your leg to the knee. Question: Do you think dogs can sense my fear? I do. The fastest I ever ran as a fat kid was away from an Alsation that lived in our street. I had legs powered by fear that day. I actually jumped on to my mothers back and nearly strangled her. Poor woman. I digress.
Home straight big boy. Come on, put in a big finish. Not an out-an-out sprint like last Saturday, but, a good knee lift and pump your legs, yes, that’s the spirit.
THE LONGEST RUN I HAVE EVER DONE AND I AM PUMPED ABOUT IT. PUMPED I TELL YOU. DID I SAY I WAS PUMPED!!!
Back in to the gym, 30mins on the weights (I know crazy, why did I bother), a long, long, long stretch and well deserved shower.
“I Can Run It…!”