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

Race Review: Blaydon Race 2019

I’m a week late with this review, but it did take me a while to get over my cold/general grogginess this week! Better late than never.

Blaydon Race 2019 t-shirt
Race t-shirt was really nice this year!

So, last Sunday I ran the Blaydon Race for the third year running. It was announced fairly early this year that the course would be a little shorter than usual due to roadworks taking place in Blaydon, so I was hopeful that I would beat last year’s frustrating 1:00:35 result.

Things did not turn out the way I planned.

First of all, my watch died when I was trying to adjust it before the race, so I had to record Strava on my phone instead. This meant that I didn’t have an easy means of checking how far along the course I was during the race. I really need to get a new running watch.

Secondly, last year’s bottleneck problem – caused by the course at the start in the middle of Newcastle city centre being far too narrow for the number of runners – was even worse this year. It was about a hundred and fifty metres into the race before anyone was actually able to start running.

Thirdly, I had come down with a bad cold – which I had spent about a week trying not to catch from Geth – in the middle of the week before the race. By Sunday, I was over the worst of it, but the digestion/stomach issues that colds always cause me meant that as soon as I started running, an immediate painful stitch clamped its way around my abdomen and just wouldn’t let go for the entirety of the race. It was probably the most uncomfortable I have ever been during running, and I seriously considered giving up at various points.

As such, I was about three and a half minutes slower (1:04:09) than last year, despite the shorter course. I’ll just have to hope that I’m in a fitter condition for next year’s race.

At least the t-shirt’s really nice!

Impeccable timing

So after I nearly killed myself running the Blaydon Race with a bad cold yesterday evening (longer race review coming later this week in which I go into extended detail about all the ways it felt like I was going to die), I was convinced that I had set my recovery back by several days and that I would have to spend the entirety of this week on the sofa with my blanket, bucketloads of Lemsip pills and several bottles of cough syrup.

My cold has pretty much disappeared today. Go figure.

Excitingly, this means that it looks like I will actually get everything on my very long to-do list done this week (Geth is still away and so I’m taking advantage of having the house to myself). I got some day job work done today, as well as some writing, admin, and lots of ukulele playing. Hoping for another productive day tomorrow!

OOTD 10th June 2019
OOTD: back in my vintage gear – I must be feeling better 🙂 Dress Charlee Allison for Eljay (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2016), shoes Office (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Little Mix and Ty Dolla Sign – Think About Us
Duran Duran – Tel Aviv [AIR Studio Version]
Spice Girls – If U Can’t Dance
The Proclaimers – Throw The ‘R’ Away

Semi-flying Sunday post

Stop press: NOT DEAD.

Went out and ran the Blaydon Race and did not die, even though I felt like I was going to at various points. I would really, really like it if I never came down with a cold just before a race ever again.

Now to sleep for three days solid until the next time I have to leave the house.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Timecop1983 and Seawaves – Lovers
Duran Duran – The Chauffeur
Mark Ronson and Lykke Li – Late Night Feelings
Amy Winehouse – Back To Black
Mika – Grace Kelly
The Police – Roxanne
The Midnight and Nikki Flores – Jason
Starship – We Built This City
Traditional – The Blaydon Races

Double ukulele

No review post today because I’m still struggling to get over my cold and have spent most of the day on the sofa with my blanket again. I have been playing ukulele a lot, though, mainly because ukulele number two (a concert sized model, which is the next size up from my existing soprano ukulele) arrived in the post today and so I’ve been experimenting with both instruments to see how the different sounds compare on different songs.

One more morning/afternoon of recovery and then I’m going out tomorrow evening in an attempt to run the Blaydon Race without coughing myself to death.

Soprano and concert ukuleles
Not an OOTD: I got fed up of taking ill-looking selfies on the sofa (I really am starting to look dreadful now) so instead, here is the start of a beautiful ukulele collection.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Dominic Fike – 3 Nights
Lil’ Nas X – Old Town Road
Dolly Parton – Jolene
The Boomtown Rats – Rat Trap
Elton John – I’m Still Standing
Duran Duran – Rio

Slowly recovering

I’m still fairly miserable due to my cold, although at least I’m no longer feeling like I’m going to faint whenever I stand up, which is something. Also, I made it out to the supermarket this morning and didn’t have to stop to throw up like I did on the way to Slimming World yesterday. Progress!

I’ve had a quiet day otherwise with lots of music and writing. I’ve got lots of day job work lined up for next week, but over the weekend I’m just planning to rest and heal up ready for the race on Sunday. Looking forward to it, which is another sign I must be getting a bit better.

OOTD 7th June 2019
OOTD: weather and illness pulling double duty to keep me indoors. Glasses Emporio Armani (2017), hoodie Sonar (2006), t-shirt Campus Crew for Toronto Blue Jays (2018), jeans Vivid (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Buddy Holly – Raining In My Heart
Outkast – Hey Ya!
The Cult – She Sells Sanctuary
Duran Duran – Shadows On Your Side
Zedd and Maren Morris – The Middle
Lil’ Nas X – Old Town Road
Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber – I Don’t Care