Tag Archive for Great North Run

Day 361 – Why don’t they tell you it’s all uphill?!?!?

When I first ran the Great North Run two years ago, I’d been running for a total of three weeks.

At this point I’d like to introduce you to a blog I discovered at the time (and have enjoyed ever since) the Great North Run in 2009. It’s called ‘Taking Jelly Babies from Strangers’ and I’m sure if you’ve ever run a distance event, I don’t need to explain the name! Anyway, have a look at the link here: http://tjbfs.com/2008/10/08/the-great-north-run-why-dont-they-tell-people-its-all-uphill/ I think it’s a fair assessment of the event and course!

Here is the actual elevation profile from my run in the 2010 edition… As you can see, it isn’t flat!

I ran the 2009 race (my first ever race) in 2h04m and then couldn’t walk for three weeks. I owe the rest of my running career to the technology that is gait analysis as it’s saved my ankles ever since!

For 2010 I was determined to break two hours and did. I ran 1h59m20s. I began the 1095miles challenge only two days later. Here we are, a few days from the end and how fitting the GNR is the final event I will run.

So onwards to Given the last week or so, and the uphill course I’m not expecting a blistering performance but I’d still like to have a go at attacking the 1h30m barrier. We’ll see what happens.

The bad news:
So, my amazing taper for the run on Sunday goes as follows… I’ve run about 100 miles in ten days now. Foolish. On Sunday I will not set the world alight with a great time, that’s for sure!

The good news:
I’m actually really looking forward to the event. It’s becoming one of my favourites. I was explaining to James at work yesterday that there’s little that compares, in anyone’s running career, to crossing the Tyne Bridge with 53,999 other runners as the Red Arrows fly over your head. Nothing really comes close to a moment like that. This year will be my third shot at the GNR and undoubtedly my best yet. Bring on Sunday!

Make a donation using Virgin Money GivingAndy.

Today’s shoes: Mizuno Wave Alchemy 10s
Miles today: 3.16
Target: 1083
Miles to date: 1662.16
“You can’t really be strong until you see a funny side to things.”
Ken Kesey

Day 360 – So close… yet so far still to go

After a few beers last night and less sleep than the body was wishing for, tonight’s run was never going to be an easy one. I set off with the crazy target of clocking up a second sixteen miler in three days. A really tall order. I didn’t feel like it at all.

Having moaned about running over the ranges in the dark the other day, you’d think I’d have learned my lesson. No, obviously not, I ran straight up to the ranges again! It got dark, I left the ranges by the road down near Ash Vale station and headed out towards the army town. I have to say, the fatigue was really starting to show, I couldn’t hold even an eight minute mile this evening. I was struggling to run to be honest.

I decided to have a bit of a review of the last year, the fun moments, the tough bits and took my mind of it all quite effectively. Highlights and interesting events of the year I managed to recall include of course meeting Mo yesterday, but also finishing the Brighton Marathon and hour and quarter faster than last year, running in 12 inches of snow in Cardiff, determinedly hobbling for three miles on the sprained ankle, torrential rain in Barcelona during the half marathon, a strong finish at Wilmslow in 1h36, running up and down a pitch black dual carriageway at Beamsley during my Sense holiday and finally, day 1 where a load of people and plenty of my friends turned out to wish me well on my way to 1095miles, despite thinking I was a lunatic! It seems so long ago 😉

I arrived home completely knackered but having completed my target of 16 miles and with a good idea of what the post 1095miles/365days blog post should be like.

Okay, two days of the absolute minimum 3 miles now, hopefully giving the legs a little time to rest before Sunday. I’ve overdone it, I know that, but at least I should be able to post a reasonable time and I’m sure to beat my PB for the GNR, being that it’s only 1h59m20s!

[A little] more tomorrow!

Make a donation using Virgin Money GivingAndy.

Today’s shoes: Blue and White Kayano 17s
Miles today: 16.05
Target: 1080
Miles to date: 1659.00
“Obstacles are those frightening things that become visible when we take our eyes off our goals.”
Henry Ford

Day 342 – Long run for me, a shorter one for Mo…

Well done to Mo Farah on his performance in the 10,000m at Deagu, South Korea. I really thought you had it there, but those pesky Ethiopians really can run 😉 Silver is a superb achievement, especially for a Brit!

Anyway, here’s what Mo had to say after the race:
“I saw with 100m to go he was there but my legs just couldn’t give me any more,” said Farah. “I thought I had the speed to win the race. I ran a 53-second final lap and I gave it 110% but it just wasn’t enough.”

When asked if he had sprinted for home too early, Farah added: “I don’t think so. Not really. The better man won on the day – great credit to him. I always wanted to go with 500metres, 400metres to go. That’s my best tactic.” (Source: Guardian.co.uk)

On the other end of the running spectrum, and of course spurred on by my fellow countryman’s exceptional effort on the other side of the world, I went out for a run myself. Now, I’m conscious I’ve effectively taken three or four weeks off and frankly was scared of what might happen if I ran long again without any build up. Chatting to Nick S from the club the other day, he was boosting my confidence by suggesting that the stamina and the strength is there and won’t just disappear in such a short time. I was hoping he was right.

I decided to ignore the marathon schedule this weekend and head out for a 20 miler, just to see if I could still hack the big miles. It’s been weeks since I ran anything like this long and it was always going to hurt.

I went off for the first few miles at a comfortable pace and felt ok. By 6 it was really starting to hurt. Everything below the waist was aching, not a good start and barely over the quarter distance mark.

A brief but torrential shower on the way towards Macclesfield did nothing to lighten my spirits. At least the lack of anything but a single layer meant I dried out pretty quickly. Turn around, head back to the start and I should hit about 13 miles, just another seven.

At 12 miles a realised I was on for a good time. In fact I was on for breaking my Wilmslow Half time. That’s my PB for 13.1 miles at 1h36m30s. It’d take a little bit of a push to do it, but I gave it a go and crossed the 13.1 mile point at 1h33m54s.

Now obviously my annual venture north for the Great North Run is fast approaching and I am keen to see what I could do over a half marathon distance by then. I think it’s about time to start taking bets on my time. Anyone care to throw their predictions into the mix? I’ll find a plugin for the blog and we’ll get your guesses set in digital stone prior to the event…

Having set a good time for the first 13, the latter 7 hurt way more than was ever needed. As I finished and stopped running my legs gave way a little and I nearly fell over. Walking suddenly felt wholly unnatural!

I ache a lot now. Not sure I really want to say it, but more tomorrow is inevitable!

Make a donation using Virgin Money GivingAndy.

Today’s shoes: Silver/Yellow Kayano 17s
Miles today: 20.00
Target: 1026
Miles to date: 1523.03
“You only get to negatively affect your DNA.”
Manciata’s explanation for why some people can’t run a marathon.

Thank you Newcastle! Thank you Bupa GNR!

1:59:40 (PB)

That’ll do me 😉

2 days to go to the grand start.

Join us in Hyde Park at 18:30 on Tuesday to kick the madness off!

I’m off for a rest now…

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One grey morning in Newcastle…

It’s early. It’s grey. It’s wet. I have a cold.

Let’s run a half marathon.

I’m up and about. It’s Great North Run day and I’m somewhere on the Metro system.


Two naked runs and two failing ankles

This week, my trusty Garmin is in for repair and so I ran Garminless. Stripped of the technology, I was left feeling naked!

Ankle 1: After his bike incident on Friday, Damian and I spoke this evening and he’s officially out of the running as it were for Sunday’s Great North Run, due to ankle pain of the highest order.

Ankle 2: My better half Elaine is suffering from a stretched Achilles or somesuch ailment according to Doctor Legg too so she’s unsure of her position for Sunday as well!

So there you have it. The week before the start of the mad running challenge and luckily I’m ok to run. Assuming the ankle issues don’t spread, and I get rid of this annoying cold I’m suffering, Great North Run here I come. I’ll be wearing my 1095miles.com t-shirt with pride, so if you see me on the run, do say hello!

This week has been my first week at *proper* work for about four years now (having been truly studious for longer than I expected to be) so I’m a bit bushed. Getting up five days a week is hard if you’re out of practice and although it’s only induction stuff at the moment, attending to it for a whole day is a stretch too.

In other news, it’s nice to hear that the Sense Holidays Team are going to be joining us on Tuesday for some moral and cheering support and there are a few other people coming for the run too. How about you?

See you there…fingers crossed!

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Thanks, it’s appreciated!