Jury service and zero running miles

There’s no getting away from it … in running terms its been a shit few weeks.

Last week i was on jury service and if you’ve done jury service (twice for me so don’t give up hope) you’ll know that you can be sitting on your arse a lot, asked to go in late, sent home early or told not to attend at all. It all depends on the number of trials expected or if you have been randomly selected for a trial.

My name was called out for the first trial on Monday morning and we were told it could last 4/5 days. As it turned out we were there 5 days and in court until 4.30 for most of those days so that put paid to any early finish runs I’d hoped for.

Jury service coupled with the freezing cold weather and a snotty cold meant i ran zero miles last week. Not good when I’ve put my name down for the nationals XC event at Harewood House. Then there’s Cambridge half marathon in early March (the sub 90 is going to have to wait) , oh and the small matter of the Hardmoors 50 mid-march.

Now, if we gloss over last weeks lack of running i did manage 33 miles the week before (it’s hard work finding time to run regular blog updates!). I joke that I have slipped into semi-retirement (laziness) since York marathon last October so 33 miles seems worth a mention but honestly, it’s garbage and 18 of those miles came from a single run.

On Monday i made use of my lunch hour and ran a 4.2 mile loop from work.

Tuesday was the NYMAC club night training session – 8.1 miles – 2x 5k with 3 mins rest between.

Thursday 3.1 miles treadmill incline (work gym).

It’s been ages since i did a long off-road run from my house and I’ve been feeling the need for one so i got the all clear from Alex that Saturday morning was free providing i was back before midday because she had a hockey match to get to. I had a route in mind and i found it in my Garmin Connect history from 2015 – 18 miles and roughly 3.5 hours. Perfect. I put a notice out on the club facebook page to see if anybody wanted to join me. There were 2 places early on in the run that people could meet me at if they didn’t want to start with me at 7.15am or run the full distance.

6.20 alarm. Up, dressed, breakfast, bag packed and out the door. Fortunately it hadn’t quite dipped below freezing overnight so it was a tropical 2 degrees when i left the house at 7.15am.

All set




Head torch on and the climb up Pig Bank to get me on to the top of Eston Hills. From there it’s just a half mile or so through the tress and over the top field before dropping down the other side behind the Cross Keys pub to meet Catherine and Paul in the car park. Once they were kitted up we nipped over the A171 dual carriageway and onto the lad railway line that leads to Pinchinthorpe and Guisborough Forest where Richard was waiting for us.

We chatted as we made our way along the fire roads of Guisborough Forest. My plan from the start was to climb Roseberry Topping .. I did start to have second thoughts as we approached it as i knew it would be much colder and windier up top and I wasn’t sure if I’d feel bad dragging the others up there if they weren’t too fussed about going up but they joined the run knowing the route and we all had jackets and gloves so I kept quiet and we got on with it.

Me, Catherine and Richard – Roseberry Topping summit

A few quick pictures at the top and we were on our way. Down Roseberry and up the path next to Little Roseberry to join the moors path. You can extend this run and drop down to Gribdale before climbing up to Captain Cooks monument and coming back via Percy Cross but we opted to keep it shorter (as short as 18 miles can be!) and cut across the moor to Percy Cross. From there we took the path to what’s locally known as ‘the unsuitables’ (a terribly rocky hill) and then followed the fire roads back to the visitor centre. No tea and scone today. I was knackered by this point and i still had to get back over the hill to get home.

Having said goodbye to the other 3 i was left on my own to climb back up and over Eston Hills. i really fucking hate this climb. It’s such a draggy, grassy climb with no real pathway. If i’m going up it it it’s because I’m coming to the end of a long run and i need to do it to get home. I’ve lugged my skinny arse up it in some very sorry states I don’t mind saying.

From the top you can extend this run by turning right at the top and running along to Eston Nab but not for me on this run .. i was turning left and heading straight down without a moments hesitation … i had chocolate Yazoo waiting for me 🙂

I’m making an effort to run this week. God knows i need to!

On Monday i ran a 4 mile loop to Seaton Carew in my lunch hour. I’m fortunate that there’s a shower at work i can use. It’s in the steel pipe mill so its hardly luxurious but it does the job. Useful for when i cycle to work too. The weather was lovely. Considering we’d had snow 24 hours before I couldn’t resist taking some pictures on the seafront..

Tuesday was the club track session. 400m and 300m’s – my favourite, i much prefer the shorter activities on the track ….. but it really showed me how much fitness I’ve lost. You can’t hide on the track. There are people you know you can, and should be keeping up with, but it was a struggle. I spent a lot of my time just hanging on.

I am feeling an extra surge of motivation right now. I think it’s panic motivation but its getting me out all the same. I ran again today in my lunch hour so that’s three days in a row. Hopefully I’ll get a few more runs in before Sunday and there’s a plan to get a longer off-road run in on Sunday. Fingers crossed….

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