Great North Run 2014
Great North Run 2014
Note that I’ve missed out a couple of runs in the run up to the Great North Run, normally I’m pretty anal about recording my runs but I’ve missed two or more in this blog.
Well although I would have liked to have written this up on the day I find myself typing it up some time later. My memory may be a bit sketchy about the events of the day but I do remember a few things, so I’ll get them thoughts down before they disappear.
I do remember that my running up to the Great North Run was patchy, I normally religiously record every run I make in a running diary and then I put it into this blog, or vice versa sometimes. Well as my watch was playing up (by playing up I mean I forgot to charge it or take it on runs, so that means that I’m playing up and not the watch) I don’t really have a record of the runs I made, not just the times, I’ve forgotten if I made an un-watched run.
I do know that I had a significant problem, I think it all started at the Green Man Festival, sat watching a band – entirely sober 🙂 – and with my legs crossed I felt a distinct but soft TWANG in my ankle. I remarked to my friend that I thought something had gone TWANG in my ankle and walking off it felt ok, so I dismissed it. A week or so later I found that something was wrong with my ankle, it hurt when I ran, after my run it wasn’t too bad but I had to cut down my training to a minimum.
It was touch and go as to whether to do the GNR or not, however the fact that I’d done 18 on the trot only not finishing the one where I broke my collar bone, well this persuaded me to take part. The idea this year was to finish but not necessarily in a good time, just finish. In the end I was pleased that I had taken part but now weeks later my ankle is still giving my gyp and I reckon that the Great South Run is now in question.
Anyway I got up early for the run, as usual, I forgot the fact that in my new gaff I was a little further from the start line than normal so I was a little late turning up, but still early by most person’s standards. I went straight to the Metro vending machines and got a ticket before the queues started and boy did they flesh out only a few minutes later. I then made the mistake of going back to the car for a ten minute rest, as on getting back to the station the trains were packed full of people and I had to wait for around four to go through before I found the space to get onto one. While waiting I struck up a nice chat with a girl who was off to work but seemed half cut and a couple of runners who got dragged into the conversation. It was good to have this delay though as rarely does anyone speak to anyone, I don’t know why but I’ve found that this is the case over the years. If you do chat then you can have a good conversation but generally everyone is a bit insular, not unfriendly just a bit shy or something.
Anyway this put me a bit behind but I made the baggage buses in good time, the loos however were all packed so there was no time for my traditional poo in a loo. Not that I needed one, it’s just a nervous thing and it’s worth getting it off you mind, plus I know that everyone tends to hate plastic loos but I find them quite relaxing and a good way to get away from all the thronging crowds.
Anyway my usual two hour long wait was whittled down to only around about ¾ of an hour. I sat around in my paper overalls and watched the world go by. I enjoy sitting there just soaking up all the atmosphere, a bottle of sports drink and some wine gums and I’m happy as the proverbial piggy. Anyway the sun was getting out which wasn’t good for me, my ankle wasn’t great and the run was looking in serious danger of being a bit of a wash out.
I got into my orange gate in good time, stripped down to my running gear, ignored the advice about stretching and after a rather protracted walk up to the start line we headed off for the coast.
The sun was beaming down and by the three mile mark my ankle was only starting to stop hurting – I know that the pain goes after a while but returns triple time after the run. Anyway I resigned to jog the run, no competition for me, every water zone I sipped some water and poured the rest over my head. This kept me cool and as I was only jogging I didn’t overheat that much. It turned out a real scorcher, I saw many people being resuscitated by the roadside, at one point ironically I think I even perchanced on someone in camel fancy dress being given oxygen. Not good.
Anyway I stole along and managed a 1:52 something which wasn’t too bad considering the heat and my ankle. I was really pleased to have just competed, the temptation to just stay at home was great but I was very happy to get another run under my hat, despite aching for weeks afterwards. On the finish line a girl grabbed me in order to have something to rest on – yeah right. She grabbed my shoulders and said “yuk you’re all sweaty” and was off before I could explain I was just doused down in the contents of a dozen water bottles.
After the run I had to get along to a garage in Sunderland to sign some documents so I missed my traditional pint and watching of the Red Arrows. I caught a bus into Newcastle and then a metro back to Heworth, jumped in the car and the followed the sat’ nav’ through miles of country lanes in order to avoid the road mayhem that is the Great North Run. On getting to the garage I stepped in and announced that I was there as arranged to sign some paperwork for my new car, they replied “didn’t Chris tell you, we don’t need you to sign that anymore?” I think I swore.
Anyway another run under my belt – what hat?