The Great North Run has got to be the most self-indulgent running event in the race calendar, I personally could handle this kind of ego boost on a monthly basis, I would say weekly, but as I’m still unable to walk so I think that might be pushing it.
Look how happy I am barely seconds after the finish. I work hard to be permanently grumpy but this race had infectious happiness thrown in – I was smiling at every mile, even at mile 12 when my quads seized up badly and I had to be rejuvenated by a tumbler of vodkaless vodka handed to me from the sideline.
The Great North run is a very special event, the organization is flawless and the support from the crowd is amazing. I ran the route hugging the left hand side, I therefore got very familiar with a lot of locals (I also came close to having an unwelcome shower from the guys caught short and relieving themselves on the overpass above me). Every one of those 13 miles ticked by so quickly, I must have slapped the grubby hands of at least a thousand kids and I have to admit its not an everyday occurrence for kids to high five me.
We had to set off from my parents house at 5am, so there was a 4.15 am rush to the loos, enough to put anyone in a bad mood you’d think. OGB and myself have managed to be grumpy for every race we’ve attended over the last year but we surprised ourselves by feeling upbeat for the whole shebang on Sunday. We were a bit nervy at the outset as we were right at the back and it felt a little uncomfortable to start with the sweeper van clipping at your heels. Still, it only took us 25 mins after the starters pistol to reach the start and we set off at a sprint (unmaintainable) to escape the van.
Thats the last I saw of OGB until we were re-united at the family meeting spot. You’d be forgiven for thinking he just hitched a ride to the end as he looks so fresh and spritely but his official time was 1:58:33 so I suppose he had plenty of time to freshen up.
I had a lovely run from the start, I was just raring to go and set off a bit too swiftly but I was enjoying myself. Despite sharing the motorway with 49,999 other runners, I didn’t feel too constricted. I had to do a little bit of weaving in and out but mostly I followed my line.
The red arrows stormed across our path just as we crossed the start line and then appeared above South Shields again when I reached mile 10 and kept me fairly occupied with their acrobatics til mile 12ish. That was jolly good timing as I was suffering quite a bit from the tenth mile. I still had plenty of energy but my legs (quads specifically) were tightening up like crazy. I had to hop off to the sidelines at mile 12 to try and stretch out my legs a bit so I could carry on. I ran the whole way but in the latter stages my running was no faster than other folks walk. Every now and again the crowd would call out “Go on warriorwoman!” and I’d manage another appreciative burst. Such good fun.
We recovered from the run with a plate of fish and chips served on the seafront with a bottle of dog. Such bliss.
Here are my splits from the garmin:
I suppose that shows that I need more training. I had plenty of energy at the end but my legs cannot cope with the strain. I sooooooo hope I don’t get accepted into the London Marathon this year, I only entered so that I can start building up my rejections for the 5 strikes and you’re in rule. God help me if I get accepted first time. Instead I fancy cramming a few half marathons in for the new year, I think thats a good challenge distance.
I’m back home now and am suffering quite badly, not sure how I’m going to get into work tomorrow. My quads are completely shot and I’m practically descending my flat stairs by shuffling down on my arse. In fact the only reason I’m not bouncing down on my bum is that I wouldn’t be able to drag myself back into the upright position. What a state! Mind you, I’ve made progress, this time last year I was crippled by the Nike 10k run, at least I’ve doubled the distance to knock myself out. This time next year…..who knows?
Official time: 2:56:07
T-shirt shot over here.