Virtual Great North Run

The Virtual Great North Run was really two runs in one. The first run was a fast 10k and I would have been very pleased with it were it not for the fact that my hip was getting tighter and heavier and starting to cramp painfully. The next 12.5k (yes, that’s too far) were painful, slow, and interspersed with stretching breaks that didn’t seem to do much. I’d have cut it short if it hadn’t been an event.

The ‘virtual’ side of the race was massively overhyped by the Great Run company and didn’t work properly. I ended up running an extra 1.4km because the viRace app didn’t manage to connect at the start of my run but apparently it sprang into life part way in, so to make sure I actually ‘officially’ finished I decided to keep going after the end. Every so often it tried to play me some official audio, but only worked roughly a third of the time, so what really happened was the music my phone was playing just paused for no obvious reason. I assume I was supposed to hear something as I finished, but I didn’t, so that was a bit anticlimactic. I have found before that the Great Run Company are very strong on marketing and not so good on delivering, so I wasn’t really surprised.

Overall it was a pretty bad run. Actually it was the worst run I’ve ever done, easily, and it’s going to take some recovery now before I can run on my hip again.

I’m not sure what’s wrong with my hip. I had felt it was a bit tight a few days before, but it didn’t seem like anything and I’ve never had any issues with my right hip so I didn’t think much of it. It’s over the outside of my hip so I think it might be the infamous IT band. I was hobbling around the house this morning and couldn’t walk in a straight line, but I’ve been on the foam roller pretty much every hour and it has eased off quite a lot now.

Virtual Great North Run

On Sunday I’ll be doing the Virtual Great North Run. Which is the great north run from the convenience of my house. So it’s not the great north run at all. It’s just a 13 mile run. I’d like to say I’m excited about it, but I’m not. I am really missing the slightly more competitive side of running and somehow I don’t think this virtual race will scratch that itch at all.

I downloaded the app for it yesterday, which enthused me even less. To be blunt, it reminds me of the kind of thing my last employer used to develop. You’d look at it and think “we’re not actually giving it to the customer looking like this, are we? Oh we are, okay then”. All I can say is I hope it works better than it looks, but in my experience, software often works exactly as well as it looks. So I’m not optimistic. I will be completely unsurprised if it crashes after 11 miles and doesn’t register me.

But then I’m not optimistic about the run in general. I don’t expect to get a good time because it’s just really, really hard to push yourself over 13 miles when you’re on your own. There’s no adrenaline or competition. There’s a reason that Kipchoge was surrounded by other runners during his sub two hour marathon, even though he had lasers projecting his desired pace onto the ground.

But apparently Parkrun is supposed to be returning at the end of October. I really hope so! The last time I ran a Parkrun was way back in March. The run director greeted us all with “GOOD MORNING PARKRUN” and when we weren’t loud enough for her she asked if we had some kind of respiratory illness. Well, ironically, I did, as I discovered the next morning when I woke up feeling like death and pretty much stayed in bed for the next week.

That was a long time ago now.

I miss Parkrun.