It’s a funny thing this running malarkey. “Unless you are reading this blog obviously” I hear you say in unison, aye thanks for that. Away and raffle your bourbons. No, what I mean is that you can never really tell what’s round the corner, be it good, bad or indifferent. As I finished my last blog I was on a high after some right good sessions on the road to Manchester. Followed it off on the Saturday with 3 x 2ks into a swirly wind off 90 secs recovery with the club. Felt really strong, ran consistent, the 2k circuits all in c. 7.26. Another magic session, the confidence flowing. Went into my Sunday long run on a very windy Sunday but took the wind and the hills of the transmitters on. Maybe too confidently and the wind had a right good fight with me. Battered, bruised and knackered and a couple of enforced stops but over 15 miles in the bag.
A very difficult one.
Positives taken but a wee reminder that I still have a long way to go. Wee recovery on the Monday with one cheeky Strava CR because I felt like it, then Tuesday was to be an 8 mile easy run. Felt fine again and keeping my easy pace when half way in and there was a right sharp pain at the hamstring. It wasn’t going away but I was four miles out, in Bellshill with no phone and no money. Oooops. Had to jog back very gingerly (where IS Ross Burton these days?), the last 3 miles uphill. Aye magic. I got in and it was sore. REALLY sore. Straight away every emotion goes through you.
I’m injured. I’m out the marathon. My season over. At my age I’ll be lucky if it heals. I’ll probably get fat again and start smoking again. Fags are so expensive these days, how can I afford them? What a fud.
Had to withdraw from my planned parkrun pacing on the Saturday, but thankfully with each day it got a little better. Decided it was time for a leg clear out so tried a new Sports Therapist in EK at short notice and he was magic. Thanks Mark at Recover and Repair massage therapy. Despite the pain, and man it was sore, and also the insults (apparently I have the tightest hamstrings he has ever come across) I felt great for it. Lot of great advice and living to fight another day. Memo to self. Must get more regular sports massages. And stop saying memo to self, as I hate that. Went out an easy 3 miler and survived. I thought it was over but maybe it’s not. Aye ok, a wee musical interlude, since you probably knew it was coming. Here’s the Feeling. It’s a good enough wee song even if they don’t particularly float my boat, and I do still believe moustaches are wrong, unless it’s Daley Thompson, Peter Elliott or Paul Forbes that have them. Yeah Butchart, that includes you.
The Sunday session I had all but written off was to be 16 miles with 10 at around marathon pace. I decided to do my run at Strathclyde park loch so I would never be any more than 2 miles from the car if things went wrong. Do an easy lap first, see how I felt, and if no pain then up it slightly. Lap done and felt fine. Give it a go? Happened to bump in Big Neil of Babybel Malky at this stage and ran a couple of miles with him. He was at the tail end of a 22 miler or something. Hardcore. Had a chat, looked at watch and my pace was roughly where I wanted to be. OK Give it a go. Tom Scott 10 mile route and go. And you know I did it, I felt comfortable and I bloody loved every second!
Monday rest. Tuesday a wee recovery run of 5 miles. Then onto the Wednesday Thursday double header. The plan had me do 10 on Wednesday with 5 at around half mara pace. Then 11 on Thursday just at long run pace. Ach ok. Wasn’t very confident about it to be honest, but planned a route and went for it. Couple of miles warm up and went for it. 5 miles in 6.38, 6.39, 6.37, 6.26, 6.22, few miles to cool down, snip snip Bob’s your auntie. Made up for another rejection from the English as the Great North Run computer joined the London Marathon computer in saying no.
Thursday and myself and Ewen had a good 11 miler. Social and to pace, and I felt pretty good. Rest day Friday then onto Saturday. It was supposed to be a 5 mile recovery. I have a plan you know, and I broke the plan. And I knew the gaffer JQ would give me grief, but something I did last year when training for London was a couple of tempo parkruns, just to see how the legs were and it worked wonders for the head. Last year I did Strathclyde in just over 19, then Livingston in just under 19. So I decided to tempo Strathclyde. Now tempo for me is to run hard but not at max. If I could tempo under 19.30 I’d be happy. Aim was to see if I could be comfortable at around 19 pace. So of course it was windy. I was rainy. And we were off. First k in about 3.50, nice. Second and third Ks had to avoid Peppa Pig in a selection of long muddy puddles that people were going round, but not for me. Through the middle as I’m wet anyway. Two to go and sitting about 7th and feeling comfortable. Look at watch and reckoned I’d probably come in about 19.15-19.20. Came round into the wind for the last 1 1/2k and decided to push it on. Could be windy on marathon day so why not. Clocked the watch at 500 to go and there was a very slight chance of a sub 19, so I have to say I went for it. I hit hard for home overtaking a fella in the last 50 metres, and came in in 18.57. Perfect. First sub 19 parkrun since June. A surprising 4th place and an age group first thanks to my last sprint (sorry Gordon Dickson, I didn’t know….. )
Thanks as always to all of the volunteers. Always a smile even in the wind and rain. Very happy with that, and it did work wonders for the head. Had a wee natter to the biggest Mark in the world and his training mentor Paul and then did a wee lap cool down. And I got my bollocking from JQ but he knows why I done it. So to the last run of the week. Can I complete the set? Have the perfect week? I’ll give it a go. The plan was for 18 miles. I was fortunate to get Ewen and Mr Kennedy’s company for 16 of the miles, though Mr Ks route with a hell of a climb for 14 – 15 1/2 maybe wasn’t kind, and I completed the 18 on my own. Aims hit. Over 50 miles for the week.
And you know something? I am 8 weeks away from Manchester and yes I am playing catch up, yes I’m behind where I was for London last year, and yes I have no idea how it’ll go on the day. But I am not stressing. What will be will be. And I am enjoying running again!!! I’m stronger and fitter than I have been for months. So back to the start, you never know what is round that corner. Don’t be despondent if you have a bad one, don’t fear the worst, and savour and enjoy those ones that go right. All the way round the circle of emotions. It’s been a perfect circle, so here’s REMs best ever song, and a live version at that.
So to finish off I have been good recently. Unlike others I haven’t bombarded you with requests to vote for me in the Running Awards every 2 seconds. I’d love it if you did, as mine is just a blog, nothing else, no further agendas. And I still haven’t taken my top off on instragram or put on a pair of Beth Potter style shorts.
I will put the voting link in each blog, hope you don’t mind, it’s below under Online and Publications, then personal blog. Voting reset when the shortlist was announced, so if you voted before please do it again, or I will be last 🙂
Until next time go out there and enjoy your running.