Monday, October 06, 2008

Great Big Run



I collected my schoolfriend from the station at 5.15pm on Saturday and we immediately went into our usual routine. We lined up the Nurofen Plus, loo roll, jelly beans, Lucozade tablets, Lucozade carb gel, Lucozade Sport, change for the bus, thermos flasks, numbers and safety pins, ankle chips, change of clothes and baby wipes plus lipstick for me; there's nothing like an unmade-up purple face in the hideous pictures, taken without knowledge by the professionals, to make you feel like re-mortgaging.

This year we were both inexplicably nervous, perhaps because we'd missed last year and I was worried about my knee and not doing enough training. I'd also been suffering from a psychosomatic cold all week which had panicked me into imagining a total, fatal collapse on the side of the road, breathing my rancid last into the face of a poor St John's ambulance volunteer.

Lurch cooked the boys supper and schoolfriend and I ate huge amounts of vegetable lasagne. I had excelled myself during the week in the carb loading department; coffee and cakes in every local tea shop and mountains of pasta and had denied myself wine for two weeks, apart from a couple of blips when things really got too much. I had worn my tracksuit non-stop at home to get myself in the mood, even Lurch noticed and remarked 'there's a whiff of the Vicky Pollards about you these days'. My preparation could not have been more keen. Off to bed at 10pm, awake in a cold sweat at 2pm, 4pm and then up at 5.15 ready for the trip to Newcastle.

The Great North Run is such a moving and inspirational race. It was chilly but bright as SF and I arrived at the starting line with the 52,000 other runners and we both started blubbing at the radio interviews with fundraisers. We also chatted to lots of people and were totally impressed with a 65 year old woman with an 18 year old's figure. She had only started running at 53 after a school reunion where she saw some little old ladies and realised they were her classmates, her best time was under two hours, she was brilliant fun. Schoolfriend and I are hugely competitive and she was confident. We have an agreement to start together but run apart. We were off, with a big high five from Chris Hoy - funnily enough I didn't notice Tony Blair or anybody else at the start.




It was a tough race, I'd forgotten the hills again and really struggled at 4 miles, my legs were hurting and I was boiling hot, thankfully the Geordies were out in force, children were squirting runners with water (I think!!) and kind people were handing out ice pops from their homes (don't eat the yellow ones), all gratefully received by me. Several onlookers were smoking tabs and drinking cans of lager and I would have given everything I possessed, even the boys, at one point to trade places but I forced myself to keep going. At 6 miles I started to feel OK and swallowed nearly the whole packet of Lucozade carb tablets. I had also drunk 2 bottles of Lucozade Sport but still took on board a further pouch of Lucozade at one of the stations. The eleven mile hill is normally my worst point but the sugar rush helped me to carry on without walking and suddenly at 12 miles I realised I could probably get a personal best if I just tried to hang on. I swallowed the Lucozade carb gel and gave it my all. 800 metres to go, 400 metres to go, 200 metres to go with the crowds cheering us on along the seafront and I managed to sprint the last bit to achieve a personal best of 2 hours 7 minutes and 24 seconds. Woohoo! But I was nearly sick at the finish line due to Luco-nausea, tablets, gel and isotonic drink combining to create a near volcanic effect in my stomach. Yuck! Will not be touching that stuff for some time, however I'm grateful for its help.

Met Schoolfriend at the family bit, trying not to gloat, she didn't know her time but her daughter texted her to say she had done it in 2 hours 6 minutes and 42 seconds!!! Pipped at the post by 42 seconds!! 2 all now. Still, we were both thrilled with the result. Got home, happy, sore and tired, had a lovely hot bath with a glass of champagne and fell asleep at 9.00pm.

I would like to say a big thank you and a big congratulations to everybody who did it and made it such a brilliant race. Cheers!

17 comments:

GoneBackSouth said...

Brilliant! I did the Great North Run 3 years ago (I think) - it was superb.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Congratulations and how fanastic is that finishing time? I always watch the GNR and I bet I spotted you running away there! Superb dear lady - I wish I had the mind set and courage to do as you have done.

Lindsay said...

Well done - sounds a brilliant day. Whilst reading your blog - you sipping lucozade (presumably fizzy) I did wonder about the volcano effect!!!

dottie said...

Congratulations, you are a star! I'm so impressed. You deserve a bucket of champagne for that effort!

Berthddu Suit said...

Wow! Well done you. I would have died after 5 minutes!

Adventure Mother said...

What a wonderful achievement. You are my inspiration!

KittyB said...

Very very impressed. A great achievement!

Suburbia said...

Wow , well done!
I'm good at stocking up on the carbs I just never get around to the running bit!

Expat mum said...

Well done bonnie lass! I'm very impressed. We have the Chicago marathon this weekend and I'm ashamed to say I've had friends fly in to do it but have never once felt the urge.

Lori ann said...

dear b.t.m,
good job!!
we have a very lovely half here in santa barbara, it runs along the ocean.well, it's lovely until you double back and see all the people who are waaay ahead of you. still, if you ever come here, look me up and i will run it with you.
we also have good carbs and more importantly,excellent wine, for afterwards. of course.

xx lori

goodbyetoallfat said...

Many many congrats Blogthatmama!

First time I have stopped by your blog in a while + I find this -- wowee !!!

blogthatmama said...

Thanks everyone and I would love to do an American run one day! My legs have stopped aching now but I'm continuing to carb load and drink wine. No Lucozade though! Schoolfriend and I enjoyed it so much we're looking for a nice flat half marathon to do in March if anyone knows a good one? If I can do it I promise you anyone can!

Working mum said...

Congratulations; I am seriously impressed. What an achievement!

Mean Mom said...

So you ran for 11 miles and then had to run up a hill? Have I understood that correctly? I don't even think that I could manage to run up a hill, to be honest! I'm so impressed by your achievement!

Stinking Billy said...

I'd have thought you might have regained your breath by now - enough to type out a post, anyway? ;-) x

cheshire wife said...

Congratulations on completing the GNR and also on your personal best time.

blogthatmama said...

Thanks working mum and welcome cheshire wife and yes, mean mom, that hill is awful, makes me feel sick, all over for another year though. Billy, I know I'm being a lazy old blogger but I'll try and force one out tonight... blogthatmamax