Sometimes you can lose your mojo and can’t really find a reason why. Last Week’s PB at Clydebank had felt a bit flat. Even afterwards I felt a bit flat. No idea why. Then I remembered the joy when I saw my club mate “Lightning”McQueen’s reaction to his 10k and 5k PBs in the pace of 3 days. Aye I know, I keep saying it, run for fun. I think I had forgotten about that over the last few weeks and worried about the wrong things. Sticks and stones and all that. Had a couple of good sessions on the build up to Dumbarton but as this was a poor run for me last year I didn’t expect to get near my Clydebank form of last week. Was just going to go out and enjoy it. Having said that I was in a bit of a stinker when I eventually got there due to the traffic. Every attempt to get on the motorway was foiled after dropping the kids off. Lanarkshire roads resembling something out of Mad Max just now, and I just haven’t got Mel Gibson’s hair.
That mood soon changed, even if the hair situation didn’t.
I don’t know what was in the air in Dumbarton tonight but it was fantastic. The regrets that had been building up from putting myself out there on this blog and on Strava gone as I met person after person, some of them talking to in the flesh for the first time, and the positivity and encouragement being generated was amazing. Sometimes the running community is such an amazing thing to be part of. People DO care about each other and DO have a genuine interest. I’m not going to list everyone here, but thank you, all of you.
Anyway, soppy crap out the way. My mood was lifted. The conditions were almost perfect as team MAC purposefully strode through the pen showing the confidence that only a promise of a chippy or a Domino’s after a race could bring. Time to earn it. I was aiming to beat my time last year of 39.36, and if all went to plan have a tilt at another sub 39. Rain had stopped with a slight occasional drizzle. Wind down to a cool breeze. No excuses. Go out and run by feel. Buzz and off.
The first K is flat, straight and fast. Last year I had went off too fast at this section, so reigned myself in a wee bit but managed to keep out of trouble. Slight uphill section after this then down to the cycle path and was feeling relatively comfortable. Knew the GPS can be funny in the windy sections so ignored the watch for a bit and ran by feel. Last year I was all over the place pacewise and went through 5k in 19.42. This time I was running comfortably and went through in 19.29. Only a second down from last week, though I knew there was a gradual incline to come. Sod it, worth a go. Got to about 6k and felt an arm in my face as someone muttered something to me. Found out afterwards it was a guy I had passed last week saying “You’re not supposed to pass me until 8k, get back it’s only 6.” 🙂 I didn’t quite pick it up at the time, sorry about that. There was great support out on the course from both stewards and the public. The amount of “Come on Motherwell”s, even a couple of “Go on Mark”s, which I didn’t acknowledge from my own wee zone, but it really helps, thank you again. Anyway back to my run. Was keeping a good pace well under 4 mins per k and as we got to the wee turn up around the housing scheme with about 2.5k to go I knew it was in my own hands to not just smash last year’s time, but to try and get under 39 again. Got to about a k to go and was feeling strong so pushed on. The ”blow up” fear had subsided by then so could stretch out properly. Was fortunate enough to pass Bella’s Henry Merriweather here, a runner I really respect, and being his usual self he encouraged me as I went. I think I managed a wee “shansadljlhenwy” back. Couple of tight bends and up the final grass straight and over the line.
Saw the clock and knew it was good. Double fist pump. Happy face. Exclamation of “yaaaas!”, with indeed 5 a’s. Looked at my watch but wanted the print out to confirm. Print out a second slower than the watch but delighted to see I had ran the last 5k in under 19 minutes and got a brand new shiny PB of 38.28.
Another 15 seconds chipped off, and over a minute faster than last year. Me and Mr Mojo best friends again. I don’t know the last time I enjoyed a run as much. Opened my goody bag for a drink and had won a spot prize of a pair of women’s sunglasses, so Elaine was happy as well. Result!
Next time you have a wee slump, or feel the mojo slipping, remind yourself that the next good one could be just around the corner. Tonight was a reminder to me of how great it is to run for Motherwell AC, and how grateful I am for the other members of the running community that I have got to know, whether just with a nod, a few words of encouragement or whatever.
Dumbarton AC and Polaroid, your teams nailed it tonight, thank you. Coming up next? My first track race in 26 years to help out the club. 3000m. Expecting to be lapped, good chance I’ll be last, but bring it on 🙂
“The Rock”. Synonymous with Dumbarton so an apt one. A top 60 “smash” from the 1998 “One Love” album by Delakota, an album which was a bit of a mish mash of Manchester, retro rock and modern dance (according to the internet). I liked it anyway 🙂
Thanks again to Daren Borzynski for the brilliant pics.