The Great North Run 2018
"There's nothing more true for me than exercise being good for the mind"
Well, I did it! I actually survived the Great North Run half marathon! And I didn't just drag myself over the finish line. I actually smashed my personal best by 10 minutes! To say I'm elated is an understatement, but I'm also amazed.
I really didn't think I was going to be able to run the GNR this year, let alone complete it in good time without injury. (The two toenails that are now coming off don't count!)
I signed up for the run last year when I was pregnant, as I know I need that motivation for fitness to try and get my body back to how I like it. But after the tiny human arrived, I wasn't expecting so many physical setbacks. There's nothing more true for me than exercise being good for the mind, so the lack of activity really got me down. I was determined not to give in though and persevered with light training until I was finally allowed to train properly, when the little one was five months old. It gave me eight weeks to train for the run, which isn't a great deal of time but not impossible according to Google!!!
Then there was the knee injury when I took a tumble training, which left me resting for almost three of those weeks. But I still wasn't ready to admit defeat, although everything seemed stacked against me. The training picked up from there. My physio told me I was crazy and that I would regret rushing my recovery later in life, but it fell on deaf ears. I went from "I'm going to do this even if I walk it" to "I'm going to run it at a good pace" to finally pushing myself - "I really want to beat my PB!!"
Come race day, I was feeling pretty nervous. But since I've run it before, I was equally excited to be part of such a great atmosphere. I was running with my friend, so I was excited for her to experience it as well as having another buddy with us to cheer us on and meet us at the finish.
Along the way, thousands of people come out to support you and give you food and drinks to help you along. Local folks offered cut oranges, ice pops and jelly babies to give those boosts you need. A friend was even offered a sausage roll half way round last year. Only in the North East would you be offered a sausage roll to help you round a half marathon, that you'd need to wash down with a pint of Gaviscon!!! I was a little disappointed I didn't see any, although they were giving out beer at mile 10, and I was tempted until I had a word with myself and thought, "Come on Katy, you're a mum of three and your wife nearly died from pancreatitis so don't be an idiot!"
My goal was to end on the beach when the red arrows were on display and, as if by clockwork, I made it there to see that spectacular sight. There were tears of joy and pride at getting this far and knowing the finish line was in sight. My knees had surprisingly held up, which is better than how the pelvic floor performed!! But still I can take a bit of pee free-flowing, considering the tiny human is only seven months old. The fact that I'm even making it that far was a big high five to me! I was equally chuffed for my friend, who also did it in great time, which she deserved after all the hard work she had put into training and dragging me out when I couldn't be bothered.
The strapline for this year's run is, "Be your greatest". That's what I did and I want to adopt that motto for everything else I do. I did the very best I could do on the day and even amazed myself. If you haven't run the GNR - do it! Even just for a sausage roll.
Check back every other Friday to read Katy’s latest column or catch up with them all here.
Only reading DIVA online? You're missing out. For more news, reviews and commentary, check out the latest issue. It's pretty badass, if we do say so ourselves.