Thursday, September 19, 2013

Two Hours and Fifty Two Minutes

First, a huge thank you to all my race sponsors.  Together we were able to raise a total of approximately $3,000 for children’s charities in the USA and UK.  I am so proud of us all for that ;0)

NSPCC in the UK GBP 712, plus 121 Gift Aid = GBP 834

The race day was incredible.  I lined up with 55,999 of my newest friends, did a half-hour mass warm-up, then set off on the trek to the start line about 20 minutes down the road we were lined up on.  Just moments after I crossed the start-line and started running, the Red Arrows flew over on their way to the Tyne Bridge.  The Red Arrows are the RAF’s aerobatic team who perform at various large events and always at the Great North Run.  That was a really fantastic and emotional start to the race.

There were large crowds running around me the whole way round the course, as you would expect with that many competitors.  The mass of runners obscured my view of the hills and inclines, and there were so many things going on at the sidelines; bands playing music, supporters shouting and clapping, and charity cheering squads, that those difficult parts hardly registered.

I ran almost the whole 13.1 miles.  I had to take a bathroom break around mile 8, then a short walk at mile 10.  I had only been walking a couple of minutes at mile 10 when I saw the Red Arrows again, performing their main display over the coast road.  That gave me the strength and inspiration to start running again.  

Around mile 12 there is a steep decline down to the coast road, then a turn onto the final road to the finish line, which lines the cliffs at South Shields.  After the decline is a final uphill which I had been dreading.  I made it though and only had that last mile to run.  I am so proud of myself for running it.  The run numbers you wear have your name printed on them and the crowd read and shout them out loud, giving massive encouragement in that final stretch.

I crossed the finish line with a time of 2 hours, 52 minutes and 1 second.  I remember the very first Great North Run in 1981 and thought I would never be able to do something like that.  I am happy beyond belief that 32 years later I have done it and all to honour my brother, David. 

When I got back to base, I made a spreadsheet of all my knitter donations and allocated draw numbers based on when and how much was donated.  There were 186 numbers from the knitsters donations of $880 and GBP 55.  I then used this random number generator to pick the winning number:

So, our lucky winner is "Seattlesparkle" on Ravelry.  Congratulations to her.  We are in touch to arrange how she'd like me to finish the blanket and I'll post update photos as and when I progress with that.

Thank you all so much for joining me on this incredible journey, it has been a blast.  Tune in to find out what my next challenge is going to be...

Disco xoxo

Friday, September 13, 2013

Two days to go....

I indulged in a small glass of red at the airport on Tuesday night before we boarded our plane to London.  For medicinal and relaxation purposes, you see ;0)  It helped; the flight was as restful as a transatlantic flight in economy (plus) could be.  Cheers!
airport selfie!
This is the shirt I'll be wearing on Sunday, along with my race number.  NSPCC gave me the place in the Great North Run, so I wear their shirt.  I've run in it a couple of times, so know it'll be comfortable.  My last training run was yesterday, a short 30 minute trot.  I'm very nervous; anxious about traveling, arriving on time, the weather, bathroom facilities, etc, but am confident I'll be finishing the race in under 3 hours :0)

Before we left home, I laid out the Beekeeper's Quilt once more.  It really is quite large and this picture helps me see where to improve colour blends.  Wouldn't you LOVE to WIN IT?!

Fundraising has been going well; USA target is hit and UK target is at 50%.  It's not too late, there are still two days left to sponsor my run and be entered to win the Beekeeper's quilt pictured above.  Every five dollars or pounds donated to one of my charities gets one entry to win.  Click either of the links below to make a donation:

USA charity - Thompson Child & Family Focus in Charlotte, NC
UK charity - NSPCC National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

Temperatures around the low 60s and rain are expected for the race on Sunday.  In all of the training I've done, I've never run in the rain (I know, right!), so I'm a little anxious about that.  I'm taking a sweatshirt to keep me warm til the race starts, when it will be discarded at the side of the road and picked up for charity, along with everyone else's.  I'm also considering the black bin liner to keep me dry - lots of online advice suggesting that.

This is IT knitsters, in 48 hours I'll be starting on my 13.1 mile journey from Newcastle to South Shields.  Wish me luck and pray for my soles!
disco xoxo

Monday, September 2, 2013

Two Weeks To Race Day

Yesterday was two weeks til race day.  It was a "long-run" training day and I got 13.75 miles under my belt.  I ran a solid nine miles, including some challenging hills, then walked/ran the remainder.  I've been reading comments on the web from runners who've completed the course previously.  They all say if you can run 8 miles, the crowds get you through to the end.  Having witnessed the Great North Run from its start in 1981, and the thousands upon thousands who turn out to cheer the runners on, I can believe it.  

Here's how the blanket is coming on.  Each of these hexis is a different colour, or combo of colours of Socks That Rock.  Most of them are piled 3 hexis high, so all those spaces should be filled in once they're laid out for finishing.  And of course, I'm still knitting more.  Whoever wins this will have the choice of how it's finished.  If they like this rainbow effect then I can finish it so, if they like a more random look, then they can have that.  If you want to incorporate them into your own BeeKeeper's Quilt, then I'll send them as is.  The choice will be yours, oh winning sponsor :0)

I have been pretty overwhelmed this weekend by all the love shown for my run and this project.  These long runs are especially exhausting and I am quite emotional afterwards.  There were a few tears yesterday as every time I looked at my email there was another sponsor or message of support.

Thank you to everyone who has donated to my charities and a huge thank you to Irishgirlieknits for her amazing promotion this past weekend.  I could not ask for a more perfect knitting bestie.  Mwah xo

Watch this space for more updates, and here are my charity pages again for anyone wanting to donate.  Remember, each five dollars or pounds donated gets an entry into the drawing to win this BeeKeeper's Quilt.

NSPCC in the UK

Love to y'all
Disco xoxo