Karma Police – 3000m open graded and Vale of Leven 10k 2017

Disclaimer: I know that I am a contrary beast. I know I am a huffy, tantrum throwing wean. And I know that my “athletic endeavours” are not even average in the grand scheme of things. But it means a lot to me. So I reserve the right to continue to be annoying 🙂 It’s been a Radiohead kind of week.

So this week I had a couple of races planned. A 3000m OGM at Grangemouth that I was really looking forward to, and the Vale of Leven 10k which I was very meh over. Last year’s PB over 3000m had been 10.23, and I felt I was in better shape so thought I was capable to getting close to the 10.20 if not under it. Went along with the Legend who was sticking with the 800m, had a wee chat with the REAL Legend Paul Forbes, and did a wee warm up. Met Cammy from MAC and Akira fae Fife who were both thankfully in the A race with the likes of Central’s Cameron Milne while I was in the B. Watched the Legend have a great race in the 800m narrowly missing a win, and cheered on Clare and Gary whilst getting a row from the officials for shouting split times (I had breached track etiquette and felt more shamed than a puppy who had shat in his masters shoes before chewing them). After coming back out of my shell of shame we were informed that due to some no shows the two races would be run together. Oh feck. Guaranteed many lapped humiliations coming up. And so it was. Out the rapids went and maybe I went out too fast the first lap, but by the end of the second I was about 5 metres off last place with nothing in the legs. I tried to up it, I really did, running most of the race in lane 2 and 3 as I tried to pass people but didn’t have the legs to match the head. I slogged round but consistently with Strava telling me I had completed 3.1k (ooops, really SHOULD run in lane1) and finishing in just a shade over 10.34. Lapped a few times and 14th out of 17 runners.


My slowest 3000m since my return to running and I have no idea why. Genuinely can’t put my finger on it and have not a single excuse, except maybe I have now plateau’d.  Maybe at my age I’m as fast as I personally can get to and it’s the slope back down. Maybe it was just a bad day at the office and there will be better. Anyway I was a bit gutted. A bit down. And that’s allowed. We all have our own wee expectations and when we fall short it’s ok to be annoyed. It’s how you deal with it that shows what and who you are. And I showed that I am a spineless man-child by not bothering to even look at my trainers the rest of the week and moaning to all and sundry. Mature eh? I know. I have no excuses. On Twitter @runnerviking when she had a crap run at the Rouken Glen 10k said she was going the full @vanhaddock in her moaning. Aye you’ve guessed, that’s my Twitter name. The most irritating runner in Scotland? Grumpiest as well. Aye, getting kicked in the chuckies by the Karma Police and maybe that’s why I deserve the bad runs.

So Saturday morning and up early for the drive through to Balloch for a nice run in the rain at the Vale of Leven 10k. Not up for it at all but I knew I had to do it. Need to rekindle the missing mojo and just try and enjoy a run. None of my club rivals there which means I could just go out and have a wee run and try and enjoy it. No stress. Got through very early and had a good chat with Kilmarnock’s Connell Drummond who was coming back from a bad hamstring injury.


Was good to catch up with Sean from MAC and Paul Gunn and also have a chat with blog reader Martin (though next time we will do it outside the toilets :p). Time went by and while still dreich and raining the wind wasn’t too bad and it was time to go. The first mile in this race is uphill, very uphill, (I’m sure the sandal wearing Tarahumara were at the top with yetis), with a quick descent then 7k of mildly undulating before a final climb in the last kilometre and a drop to the finish. The first climb was slow as I tried to get through the start crowd, I noticed an extra section had been added to the climb at the top which was nice of them. Thumbs up Keith Chegwin style for the generosity.


The descent was thankfully uneventful as I am not great on the downhills. But 2 1/2k done and time now to find my rhythm. My best run of the year by far was the Tom Scott 10 miler in April. In that race I tried in vain to hold onto a group led by Shona Doherty. I’d love to be in that shape again but after that and on the road to London I had my wee hamstring issues and never quite regained that form. Shona was leading a group maybe 20 metres ahead so decided to try and hold onto them.


And this was the theme of the next 7 k as we went through the town centre, down past the river, over bridges, down the road and back along the river. Shona led the group of 4 all the way while I was hanging on, dropped a couple of times but able to latch back on again with a bit of fight. In the distance ahead I could see Connell starting to toil a little and he was on his own in between groups. Second last k and the climb up onto the main road and the gradual climb towards the park. A k to go and then into the park for the last climb up before the downhill to the finish. I took this opportunity to jump from my group as Connell now right in front and I’d never been within 2 minutes of him before let alone beat him, so shamefully I went after an injured man. I know. Tell me you wouldn’t have done it. You wouldn’t? OK. Irritating, grumpy, shameless and now inexcusable. The blog’s going to need a bigger header. I sneaked past with the group chasing me waiting for the turn down. Aye they had moved this a bit from last year as well, another extra little bit, round the corner and thankfully no alsations to jump over this year. (Oh read it if you really have to know…   click here). Across the slippy bridge and through the Ziggy zaggy zig zags without any issues and the long straight home.


Was a thrill to hear the encouragement and my name being read over the tannoy as I saw the clock was still under 39. A final push and I could steal a sub 39 and so it was. 17th place, 8th V40 and a time of 38.45. OK my slowest 10k of the season but 20 seconds faster than last year on a longer course, a bit of fight, a scalp of the Killie Magician (Sorry Connell), ahead of female winner Shona for the first time, some bling, a t shirt and a pair of Top Gun style  shades. Ach simple things to give the mojo a wee boost.



Local photography guru Daren Borzynski was on hand taking pics again so hope to have some from him once he publishes as he took one of myself and Connell. A very talented guy, check his page out here DBP. Edit: They are now included, thanks Daren 🙂

Briefly talked alsatians with last years witness Jason who had thrashed me this year and headed home. A great event, very well run. Aye running a funny thing. Different moods from run to run. And sometimes it isn’t just the head. So here endeth todays sermon. Be kind to yourselves. I promise that I will…… aye….will forget what I have just written and continue to be a high maintenance blogger. Aye I promise…. have some more Radiohead.


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