Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: boat, Great North Run, kielder, medal, running
Having ran the Great North Run I thought I would never run again. Ever. Not even for a bus.
So you can imagine my surprise when I found myself back on the start line this weekend. I don’t really know how it happened – well I do – it was a really clever marketing mail about two weeks ago suggesting I might like to take part in the Kielder 10k. Well it was Kielder and we were going to be up for the weekend as we were both on duty for the Sunday – so I thought why not?
Having signed up for this it was then patiently explained to me that this route was basically made up of hills. Lots of hills. This made me a little aprehensive – I know from the GNR they aren’t my strength, but as I had signed up now I decided I just needed to man up and get on with it. So I’ve actually gone and done some hill training – running up and down the banks off the beach, and even going to Hexham to run up Causey Hill ( got lost on the way, ended up running up and down and through the park about 47 times followed by finally finding said hill by the time I was already totally exhausted and deciding by the time I got half way up that it was a stupid idea anyway and going home for a nice cup if tea and a giant sit down).
It was ‘only’ 10k do I reckoned if I could do it in comparable time to the GNR I should be looking for a 1.15 finish time. And if it got really tough then I could always get the bus like last years Kielder marathon winner!
So Saturday dawned, bright and cool, and I got changed into my kit. The idea was that competitors went a parked in a local village and were then shuttle- bussed to the start at the main visitor centre – Leaplish. But it tuned out that I felt a much better idea would be to save myself the hour or so all of that was going to take and instead abuse my position and get a lift in a rib instead!
So 500 competitors turned up in buses, and I turned up in running gear and a buoyancy aid. It was a good look.
I shouldn’t have been scared of the whole thing, but I was starting to get very nervous. In addition to the 10k there was also the run, bike, run starting at the same time (individual or team, run 11k, bike 26, run 6) so the pace was packed. Lots of people had come with me to cheer me on though which was great – and their plan was to go and sit in the pub while I was running – which kind of felt a little unfair.
For the start we all just piled in – I hung back so I was right out of everyone’s way. The waiting was the worst – I was doing it on my own, so you just start to worry you wont cope and wondering how come everyone else knows how to do stretches and stuff.
And then we were off. It was very hard to try and get going as the paths are only 2-3 abreast and it turned out that I wasn’t the slowest there – I actually needed to run past some people. And then the hill started. I had been warned that the first mile was rough – straight up and it just kept going. But I was managing. In fact I was still running past people. Actually – some people were walking already! I was a running god!! Until I hit the mile. And it was still going up. I had been lied too! I wasn’t sure how much longer I could keep it up for and I could see more and more people in front of me stopping. I pushed through, got round a corner… And it levelled out. I have never been so pleased to see some flat in my life. It’s amazing what a bit if achievement can do to push you on though – because all of a sudden I wasn’t at the back any more, I wasn’t walking and the kick I got from it was amazing. I started watching my pace and trying to improve – every mile I managed a little faster, overtook a few and started to think that I was actually doing OK. I did have a wobble – it was around the 7-8k when we rounded a corner and I saw the waterski club – and by water that is a LONG way to Leaplish (you tend to have to beat all the way too) and my heart just sank – but before I knew it I was past the 8k mark and realised I’d nearly finished!
As I got close to the finish it was clear everyone was stepping up their game – but I didn’t want to push too hard incase I couldn’t finish … I rounded the corner, saw the finish line, heard someone shout my name and just decided to run like billyo – and I did – I took 5 places in that last 200m and sprinted over the finish line.
I was thrilled – I felt I’d actually ran a race, with the the GNR I was just happy to get round. And my time? 1.03. Like I said – thrilled.
I think it might be the first time ever I have actually enjoyed running.
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: Great North Run, medal, rnli, run, running
I did it! 13.1 miles / 2 hours 29.
What was the worst bit? I think from miles 2 to 13 ish! It was really strange being part of such a big event and I have to admit to being really scared about it – I wasn’t the only one – all of the others I knew who were running were in differing levels of panic – by the morning I was really thinking that I should have maybe done any sort of organised run at all before doing this one.
So what was it like? Well there were good bits and bad bits…..
And one day on?
Well I hurt all over and have spent the day walking around (on heels – that’s dedication for you!) looking like a bit of an idiot and using the lift allot. I know I’m a woos.
I also signed up for the reminder service to let me know when registration for next year opens…. turns out that I might hate running, but I love a challenge!
If you would like to make a tiny contribution to the RNLI out of sheer amazement that I’m not dead then you can – here – but no pressure!
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: event, jubilee, medal, Olympic, sailing
So the Olympics are finished and life can get back to normal. So what does that mean? Well for a start we can all stop watching sport at every available moment – I even found myself actively engaging in a bout of jumping earlier last week – trust me – put Olympics in the title and I was quite literally watching anything. Turned out we are good at jumping and got Gold in it – who knew??
We can also stop being a little smug about our medal haul – none of us are actually smug – we are just trying to cover how totally amazed we are with how well we have done. And in who has achieved – allot of our ‘nailed on’ medals didn’t come off, or didn’t do as well as we would have hoped, while in other areas (dancing horses anyone?) we have surprised everyone.
I can finally put my flags away – they came out for the Jubilee and have taken up residence since – and I have never owned a flag prior to this.
The London transport system can stop emailing me thanking me for not using it – I’ve never seen a business so pleased that I have avoided it and chose other modes of transport instead (primarily, not going to London, and walking when I had to go, or even on one occasion going in an Olympic Lane in a taxi – I was so excited…).
But what I am most excited about is how much of a medal I have won. Obviously by being a taxpayer and buying lottery tickets all the athletes funding has actually come from me (and the rest of the British public). So based on the 63,600,000 people there are in Britain (well, the UK), I calculate that I have personal possession of 0.00000102201 of one of our 65 medals. I’m so proud.
If you try and work out how much of a gold medal I have won however calculators start doing funny things – mine tells me I have won 4.55974843e-7 of one of our Gold medals. That’s maths too hard for me, so I’ll stick with ‘some’ of a gold medal is mine….!
So for a little wincey country I think we have done pretty good – and it’s just been announced that on the back of our success kids will be doing more sport at school, increased spending will be available for continued investment in sport both at community and elite level, and we will all be taking an increased interest in Handball and Taekwondo.
Net gain in sailing club members over this time? Nil.
Drastic action is required to capitalise on Olympic enthusiasm. Watch this space.