Friday 8th April – Friday 29th April

Distance to Date – 403.12 miles

The first third of the year has now gone and from a running point of view, it’s been brilliant for me.  I passed the 400 mile mark with a lovely run across the fields in Whitburn and I’m ahead of where I want to be with the target, albeit after a bit of a post-marathon wind down since the start of the month.  My runs over the past three weeks have mainly been four or five mile affairs and I need to start planning out the next few weeks to make sure I’m staying on track for the 1,000 mile target.  I’ve enjoyed a few beers, a tab or two and a sly pinch of a few of the bairns Easter eggs (they’re only young and it’ll rot their teeth anyway) and I’m conscious of the fact that it would be quite easy to settle in lull of being a lazy get but I’m determined to get back into it again in May.

I’ve entered a half marathon in October up in Seahouses – the Northumberland Castles half marathon and having scoffed at everyone that talked about ‘getting the marathon bug’, I’ve also got my eye on one next February which would help with the mileage towards the back end of the year.  I’m writing this with a wry smile on my face when I’m talking about mileage, having read through Mark ‘Run Geordie Run’ Allison’s blog earlier in the week – I’m in awe of the bloke and knowing how hard it is to keep on target for what is in all honesty a modest target like mine, I can’t even comprehend how he can even attempt his latest venture across Europe – he’ll do it as well.  A genuine hero – keep an eye on him along the way and hoy a few quid in for him if you get the chance

In terms of the runs I’ve done over the past three weeks, they’ve been mainly along familiar routes, other than a stunning early morning run around the countryside up at Barnard Castle in that couple of days of glorious sunshine we had earlier in the month – one of those ‘good to be alive’ runs that leave you buzzing and happy – I wish I could get out early in the morning more often but a) it’s rarely practical with getting the bairns ready for school and nursery and b) I’d give owt for more kip!  The rest of the runs being relatively short, I’ve not really had much chance to get the mind ticking over some of the random things that usually help pass the time on the longer runs but I have been mulling over every single statistical possibility of the relegation places at the bottom of the league.  I think we’ll end up on 37 points – mainly out of blind optimism and I also think that will be enough to keep us up – feels mad to be even typing that given that my last blog was written shortly after Norwich and we’ve only won one game since then – funny what a bit of hope does for you eh?

I’ll enjoy a good sup with a Palace mate of mine that is up for the match this weekend and then start to build the miles again from next week, hopefully with a spring in my stride after this weekend’s results.  Any donations would be greatly received and thanks for those that have slung in a few quid to support me and Mind – the page is and the donations get me off my arse when I can’t be bothered, so keep em coming!

Gareth Harrison