Wow -smashing the 20 mile barrier

It’s a race free zone this week unfortunately as a half day Saturday and full day Sunday unpaid overtime unfortunately put paid to racing the Kirkintilloch 12.5k and completing back to back 50 mile weeks, but apart from that it was another mix it up and see what happens cracker of a week.

Now for new readers I am on the road to London for my first, probably only, marathon. It’s all new to me. I sort of have an idea what I am trying to do. I am running it for breast cancer care so would appreciate a wee donation for a great cause if you are that way inclined 🙂

So after last Sunday’s 19 miler there was a recovery on Monday, a hill session on my own up the cleeky roundabouts (see? hardcore) on Tuesday, easy ten miler Wednesday, MAC fartlek Thursday, rest day Friday then onto the main event, and one I wasn’t looking forward to.

Lorne  joined Motherwell a few months ago and is a mad mileage man. He runs marathons on a treadmill on a rig in the North Sea on a Saturday night for fun. He doesn’t even work on the rig! Probably swims out to it. He’s doing a 50 miler in Paris soon that finishes by running up the Eiffel Tower steps. Barrie is a protege of the Hawkins training squad and now runs with Garscube. Does distances for fun and doesn’t know how to run slow. Can go toe to toe with Del Young at training. Both aiming for sub 3 marathons, Barrie hoping to go well under. So why am I telling you this when it’s my blog? Because they asked me to join them on their Saturday run knowing I was looking for my first 20 miler. I’ve run with Lorne before but it’s the first time I’ve ran with Barrie. I’ve been aiming to do my long runs sub 8 min miles, “We’ll start of at 7.30s and take it from there” says my new running pal. And enemy. He wasn’t kidding. No airs and graces and straight off. I’m an old man, I usually break myself into my runs. He lied though. First one in 7.24. Only 19 to go. Oooft.  So from Barrie’s we headed onto the canal  and from there it was to be about 10 miles out to Bowling and then about turn and back. The lads are talking away while I pant and puff. Down a wee hill, means going back up it on way back. Only 2 miles done. Conditions were good. Small bits of ice and bloody cold out that’s ok. Got to the chipshop boat in Clydebank which was 10k in. I knew the next section from the Clydebank 10k so that was fine. And out we went. Could see the Erskine Bridge in the distance and it was an eternity until we got there then after it Barrie stretched away until we hit Bowling. I admit, I was struggling to keep up but still hit the turn in an average of about 7.20. The last few miles had been into the wind. Lorne said not to worry as it would be behind us all the way back. Ladies and Gentlemen I blame him for 10 miles of hell. Quick stop for a gel and about turn. The wind changed direction and was against us. For the entire 10 miles back.The talking wasn’t as much as Barrie played with us, stepping up and slowing down the pace as he pleased. Myself and Lorne digging in. It was tough in the wind. Through the half marathon distance in about 1.35 ish which is decent for me for a half let alone anything else. But I had to push on. 14/15 was my worst bit but once through this I found a second wind and felt ok. Got to 18 and it started getting more difficult. Knew the wee hill was coming. The wind was strong. The legs were heavy but I knew from my pace I had a chance to get under 2 1/2 hours which is crazy for me. My 19 miles had been in 2.28 the week before. But I kept it steady on tired legs and hit the 20 miles in 2 hours 27. Faster than last week and the pace spot on for a tilt at 3.15 at London. If I can just do another 10k at that pace…. even the thought of that, had to walk back to Barrie’s as the legs were rubber. But Wow!!! 20 Miles. Never thought I would ever hit a barrier like that. So as much as I cursed you at the time thanks lads for getting me round. 10 weeks to go. Still coming for you London 🙂


Reminder: My wee blog is shortlisted for blog of the year at the Running Awards at the O2 In April. Please consider a wee vote at:

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 🙂.

WOW. The most recent single by the wonderful Beck. I am not sure if he has ever run under the Erskine Bridge.

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