Now I’m coming straight in with a tune here which is unlike me. It’s for a reason. You should click play on it as you read through the first part. There should be voice over by myself that comes in, but that’s just in my head. The confessional is the first section then as the drums come in about 1.45 I’m lacing up the trainers and hitting the start of the Blackpool Autumn Breaker 10k. I know, very “Living TV” Biggest loser (is that even still a thing?) Anyway why? Well read on.
I, Mark Gallacher, aged 47 am a terrible eater.
My knowledge of nutrition is appalling. I eat bad enough when training hard and get away with it, but when injured or busy at work the weight piles on. I have no excuses and no one at all to blame but myself. When going to work so early and getting home too late to go to club training I am fitting in my own sessions, then making sure I have family time, so its food convenience, I don’t have time to prepare things not would know where to start. Any experts out there? Give me a shout. So basically with 3 months with little running my weight had crept up. I was half a stone over where I would be as standard. I was going to Blackpool where it would be fast food and crap all week. Fat arse Marko was back, no doubt about it and I was dreading how it was to be by the time I came home. I had entered the Blackpool Autumn Breaker 10k earlier in the year when I was in good shape but thankfully after last weeks trail 10k I knew I would be able to get round. Another low mileage week due to work but simple aim for me, after doing last week in just under 42 the aim this week was to try and get close to a sub 40. No stressing though. I’d looked at last years results and saw that around 39 minutes would be top 3 for my age group so was something to aim for, albeit a bit ambitious. I was looking forward to it as I had run in Stanley Park before so was excited about racing in it in this sell out race. Had a few beers the night before as well as a massive chocolate cake ( OK, I know) but it was just going to be as steady as I could manage. Took the club vest to represent as it’s always worth a few extra seconds and we were off. It started on the running track and we did two laps before exiting which straight away had a bit of mixing up as I was near the front and we were lapping people on the track and having to zig zag in and out of them in the first 800m of the race…. The top 20 or so were away but I stuck to my task as we exited the park and ran round the perimeter, running just under 4 minute ks for as long as I could. We were already going into groups this early on and I was in a group being led by eventual female winner Bianca Pedersen. I wasn’t running comfortably but was hanging on the best I could as we went round past the pond over bridge and back out the park, then back in through the trails and back to the track where we would finish the first loop. of the two loop race. The watch had went a bit haywire through the trees and on the winding paths so I knew the splits weren’t going to be accurate but through 5k in 19.59 was spot on, though I was sure with the markers I probably had about 10-15 seconds of a buffer.
Not feeling comfortable but feeling pain free which was a total bonus. Second lap and caught back up with Bianca who had got away and latched onto Lytham St Annes’s Neil Tate. The group ahead were too far and we were soon ahead of the chasing group so I basically held onto Neil for dear life knowing if the elastic broke then so would my chances of a sub 40. My legs were burning as I hadn’t run this distance/pace in months but despite the tree section seemingly being slow again as GPS again went mad I was sure we were within my target.
Back into the track and Neil kicked away, this was fine for me. I held on and crossed the line in 39.12 watch time. Delighted with that. Wasn’t sure what position I was in but reckoned top 20. I knew there was a V45 prize and did that stupid thing of wandering about trying to see if I thought anyone who had finished was the same age as me. Due to the fact I hadn’t won an age category event since about 1990 I quickly came to my senses and jogged the couple of miles back to where we were staying, checked the results to see I had indeed finished first V45, by a margin of some 5 minutes, and 12th overall. Just as well I hadn’t stayed for the prizegiving, as after driving to pick up what I thought was going to be a wee medal or plaque, my actual prize was two cases of bitter. Would have been funny jogging the two miles carrying them 🙂 All in all though it was a great workout, had went to plan and the first V45 was a bonus. Really enjoyable event and thank you Fylde Coastrunners for organising a great event.
The rest of the week I ate badly, really badly, but I also ran most mornings, the trails around the zoo, park, golf course and Mere in particular were fantastic for running. Saturday morning I knew I was like a whale in a thong as I put on the racing shorts and headed down to Stanley Park once more for the Blackpool parkrun. Sub 20 and top ten being my aim. Nothing mad and another steady one after a high (for me) mileage week. Met Pitreavie’s Steven Birrell who was down for a few days and we got talking to Dumfries whippet Charlie Storrie who was looking for somewhere in the 17s. Aye wouldn’t see much of him 🙂 Over 200 of us set off for the two loop run and Charlie and his group were soon away. I was in 10th which would do me but like Sunday as soon as we went into the trees and into a particularly winding trail section the GPS went off. I was with a group ably led by Phil Sutcliffe the whole way round and like I did with Neil the week before I stuck to him the best I could as I enjoyed the run as we dropped the rest of the group. Finished in 7th, 19.12 and first V45 again without ever really kicking on. Had I realised how close I was to a sub 19 I may have went for it, but with no guarantees. Elaine took some great pictures which gave some of the running contingent a good laugh when they saw the size of my arse bursting out my shorts and I won’t pretend that it doesn’t hurt a wee bit, but I’ll get things under control and I’ll lose it again over the winter.
I recommend this parkrun, not a PB course with all the turns and half of it being on trail but an enjoyable run. Well done Charlie on second, and well done Steven for making it back in time for his fry up 🙂 All in all a great week in Blackpool though, a 40 mile week for the first time in months, running injury free and loving every run.
So the song. Aptly by Eat More Cake. I really liked their first two EPs before they went major dancey. This is a killer I think. Eating too much, eating more cake, the story of my life. I’ll get there, I need more self control, some guidance and maybe a bit less self esteem issues along with a hard winters work. I am the heaviest I have been since January 2016 and I lost it then and I will again.
It’s that time of year again and as I was shortlisted for running blog of the year last year at the Running Awards I am automatically longlisted for this one. The link is here if you fancy a free vote, vote for markgallmac here if you can be bothered but since there is more chance of me getting a London ballot place than an award ahead of the blogging PR Mafia I’m not going to bang on about it.