Since I ran my 18.23 5k last year I have thought my 10k PB of 38.59 was beatable. After running 18.07 (18.10) last week for 5k I became convinced that it was do-able. Why not now since I am off the back of PBs over 3 distances in the last 2 months? So it was off to Helensburgh for the first race in the final ever Polaroid 10k race series. This was my first sub 40 last year so although not the fastest of the series it was fast enough. As I told the Legend beforehand, and as said in my last blog, I wasn’t going to be scared of giving it a go. If I blow up I blow up, it matters to no-one except me. I hasten to add I am not being arrogant or cocky but am curious as to what I can achieve. Contrary to West of Scotland Summer logic, after taking 2 hours to get there we were met by a scorching summer sun. I really felt it on the warm up. But I didn’t care. I had my targets. Average 3.50 for as much as possible keeping the total average under 3.54 to bring me in under 39. Hopefully a sprint finish would bring me under my PB. See? It’s all in the numbers, I’m an accountant. It’s a scoosh. Picked up my new Polaroid shades, my t shirt, said a fair whack of hellos and was ready to go. The course was to be changed a bit but in theory was very similar.
Boom and we are off.
1st K it’s the windy housing estate, bollard avoiding and up a wee hill. 3.48, all good.
2nd K, 3.41 with slight downhill stretch, feeling brilliant, stretching out. Man it’s warm but the sun cream is on and I am well hydrated, all good.
3rd K wee climb in here, but 3.53, all good
4th K 3.50, steady as you like, feeling magic
5th K 3.50, staying steady, feeling hot but good. 5K in about 19.03. That’s fast but could afford a slow down which I expected when I hit the wind on the way back.
6th K wee downhill bit, water taken, feeling fine 3.55
7th K uphill stretch, passed Cambuslang’s Simon Gold, so knew I was going well, a fella beside me falls going round a tight bend onto the gravel. Ouch. Start running into a headwind, put some real effort in to keep my pace 3.55
8th K Toil into the wind but try keeping it together as the K comes to an end my legs are wobbling. can feel them going. I remember Haddington. I know the signs. Wind horrendous. Legs basically gone. 4.01. I’m at 8k in under just 31 mins. Exactly where I wanted to be but I’m done.
9th K Legs totally gone.I decide to stop and walk. Unheard of before. There was nothing there. Had I tried to run on then total collapse like Haddington possible. So heavy, never felt anything like it. Decide to walk until I felt OK to jog. Runners stream past me. Simon gives me encouragement. Lots of people check I’m OK. Great camaraderie. I try again to run. Not happening. Walk again. Seems like forever then I try again. Fail. Ewen and Marcus past me. Try to run again. Nah. The Legend goes past. My walking gets faster and I manage to break into a jog pushing it up to a run. The kilometre is done in well over 6 minutes. But I am determined to get to the finish.
10th K found a wee bit of rhythm, not fast but done in 4.16. Then there is an extra bit, my Garmin saying an extra .12 of a k, which appears to have taken me a further 25 seconds or so. I could have hit my targets and just failed then…. I jogged up to the finish, wanting to sneak into the shadows but no, the announcer tells the world “And there comes Motherwell’s Mark Gallacher, come on Mark Gallacher all the way to the finish, come on let’s push all the way…..” The world looks at me, and chortles.
But I finished. Humbled, disappointed, but not gutted and with no regrets. Official time 41.54. My slowest for 2 years. Different people said different things to me after the race. Many say I was stupid. Some say I was brave, most say “Who?” but I had a go, no one was hurt and it all counts for nothing anyway. A wee test for myself that this time I failed. On a different course, in different conditions could it have been different? Did working 13 days without a break in the run up contribute? The lack of sleep? My boys being off school with a cold? who knows.So many ifs and buts. I am not just categorically a failure 🙂 I am not going to dwell on it and hopefully if the legs are ok I have Monklands 5k Sunday, and Clydebank 10k next week. Maybe I will never beat that 39 minutes again, but one thing is for sure, I have the balls to give it a go and I will give it a go again. Failure is not falling down, failure is staying down.
The stats below show the mighty crash.
I am now banished from the PB mobile and the Legend has found a new mentor. He’s a fickle man.
Was a great turn out from team MAC and I was particularly pleased for Arthur Duggan getting yet another PB wearing the MAC vest for the first time. Plenty more to come from a man who has turned his life around in the last year.
Daren Borzynski got some great pics of a scunnered man:)