Well Tuesday night’s session was a steady 5k out, and a fast 5k back. Benny pulled me aside before it and told me that it would be treated like a time trial for me to prove myself for the first team. I would be competing against someone else, and wouldn’t be told who it was and would have to prove myself. My initials thoughts were that he could go away and f*** himself and shove it up his **se. I was not knocking my pan totally in on a training night when I wasn’t right to be left unable to run for months. I was quite vociferous about it. I was raging. Then found out that my leg was being pulled. Hook, line and sinker. I dish it out so I take it back. Nice one 🙂 . I was pleased with my run anyway, out in 24 ½, and that was with a slow start, and then back in 19.33. Another sub 20, which I have to be happy with. Only downside was being destroyed by Jim White who gets stronger and faster every week. Well done to him on going sub 20 for the first time. I find myself conflicted. My competitive streak is gutted by someone else getting better than me. My other side is delighted that someone I like running with has improved beyond recognition over the last few months, also recently beating my half marathon time. Friendly rivalry it is, if I get fit I’ll get close to him again, maybe we can both trouble that 19 minutes this year.
What’s your favourite home run? This isn’t baseball related in anyway, but in your locality what route do you get kicks out of doing? I did mine again yesterday as my last run before the relays. I’m very fortunate where I live in that with Strathclyde Park I have a great base for a lot of great runs, from road to tarmac paths to trail.This particular run starts at the boathouse at Strathclyde Park. Over the bridge and a sharp left takes us along the river where it’s a flat path along the riverbanks for about 3k until we reach the Avonbridge Nursing home and the entrance to Chatelherault. This stretch is usually quite empty apart from runners, cyclists and dog walkers. Taking the first right over the bridge we are on our first trail section.
About 1k of undulating running beside the river before we hit the first hill up towards the visitor centre. Very sharp and steep to the first top and then and gradual climb for another 250m or so. This pretty much takes us to the star of the show, the green bridge circuit. This is a trail circuit of about 5 miles I would guess and is a stormer.
There’s undulating ups and downs, tree stumps, trees lying across, slippy steep stepped downhill sections, and then my nemesis the green bridge hill. I cannot put into words what this hill is like. I estimate it’s probably about 800m to 1k up pure steep uphill trail, mud when raining, with deceptive corners making you think you are finished to then show you more uphill. It took me about 5 or 6 attempts to be able to get up this without stopping, and is still a struggle. If you can master this hill then nothing on the typical Scottish racing calendar (with the exception of specialist hill races) should give you any concern. I’m looking forward to the weather getting better so I can run this more regularly. This hill is slap bang in the middle of the run as well, so the first half of the run is dreading it, the second half is recovering… There are a couple of gorgeous miles on the trail after this. Tranquil. Fantastic underfoot conditions. Still up and down, don’t get me wrong, but breathtaking, then as we complete the circuit the final bridge is simply stunning. After this it’s back towards Strathclyde again.
My route goes slightly different here and instead of going down the big hill we came up on the way, I loop past the huntsman’s cottage then once back down to the path it’s that 3k or so home on the flat.
Exactly 10 miles and gives me everything I want in a run. A fast section. Monstrous hills. Up and down sections. And the best scenery I could hope for. Yesterday I started off quite sluggish, only really doing the run as it’s the only chance I will get to do a ten miler before the Tom Scott next week. I did it myself in the morning as I have parents night in the evening. Found my groove a bit more as I got into Chatelherault but still feeling niggly but really enjoyed it. Got to the downhill step section and that’s when the green hill of doom nerves kick in, but I got up it reasonably well then found a decent pace back out the park. I picked the pace up the last section and finished in 1 hr 23 mins, the last few k done in an average of about 4.20, which is what I would need to run the full 10 miles in next week to get the target I was hoping for at the start of the year. Not likely now but despite the niggles, and how tough it was I really enjoyed the run. So the plan now is not to run until Sunday now and hope my niggles subside enough to do myself justice. Could possibly be the only time I get to run for the MAC first team, so I don’t want to let them down. I will do my best and if I can worry the 20 minute mark again I will be happy as the leg is apparently a “long” 5k. Bring on the Nationals!