Took Monday off as the knees were still tender after Sunday’s fall, so this wasn’t going to be a complete week either. Ach no point stressing, I think I will panic if I ever complete a week 🙂 Tuesday went back to training as it is the legendary MAC Hills of Hell session. Just over 8 miles with ten hill efforts of varying steepness. It was a pleasure to watch new club member Davie Gardiner glide up the hills, and was great to work hard with Neil Richardson, a man who gives nothing less than his best at all times, even if he has just finished a 350 miles race (or something). Spin class and recovery 5 on Wednesday then a tempo with the Legend on Thursday followed by a 4 mile uphill run home. Friday off, then a suggestion from Kitbag to go to a new parkrun for a wee run on Saturday. Kev just coming back after injury, and this would suit me perfect as I was just wanting to run a steady tempo at around 20 min pace which I wouldn’t do at Strathclyde as I would end up getting involved in a race. Decided on Livingston without club colours, incognito so no pressure and no need to race. It was cold, dreich and wet and the hand was agony. Not quite healing as it should and the cold biting at it. There was a large Lothian AC contingent and the first people we saw were the Inglis sisters, one of which had been my nemesis at the Polaroids a couple of years back. It’s ok though as nobody there was aware who I was so things could go to plan. Steady. Sub 20 tempo. Couple of miles home then long run Sunday. Easy…. The course was a loop of the paths then down to the river followed by the loop again to finish. First loop about 1k and I settled in about 20th or so, first k in about 3.56/ 3.57. Perfect. Then it was down to the river and undulating twisty paths. Knew straight away that the GPS was going to be useless here so just a run by feel. Took it easy on the mud after last week, very cautious and was glad to get onto a path again. At the turn I was well over 10 minutes, but no idea if this was an accurate half and half course or not. I was muddy, I was dreich, I was actually heavy legged from my hard weeks training but no point feeling sorry for myself so started upping it a little on the path that I recognised from the National Road Relays. Had I waited a further 20 metres I would have got a better photo instead of looking like I was biting someones shoulder 🙂
Back onto the loop with about a k to go and passed a couple of people, one of whom I found out later was an old (as in in the past, not decrepit) running hero of mine Paul Forbes, a gallus 800m runner of my youth. Kept it steady and finished in 19.31, so pretty perfect all in, and just behind my old nemesis, but she could have this one. 10th place which I can’t argue with. Really interesting course and one I will be back to and would love to run hard on, on a dry day. 22 1/2 for Kitbag which is superb after 3 months out. Kitbag dropped me off a couple of miles out on the way home and I got a nice wee cool down.
Sunday was to be less fun. After missing last week’s long run it was time for an 18 miler this week. My longest run ever. And a solo one. Came up with a few routes. But unfortunately living in Newarthill unless I drove away they were all going to finish uphill. So off I went at 8 in the morning. Up to Newhouse and down through Holytown, Mossend, Bellshill, Viewpark and up the S bend , back along the top road, then the last 7 miles or so to be the repeat of the way down. Aim was to try and go about 8 min miling and I managed this on the way down, would be more difficult on the way back up…. on the way back up made the cardinal sin of changing my route as I couldn’t handle 7 miles straight uphill. I thought it would destroy me head seeing the straight road ahead. I mixed it up and although the profile much the same there were more turns. Except I didn’t suss out my distance so had to keep turning and going down different streets. Also my watch was in kilometres and I was guessing how many kilometres 18 miles was. Doh. Legs were starting to tire, I passed my house 4 times as I tried to make up the distance but I got there. Except I ended up doing 18.1 miles as I had got my km to miles calc wrong 🙂 Numpty. But all in all really happy. 18.1 miles in 2 hr 22, and 7.51 mile average. Perfect.
You know I have had some tough weeks and runs recently but it’s good when a week goes to plan. Every session hit the mark. Every session was what I wanted. A boost for the body and a boost for the mind. 12 weeks to London, and London? I am coming for you.
From back in the day when Simple Minds were cutting edge, and Paul Forbes rocked a better moustache than Peter Elliott.