In my last post I talked about my decision to prepare for a potential spring marathon, well I figured I would get things started by running a half marathon this weekend! My wife Teresa and her good friend Jo Walker (hope you appreciate the name drop Jo) have been training for the Great North Run for the past few months and we decided a while back that we would head up to Newcastle as a family and spend the weekend up North. Initially i was just going up as a supporter and to look after Thomas while Teresa raced, however this scenario didn't last long as I decided I would get in on the act too! If i know I'm in the UK and there's a chance to race, generally I will, unless I'm injuried or have something else on the horizon that I'm preparing for. I think Teresa was a bit annoyed as last time she raced in the UK (last years Great South Run) I got myself a late entry on that one too! Luckily we have plenty of family in Newcastle, as my mum is from Newcastle originally, so I'm hoping one of them will be ok with looking after Thomas on race morning - I haven't asked them yet though!
Fitness wise I'm getting there, and although I'm not expecting to set the world alight this weekend I should be able to run a personal best time for the distance. This is partly down to the fact that I've only ever raced the distance twice. The first time was a long time ago and I'm a much improved athlete since then and the last time was the Guernsey Easter half in 2008. I ran 69mins that day, running very easy for the first few miles and feeling quite controlled in general over the distance, so even though I'm not at full fitness at the moment I think I can better that time. The Great North run is a fast point to point course too so as long as the conditions are ok I should be able to post a decent time, if I'm going to run achievin the qualifying time for the Marathon next spring for the European Champs I will need to be able to run sun 69 mins back to back for the distance anyway.
Oh Teresa has just set up a Just Give page for her charity, which is 'Get Kids Going', if anyone wants to make a donation they can at http://www.justgiving.com/Teresa-Merrien/ I did my bit by giving away much of GB Kit in exchange for cash :)
Look out for post-race report from myself, and Teresa! this time around.
All for now folks.