First 10k since the Brian Goodwin in June and I was dreading it. Haven’t done any sort of relevant training or anything and wasn’t sure what sort of shape I’d be in. But it’s Paisley. My birth town. So would be rude not to do it, especially since I missed last year’s with injury. Two years ago it was a PB course for me in 41.14, but I’ve run nearly 3 minutes faster since so was hoping at least for a course PB, then for a sub 40, and all being well another sub 39. Added spice was that the St Mirren chairman was offering a free ticket to any St Mirren fan that beat him. Rumours that he was offering two if you finished behind him were unfounded.
So early morning start and through for a wee jog. Was having a few stomach problems but nothing that would stop my run. Met a load of folk before the race, including the inspiring Richard Cooper and his son Keiran, Richard hitting his target of 366 races miles for the year raising for the Moira fund (https://m.facebook.com/2016challenge366/), have a wee read, a great cause. Too many others to mention so hello to you all. Up we went to the tight start. Mr Kennedy was looking in better shape than the Goodwin so I was expecting him to reverse the results from then and be his old majestic self, and joining us from MAC were the Tantric Lawyer, Chewie, Dicko the Graduate and Del Boy.
Off we went, and up the starting slope, was relatively near the front so avoiding any tight starting shenanigans.
The first K or so was round a wee loop and the pace was semi decent. But I reigned it in as had no idea what sort of shape I was in.
As we looped round I was content to let Mr Kennedy go away, especially since the wind was coming like a hefty headwind. My law abiding teammate was incognito in his blue vest but loitering behind me with intent.
So plenty of pics in the first 1 – 2 k and then we headed out the centre, so unsurprisingly the photos dried up. I was toiling into the wind and my pace was slowing. Expected. All about screwing the nut and maintaining a steady pace. Any outside thoughts of challenging a PB already gone as we went past St Mirren Park, that haven of sporting achievement and the home of free flowing “getting gubbed “ness. I felt I was running slower than Barry Lavety with a pie supper but wasn’t going to chuck it. Through Feegie Park and I was joined by a wee dog, a Staffie or something, running at people’s legs. Then onto the road into oncoming traffic, then back at the runners again. It seemed to be with us until Linwood. Through 5k in 19.45 so only realistic aim now to maintain it, get the sub 40 and a course PB. Having run a couple of k on my own I was happy to catch up with a group again as we headed to the incline to the canal, the little swine that it was. Once up there I knew it was an undulating slog along for about 3k then up to the finishing k, so tried to go as steady under 4 as possible. Came alongside Bella RRs David Hulse who encouraged me as I went past. Seem to know more Bella RR runners than MAC ones on Strava these days, maybe a free transfer in the offing. After what seemed like an hour on the cycle path we came off and I knew it was just the small climb up Lady Lane then 500m or so downhill to the finish. Was getting more into the run as it went on and could see Kilbarchan’s Ryan Waldron just ahead who I have been seeing the back of all season to be honest, so my run had obviously picked up. With cheers from Ian Goudie at the bottom of the climb and from the Henry Merriweather’s Bella squad at the top I wasn’t far from home so tried to get as steady as I could the last downwards stretch to the finish.
Clock stopped in 39.05. Second 5k in 19.20, so the negative splits pleasing and a 2 minute course PB. Initially disappointed with not getting another sub 39 and being so far outside my best, but you get what you deserve. I was rusty, showed no bravery but on the plus side it was a good recovery and I possibly did better than maybe I should have considering the type of training I have been doing. Position 77, 12th V40, reasonable day at the office for not being 10k race fit.
Myself and Mr Kennedy discussed the merits of blue sweatbands as we awaited the rest of the MAC possee.
After discovering that you needed to wear a St Mirren shirt to qualify for the free ticket, I showed my tight Paisley accounting traits by tracking down the chairman to show him my tattoo, along with the clean pair of heels I had shown him (I know, I was a wee bit cheeky) and he agreed that was enough to qualify. Hopefully I will have a race that day and miss it 😉 Onwards and upward. The plans for the next 6 weeks are 3000m, 1500m, parkrun, 10k and a half marathon. Mixing it up to keep it interesting. No recipe for fast times, but if it brings back my mojo then magic, I think another wee bit of it came back today. Long may that continue.
Thanks to Kenny Phillips, Lynsey Ure and various Paisley sites for the pics 🙂