Disclaimer: I had no champagne, but a nice wee dram instead. Then another couple. And a big packet of Munchies.
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Since the LAAA relays on 17 October I have stopped running and done my stretching like a good boy. Did a slow 5k last week in 26 mins. And nothing else. 40k for the whole of October which is usually a weeks average. An extra half stone on. Total milage so far in November = none. Rehab run no.2, I decided, was going to be at the Supernova 5k at the Kelpies since my entry was already in. Bit of a fun run, get myself all colourfully done up and have a steady jog. Why not? As all my MAC colleagues know, I do have some choice running garments in my possession.
I know. A racing adonis.
The race was a 5k at night under the Kelpies, looking glorious in the dark, all lit up. We were also given headlamps as a lot of the course was in darkness. Came in handy as there were no lights in the toilets… The atmosphere was really good. There were a couple of thousand people of all ages, shapes and sizes, all colourful and all in great spirits. There was music pumping, an en masse warm up, which I stood at the fringes of as i thought a jump about would have my glass body shatter. I knew that with the Scottish XC champs that day there wouldn’t be a host of big names, but was still a bit nervy about going in the fastest “white” pen, as I entered when I was running consistent 18 minute 5ks, not a 26 min one like last week. I recognised a few faces as I tried to go to the back of the pen but got shoed forward for about 25 pictures where we had to look happy in the freezing cold. The banter in the pen was good, everyone in great spirits and then we were off. The start and finish was the same place, resplendent in lights.
The front guys went off at pace, its about 100 meters on bumpy wet grass then a turn to the left. Except they went right and had to change direction, which had me almost in the lead group. Go away fast men, don’t you know I’m just jogging….. OK maybe a wee bit faster than a jog (I will never learn). At this point i had to quickly move to the right as a group of neds came out of the darkness and threatened to slide tackle the runners, one of them sliding down with legs out to try and bring the runners down. I must admit, I wondered at this stage what the rest of the run was going to be like, 500 m in and we’ve gone the wrong way and been attacked. I am pleased to say this was the last of the drama and the next 20 minutes or so was right good fun. It was nice seeing all the headlights as we looped the pond, then up the road towards the Kelpies. A turn up onto the canal and I could see the Kelpies gloriously lit in the distance. My watch was being totally ignored and I was finding a steady pace and enjoying the occasion. This is a photo someone else took of the run towards the horses themselves.
It was lovely you know? It wasn’t Newarthill that’s for sure. It was windy (as in a winding road), but flat, perfect for the sort of run I was needing. While cold it wasn’t windy or raining. Before I knew it i had been round the Kelpies and was on the way back home. I didn’t want to leave them. It was gorgeous. I was taking it all in rather than worrying about my form. Next was a very dark kilometre full of bends where I have to admit my inactivity of the last few weeks started to kick in and I had to start working a little. We then had the finish in sight, albeit with a loop around to it. Nice wee turn and a steady run on the bumpy grass through the by now immaculately lit finish, a real spectacle. I finished fine, a little tight and niggly, but not the real pain from 3 weeks previously that had me unable to walk. Result. Got my medal and goodie bag and headed to the car park as I had travelled through myself as Elaine had been working all day and I was desperate to see her.
By the time i got to the car my result had been texted to me. 19 Minutes 16. Really? My garmin had the distance under the 5k, but I have been told that the GPS will be inaccurate due to all the turns. Even if it was short, and my time was nearer 20 mins, considering I never got out of first gear and haven’t trained in over a month then I am pretty delighted. I actually do have a good solid base in there, and when I start training properly again I am not as far back as I expected. The places came through and out of 1434 finishers I was 12th and 2nd V40. Cue much head shaking.
So not a typical race. It was different. It was a real pleasure to run. The atmosphere was superb, the visual spectacle something to behold. A nice rehab jog and I am so glad I done it. It’s nice to do different sometime and enjoy the running, stress free, and savour it all. This was a much more pleasing way to end my season rather than under the black clouds of injury. I’ll be back, and I have a feeling next season could be another one of progress. As I have said before the simple things can give you the positivity and boost to take you forward, a nice colourful run under those magical horses may have done it for me. Later blogpeeps.
Thanks to the organisers and stewards at the race, very well organised and an enjoyable evening.