Running: Great North Run 2017

In the build up to this years Great North Run and my 7th year taking part I have been doing a lot of running. Not as consistent as I would like but it is tricky to fit in at times with working hours etc. But I guess I really did not realise how much this was going to play a part on the day until I was actually running.

No matter how much you train or try to run parts of the route it all depends on how you feel and prepare on the day. I think the best thing was that the Metro’s were running very well, lots of them on and that was a relief and relaxing just heading to the start line along with then finding a toilet to use after drinking half a bottle of water on the way. I think that was my defining moment as I then didn’t have to worry about that anymore, all sorted to head to the start line.

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Start line with my cousin!

I opted to start from the left side again something I only did for the first time last year, as the previous five years I went from the right side. I much prefer the left. I always attempt to aim for 2 hours and hope that if I am running well I can beat my PB of 1:59.

The thing is when you do this race the first 3 miles are going to be your fastest, no matter how much you try to pace it well. The first 2 up to the Tyne Bridge just fly over and I was no different this year to the previous six. That was ok though as I had planned that in my build up. I knew 9:09 minute miles would get you under the 2 hour mark, so a couple of quick ones at the start would do me well in the end. I did try my very best to hit that target and even getting just under 9 minute miles, but the 9/10/11 are tough along with the dreaded 12th mile which was the one which really let me down and kept me those 30 seconds away from under 2 hours and oh so close to the personal best.

My Garmin watch is pretty much the best thing I have ever bought to help with my running and reaching goals, allowing you to see how quickly you are currently moving. I am sure it has a lot more features and apps that you can download than I currently use but it really is a fantastic piece of kit. Built in GPS so not having to drain your phone battery and use data. Well worth paying a little bit extra if you are thinking about getting a running/fitness watch. Although this year I didn’t quite beat my all time step daily goal which was on GNR day 2016.

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Time splits . . . I was doing well, but that 12th Mile . . .

In conclusion of my 7th Great North Run and an event I was starting to resent, I have now found my love for it again. I mean don’t get me wrong hard work does pay off and doing a lot of running in the build up to it obviously did a lot more than I realised, my fitness must actually be pretty high and I as my legs weren’t too bad on Monday or Tuesday I was then left wishing I had pushed harder earlier.

The worst thing to wait for this year was to see if I was lucky enough to have any photos taken whilst on the run or more importantly at the finish line. After not having any photos at all for 2016. Luckily I need and the Mobot was a good idea as I also ended up in a video! I also found a bonus photo of an action running shot on bibfinder.com whilst waiting for marathon-photos which are expensive but when they are good ones I just cannot resist buying them!

I do owe a lot to my new running trainers Mo Farah Nike Zoom which are extremely comfortable! Also having to mention Runr and the magnets for my race number which meant not having to use safety pins, certainly the way forward with it all. The first thing I put on after finishing were my recovery Oofos flip flops!

There you have it my Great North Run 2017. The day I fell back in love with this incredible race and event. Nothing better than seeing so many familiar faces when I hit South Tyneside and especially South Shields. Amazing support and as always the ice pops are truly the best thing you will be given! This year I attempted to use them to cool myself down as well.

Surely if I can knock 13 minutes off my time from one year to the next I can do it again? Getting an incredible PB in the process? Right? Well, there’s only a year of training to find out if it is possible to do just that! In the mean time I will just be out running around South Shields as much as possible! Probably up and down the John Reid Road to the coast road battle the hills!!!

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