How was it for you? A 2017 Retrospective

Disclaimer: This is MY review so it’ll be disjointed, make no sense and all that malarkey. And so be it. Some highlights, some lowlights and a monthly blog quote. Settle down and prepare to be annoyed.

It’s that time of the year, that time when we look back with a mixture of smugness, disappointment, joy, embarrassment and pride at our years’ running. For me? All of that happened just at London. It’s been a funny year, the proverbial game of two halves and to be honest the second I have been expecting. Year after year, improvement after improvement, with my advancing years the plateau or fall had to come and it indeed did.  But that’s to come. I came into the year with one real target , to complete my first marathon at London. I wanted to enjoy it. Get under 4 hours. If all went well under 3.30. If magic did it’s merry dance then a Good for Age of 3.15. Apart from that? I wanted to prove that my sub 18 5k of 2016 was no fluke. I wanted to aim for that sub 38 10k for a second year. I wanted to beat my 10 mile and half marathon records and smash my bests on the track. Aye I wasn’t looking for much. I had been injured the tail end of 2016 after putting my back out sneezing.

I know.

Come January I was back in training and on the London Road.


“I had to avoid handshakes here though, the finger was at funny angles and the knee was showing the effects of my dirty trip.”

Building up the miles towards London but did the Vets relay at Strathclyde Park, fell heavily, dislocated my finger and still can’t move it right. Muppet. Did Livi parkrun and watched the XC at Edinburgh.


“The headwind today was horrendous. 5 miles of misery. Even Cascada at the spin class wasn’t as bad.”

All about ramping the miles and training up. My first 20 miler on the canal with Lorne and Barrie. More parkruns.


“I was the Fatima Whitbread of Motherwell and had the hands of an extra large woman. This cheered me up.”

The racing started as London ramped up. New 10k PB at Cambuslang in 38.11. Another decent one at Springburn. Did some parkrun pacing. Smashed my half marathon best at Alloa in a strong wind. Feeling stronger than I ever had before. Confidence high.


“We are all masochists sharing a mass spanking session while being filmed and put on TV. Have a medal and a t-shirt you naughty person.”

It was sweet to smash my 10 mile best at the Tom Scott. 63 minutes for 10 miles. Well chuffed. Tweaked the hammy, but was ok. This month was all about London. Please read it here, I’m proud of this one Marko goes to London. I won an award at the Running Awards for the blog. I finished London in 3.23 after the worst cramp ever. I was eventually kind of proud of myself.


“the lactic burn from about half way slapped me on the face like Jonathan Ross with a large fish”

My breathing problems started getting worse. I struggled at first readapting to running shorter but enjoyed the Drumpelier 5k. Had my first glimpse of the talent emerging from the Legend when he pipped me in an 800m but was strong as an ox. What a season he ended up having.


“As we were piped to the start I made the decision that with it being two laps I was going to go for it, go out hard, and if it didn’t work out I could be drinking my beer while everyone else did their second lap. ”

Despite track continuing to be a problem with a PW 3000m, it was a good racing month, and one I was really pleased with before I head off on holiday. I showed real fight and strength in a good 10k at Vale of Leven and hit my aim over 10k with a big PB at the Brian Goodwin, running 37.46 and mixing it up with runners I’d never been near before.


“1 mile in and I slowed to a stop and turned to jog home. It was like an out of body experience as I came to and realised what I had done. It was a long jog back to the start area past nearly 300 other runners. I’ve done it before and I’m sure I’ll do it again.”

A beautiful holiday in southern Spain and many amazing trail runs. Came back and my running never got back to where it was. I dropped out of parkruns, was sick before a 1500m, had a disaster run at Scotstoun. The head took over the body and destroyed my year. Difficulties in my working life combined with my breathing problems worsening and my confidence eroding finished me as a competitive runner. Sounds dramatic? It’s what happened. Much as I tried I could never lift myself back up and couldn’t kick on from my sub 38 10k. Between here and August I pretty much chucked my running as a competitor.


“The bike would come rushing past me, the rider would jump off and start his watch as soon as I passed him. Now I’m no Tour de France veteran but I know a split timer when I see one.”

Paisley 10k in 39 flat. Very meh and fell to pieces. An 800m, slower again. Really enjoyable day with the team at the round Strathaven relay being chased by the EK bike and a run out at a fast 5k down south where again I wasn’t brave enough to kick on. Breathing utterly honking, training getting missed due to mad working hours. Head not in a good place and going through the motions.


“There are different ways to be a winner in a race and it isn’t all about the bling.”

The margin of error between last in a race and being a medallist was 0.8 of a second. I was the slower of the two and was last in the LAAA 1500 with a season’s best. Run very meh again at Stirling 10k Same time as last year but over a minute away from Goodwin time. The fire isn’t there. I haven’t put the Motherwell AC vest on since and have no idea when I will again. I pace Cumbernauld 10k to try and get mojo back. Ends up last race for a while as I get operation arranged for my deviated septum which appears to be causing my breathing issues.


Head butted by a dog.
Cat staring at my nose wanting a shot at head butting.
I’m sure the animals are planning a coup.
Still making weird noises.
Still healing.
Cabin fever”

Out the game. Operation recovery though op has made no real difference now. Get rejection from London Marathon. Enter Manchester and buy new trainers in a huff. Start over eating. Still haven’t stopped. By end of month have ran in Blackpool but ate more. Start doing park runs but weight keeps creeping up. No desire to race. No desire to train hard. Just running miles and eating shite.


“Despite taking a while to get into my stride, the sight of Garscube’s Danny Burns chubby arse in front after returning from his all inclusive honeymoon gave me the drive to put down a 3.33 last kilometre to finish just ahead of him”

Keep doing parkrun. Keep eating but start new job. Cloud lifted. Ran round the Jimmy Irvine 10k without club vest and with no purpose and fail to break 40 minutes. Ability sabotage going well.


“the Santa suit that now had the beard round the back of my neck, and making me sweat once again more than Cee-Lo Green wearing a polo neck on a trampoline.”

Finish second at Cumbernauld Santa dash breaking 19 minutes by mistake. Eat more. Continue to put weight on. Hit 1500 miles aim for year. Fell again as I tried to start training again. Finish year as I started it. In the last week of year have an epiphany and realise that I do want to get in shape and race again. First time I have had this desire since about July. Long way to go to get in shape again but finished off year with a bit of fun and a parkrun in the snow at Drumchapel. I can enjoy and bring that enjoyment into 2018. Maybe I’m not finished?

So what a change. From the form of my life to falling to pieces. It all left me where it counted. In the head and in the legs. So usually I have rash predictions for the next year but I can’t do that now. It will be a struggle get into shape again, but at least I am enjoying running again. I want to get fit enough to get my club vest on again, but I won’t take it lightly. I hope your year has been good to you. At least I am ending my year positively. I WANT to do it again, that’s the first battle. Hope to see you all out there on that road. 2017, how was it for you?

thanks to Elaine and the boys, the #4HM (Kev, Jim, Ewen), RFS, 4 men and a little terrier, team baldy and everyone that’s read this or supported me over the last year.

if you’ve liked the blog the Running Awards 2018 awards are still open 🙂 If you like what you read then please consider a vote. If you don’t then I won’t be annoyed. It’s all a bit of fun. publications and online/ blog. markgallmac – the most irritating runner in Scotland ? VOTE FOR MARKGALLMAC HERE.

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