On Track/ On your own – the GAA BMC 10,000m 2018

A marathon free zone this blog I’m afraid. Apart from saying thanks to all 3000+ of you that read my London GFA rant.  Aye this one, Moving the goalposts My most read blog ever which is decent for a 5 minute haddock attack but rant over and I’m all good ,and appreciated the feedback both in favour and against what I said.

Thanks again to everyone who voted me into the Running Awards shortlist this week. I genuinely didn’t expect to get anywhere in it this year and wasn’t disappointed on the night, lying in my bed following it on Twitter while the rest of the bloggers snorted electrolyte tabs and guzzled recovery milk off Fatima Whitbread and Tom McKean’s bodies (allegedly, as I say, I wasn’t there) and a very well done to the top 3. Not as good at writing as I am, but more popular and with nicer hair. Oh calm down dear, it’s another joke 🙂


The amusing thing was checking out the blog that had won and seeing that they had also been nominated for Influencer of the year by Men’s Running magazine. This had me curious so I had a wee look to see who the nominees were and my name was there. I found that very funny. Whoever nominated me for it, thank you very much. I had no idea, and don’t even know anything about it, but I can use this badge


Don’t worry I won’t be hassling anyone to vote. It’s there if you want to. I found it really feckin funny though. I can’t even influence my kids or my staff.

My friend Dougie was at the Running Awards on behalf of Cumbernauld 10k and a big congratulations to him and his team on a couple of trophies. As a pacer at Cumbernauld 10k then maybe I can take some glory too, eh? Eh? That blog and video are here, that was good fun. Pacing the Cumbernauld 10k


Even bigger congratulations for him blagging my bloggers freebie bag which I couldn’t get in person. Here’s what I nabbed so I will give my honest opinion of the swag over the next few weeks.


But enough of that. The main blogging point this week was the thing that had had me nervous and feeling sick all week. I, for some reason, had entered the 10,000m track races at Crownpoint that were part of the Scottish Championships. The night of the 10ks. Yep 10,000m.

On track.

Cue an intermission and a wee tune from Broony.

I had never done one before. I have tired old man marathon legs. What was I thinking? Really, all week the nerves had been crippling me. Couldn’t sleep for worrying about it. I was actually just pleased to get on the starting line and the next 38 minutes and 50 seconds became a multitude of lessons.


There was a pacer. I went right in behind him from the gun deciding to go with the pace and crack on at 6 or 7 k if I felt good. He said he was going to come in just under 39 mins so magic. Except first lap in 1.28. That’s under 37 pace so I calmed it down and let him go. Grant Matheson of Falkirk and Jill Smyllie of Giffnock went with him.

Lesson 1 Don’t let your bottle crash too soon.

Hamilton’s Jim Breen went past me too agreeing pace too fast but I didn’t go with him.

Lesson no 2. I did 22 laps on my own. Get yourself into a group, this ain’t a race for going solo. Into a headwind on the back straight with no shelter. 20 odd times.  I lost my concentration with no one to work with and basically fell asleep. Should have gone and worked with Jim as he caught Jill soon enough.


Lesson no 3 and the biggest one of the night. Don’t use your garmin to do your pacing on the track. Basic, basic schoolboy error. Whether it’s the bends or whether its because 400m is only if you run right on the inside, I don’t know. When my watch beeped for 5 k I still had over 100m to go to get to halfway. When it beeped for 10k I still had 300m to go. I slowed down my pace as I thought I was going too fast early on and would end up suffering for it. My watch suggested I was going to do 10k in under 38 mins. I went through “10k” in 37.53. I finished the 10,000m race in 38.50. Daft, daft error. Race the track and the people and use the clock at the end of each lap if you want. Complete and utter arse made of it. So fresh on the last lap that I ran it 16 seconds faster than the one before it, chasing after Jim and Jill who had been a good 70 or so metres ahead. Sprinted past Jill but couldn’t catch Jim, just missing him.

IMG_7117alongside Phyllis who won another Scottish title

IMG_7118coming from a long way back on second last lap, managed to catch 77 and lap 76

Lesson 4. Just like the Lanarkshire 1500 last year I timed my finish totally wrong. 0.8 behind bronze medal then. 0.8 seconds off second here. And finished fast but fresh. No excuse.


3rd place was decent, and I can’t complain but I was textbook amateur on this one. Couldn’t look in the mirror and be proud after this race as I had made an absolute coupon of it. Grant won at a canter in 38.19 and well done to him, I should have been closer as you are supposed to be faster on track than on the roads apparently.  My bottle hadn’t been strong enough. So no excuses, just got it totally wrong. 22 laps on my own was a bit of torture really. Did I enjoy it? I am glad I have done it and ticked it off the list and it was good running with the Lanarkshire squad.


But I won’t be clambering over pensioners, orphans and nuns for another shot.  Next for me is three weeks worth of 5ks with no speedwork in my legs, again I genuinely don’t know what I am playing at but hopefully I can build back towards the mid 18s again, but if not then so be it. Early season, and if can just keep a lid on the nerves and get the bravery back it could be an enjoyable season.

This song an apt one. 12 weeks of marathon training followed by 22 laps on my own. Here’s some Blur. And then after that, some Daniel Wylie, because sometimes when I pull on the MAC vest it’s how I feel.

thanks to Claire T Media, Alan Cox’ daughter, Dougie Holmes  and RunwithRachel for the pics.

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