Mysteries aren’t always bad. It’s not just turning up at the same hotel as Jessica Fletcher and someone being killed and you getting the blame. Or five kids and a dog having scones for tea as the travelling fairground workers are led away by Officer Goon. A mystery can be good. Like how did that happen? That was my week last week. So much good, so much to take heart from. The final part of the happy mystery jigsaw came yesterday when I was notified that this little blog, after months of voting, had made the shortlist final 12 for Blog of the year at the 2017 Running Awards at the O2 in London in April. These awards are a big deal. There was a lot of competition and somehow enough people voted for this blog to have me in that final twelve. This is a genuine mystery to me as to how, but thank you every one who voted, it really means a lot to me to be in there with the likes of Ben Smith etc. If you haven’t voted already please consider a wee vote for me in the best blog category here.
Hopefully with a bit of interest on the blog it will give a bit of exposure to Breast Cancer care for whom I am running the London Marathon 🙂
Before I get on with the run reports, on Friday night myself and the Legend went to Broadcast in Glasgow to see the wonderful Boxed In (a running term particularly applicable to me, so allowed).
Broadcast is a tiny venue and there were probably about 100 folk there. We were 10 metres from the band max. Cracking gig, one of the best I have been to in ages, so check out the new Album Melt. But my highlight? A song from their first album called Mystery, and here it is here. Apt. I know, usually the song is at the end. Will there be two this week then? Who knows… it’s a mystery, and naw it’s not Toyah.
So Saturday morning I woke up and decided on Strathclyde parkrun. Similar to last week it was to be as a tempo and part this week of a longer run. Couple of miles warm up then had a cracking chat with Cambuslang’s Robert Gilroy, a reader of the blog and someone I often call the smiliest man in running. We had a chat about my recent fall, about Robert’s injuries being resolved by acupuncture until it was time to run. And then I only saw his back, and that wasn’t for long. His first mile was sub 5 as he ran away from the pack in what weren’t ideal conditions, winning from my club mate Chris Macdonald by almost a minute. My run was a strange one. I let everyone go away at the start which was bizarre as again I knew my targets. Pretty steady all the way through and ran the last 2 k with Kirky’s Robert Keenan who stopped with 100m to go back for his pal Tony Quinn who was doing his 250th parkrun. I was grateful for Robert’s company as no one else was near me and although hitting tempo pace, is always nice to do it with someone. 9th place and 19.18 which was ideal. Another chat with Mr Gilroy, another lap of the park and home. 10 Miles include the 5k tempo. Spot on.
Sunday was to be a different beast altogether. It was 19 mile week and I knew I had to start doing marathon paced sections. I live about 4 1/2 miles away from Strathclyde park so run down there, do the Tom Scott 10 mile route at Marathon pace then jog home. 19 miles. Scoosh. Easier than Lulu behind the Barras. So got up and it was pouring. I’d lost one of my favourite gloves and was wearing one with a hole in it. Aye can tell my heart was in it. Was a slow plod down the hill to the park. Hands were freezing, man it was cold. Thawed out as I got to the park and it was time to go. Targeting 4.37 k pace for the 10 miles. And you know something ? I was well inside it. I actually enjoyed this bit. Felt my flow was back, said plenty of hellos to fellow runners, some I knew (The crazy squad that do 25 miles a day at 3 minute mile pace or something, aye you Kev, and Tom Scott Bobby himself) and plenty I didn’t. One guy I went past in opposite directions 3 times but he dingied my hellos each time, and each time I deliberately got louder. With the exception of one loose lace stop I did the 10 miles in 72 mins, which considering I have a best of 65 was good enough and inside my target. Only 4 1/2 miles to go to get home now. Session perfect. Except it was 4 1/2 uphill. Starting with Airbles road. THIS is steep. Hadn’t thought of this and my legs were like rubber. Heavy legs. Big hill. Soaking wet. No food or drink on me, just a gel. I have a lot to learn about pre and marathon nutrition. But I got there. As soon as the watch hit 19 miles I stopped. Still half a mile from home but that walk back would do me. Very pleased with the session, but under no illusions how much work I still have to do including hills.
So where’s the mystery here? Easy. I have gone from someone who couldn’t run 3 times a week, or two days in a row, without getting injured, to having done 6 running sessions and a spin session in one week, and running over 50 miles in that one week for the first time, and doing my longest run ever of 19 miles. Aye London, you are bringing out a new side of me, and I like it. 11 weeks to go and as hard as it is I am enjoying my marathon training. I will get round it, I am determined. And like last year I’m glad I have embraced something different. Makes me love my running even more 🙂 Hope everyone that is training for something is enjoying it as much as I am. Later blogpeeps 🙂
One more tune then for sitting through all this. Never in a month of Sundays did I think I could run 50 miles in a week. Or 19 miles in one go. Or that my wee blog could mix it up with the big boys. So have some Metronomy. Just don’t expect two songs every week.