Who'd have thought that, 4 months after I broke my ankle, I'd complete The Bupa Great North Run. All through the Summer, I anticipated that I'd be able to do light running by the end of October.
I had planned to get around the course from Newcastle to South Shields in 02:40:00. In fact, I thought it would be 03:00:00 until I ran the 10.5 mile Peter's Pies 6 Tyne Bridges Challenge in under 2 hours last weekend.
Not realising I was running so "fast", I did the first 2 miles in 00:18:38. That pace was no good for me at this stage of my recovery so I took my foot off the gas after that. A slower pace would have happened anyway with only 2 weeks of training under my belt. Slowing down early on made the whole experience, arguably, one of the most enjoyable of them all.
By my calculations this was my 9th Great North Run and my first since I ran it with a hangover in 2001! A lot of differences were apparent in that time. Firstly, the start seems a lot more organised and, despite the number of participants, it's not too crowded. Secondly, the support all along the route, appears to have grown. Thanks mainly to the excellent BBC coverage I would imagine.
I saw a lot of familiar faces along the course and a few people asked me about next year's run across the USA (having read the details on my t-shirt). Add on top of that the amazing support I received via Twitter and Facebook and it made for a really great day.
All in all it was a very enjoyable experience and one which I'm looking forward to repeating next year when I'll be in the shape of my life having just run 3100 miles across the USA. Oh, and the fact that I got round in 02:22:48 got me quietly smiling inside. I've got until Friday, to think about how I break that news to the physio!
My Garmin stats for the Bupa Great North Run are here.