Harmony Hall – The Tom Scott 10 mile road race 2019

Disclaimer: This is a personal blog. As I have to keep stating I know my runs and times seem good to some, modest to others, poor to others, if I talk about a good time I am talking about in relation to me. I will make sure that I put (for me) as we go along just to not upset anyone. You are difficult to please you know, you rapscallions.

So it’s the first race in the Motherwell AC championships, the 6k round the loch as part of the Tom Scott races. I’ve had PBs at 5k and 10k with a decent (for me) 5.8 miler last week as well so I should really be quite confident about having a good run at this distance.

Obviously I decided not to do it 🙂

It’s all good though, no fears, no stresses, no injuries, I just didn’t want to miss what is one of my favourite races in the racing calendar, it’s big brother race, The Tom Scott 10 miler. I’ve done this three times before, 1.07.53 in 2015, 1.05.18 in 2016, 1.03.51 in 2017 and only missing it last year as Manchester marathon was the following week and I had wrapped myself in the maranoiac bubble wrap of fear, although I did wear a big bobble and cheer on Luke Traynor as he glided through the magical Lanarkshire air.

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So aye, wasn’t for missing it. Was really chuffed with my sub 64 two years ago but I know I am running better just now and despite not having any real miles in my legs this year thought I could certainly trouble that if not beat it. Not arrogance, just confidence in my ability for a change, I am well aware there is a fine line but while I watch others hop over it I am steering clear. The weather forecast looked perfect and the course I know like the back of my hand as I train there all the time so I had no excuses to not go out there and give it a go, and if I failed then nobody got hurt, no kittens were harmed and no nuns insulted. I even set myself an A target of sub 62 minutes, ambitious I know but what’s the worst that can happen? I blow up, write a moaning blog about it, get some abuse from keyboard warriors and life goes on. Under 63 I’d be really happy but under 62 would be the icing on the cake.

MMMM cake. Sorry, easily distracted.

The only stress I was feeling was when I realised the race was on Mother’s Day, especially after the Scally/ Anniversary debacle, but thankfully my testicles escaped intact. I’d recently got a package of socks through from my pals at Balega to try out

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so new socks at the ready and raring to go, the Ultralights going on, let me see your magical non blister powers as I was breaking in new shoes as well. Maybe not wise but when has wisdom ever been my companion? Turned up on the day and the conditions really were ideal. Minimal wind, sun shining, a little chill in the air, conditions dry. No excuses to not go and do the best I can. Had a chat with the MAC squad doing the “baby race”, then a chat with the marathon men using the 10 miler to fine tune for their sub 3 attempts over the next few weeks. I can’t lie, I had no jealousy at all, I haven’t missed the marathon training, I am glad I am not doing one, maybe I am running better (for me) because I am training different, horses for courses. As races get longer I tend to get “less good (for me)”. This would be a breeze for them but for me a real test of whatever endurance I could muster and to see if I could maintain a good pace (for me) for longer. The banter flowing pre-race and I felt not even a single bit of nerves which for me is good. The starting hooter caught us unaware and we were off, both races starting together before splitting off at around 3 miles. Race face on, all about hitting my rhythm and not getting caught up in other people’s races. Not about the position or individual battles today, purely aiming for a sub 62.

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Get my pace under 4 min k, hopefully steadying under 3.55 to have a chance at that magical sub 62. Gav’s tunes away in the distance along with many more members of the baldy squad, good, don’t want caught up in any follically challenged battles today, I ain’t got the distance legs that you all have this is all about me today. The first K was mad as you would expect, hundreds of people jockeying for position. It’s always going to be the fast one, so was happy to keep out of trouble in 3.45. Through two and three with no dramas and sticking to pace past the finger banging Gallacher corner and towards the first small climb.

Along the beach and time to split. Said my goodbyes to Jim Breen doing the 6k and we turned up for what’s the most challenging part of the course, an uphill drag followed by a downhill. Uphills I’m ok with and like my last go I went up fine. Where I tend to fall down though is on downhills, two years ago my group ran away from me and I ran over 5 miles on my own so this time I worked hard and on comparing after the race found I had done the uphill k 15 second faster and the downhill 18 seconds faster than two years ago. Really pleasing and as Neil Richardson’s photo shows I was in contact alongside quality runners like Bella’s Gerry Scullion and Kilbarchan’s Christina Rankin. Fear of descending cast aside for today and I was up for taking advantage.

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If I could nip in alongside them then I could get pulled along to a great time as there were no climbs of note left. Was now all about the legs. Through 5 miles and the legs feeling it and Gerry pulled away but I was managing to keep with Christina. As we came through 6 miles we latched onto Bella’s Alan Moss who had gubbed me by minutes when taking a podium place at Run the Blades.

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The pics thanks to Tom Scott Road Races 2019 (C) Bobby Gavin, thatonemoment

A lap of the Loch to go. I know this like the back of my hand. Unless I capitulate a PB is in the bag, sub 63 more than likely and sub 62 a realistic effort. Won’t say I felt easy but the legs were behaving and I was working hard. I was starting to move on from my group now and could see the field spread out ahead. Over the tiny Ziggy zaggy twisty turny hill but it felt steeper, Gallacher corner in reverse, probably two miles to go.

62 you are claimed.

I know how long this section is, it’s the second half of parkrun here with an extra bit added on. I know almost every pothole as I push on. All about the clock even though somehow I am starting to come into contact with runners I have always looked up to. I know that by passing some there’s the risk of them just running away from me, and a few months ago that would have affected by head but this about the time and my head doesn’t feel weak today. Come back at me if you want guys, and some did, but into the last k and it’s all about the time. Sub 62 is in the bag now. Can I dare but dream higher?

thanks Alan @Allsport-images for the pics

Legs hurting, body knackered but pushed it to the line. 60 minutes and 42 seconds.

Sub 61!!!!!!

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A PB by over 3 minutes and massively faster than I could have dreamt of. Aye people I know beat me but I don’t care, personal blog, personal challenges and utterly delighted. Another fantastic event run by Bobby Hill and his Law squad, thanks to them, I can’t recommend this event more, even if I got a 6k medal instead of a 10 mile one, but it’s not about the bling.

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It’s about holding my head up high and knowing that I did the best that my ability allows and that makes me a winner in my eyes. Was good to say a hello to Ronnie from RFS in the flesh for the first time who had just missed his PB then I had to shoot off for Mother’s Day duties. But I got cake to make the day even better. And thank you to Balega, not a single blister, I have a new favourite sock. Today’s song is by Vampire Weekend. It doesn’t seem relevant to the race, to the run, but sometimes the melody of a song can just sum up how you are feeling, and that’s what this did 🙂

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