This time next week I ought to be sitting in a South Tyneside pub celebrating the end of a half marathon. I’m pretty apprehensive about the event, the travel arrangements are just mind boggling and both me and OGB have decided to just arrive and hope we get dragged in the right direction. Every time we read the official magazine and try and get our head around the details we end up quaking in our running shoes. At least we will get to Newcastle though, my dad has kindly offered to drive us there at the crack of dawn.

I didn’t run at all last week, I thought it was more important to ensure I got over the cold than attempt any endurance training while I was ill.
Now I’m not sure what to do with this week – cram in a long run mid week or just aim to keep the legs ticking over with the mileage low? I suppose I’ll play it by ear and just try and relax.

As for the race itself, I haven’t much of a clue how to play this either. Still not sure what pace to aim for, I’m thinking it’s going to be so crowded back in my race pen that I should just aim to keep going and not stress too much about hitting any specific splits, I can leave that for the *next* half mara. I’ve picked up some great psychological tips for dealing with the Great North Run from the runnersworld forum. XL-man kindly let me repeat his 4in1 race strategy here:

Run 1 – 5 miles (8 km). (DON’T think about anything further) Huge crowds, great atmosphere, bands. Take it steady, not too fast, you’ve run five miles or further loads of times. Enjoy the spectacle, and remember you are part of it. Those inspirational pictures of thousands running across the Tyne Bridge? You’re in them this year. Yes, you’re in the Great North Run, the world’s biggest half marathon. Enjoy!

Run 2 – 3 miles (5 km). Forget the 5 behind you, they’re done. Think only of the next three. Three miles? Piece of cake, you’ve done 9, 10, 11 .. much more in training. These three are all downhill, wheeeeeee !! Great news for those of you after PBs for the event, or even if it’s your first time and you have a target. Go for it here, within reason. Unfortunately, the road narrows, so you may notice it feeling a little more congested. Be careful.

Run 3 – 3 miles (5 km). SLOW DOWN. This is where you need your mental toughness and/or your MP3 player. It’s a bit of a slog up the John Reid Road etc and there’s not much to enjoy, but hey, if it was easy, the medal wouldn’t be as important to you would it? If you’re a run/walk person this is where you may want to be taking extra walks, and psych yourself up, but don’t start thinking about the finish yet. Just get to 11 miles

Run 4 – 2.1 miles (3 km) That’s nowt! Of course you’re tired but you’re nearly there. Now, start to tell yourself that you’ve done it (almost) the goody bag is waiting for you, go and get it. The last mile and a bit up the sea front is fantastic. Huge crowds yelling at you, the end is nigh. Let your spirits fly, even if you’re knackered. You can stop soon. If you’re after a time, push, you know you are fit, you have prepared well, and as knackered as you will feel when you cross the line, the elation will speed your recovery. Well done, you’ve finished the GREAT NORTH RUN 2007

Good stuff eh? Now do I switch the garmin to miles so that I’m in-sync with the road markers or do I stick to what I know?