Polaroid Series Race 2 – Dumbarton

Now this wee entry isn’t quite as jubilant as last week’s. Not because of the result but really due to the whole thing. This was to be quite a strange one. I have to confess to overindulging after my first sub 40 at Helensburgh last week. Whisky, chocolate, takeaways, my diet was absolutely awful and the weight was creeping back on. I didn’t run again until Sunday and struggled on an easy club 8 miler, nothing in the tank. My back was excruciating, and I had pain right across the front, in between the groin and stomach (lower ab muscles?) getting sorer and sorer every day. Did the Tuesday session at about 70% and Wednesday felt terrible. I still want to do the whole series though so travelled down to Dumbarton for the second race. I was there very early again, I feel better doing that. Went to jog part of the course and felt too sore in the (probable) abs area so walked the first 1.5k out then back.


Put on my bravest of faces so I wouldn’t be called a shark again and met up with the lads back at the Academy. Said my hellos to Tricky Thow and met Ian Goudie again, though thankfully not in the toilets. He was going to be on photo duties this time as his exertions over the last few weeks have left him with a few wee niggles and he was doing the sensible thing and sitting this one out. I sprayed everything with cold spray and had my smallest warm up since probably ever. Wee jog of about half a k if I’m lucky and 3 sets of strides. I hoped everything would settle down again and took my place at the start. For the first time I went into the pen for 30 – 40minute runners, that DID give me a wee kick 😉 

 Buzzer went and away. Like the week before it was tight at the start, there wasn’t a scope to stride properly. The first k is totally straight but narrow. Elbows everywhere, people cutting in. I was fortunate to keep out of bother and did the first k in 3.46. The second was in 4.03, with one small incline and then a run down the cycle path. This to be honest was to be the story of my race. I just couldn’t get in the zone tonight and my mind was preoccupied. I wasn’t as focused as last week, I didn’t follow any plan and my Ks were going up and down, from well under 4 to well over 4. At about half way VPs Peter Jardine, who I had beaten marginally at the Scottish 5k, went past me with a group and started getting further away and I couldn’t react. Now the conditions were perfect, no sun, no rain, no wind, and it was pretty flat, it was much faster than last week but I couldn’t find my rhythm. I had let my head rule my body tonight as my niggles had settled down after that first k. I had no idea what was going on. Strangely my 7th and 8th ks pulled me back on track a little, but I was still up and down. I couldn’t get near Peter who was running solidly. One of the girls that I work with knows a girl that runs for Lothian. I had finished just ahead of her last week and could see her in the distance ahead of me. Sometimes wee things just pull you out of your cloud and I decided to try and chase her down, purely for pride purposes. Quite amusing as I was racing her, and she had absolutely no idea. I was finding it difficult on the tight pavements but managed to do my last 2 ks in 3.56 and 3.46, the last K a lot slower than last week, but I passed the Lothian runner with about ½ k to go and sprinted hard the last section, I could see Peter not far ahead but couldn’t quite reach him and got over the line. 

Checked the time, a new PB by 4 seconds in 39.36.


I just didn’t get it. I ran what I though was very poorly compared to the week before yet ran faster. But it was a faster course and there was no wind, people I had beaten the week before had beaten me this week, and substantially. I was happy that I ran, and happy with another PB, but I think it is a sign of my progress that I can be disappointed with a PB and KNOW that with a bit of focus and structure I could, and should have done better. Well done to Peter on his first sub 40, he smashed it. I think we are officially rivals now 🙂 . Through the power of the information superhighway Peter has been a great supporter of my blog, so happy to highlight his achievement today. After a load of pics, including one with the legendary Wheresangus Cameron, the MAC boys ran away from me and I couldn’t find the chippy.

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I did get a nice fish supper at Carfin though (ok I’ll eat better tomorrow).


Reflections? Keep my focus. Believe in myself. If I can run a PB and another sub 40 feeling below par and with my head up my backside then there IS something in there. Let’s prepare better for Clydebank. Thanks to all at Dumbarton AAC for a well organised event.

Photos courtesy of Ian Goudie, Ewen’s mum and Me.

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