Oh I Do Love to Be Beside the Seaside: Graduation Run

Oh I Do Love to Be Beside the Seaside: Graduation Run

It seems like a long time since I started this. Like thousands of others, inspired by the Olympics, and even more so by the Paralympics, I’d started running. Well, walking a bit and running a bit. Actually walking a lot and running a very small amount.

I hadn’t discovered C25K yet, so I was just rolling out of bed pulling on my Tesco capris and the proper running shoes that a concerned friend had insisted I buy, and then running off down the road - no warm up walk – to the tiny park at the end of my street where I tried to avoid the pitbulls, calling a hearty 'Good morning' to their owners and the early morning drinkers, and hoping I sounded more confident than I felt. I couldn’t even make it to the corner without having to stop.

And then for one blissful week I was away from London staying on the Isle of Wight. It was the first week of September and the sun shone as it always does when the children go back to school. Every morning before breakfast I walked and ran (but mostly walked) along the seafront beside the English Channel, from Ventnor to Bonchuch, where I swam in the reflection of the rising sun at Horseshoe Bay, before walking and running (but walking mostly) back to Ventnor.

It was wonderful, running along rippled sand and splashing through rock pools, but, not having made Laura’s acquaintance yet, it was all a bit random; I could barely run the hundred metres from one lifebuoy to the next without stopping for breath.

Nine weeks after starting Couch25k and I was back on the island just in time for the last run.

Since discovering mapometer I’ve been taking great delight in plotting my runs, and I’d worked this one out in advance. I’d already learnt that I have more stamina than speed, so I wasn’t planning to run 5K but I was certainly going to run for more than 30 minutes. I started on the beach by the house where Charles Dickens once bathed in the waterfall that tumbles down the hilll (shame the council allowed an ugly garage to be built in front of it.) I followed the concrete walkway around Wheeler’s Bay, past the fishing boats and the piles of lobster pots, all the way to Ventnor, then along the esplanade to the Spyglass Inn at the end of the bay, stopping only to take off my jacket before running all the way back again. No Laura (sorry, I ditched her in week 6 when I couldn’t bear the music anymore), no Springsteen – just crashing waves and seagulls. I couldn’t help smiling as I passed those red lifebuoys that had seemed so impossible to ever run between just a few weeks ago. I’d taken my rucksack with a towel and swimsuit, just in case, but the tide was high - no sand and rock pools, just waves crashing and splashing against the esplanade and a treacherous undertow. Back at Horseshore Bay I ran up the steep slope to the car park and checked the time on my phone: 4.36 kms in 43 minutes.

I don’t normally do testimonials but this programme is simply amazing.



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18 Replies

  • What an absolutely marvellous run - and well done you! :-)

  • Thanks so much Mitts. Nice to see all these green badges, isn't it?

  • Congratulations! I totally agree, this programme is amazing! What a lovely graduation run you had too! :)

  • Thanks, Rollertoaster. I'm really intrigued to know what would happen if I used the same principles on a few other things I'd like to achieve. Wonder if Laura could help me finish my novel in 9 weeks too:)

  • What a fantastic graduation run! And well done on the 43 minutes too, and getting so near to 5k. Yes, amazing programme, can't believe how far/long we are all running (or still shuffling in my case) :)

  • Thank you. Shuffling is fine - just as long as you keep moving forward. Sometimes feel I'm going so slowly I'm actually going backwards, but then I look over my shoulder and notice that nice young man with the dachshunds that I that I overtook i few minutes ago is now way behind me.

  • Fantastic - congratulations on your graduation! And a great blog too - your runs always sound marvellous and I want to do your London run :)

  • Thank you, Annie. I love hearing about oter people's runs, too. When you run on Hampstead Heath go to the cafe at Kenwood House afterwards, if you can. The house is closed for re-furbsihment but the cafe is still open and has fantastic cakes, soup and hot chocolate and jugs of free water so you can rehydrate without spending a fortune. On a sunny day, sitting out in the herb garden at the side is bliss, even in winter.

  • From Hampstead Heath to the Isle of White, you make every run sound so amazing Londongirl and how good to do your graduation run by the sea! Congratulations!! Shame you couldnt finish it off as normal with a dip but we are glad as we want to see you back here safe and sound!!

    Please keep blogging about your runs as they are a delight to read - maybe they are the basis of your novel?! Good luck with that too!

    Sue x

  • Thanks, Sue. I'm finding that thinking about how I would describe a run is a very productive activity when running. The novel is historical - so the heroine is a bit hampered by her long skirts - maybe I should use that...

  • What a fantastic run londongirl-well done and Congratulations on your Grad run. Yes-keep on blogging and look forward to the publication of your book. Best of luck.

    Keep on Running! :-)

    Colette x

  • Thanks, Collette. Couldn't have done it without the support of this community.

  • great blog, the run sounds amazing. Congratulations!!

  • Thanks. I'm in awe of anyone who can do this programme on a treadmill - it's the fresh air and scenery that inspires me to run.

  • Congratulations, london!! I apologize for being so tardy with my congratulatory message, but it seems that Thanksgiving in America has monopolized me for several days!!

    43 minutes...now that is a graduation run and then some!! Very well done!!

    Congratulations again and Keep Running!! :-)


  • Thanks Steve, and belated Happy Thanksgiving. Hope the pumpkin pie is fuelling your running.

  • Thank you so very much, it was a wonderful day!! I am afraid I must admit, there was so much eating that instead of feeling like fuel, it has felt like an anchor!! ;-) Our trainers are on and we are to running again, so things will soon be back to normal!! :-)

    Keep Running!! :-)


  • Will do. Be crazy to stop having got this far,wouldn't it?

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