Do it better – Victoria parkrun, Glasgow

Last week after the 10,000m I really had a good training week as I said in the last blog. I had actually went back to the club last Tuesday and had a great session with a good squad. I don’t manage along to the club much these days due to work and because I had been doing my own thing for the marathon and I do feel a bit on the periphery when I do make it along but these things happen anywhere – membership changes, people leave, people arrive, people cut you off with no explanation and MAC is no different. I was fortunate in the squad that were there that night though, and it was a right confidence booster running with some really good runners, and managing to keep up with them. With my confidence being higher from training well I decided I was going to go along to the Victoria parkrun with the squad on the Saturday since that was to be the Saturday session. Sod the membership insecurities, I am a paid up member for this year and deserve to be there wearing that vest so I will, and I’d have to change the blog name if I left and that’s too much like hard work 🙂

The conditions as we arrived were perfect and with Strathclyde being cancelled due to a rowing regatta, aye you read that right, it was expected to be busy.

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I gave myself a target of getting as near to 18.30 as possible, and to try and get near my course PB of 18.23 but since my best last season was 18.24 I knew it would take  a lot to get to there.  Was great to see so many friendly faces from all over. A good wee friendly MAC turnout, friends from Springburn to Strathclyde, Maryhill to Hamilton, perfect conditions and we were off. The early pace was rapid but I settled into my pace. I was hoping to settle into 3.40 ks but remembered from my previous visit that the GPS goes wonky in parts so wanted to run comfortably but at a decent pace. I was soon just behind a group containing Maryhill’s Kevin Campbell and Hamilton’s Neil Robbins both of whom would be round about the time I was looking for. If I could run comfortable and keep in contact then I reckoned I could get around 18.30. I won’t go into step by step details here but on all 3 laps I felt good, pushing it yes, but never struggling. Last K and I went ahead of Neil and tried to catch Kev but he wasn’t going to let me past like happened last year at Strathclyde pipping Kev at the post and he kicked to the end. Looked at the watch and it was in the 17.50s. I gave it all but there was nothing left to give, no kick to be had, and no increase in pace but I was delighted to come over the line in 10th place in a 2 year best of 18.05, and my second fastest since my return in 2011.

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Last week I couldn’t look in the mirror as I had got it all wrong, but pleased today as I had left it all out there and had nothing left in me. Well done Paul Burns on smashing his PB and Clare Hughes on first female. I have to be honest, I was absolutely delighted and chuffed. I had felt good and hoped to be near a course PB but to run that close to a PB 3 weeks after a marathon was a great feeling. A right confidence booster. Get out there and don’t just do it good, do it better (thank you Mr Ryder)

Thankfully got home alive after Kev threatened to pass out/ shit himself/ be sick or all of the above while driving home, that was a bonus. He was whiter than a goth at a QM disco in 1990. So what’s went right for me? I have been fortunate to have hit the ground running after the marathon and have managed to string some really good training sessions together. I am doing sessions on consecutive days regularly where I couldn’t before. I am recovering quickly. Now you know me, yes irritating, yes a whinge, but very cynical and very honest. In my blog here from the hip I talk about trialling GOPO® which I was happy to try as, let’s be honest, I am no spring chicken, I get aches and pains and my joints aren’t the best and this affects my training. I am now 2 months into the trial. A month in and I was very meh. Nothing to recommend. But I kept taking as prescribed. But with the marathon and the aftermath I genuinely cannot believe how well I am recovering. Yeah there is tiredness, don’t get me wrong but the joints are better than they used to be. I am getting no issues from them. And I am running better than I have in a long time because if you can run more often without issues and enjoy it, then it’s going to have positive results. So aye, the cynic here believes he is feeling benefits, but still being a cynic I have contacted GOPO® and asked them to extend the trial onto July where I am facing a real, real challenge. I will let you know how that goes but I did tell you I would be honest and I am not being paid or anything so this is how it is. At this moment in time I am running easier than I have for a couple of years and think that GOPO® is helping my movement. One more month to go unless extended so I will give you all a fuller synopsis then.

This Friday sees the Scottish 5k champs at Edinburgh. I have a PB of 18.10 there so would love to get near that but the wind never tends to be kind, but I’ll go out there and give it my best, that’s all I can do. MAC Vest on, leave it all out there, that’s all I can do for my club. Good luck all doing it.

thanks for the photos Dougie Holmes, David Murray and me 🙂

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