Apologies first of all, as due to my utter daftness in running two races in three days at my age it’s a longer blog, a mixed up blog, and no doubt an overlong tedious blog. I’m not Ello, but he’s still out there, so stop pining. If you say his name three times into a mirror he will appear. I’ll give you some extra tunes if that helps?
Now we all have our “A” races and targets and mine for the first part of the year was the Scottish 5k in Edinburgh. I love this race. Plebs like me get to share the starting line with a calibre of runner we usually only read about. Three times previously I have done it, and three PBs, 18.57, 18.10 and last year 17.48. I’ve been training for this one and the aim at the start of the season was to get under 18 again.
Oops. Did that earlier than expected so aim was then to beat the 17.48.
Oops. Done that as well.
Sub 17.30 the ultimate ambition then, but I sneaked that at Victoria park last week, so what’s left? I still wanted that official 5k sub 17.30 though I knew it wouldn’t be easy. A lot going on at work, so a long week before the Friday night race but thankfully I got away from work on time to get through and just beat the worst of the traffic. It was bizarre as there appeared to be no wind, it was still.
Pause here as I have and excuse for a song. Great album. “Still” by Loyle Carner.
Cramond always windy, even in the summer. Could have no excuses but to go for it, do the best I could and just get the head down. The only thing that could change the weather was me or Kev commenting on it, so I kept quiet.
What’s that? No Kev,NO KEV! NO!!!!
Yep, he commented, he said how calm it was , and sure enough as 7 o’clock came and went and as we got towards the 7.30 start time the wind had popped out to say “hello”, like a hybrid of Lionel Richie and Adele. Ach it is what it is. The atmosphere I have to say was electric. A lot of folk like me were right up for this sell out race. It’s an out and back and past and round and back again race, you know the type, aw come on you do really.
Short shorts on.
Nervous on the line but having a bit of craic with Cambuslang’s Charlie Thomson who warned me not to follow him then outsprint him at the end as he has been watching my times recently. Aye right Charlie, the man is a legend I never ever get close enough to see him finish before. We were off, the stampede at the start and it’s all about ensuring you keep your feet.
As usual the early pace crazy, ease it off Marko. I needed my ks to be just sharper than 3.30, as every year it has come in long due to the nature of the racing line and weaving through the crowds. . Through 1k in 3.26 so all good so far. Massive groups of people, what a sight as we go round the first loop at the top end and towards 2k. Another 3.26 and all going to plan and I felt good. Was recognising people ahead of me, Musselburgh’s Paul Friend who skelped me with a spiky paddle over 5000 on the track last year, Lesley Chisholm again, Dan Scroop of Garscube again. I had jogged the course with Ello before hand and told him where the race target is won or lost, that long 2 – 3 k straight. I made the mistake, got into a group, let it carry me and this one was in in almost 3.32. Still on target to just go under depending on the extra so I would have to find another gear. I started to kick on moving off the group but 4th K still in 3.29.
It’s in my own hands but know that the last k is going to be pretty much into the wind from the second turn.
Do I want it? Aye.
Is it going to hurt? Aye.
Do I believe I can do it? As a rarity, aye. Bring it on.
The afterburners were going on around me. Dan was flying past oooft, nice, wasn’t getting near him today. I was just looking at the watch. I was going to have to do a fast one. The legs upping it. I am passing people. People I don’t usually including an Olympian but nothing personal, all about me, me, me, “A” race and target in my own hands. 500 to go and it’s on. Just in front is Charlie, aw naw, he’ll think its deliberate. I go past and he goes with me. Me versus Charlie, it’s laughable. I simply aim for the line. I give all I have, no regrets, nothing in reserve and get over the line, just ahead of Charlie and just behind internationalist Michelle Sandison (whit? how?).
I time it around 17.18, and that’s the time on the slip but it’s changed to 17.17 after a review by Stuweb after the results had me behind folk I had passed.
Really chuffed, delighted, hyper. Got my aim and I had worked for it, for months. As I have said before I know I am not the best runner in the world but we all have our personal aims, I targeted this and I earned it, and I deserve to feel good about it.
Loved the night, so ladies and gentlemen for your first song here is one that if it doesn’t least make you move in your seat you must be dead. One of the finest Northern Soul songs of all time, “The Night”.
Thanks for the photos Bobby Gavin (thatonemoment), Clare Hughes, Sandra Beattie.
NowI mentioned that there was another race. Aye numpty here had entered the LAAA OGM 3000m at Wishaw today (Sunday) . Was always going to be based on how the legs were and they felt ok, so thought I would give it a go. The turning point of my recent running was the 3k indoors at the Emirates in January when I won in a PB of 10.18. Depending on how heavy the legs were I was out to beat that, at a session with the Legend midweek I told him I felt I was in 10.10 shape but that would be fresh. 15 of us lined up at the start, a combined senior junior male female race, with a few well kent faces – Ross from Cumbernauld whose back I was used to seeing, Hannah from EK who had destroyed me over 1500m last year and who had also won at the Emirates in January, a lot faster than my run. Jamie, the fastest tongue in EK (If you know him you know what I mean) was pacing her. What would be would be. Conditions almost perfect and we were away and as usual the whippets were away.
Let them go, I’ll try pace myself.
First couple of laps were round about 10 min pace for my group. Surely not? And indeed surely not. The second k and the legs went heavy, went to sleep and the pace had slowed up. At this rate the 10.18 wasn’t going to happen. I am not the bravest, not do I have a lot of confidence but the two whippets were well away, with another lad not far behind then it was our group and I was going to have to take it on if I was to get a time I thought I was capable of. Ross on my shoulder and I know he could spring past me at any time but a K to go and I take it out. Ignoring times as what will be will be but pushed it out, pursued by Ross, the others dropping off.
A lap to go and we catch third, I’ve committed so I’m going to have to see it through and I really do run a hard last lap.
Simon Gold who was coaching the Cambuslang whippet in second caught the last 100 showing Ross in blue behind, the EK lad was being lapped.
Official time 10.09.40, 9 seconds PB. Felt we could have gone better if fresher but you never know do you? But really pleased with a hard fought 3rd place.
thanks to Xpression photography for the selection of photos below-
So thats my something’s for the weekend. The second one really pleasing as I wore spikes so shows maybe I am running better and it’s not just my Nike shoes doing all the work as had been suggested. So that’s where I am, pleased to see results for working hard, knowing age is against me and every race could be the one where it starts going downhill, but I am enjoying it. Thanks to everyone who has encouraged me and congratulated me, it all means a lot. I think there is nothing wrong with being happy when you get what you’ve worked for, and if that rubs people up the wrong away then I apologise and you are entitled to feel that way, but remember it’s a two way street. So something for the weekend, two races, two songs with the same name. Enjoy.