Necessary Evil/ Cominagetcha – the worst run ever

Twitter: @vanhaddock

Disclaimer : these are the rants of an irrational and moody middle aged runner who should know better, but won’t ever learn. And that’s just fine.

Monday recovery run? Slow, sore, but check. Tuesday 5k out slow and sub 20 back. Nice. Wednesday weary but still a decent wee 1 hour run. Thursday rest day to do 3k on the green Friday but ended up too busy at work so no run, but was surprised to see places still available for spin class at night. Until I got there and was faced with the man with no charisma, the Marvin Hume of spin. I think the only words he muttered were “Heels oan a floor” and “Stand, noo doon”. Not sure what pace to be doing or anything. It was a waste of time. Ach well I’d do parkrun in the morning fast then do a few laps. Nah, bottled the wind and ended up just doing a steady 7 instead. Not impressed with myself after a great week last week. And Sunday was to be a solo 20 plus run. Aye the necessary evil. Now due to my poor week I get two songs this week, it’s allowed. And I need something to soothe me before I get to this run. Ooooft, it was that bad. So here’s the first. By Unknown Mortal Orchestra and I know nothing about them except I heard this on 6 music. Necessary evil.

Can’t put it off any longer. Bald Dave asked me if I wanted company, said to him I was planning a minimum of 20, probably 23, and aiming for 8 min pace. Based on 3 weeks ago that’s acceptable. Dave agreed to meet me at 10 miles to do some with me. I arranged to start my run at 8 and meet him about 9.15, 9.20 then. Oh aye all planned out. Except my first 10 was to be up and round Chatelherault, hilly at the best of times. Combined with Storm Doris, Ewan or whatever it was a wee bit ambitious. And somehow my legs felt heavy from the off. There are many reasons why this may have been, but no excuses today. The rain was battering down, the wind was a bit rough. Under the bridge on the road to Chatelherault and the river had burst it’s banks, so already a wee climb up off the path. Got to Chatelherault on already tired legs, only 2 miles done and into the mud and already at about 8 min 20 pace. Sorry Dave you are going to be waiting mate.  First hill up the steps and I was slow up it. Round onto the loop and a wee hello to Vicki who looked a lot fresher than me as she passed by. A couple of miles of toil. Heavy, Getting soaked. Not enjoying the gorgeous Chatelherault scenery. Got to the wooden steps and went down slowly into a flood, crossing it as the water went past the knees of my wee cold legs. Only about 5 miles in. 15 – 18 to go. Not enjoying this one. Especially as we came to Green Bridge Hill. It’s a big hill, really big. A challenge at the best of times.  Today? For the first time in 3 years it beat me. The rain lashed down as I walked the last section. My mind laughing at me now. London? Aye right. You won’t even make it back to Strathclyde Park. Miraculously a mile on and the sun came out as I was at the highest point and with the trees having been cut down at that section I got to gaze in the sunshine over the valley and down to the river. Mood lifter. Gorgeous. The legs still didn’t lift though but upped the pace slightly and completed the first section only about 10 minutes later than planned :/ Dave was waiting and I changed my top at the car as was soaked through, and took on a  gel and some fluids. Wanted to change shoes but fingers too cold to undo laces. Plan was the Tom Scott 10 route, sun was still shining but the wind was really getting up now. The rain came back. I was holding Dave back  and was struggling to do 8.30 mile pace. Legs heavier than Bella Emberg’s. I was hating every second. Dave gave me a row for being unusually quiet. I was in a honking mood. But I wasn’t for giving up as bad as it was. The thighs were torture. 6 miles done – about 15 1/2 in all and back at the car. Took another drink and Dave called it a day, tight calves or bored shitless with me? Guess a bit of both. I was miserable and soaked and sore. But despite the lure of home I ran away from the car. Another lap of the loch beckoned. I came onto the lap path from the road as someone else jogged past, and I couldn’t keep up with them. Getting slower. Stopped for a gel. Stopped for a wee walk for 20 yards. Back at car again. 19 miles or so. Another drink and my stubbornness kept me going. Over the bridge and round where we usually do our reps. Almost crawling. 20 miles. Wee stop to walk 10 metres. Met John Quinn’s wife and daughter and said “shdsakjhdkh” to them. Started running again and got back to the car. 21.1 miles. That would do. Running time was just over 3 hours and a lot slower than planned. Everything hurt. Legs, pride. For the first time I genuinely doubted if I could get round London. Another 5 miles? Don’t be ridiculous.


I came home. The cramp was horrendous. Shattered physically and emotionally. Tried to lie in the bath but kept cramping up. This was the worst ever. No drama, the worst run of my life. But my running community friends were there. Full of advice. Full of how it had happened to them. Bad runs come along. To look at the plusses. 3 hours running in the bag. My favourite was thanks to Ninja Warrior Bobby, these two pictures made me laugh…


and I got 2 rolls and square sausage. With cheese. Aye things are ok.


So tonight, recovery run, just under 4 miles. Legs were ok, and ready to face another day. I got through the worst run of my life, in the worst conditions I have run in. I didn’t quit. I ran over 21 miles. So many positives. So, moping over, and you know something London,  8 weeks to go and you might have wounded me, but I am Cominagetcha. Bring it on!!!


The fine print now….

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 🙂.

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 🙂



4 thoughts on “Necessary Evil/ Cominagetcha – the worst run ever

  1. Keep your spirits up – 3 hours on your feet is a solid session. You’ve got the extra challenge of the Scottish weather! Remember that your long runs aren’t to practice running the marathon, they’re to get you prepared to run the marathon. On race day you’ll be fully adapted to the training and after a successful taper you’ll be in the best condition you’ll have been since you started your training. Happy running!


  2. A combination of things come into play here which will have hurt the mental toughness aspect.
    The route choice was probably the wrong one on the day of you were specifically trying to hit a target pace.
    Having fallen behind so early on will
    have dented the mental toughness and it would have been hard to regain that.
    We are blessed with crappy weather so have to embrace that and concentrate more on effort than pace.
    Your recent canal run shows what you are capable of on a London type run in terms of elevation.
    Keep getting as many midweek runs in as possible man he even build up to some 10 milers and target long runs at the weekend fresh with a positive mind.

    Liked by 1 person

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