I wasn’t looking forward to this one very much.
It’d been two weeks since I’d last run (Birchwood 10k) and had had problems with my left foot ever since. (See last blog.) I got plenty of good advice on here from kind hearted people, but didn’t listen to any of them and didn’t do anything about it.
Also, the night before the run I ignored every article/website I’d read and had a Curry (lovely!) and two beers. Then I had another beer. And stayed up late watching The Office (U.S. Version) on Netflix. So all in all, I could’ve prepared slightly better, which is why I was (and still am) surprised at how well the run went!
Three of us taking part in the Great Yorkshire Run (not counting the 5000 or so people I didn’t know.) There was myself, Joe (Sarah’s cousin) and Nigel (Sarah’s uncle.) Ironman Tony came along for support and to take the pictures, but wasn’t running due to a bad dog bite on his leg; (He’s a Postman.) (Tony, not the dog.)
Nigel drove us all to the Park & Ride at Meadowhall in Sheffield and then we Parked & Rode the tram to the city centre. By the time we’d gone from the Carpark to the Tram (10mins) Nigel had gone to the toilet three times. Probably some kind of record there.
The tram stopped very near the start/finish line so we didn’t have to go very far to line up. (After another toilet stop.) I’d been tweeting with Aly Dixon (A proper runner) in the car on the way here and she said to watch for the end of the run. 1km all uphill, and it didn’t look nice at all. I’d just finished my water and the day was getting very warm, so slightly nervous about keeping hydrated. Being a Bupa sponsored run, however, there were a dozen people or so handing out bottled water to everyone getting ready to run so made sure I grabbed one.
Joe was in the wave of runners before us (as he’s a lot fitter and faster) and so as I was still a bit worried about not running for two weeks and trying not to injure my foot again, and Nigel was wanting to take it a bit steady, we Nigel decided to run the course together. Plenty of people were in fancy dress, saw a Superman, Batman and a Spider-Man in a group, then a Supergirl and a Batgirl. There was also a Kick-Ass and a Snow White.
Before long we were off and ready to put in a good showing. As the end of the run was uphill, that meant the start was downhill (I once did physics) and turning the first corner after starting the run, we all came to a stand still. Turns out that the road narrowed a bit where the traffic lights were, and so everyone had to slow down and make space to get past it. Not a major problem, but there were still plenty of people muttering and complaining about the set up. Me and Nigel laughed.
The first few kilometres flew by, and my foot wasn’t giving me any trouble at all. I might try beer and a take-away before the Great North Run too! We did a mixture of running and walking, but when we walked it was only for ten-twenty seconds at a time. The winner passed us on his way back when we were just getting going. He finished in under 30mins. There were a few bands and singers lined up along the route, and LOTS of supporters which was brilliant. The route they use is pretty much a there-and-back route, run down one side of the road and back up the other.
At about the 3-4km point I said to Nigel that we should just hop over the grass verge and run to the finish. Quite a few people around us laughed (never had an audience!) and said it was a good idea. A minute or so later we had caught up to some people and one of them said ‘It would be better to go over the road and run back.’ That didn’t bother me, it was an obvious joke. What DID bother me was that a woman that had been keeping pace with us, that laughed at my joke, said ‘I just said that a minute ago.’ Which she didn’t! She heard me say it, then someone else say something similar, and tried to take credit herself when none was for her! She annoyed me a bit, so we moved away from her.
The wave of runners that began before us were now coming back up the opposite side of the road so I said to Nigel that Joe would be there somewhere, and then seconds later I saw him.
“Joe!” I shouted, what with it being his name. I waved, he waved, but for some reason Nigel shouted “Joe” and looked up to the sky. Dunno why.
At the turn around point, Nigel stopped at the toilets (again) and so I walked for about a minute whilst I waited for him. The sun was pounding down at this point and so the water station was bloody lovely to see. He caught up, and in the distance we could see the walk-through shower so that spurred us on quite a bit. Oh-my-life it felt good!
By this point we were walking for a bit longer in our walking breaks, but still putting in some good running. During one of our walks, a woman and her daughter at the side of the road read our names and told us to start running and that we should be doing better! I don’t know about anyone else, but when you’ve been running only 12 weeks and are in your 2nd 10k race in two weeks, in the last 3k, having a walking break, hearing ‘You should be running’ is in no way a motivational tool. Still, we should’ve been running so we ran.
Reaching the 9km point, a woman asked Nigel if she could have a piggy back to the end.
“I might collapse!” He said, then realised what he had said, and followed it up with “Not that you’re heavy or anything. Because you aren’t. But… Er… I’ll stop now.” She didn’t look happy, so we tried to motivate her to run up the hill. We also tried to motivate ourselves to run up the hill.
Aly Dixon on Twitter wasn’t wrong about the hill finish, which she said ‘killed her’. This from someone who ran the Middlesborough 10k at the same time as we were doing this, finished in 33.32, came 1st in females and set a new course record!)
We didn’t sprint to the end, but we did speed up and over took a few people. Both finished in a time of 01:06:52. PB for Nigel and my second best 10k! (Out of….three. So second worst too… No! Second best!)
Met up with Ironman Tony and Joe at the finish. Joe ran the 10k in a PB of 00:51:37, which was brilliant. Even better though (I thought) was how he finished. Near the end, he felt sick (due to drinking too much water) and so threw up a bit into Sheffield’s City Centre flower display without breaking stride. Passing the finish line, he then threw up properly near the official photographers and the supporters that had pushed to the front. Paramedics ran towards him and gave him a bag to be sick into, and then one of them asked if he was OK and where his Dad was. Joe looked at him and said “Mate, I’m 25. I’ll be fine!” Brilliant.
So now less than two weeks til the Great North Run, and I’m feeling better about it. Still need a bit of sponsorship though, so if you feel like helping (even a pound will help!) it’s This Link Here
Oh my God, how did I forget to include this?! About 3/4 of the way round the 10k, we kept getting over taken by a Chinese man, who seemed like he just wanted to have a conversation with another Chinese man and so decided to join in the run about halfway. I know he wasn’t a proper runner because he was running holding his backpack. And wearing a shirt. Tucked into trousers. And shoes. He was very sweaty.