Out of, and in my, league

I felt it right to give a wee update prior to tomorrow’s commencement of the (drum roll please) 2015 Motherwell Athletics Club Road Racers Championship and Leagues. Yes indeed. Sky Sports rights currently playing hardball for the televisual rights, but at this moment in time the only place for updates is here and whilst pay per view is not in operation I will accept a packet of Munchies or a Cream Egg next time I see you.

Last time out it was the National XC in awful conditions and unfortunately the major gain from that was an awful cold which still festers until today. I managed a half-hearted fartlek on the Tuesday and didn’t run again until the Sunday where I basically toiled with a leisurely 11k run. The Monthly handicap time trial was then on Tuesday and I was feeling very nervous about it, even more so when Jim Tracey didn’t turn up, leaving last place open to all and sundry. I fortunately ran a lot better than expected and was only 3 seconds off the previous one, and that was with being held up crossing a road and feeling below par so I take a lot of positives from it. I scalped Ross again and he was fuming, threatening to quit his work so he could do Tuesday sessions. A big shout out goes to Jim Proffitt who kept his recent improvement going, smashing his best again and retaining his title, the first male I have seen do this since I started at MAC. There was an exceptional performance in the female race, but I refuse to give her publicity as she struggled to get through the Boathouse door last night with the expansion of the size of her head.

Last night was to be an easy/ steady run due to tomorrow’s race, but the golden rule of “don’t let Emma and Robert dictate the pace” was sadly neglected and the run up to Ravenscraig was a bit too tasty for my liking. I stuck at the back going up the first hill and sadly got jettisoned off the back at a road crossing, the pace was upped as I tried to bridge the gap across (was it something I said?) but I spent the bulk of the run running at a faster pace than I wanted, largely on my own and finished a good minute behind Ross who held onto Brian and Nick’s pace really well. The legs, groin and back are very sore today and I wish I had just kept it slow with tomorrow’s 5k looming, a schoolboy error at 43…. Oooops….

I was very proud to be put into League 2 out of 5 for the Championship. It showed me the progression I have made over the last 10 months. There are 20 in our league and it will be a tight one I think. Ross and Scott were both relegated from Division 1 and have a lot to prove and on first look I reckon that my 10k latter day PB would rank me about 15th or so out of the 20. There are some great short distance runners, long distance specialists, Duathlon/ triathlon internationalists, a blend of youth and experience. The best 6 races out of a possible 10 are chosen, including 5ks, 10ks, 10 miler, half marathons and a marathon, so a right good variety and a good test to find the best all-rounders. Tomorrow sees the first race, it’s the 5k as part of the Strathclyde Parkrun. This is a flat course and on a good day a good PB course, this is where I got my (only) Sub 20 last year. Its problem is that it is exposed to the elements and any wind can make it a horrendous last 2k. I don’t have much speed in my legs (yet), and I’m suffering aches and pains but I am willing to give it a go. My current form suggests probably somewhere in the region of a 20 and a half minute run, if fit, but I will do my best to try and break 20 again, as ambitious as that may be. I am actually in that League on merit and I won’t let them phase me. I won’t be the best at any discipline, but I hope that I am competitive enough to have the challenge bring me personally on this year, and that I can finish in a good enough position to justify my place. Pass me my nipple cream and deep heat, it’s time to race.

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