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  1. Yay, its August...time for another birthday... This year I will be 39, and I'm not particularly looking forward to it. I hate parties almost as much as I hate the cringe-worthiness of New Years Eve, so I won't be having one of them. And the last thing I want to do is have to put up with endless age-related jokes and quips, as well as the sentimental phone calls and messages that you have to take all morning. Now I realise that I have plenty to be thankful for, but I can't help wanting to get away from it all for the day. All I want is to be left alone with my own thoughts and reflections to work through, and so as a wannabe ultra runner I plan on going out for a run to escape for the day. And what better place for me to go running than along the Cleveland Way? Saltburn to Osmotherley is roughly 37 miles. So if I mess about on the way through Guisborough Woods (going up Highcliff, Hanging Stone and Roseberry) I should be able to clock up 39 miles.

    All of this may sound very sad, but look at it this way: I will have around ten hours without customer or staff issues, family calls (sorry!) or the pub to look after. Instead I will have the whole day to myself to burn out my emotions on the trails and moors, surrounded by the beauty of the Cleveland Hills and North York Moors. Absolute bliss! 

    This year has been a hard one for me. I have moved to a different town, taken on my first pub and just feel very tired and empty at the minute. I have also met a plethora of remarkable new people this year: some absolutely wonderful; some that should be certified. But it's all worn me down, and I feel mentally and emotionally drained. I just need something to jolt me out of my funk, so I'm hoping that a 'gentle leg stretcher' over the Cleveland Way will do the trick - it usually does.

    So, that's my plan - a good old fashioned 'beasting' over the moors to 'celebrate' my birthday. Ten hours or so on my own to empty my mind and reassess the path that I am on, and the route that I feel I should follow. A time for reflection, confession, planning and honesty. I want to look inside and come out a stronger person. It needs to be done, so that is my plan. And I don't mind writing any of this down, because for one thing it is the bare-faced honesty of how I feel at the moment. And secondly, only one or two people will actually read this post - so I am safe!

    Run report to follow...

  2. That's it now - out of time, no more training. Just tried to refresh myself as best as possible, and get all my gear and food sorted out. Did a cracking 10km midweek!

    Wed: 10km

    Best effort with race weight pack and another personal best for this course! Just about near a sub 50 for this route, which will please me no end! There were muddy wet patches on the trail, as well as a blustery wind. Just hope I haven't done it a day too late and am still stiff by the weekend. Oh well, two and a half days rest with stretching should sort me out. Plus I go into the race with more confidence and a buzz. Bring it on!

    Total: 10km