Edited and added 18th January 2015: I always encourage feedback and this post has seen my most negative so far 😉 To make clear, I don’t carry any baggage, I tried to be honest and write semi humorously on things that have happened, I am not a professional writer and won’t always manage to get things across the way I want. There will be a companion piece at some point called successes. Thanks for reading 🙂
Quite a simple topic for my first blog of the year – disappointments. It was to be about my assessment and my programme back to “normality” and that’s why it’s taken so long to update this. But now it’s not. To get up to date, I started the New Year as I intended to go on. 2nd of January club run. A wee jaunt down Dalziel, first few k my back was hurting, but wore off. Bit of X Country training the next day and felt great up hills, not so good downhills. Run on the Sunday and again after first k or so felt better. Did the time trial on the Tuesday and I was honking, the wrong side of 26 minutes. Anyway, the old issues were back. Pain in the groin area, the back, the hip, clearing up after a bit of a run. I decided to go for more treatment and try something different, pricey as you know, especially in January. As myself and my family know there are far more important things to be spending money on in January, but I somehow justified it and followed some recommendations from fellow MACletes. It was an experience, came out feeling really positive. A proper assessment seemed to be done, going for the causes not the symptoms. I’ll get a full copy of the results to see, and a full plan of exercises to get me sorted. I then got a bloody sore massage and some acupuncture. Talked of goals over the next while, and agreed that best I withdraw from the Vets XC and relays at the end of January, but aim to do XC in February and by the summer I should hopefully be in a lot better shape. I’ll share the results with you and my plan when I get them but as keen as I am to get started I don’t yet have anything and another week has gone by where I slip further out of racing condition. Hopefully by the time of my next post I will be further along.
Anyway, the big wean that wants everything now, and gets disappointed when it doesn’t work out that way, has got thinking of the disappointments I have had in both spells of running. In no particular order and as they spring to mind.
Scottish Schools X Country 1987. First in a few years after teacher’s strike. Had outside chance of making the Scottish schools squad as first 8 tended to get selection. This was my last chance for selection as last year in under 17s. With about half a mile to go sitting in 10th place. I always finished strong. Went over on my ankle and didn’t finish. Disappointed.
The one above was a genuine injury. I’d hurt it the week before on a tree root in a XC race in Coatbridge. Sadly when I was younger I didn’t have the heart. A couple of times I dropped out of races as I wasn’t running well and didn’t want club mates to beat me. No heart. Looking back on how much better I could have done? Disappointed.
My only international race, 1989. Steeplechase at Dumfries in 90 degrees. Stupidly spent all day in the sun watching the races. We were second last race of the day. Had no energy when I ran, dehydrated and finished second last in my slowest time of the season. Disappointed.
I’m disappointed that I haven’t made more progress. I can’t get my body to behave the way I want it too, and I’m disappointed that I let my body get this way by being lazy for 20 years and smoking and drinking to excess.
Got selected for the Scottish Development squad during my “sabbatical”. Weekend at the Central Hotel with top Junior athletes in Scotland. Coached by Tommy Boyle. Training at Kelvin Hall. Great opportunity. I kept smoking. I didn’t take the opportunity to get better. Because I thought I didn’t belong. Numpty. Disappointed.
The Movember 10k race 2012. I didn’t realise how out of shape I had got and struggled to get under 60 mins. The major disappointment was someone in a sumo costume running away from me, and getting further and further away. My modern day running low.
I ran for Glasgow Uni second claim when I was with Cambuslang. I got 3rd in the Scottish Unis at Steeplechase, and did 400m hurdles to help them win the Scottish Unis cup. They wanted me to run 1st claim. I liked Cambuslang, my training squad, and my coaches Mike Johnston and Robert Anderson so I said no. There was a race in Paris. I was running for Glasgow Uni. I got a new passport, sold some records to get my fee, a sleeping bag and spending money. We were leaving on the Friday. On the Thursday I got a phone call. Glasgow bus only for 1st claim runners. Try St Andrews for transport, no guarantee there would be sleeping space for non first claim runners. I didn’t go nor run for Glasgow again. Chucked it altogether not long after. Disappointed. As an aside, got banned from St Andrews uni on a Glasgow uni training weekend for pretending I was Archie McPherson. That’s for another time.
West Kilbride. 5k race with Hamilton. I lead the whole way and run through the finish 100m ahead. Except it’s not the finish. It’s the start of the mens 10k. Two folk go the right way before I get back on track. I finish 3rd. Disappointed. Similar happened at Irvine running for Cambuslang. Go the wrong way, 1 guy follows. I let him win as know everyone else went another way. Doh. Get given consolation prize in their sweep.
British Catholic schools XC Under 17s, 1985. I was only 14. We were the only Scottish school invited I think. Anyway first 3 picked for British team. We travelled down night before and stayed in Rugby. Wander round course night before and since one section particularly boggy and near finish we move the flags and shorten course by 100 yards to avoid it. What japes, except I finish race in 5th place, overtaking 5 folk in last 200m, 20 m behind 3rd. Could I have got 3rd and a British cap and a trip to Spain if we hadn’t had teenage japes? Disappointed. We did get bronze team medal though.
School sports 5th year. Only had to go to sports day and get a place in one event or something to win championship for the senior school, as had dominated the distance events in the weeks prior. I woke up with the measles and wasn’t allowed to go. I think Richard Tobin won it instead. I won it the next year, but still, disappointed.
I think the race was XC in Clydebank. A small fence. A fall. Many spikes landing on my face as I rolled around in the mud trying to get up. Broken nose. Blood and snotters. Septum still wonky to this day. Disappointed, the only thing that prevented my modelling career, apart from the big chin, sticky out ears and hooky nose.
Anyway I’d love to hear your sporting disappointment stories, please comment with them, lets me know people are actually out there. Normal service may resume soon once I get out my “I’m going to eat worms” mindset. If any sports physios or whatever are reading, I’m happy to be a guinea pig.
On a positive note I have been invited to submit an article to Men’s Running magazine next month based on my best ever run, thanks to one of my blog entries. I have adapted one of my posts to meet their requirements but it’s always nice to have positive feedback.
Addendum: Put some feelers out on Facebook and got the following, thank you 🙂
Simon got beat 43-1 by his brother Lazarus at Sensible Soccer on the Amiga but had the minor glory of scoring his goal straight from a corner. My old school and uni friend Phil had the usual weight gain after giving up smoking and suffered being outlasted on the gym treadmill by a 60 plus woman in her tweed overcoat. My fellow MAClete Clare and her friend Bev were overtaken on a hill in Carluke by a man on a mobility scooter. And poor Gerry was crushed on his home dartboard by Chris. In front of his family. Thanks everyone 🙂