Great North Run – three weeks to go

THE Great North Run is only three weeks away, so now’s the time to start thinking of my race day plans.

I have a running vest, kindly supplied by Action for Children. I need to start wearing this for some of my runs.


I have a race number and race day information, which I need to read.


I have several pairs of trainers so need to decide whether I’m racing in my Adidas Boost or On Cloud. If it’s the Clouds, I’ll need to buy a new pair.

I also need to decide what my target pace will be. If my current training’s anything to go by this could be anything from 6.40 to 9 minute mile pace.

I’m starting to get a bit nervous. It’s a long time since I last raced the half marathon distance. Training has been difficult. For the past few weeks I’ve been bashing out 13.1 miles every Sunday morning. My last long run will be next weekend, fourteen miles, the longest run. And then it’s taper time. I’m ready for a taper.

After yesterday morning’s run I staggered back into the house, and poured myself a pint of cold orange juice. Then I sat down to recover, only to find that I couldn’t get back up again. I sat for ten minutes before Chris came home. He’d done eighteen miles and was in a similar state.


‘I hate running,’ I said.

‘Me too,’ Chris was leaning against the sink. He looked like he might topple over at any moment. ‘There’s nothing good about it.’

My long run was the least enjoyable it’s been. The first seven miles were okay, but took it out of me. I had nothing left for the second part of the run. I focused on putting one leg in front of the other, trying to keep my body moving forward. At mile eleven, I was so focused that I almost fell into the canal. I didn’t realise I was drifting to the left side of the path. Another stride and I would have been in.

‘I feel like I’m stuck in a long-run hell,’ I told Chris. ‘Sunday morning’s are becoming a struggle.’

‘It’ll be worth it,’ Chris was staggering up the stairs. ‘When you’re running on the sea front towards the finish, it will all be worth it.’

I know he’s right. I just need to keep going with my training, only three weeks to go!

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