There were mighty bearded people in Buffs plus Arthur who ran 53 miles over the West Highland Way, people who smashed their Marathon dreams and drams in London and Stirling (guest blog to follow, don’t worry :)) and then there was wee Speirsy smashing his 10k best in Arran for his first ever victory earning a journey home in an open topped ferry for a street party in Darvel.
What did I do? A parkrun.
I should be ashamed, I know, but it’s my blog so I get to turn around, shorts down and give you all a right good moony. Is that how you spell it? I have no idea. Anyway it’s how it is, I’m sorry. I’ll give you two songs as a bonus if you carry on to the end.
I’ve been having a lot of good fortune in my running recently as you may know if you have read this blog before. A good winter base for the first time in years with some speedwork and a bit of confidence as the cherry on top has seen me PB at 3000m, 5k, 10k and 10 miles. I’ve mellowed out too but I know it’s not never ending and every PB could be the last, especially at my age as 50 gets ever closer. I didn’t run the 10,000 on the track and let my foot recover more, but trained as hard as it would allow.
This streak can’t carry on indefinitely as I’m not leaving anything in the tank either, I’m giving it all out there so when does it stop? My 5k dream was always the sub 17.30 and my track training has been done with that pace in mind and the hope has been to try and get near there at the Scottish 5k in Edinburgh. Like last year the MAC squad were to head to Victoria parkrun the week before it to see how the legs were, so having not done a 5k since the Scally relays it would be good to see if there was any speed in the old legs. Last year I ran a course PB of 18.05 before getting a 5k PB of 17.48 the following week at Edinburgh so the aims were simple.
C. Aim – beat 18.05, course PB
B. Aim – beat my parkrun PB of 17.54 (set in September 2016, i.e. a long long time ago in a galaxy far away, also known as Linwood)
A. Aim – beat my Scally time of 17.43 and try to get 17.3x which would be really exciting.
I really hoped I could get C and B but again I don’t know what’s in there. I jogged round in reverse with Kev (as in the course in reverse, we all know Kevin’s can’t go backwards) as we had been looking at previous runs there and had both experienced what appeared to be GPS craziness at around the same bit of the 3 loop course. Sure enough at the Byker Grove section (or whatever it’s called) the pace dropped on the watch despite us going at the same pace. I couldn’t depend on the watch today, I remembered that from last time. Ach stretch the legs out and see what happens.
Ten hardy MAC souls turned up amongst the 400plus throng and I do take responsibility for the rain that started lashing down as soon as we got on that starting line. I was joking when I said it would happen and I didn’t know the big guy upstairs was listening to me. Away we went and I felt quite good but not as good as the early pace was suggesting. There I was going round the pond just behind Chris and beside Cammy. Aw naw Marko, blew it already. Off too fast. Cammy had already told me he was planning 3.25s, that would take me in at 17.05 and would probably kill me. Half a K gone and the wee heid already telling me to drop out. It was tempting but no. Drop it back a little but keep it hard. It’s a parkrun, not the race, it’s OK to try things out. I may have mellowed out, but I still have the mellow doubt in my own ability. I can always stop after a lap if things are bad. Eased it off slightly and was running alongside Cambuslang’s John MacNamara, let’s try and maintain the pace. Through Byker Grove and GPS madness so not really sure what time on for but sticking with John the best I can. Up the wee hill and round to complete lap 1. I’m drookit but I’m still feeling ok.
Mellowed out, staying in.
Cammy and another couple of folk not far ahead and a wee gap behind so was trying to stick behind John and not let the elastic break. Byker Grove for the second time, ooh Papa Papa, round the corner and up the hill again. Starting to lap the back markers but good respect on both sides with them keeping left, us on the right with friendly warnings. Time a bit funny, no idea of the real pace but I am working hard. Onto the last lap and John away but I am right behind Cammy. I felt like a fraud and that I shouldn’t be there but to go for a decent time I had to take him on and to hell with the consequences. Last time I was this close to him was the 1988 West District X country championships …. He was full of encouragement, was just a day for him where he felt nothing in the legs, but I appreciated the shout. Past another runner and back behind John again. Lapping a lot of people who mostly stay left, I am shouting warnings and thinking I am tripping as I go by a running inflatable dinosaur. (As we cooled down after the run Chris told him he thought he was dead). Bye bye Byker Grove for the last time and up the hill for the last time, still behind John. A long run along then the turn up to the finish. I know already that I am going to be sub 18, it’s a matter of how much. I’m knackered but push the best I can, never going to get past John but not losing him either. Over the line in 7th place two seconds behind him in a new course PB, make that new parkrun PB, but missing the 17.3x by 3 seconds. Ladies and gentlemen it’s on the other side!
Under 17.30 in 17.27. A wee bit gobsmacked.
There are congratulations from John, arm around me, really appreciated when these whippets take the time to acknowledge when you’ve ran out your skin.
I respect the human touch, I really do and that merits a second song thats after the first if you can be bothered when it gets to the end.
I was soaked through and manky but hadn’t really noticed the conditions the last couple of laps and was really pleased that I had given it all again and hit a target I never thought I could. A massive thanks to all the volunteers who stood in that pouring rain so we could have a run, we really appreciated it. Thanks to the MAC squad that it’s great to feel a part of again.
The aim to try and get near 17.30 again on Friday but thats a different matter, and I won’t stress about it, because no Mellow Doubt, I’m mellowed out, and here’s some Teenage Fanclub just to confirm it. Enjoy.
The second song? It’s very old, more than a little bit cheesy, with it’s roots in the 80s, so aye it’s very like me but summed up a lot of my feelings at this run. By Hue and Cry, remember them? Human touch. Race and run hard but respect each other .