This week marks the start of my training for the Great North Run, the largest half marathon in the world. I will be running the race with my twin sister and it will be the first time we have ever run a formalised race together. I am not counting a Color Run in this, however I suppose I could stretch back to our days representing our school at Cross Country, running around muddy fields in the freezing cold and both strangely enjoying it! The Great North Run will be my second half marathon following the Liverpool Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon I ran in June. It will be my sister's third, although her first race for over a year. Timewise my current PB is set to 1hr 49mins 1sec whilst my sister's is a rapid 1hr 34mins 43secs. Now I'm not saying we will be competing with each other...but I clearly have some work to do if I want to get anywhere near her PB!
For me, training for the Liverpool Half Marathon was more of a process of trying to recover from the London Marathon. I focused on getting some speed back into my legs without causing myself an injury, rather than aiming for a specific finish time. I am now at the point where I feel I am back to where I was pre London Marathon in terms of leg speed, as my recent Park Run performances have demonstrated. The London Marathon has also obviously given me a whole new level of endurance, both physically and mentally, to draw upon. So for Great North Run the aim is to get closer to the 1hr 45min mark. I know the race will be very, very busy - so this in itself could prove a challenge, but I am willing to give it a go!
To kick start my training I have invested in some new running shoes (pictured). I love my old Nike Pegasus 31s and cannot see myself ever throwing them out as they have London Marathon memories attached to them; but after four months of marathon training, the marathon itself, and two further months of high mileage running, I feel they have lost their edge. So the new Nike Pegasus 32s have been purchased, after many weeks fantasising over them on Twitter and Instagram! The advertising (fronted by Mo Farah never the less!) pitches them as fast shoes, so lets hope they can give me that boost needed to get closer to the 1hr 45min mark.... and also beat my sister! (NB: I am only joking Sophie if you read this!!)