I ran quite a bit in my early years, mostly the Nike Run in Durham but the occasional cross country school event. However, following the long term absence of my PE teacher in year 8 where we were sent on cross country twice a week for two terms, I lost the running bug and turned to football. I eventually managed to play for my university women’s team but sadly, following a freak kung foo fighting/ice accident, I was forced to retire. There in started my wilderness years. At times I dallied with the gym and various classes when I had an “event” and ignored exercise when I didn’t.
Fast forward a few years and a friend suggested I join her on a short 2.5 mile run. I was shocked to discover I had to stop and walk and that it took me the best part of 30 minutes to finish. Being competitive to the point of ridiculous, I worked and worked at this 2.5 mile run until I could do it all non-stop, never thinking of running any further.
Following the death of my husband’s dad, a few of us decided to run the Great North Run for the hospice who had looked after him. Having run the GNR previously (albeit in the middle of my university years), I took over the role of training co-ordinator. Developing a series of, increasingly more panicked by the lack of time, laminated “training” schedules which resulted in a not too shabby time of 2 hours 12 minutes.
By now it was too late and I had caught the running bug. And an overwhelming urge to go “sub 2”. Following a pregnancy and deferring of entry (“This baby isn’t going to change the way I live my life”…) I decided 2014 was going to be it.
With several friends we established “Tat’s Trotters” and signed up for as many runs as we could; Hamsterley, Cragside, Blaydon, Total Warrior and Town and Gown. I found that having races to focus on meant that I became more dedicated to training as I was determined to better my time each time, but still the GNR loomed in the distance.
I wasn’t lucky enough to get a place in the ballot so decided to run for St Cuthbert’s again, eventually convincing a friend that she would be doing the training so she might as well run the race. This time we trained with greater determination and actually attempted some longer runs with hills in and everything.
Those of you who ran this year will know just how warm the day of the run was and unfortunately I didn’t achieve my aim of sub 2 missing about by 104 seconds as I crossed the line in 2:01:44.
So this brings me to my hopes for the future. I still want to run a sub 2 Great North Run but am finding getting runs in at the moment difficult due to work and family commitments (and also being easily swayed into having just a small glass of wine more the night before). I want to run the races I ran last year and try and beat my PBs and perhaps try some of the ones we didn’t get round to. Longer term, I have an overwhelming urge to run a marathon, which the rest of the Trotters think I’m mad for wanting to do. But as I keep telling them, they’re going to be doing the training with me…