Race Review: Great North Run 2019

I’ve had a week to digest this year’s Great North Run now!

First of all, it feels like it was absolutely the right decision for me to make the Great North Run the final race of my running season for 2019. I’ve finished on a high, at a point when I’m still really enthused about running, so I really feel like I have a good chance of avoiding the winter running slump this year, as I won’t be burning myself out training for races later in autumn.

The weather was ridiculously hot for the fifth year running. What is up with that? I first noticed it in 2015 when it poured down as I was doing the Great North 5k on the Saturday and then got stupidly warm in time for the main event on the Sunday. It’s the north-east of England – it shouldn’t be guaranteed hot weather in September!

However, it was the first time I felt properly in control during a half marathon. I went out too fast in the first two or three miles – probably due to starting in a faster wave – and I did slow down a little during miles eight to eleven, but I had planned for that, and I knew I was still on track for a PB. In the end, my time was 2:36:32, which was four minutes and seven seconds off my previous best. I was really happy with that! Next target: sub 2:35.

Great North Run 2019 medal
This one gets a little weightier and more colourful every year!

I will definitely be back next year for the 40th Great North Run!

Recovering!

I was really pleased with my race time yesterday, but it has taken a lot out of me, so I’ve just been curled up playing videogames today. Back to work tomorrow.

Nosecco
Not an OOTD: finishing the last of the celebratory nosecco from yesterday.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Mark Knopfler – Local Hero
Duran Duran – Planet Earth
Michael Land – The Barbery Coast
Michael Land – Woodtick

A muggy Friday

Yesterday did not end as well as it began. The UK railway chaos caused by the heat meant that Geth and I were unable to get from Newcastle to Durham for our race, so I had to DNS a race I’d entered for the first time since 2016 (when I couldn’t take up my place at the EMF 10k due to my brother getting married in Toronto the same weekend). Really annoyed about the whole thing! Next time I have to go anywhere during a heatwave I’ll be taking the car – the trains are just too unreliable.

I then had a bad night’s sleep due to the heat, so I’ve not really felt on top form today and haven’t got as much writing done as I would have liked. It’s been a long, muggy day – there was a heavy rain storm earlier this evening that’s made the air a little cooler, but it still feels pretty uncomfortable.

I may or may not be at parkrun tomorrow depending on the weather, but I will be in town either way as I’ve got a hospital appointment that I only found out about today.

OOTD 26th July 2019
OOTD: this outfit was highly appropriate when I put it on this morning, before the rain made it all grey and overcast! Sunglasses Ray-Ban (2019), dress Paradise (2013), shoes BHS (2016).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Martin Garrix, Macklemore and Patrick Stump – Summer Days
Daniel Bedingfield – If You’re Not The One
Arcadia – Say The Word
Cast of The Rocky Horror Picture ShowTime Warp
Kylie Minogue – I Should Be So Lucky
Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
George Ezra – Paradise

And a bonus track that Geth was humming earlier:

Haim Saban and Shuki Levy – The Mysterious Cities Of Gold Main Theme

The hottest day of the year…I hope

Geth woke me with great excitement this morning because he’s had a paper accepted (it’s been a few years due to various things getting in the way of his research), and I was still on a high from giving a well-received performance at poetry night yesterday evening, so it was a good start to the day. Well, it was until I read all the newspaper headlines screaming ‘ARE YOU READY FOR THE HOTTEST DAY OF THE YEAR?’. Firstly, no I’m not, because I have to run 10k this evening and cooler temperatures would be preferable (the forecast is now saying thunderstorms – this could be interesting) and secondly, you don’t actually know that it’s the hottest day of the year until the year comes to an end, newspaper people.

Other than the uncomfortable heat, though, our good vibes have continued as Geth and I both had losses at Slimming World. Just hoping that the weather won’t make tonight’s race too miserable!

OOTD 25th July 2019
OOTD: shadows are not on my side when it’s this sunny. Sunglasses Ray-Ban (2019), vest top Primark (2018), skirt unknown brand (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair (2017), trainers Reebok (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Oasis – Champagne Supernova
Gunship – When You Grow Up Your Heart Dies
Duran Duran – All She Wants Is
George Michael – Careless Whisper
Cole Porter – Too Darn Hot
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee – Despacito
Martin Garrix, Macklemore and Patrick Stump – Summer Days

Me and my keyboard

I’m getting a lot of writing done this year, which is great.

I’m also putting a lot of it out into the world, which is…anxiety-inducing, to say the least. I’m sending out the novel I’ve been working on since 2011 to another batch of agents at the moment. This is sort of its final chance – if I don’t have any success with it this time, I’ll be putting it on the back burner for a couple of years while I focus on pitching my more recent projects.

I’m also going out to perform poetry again tonight. I was really hoping that it would get easier but I still find I’m horribly nervous beforehand!

There’s also a lot of interesting writing competitions with autumn deadlines that I’m excited about, so I’m going to be fairly busy with writing over the next few months. I don’t mind, though, ’cause it’s the only kind of busy I like.

Today I’ve finished yet another draft of my 1970s-set rock star novel and written half the prologue for a competition story, so it’s been a productive day. Tomorrow, on the other hand, will be fairly light on writing as Geth and I have Slimming World in the morning and then a 10k in the evening!

OOTD 24th July 2019
OOTD: still too warm on this uncomfortably muggy day. Top David Emanuel (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2018), leggings Primark (2018), trainers Reebok (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Tyler Lyle – Lost And Found [The Midnight Remix]
Bucks Fizz – If You Can’t Stand The Heat
Duran Duran – Big Thing
Kygo and Whitney Houston – Higher Love
Green Day – Wake Me Up When September Ends
The Midnight – Days Of Thunder

Race Review: Great North 10k 2019

This was the fourth year in a row that I ran the Great North 10k. Geth and I were discussing on the way home how maybe we’d give it a miss next year…and then it was announced online that next year will be a really special edition, as it will be the kickoff party for the celebration of the 40th Great North Run year. So I expect we probably will be back in 2020!

Great North 10k 2019 medal
I like the minimalist design of the medal this year!

I wasn’t expecting to break any records on Sunday as I’d had a month off running since the Blaydon Race. Blaydon was a really miserable experience for me this year due to running it with a cold, so it kind of put me off for a bit, and I’ve also really been struggling to make time to run during the week. Couple that with the fact that Geth’s not been able to go to parkrun recently because it clashes with his Keyforge tournaments, which means that I’m also not going to parkrun because it’s something we’re in the habit of doing together…well, it all added up to not getting any running in at all for the last four weeks, which I obviously hadn’t intended.

As such, I found that I had a bit of chest pain for the first couple of kilometres, and was worried that it would last for the whole race. However, once I found my comfortable pace, my body got used to it again and I had a really good run after that. I came in at 1:13:04, just under a minute slower than last year’s 1:12:05 – under the circumstances I’m very happy with that!

One more 10k later this month and then it’s all preparation for this year’s Great North Run.

Flying feet

Nice to get back to running this morning at the Great North 10k. I was only a minute slower than last year, which is not bad given that I’ve had a month off! I’ll do a proper race review later in the week.

Since I got home, I’ve had my nose buried in my 3DS playing Bravely Default. Now getting a bit of writing done before bed.

Back to work tomorrow.

OOTD 7th July 2019
OOTD: pre-race picture! Glasses Emporio Armani (2017), t-shirt More Mile for Blaydon Race (2019), leggings Karrimor (2015).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Tim O’Brien – Rod McNeil
Dave and Burna Boy – Location
Limahl – The Neverending Story

And a couple of bonus tracks that Geth was humming earlier:

Adam Ant – Goody Two Shoes
A-ha – Take On Me

Screen time

Another Saturday where I ignored the sunshine in favour of some quality videogaming time! I’ve been replaying Bravely Default recently, and enjoying it just as much as I did the first time round.

Geth and I watched the first half of Stranger Things 3 last night and are going to finish it off this evening. It’s a great series so far.

A race tomorrow morning, hopefully followed by a quiet afternoon.

OOTD 6th July 2019
OOTD: warm enough for shorts now! Blouse Lucky Winner (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2018), shorts Tu at Sainsbury’s (2018), trainers Reebok (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Clean Bandit, Marina & The Diamonds and Luis Fonsi – Baby
Duran Duran – Too Late Marlene
Wice – Aliens
Steve Winwood – Higher Love
Aerds – Deadline
Peter Hames – Ordinary Man
Drake – God’s Plan

Ready for the weekend!

A nice quiet day today to end the week – I’ve just been getting on with admin and writing. Looking forward to starting the new series of Stranger Things tonight – I’m already having to scroll past spoilers on social media so it’ll be nice to get it watched this weekend!

I’m also looking forward to the Great North 10k this Sunday (although there’s been a bit of a palaver with them not sending my race number yet so I’ll probably have to pick one up on the actual morning). I’ve not had chance to run for the last few weeks so I’m not going to break any records, but I always like the route along the Quayside and back!

Hoping for another quiet day tomorrow.

OOTD 5th July 2019
OOTD: hints of red. T-shirt Punk Masters (2018), skirt Miss Selfridge (2004), trainers Reebok (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Volkor X – Enclave
Imagine Dragons – Zero
Vera Lynn – London Pride
Larry Marks – Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?
Duran Duran – Rio
Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber – I Don’t Care

Summer sun

Finally some nice weather today! And I made the most of it by…staying in the house all day ’cause I was a bit tired after last night. Got to get that garden finished so that I’m more inclined to sit out!

Last night was hectic but ultimately successful. I lost for the second week in a row at Slimming World – only a pound, but I’d rather get into a pattern of small losses every week than keep doing the ‘lose five, gain five!’ thing that has characterised my results since race season began. My next race is the Great North 10k on the 7th of July, and I am so determined not to gain that week. I’ll have to be really strict to mitigate the post-race bloat that always seems to happen at the moment.

I then went to ukulele class – it was running late, so I had to skip out before the last song, as I wanted to get to poetry night in time to make sure I could read again. I’m still a bit nervous before performing, but I think I’m gradually getting better at it. Geth took a video, which I *may* be brave enough to post later in the week (no promises though!).

Have had a fairly quiet day today – Mum and Dad visited in the morning on their way back from Sweden, and I’ve spent the afternoon getting on with writing. Just a few things to finish off tomorrow and then I can chill out for the weekend.

OOTD 27th June 2019
OOTD: blue Thursday! Sunglasses Ray-Ban (2019), t-shirt Ron Holland for Cambridge University (vintage 1970s, thrifted from Dad 2012), jeans Vivid (2018), trainers Reebok (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Queen – Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy
Haircut 100 – Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl)
The Midnight – Gloria
Duran Duran – Shadows On Your Side
The Midnight – Days Of Thunder
Duran Duran – 911 Is A Joke