Glasgow Run Local – the day that went from Pointless to anything but.
Disclaimer: This is a blog of two halves. And then another bit. But that’s ok. http://www.facebook.com/markgallmac
You know something, last week wasn’t a bad one. Sessions making a bit more sense in the legs. The intervals were steady, nothing special but held consistent . Did a progressive run as well and I was able to up the pace relatively decently. Long way to go but progress. Was going to do parkrun Saturday but got a puncture on the way down, so instead on the Sunday I ran to the club run, giving myself an extra 4 miles and doing over 13 in all for the second week running. Missed Tuesday’s interval session due to work though I replicated it on the bike in the loft when I got home (???) so knowing I was going to be in Glasgow on Wednesday I considered doing the Great Run Local at Glasgow Quay to get my legs moving again. Now first things first. Why was I in Glasgow and not in work, and at the busiest time of the year? Some of you may remember my humiliation on Eggheads a few years back. I’d never put myself through that again, that mop topped tosser Leo Sayer, and all that.
Anyway I follow Richard Osman on twitter, and over a year ago he put up a tweet saying they are looking for contestants for Pointless, so I contacted Iain, veteran of Eggheads and the Chase and we put an application in. Forgot all about it until last week when I got a call from researcher Rebecca asking us to attend an audition this week. Pulled a few strings at work (involving working another weekend shift) and managed to get away, so Wednesday found us at the Millennium Hotel in Glasgow for our audition.
There were six teams in all. We started off with a general knowledge quiz individually. I probably knew about 13 out of the 20 and guessed the rest. I have no shame in not knowing the full name of her from Geordie Shore that won the jungle (Vicky something I think, they didn’t give us the answers.) It was then round the table to give an interesting fact about ourselves. One guy, a theatre director, had worked with 5 different Dr Whos. Another had a daughter who thought she was the Statue of liberty. Came to me and as an accountant I was toiling, but gave the story about throwing my spikes at the selectors face in 1990 and stopping running for about 25 years because of it. Mentioned the blog and it all seemed to go down ok, so that settled my nerves a little. We then played a mock game of a couple of Pointless rounds. Iain got sitcoms and had a to name an Only Fools and Horses character. I got words and had to give a word ending in ICE, but we weren’t allowed to use ice. Before you look at my answer what would YOU have said? Go on, be honest. Anyway I was second to answer and chose Precipice. Down went the mock counter with the auditionees going “Oooooh”. 2 points. I’ll take that. Coming onto round 3 (the final round for the audition) and we were second. Name one of the top 100 museum visited cities in the world. For some reason myself and Iain both thought of the Guggenheim at the same time. I didn’t know what city it was in though (Doh). Bilbao it is. Good shout. Iain talked a bit of sense and suggested a back up in case someone else said it. My suggestion of Florence was taken. Through they went and one couple said Bilbao. It scored 4. We weren’t chuffed but Florence thankfully scored 17 and over the 3 rounds we came out marginally on top and won! No trophy. No guarantee we would get on the show, but it’s always nice to win something that counts for nothing and no one cares about…. That reminds me, the MAC league must be starting again soon…. we were called back for a screen test, along with the rest of the people there, and had a discussion with the researchers on independent Scottish bands of the 1990s. So we will know in the next month if we are shortlisted, depends on their quota for baldy Scotsmen I guess. Watch this space.
So bit of time to kill but went down to Glasgow Quays for the Great Local Run 5k. I hadn’t run this before but had heard a lot of good things. A fast flat course of 2 loops along the riverside and over the squiggly bridge and back. Free to enter, register online and get sent a wristband. Lovely. Got down there and recognised a few faces for people who thrash me even when I’m fit – the Coopers – Keiran and Richard, father and son, both of whom flying just now, Keiran shading it over his Dad the previous week in the low 17s. I had actually placed 1 place ahead of Keiran in 3k on the green back in June I think it was and the progress he has made since then is amazing. Connell Drummond was there, Simon Gold, Michael Healy, aye some right good 5k men. Although a small field of about 45 runners, there were certainly at least 10 I could see going under 19 minutes. My aim was simple, run faster than my last run, 20.31 at Strathclyde a week and a half previous and if possible get near to 20 minutes. Was good to see Ian Goudie and Jack the dog before the race, poor Ian has had a terrible time with injuries, but still out volunteering, without people like him we wouldn’t have these events. The conditions were kind, although cold the wind was very light and the rain was absent. Off we went and the usual suspects went away like rockets. Over the squinty bridge and back and I was probably about 15th and the first k was done in 3.48 and I actually felt so much easier than I had in ages. Second k in 3.58, thats ok, third in 4.04 and feeling it a bit, so it was time to decide. Up it and go for sub 20? Or to run steady back? Went past a couple of folk and upped the pace, 4th k in 3.58 and the sub 20 was on. There was no one near me in front or behind and the last k is straight along the Clyde so it was head down and off I went. Got some encouragement from Andy Gallacher with it being an out and back loop thing and I stretched myself out. Crossed the line and my watch read 19.31, official time received straight away by text was 19.32.
I’ll take that! Faster than expected and felt relatively easy. Progress and a lot of it. Kieran won in a PB of 17.18, with the top 5 in in under 18 minutes. I was 11th which I’ll take anytime. Certainly not pointless. A big thanks to the volunteers for a great event. Much appreciated. Thursday was a tempo run at the club and I went faster than I intended, trying to hold onto Clare Hughes and Stuart MacGregor. I was yo-yoing behind them until at the start of the descent 3k out my legs got heavy and Clare turned the screw. Away they went with Marcus also going past me and with them, but after about 1/2k I was able to up it again and finished fast (for me). I was happy with 2 hard and fast runs over 2 nights. My last 5k was in about 20 mins, so doing that two nights in a row has filled me with confidence. Went to Strathclyde parkrun today after less than ideal preparation (out of date fruit and veg in a smoothie not my greatest idea, and making friends with the toilet not my ideal warm up). 1k in in and there was nothing in the legs, not surprising after my Wed and Thur sessions, and my little “bug” so made the decision to stop and jog back. 1k done in 3.58, sitting about 10th, but knew I couldn’t maintain it today. The jog of shame past the other 100 odd runners as I went back to the start was a bit sore. Yep. Humiliation, but glad I listened to my body for once. Wee rest today and a long slow run tomorrow. I was fortunate to see the end of the run in very wet, windy and muddy conditions, and 2 seconds after I shouted to Jim White “WATCH YOUR FOOTING!!” the lycra clad legend threw himself to the deck like Superman after a bottle of buckfast, landing about 10 metres from the finishing line. He tried to roll over the line and ended up 2 meters short which was rather hilarious 😉 The guy behind him sportingly stopped to let him stand up and sheepishly wander over the line, but in all fairness and joking aside it was another strong run for Jim who is in great form and adds another top 10 finish to his early season plaudits. That fella is going to have a good season. Later blogpeeps 🙂
Edited to add:spent Saturday afternoon and night being very sick, so at least I know what problem was. Lost 4 pounds in 24 hours which can’t be good 😦 obviously the long run didn’t happen.