Today saw the 30th running of the Great North Run - probably one of the greatest mass participation races in the world! Looking at it on television it made me wish I was there again. Although I must admit that based on my recent training I don't think Haile Gebreselassie would have been too worried! Maybe next year??
I first entered the GNR in 2007 and I used it as my motivation to get fit. Three years on I'm in a very similar position - trying to get fit..
I see that Sonia O'Sullivan was the last person to cross the start line today and finished the GNR in 1:34:53. When I first ran the GNR I started close to the back of the field and finished in 1:34:51. For most of that race I was passing runners, running on the footpath, crossing the road from side to side and constantly looking for the 'gap' ahead. It was both mentally and physically exhausting! Sonia, I know what you went through today. There are easier ways to run 13.1 miles!
Since my last post I've been getting out approx 4 times per week and I'm now up to approx 20-30 miles per week. Nothing spectacular but for me the most important indicator has been that my ankle is holding up.
Last week I went for a 'slow' 12.6mile run (1:45) on Saturday morning and followed it by a 'steady' (i.e. low 7min/mile pace) 10k on Sunday morning. Despite the fatigue everything else seemed to hold up.... a good sign!
This week my long run was 11.7 miles (1:28) i.e. Douglas to City Centre to Sundays Well down the Mardyke back to the City Centre and home to Douglas. I could class it as an 'easy' run (i.e. possible conversational pace) but it'd be more correct to refer to it as a 'comfortable' pace run i.e. a bit harder than 'easy'. :) I passed the 10 mile mark at approx 73mins and feeling good. Interestingly, I last ran this route on 3rd January (4 days before I broke my ankle). The time on that day was 1:31 .. the slower time being more a function of the icey conditions rather than a measure of my fitness!
Today I followed yesterday's run with a 6.5 mile run (47mins) - Douglas to Bishopstown. This felt good and was 13 minutes quicker than the last time I ran this route .. sign of progress??
So now that I've some base training done and I know that the screws in my ankle are holding it's time to start some real training. I guess I need to formulate a plan... but what plan and can I stick to it??
It's time to put my thinking hat on.....