Another week and some more track.
After last week’s lung busting mile it was back to the 3000 to see if I could chip away at the 10.09 I set a few weeks back and try and get near that holy grail of sub 10 minutes. Why do I pick these targets that are so far away from my capabilities? Because I can, I guess. Soft targets are no use when you are going well for yourself, and I don’t think they are that far off what I am capable of so why not have a crack? I won’t pretend I was looking forward to Friday though. The BMC GAA Miler meet 3000m at Scotstoun. Yes I put down that I thought I could run 9.59 to try and get in the race with the 10 min pacer as I thought I could try and hang on as long as I could, like I did at the start of the year with the 10.30 pacer, but the start lists came out and I was the slowest in a field that would be led by a 9.30 pacer. 24 runners faster, much faster than me in most cases, the 10 pacer would be in the race before. To be honest I was a bit gutted. There’s none of us want to be ridiculed and all I could see was me way behind the pack, the crowd pointing and laughing, the keyboard warriors having a field day, all the confidence I had built up just disappearing.
I simply didn’t think I belonged with these runners.
As it got closer though I tried to channel it. Let’s try and keep in contact with at least someone the best I can, and maybe even get carried to a good time. Embrace the positives and give it a go. I’d end up having more to worry about anyway with heavy rain and high winds forecast. I packed my stuff. I drove to Scotstoun. I got changed and I got my number. At any stage I could have stopped and skipped the next steps but I had done the hard part in setting myself up to run. The conditions really were bad, I don’t know the last time I had experienced conditions as bad in a race. I watched fellow Team Baldy member John struggle in the conditions and knew it wasn’t going to be a day to challenge for the sub 10. After 8 consecutive PBs the PB train wasn’t just going to be slowed down but derailed and as I watched a school of fish huddle together on the track I knew it was to be about survival.
Up we went to the starting line, I was ambitious wearing a sweatband….elbows at the ready and we were off. I went off quite fast but after the first bend was already about at the back. The pace was crazy compared to what I was used to. I tried to stick with a group the best I could but the last group was trying to spit me out the back where myself and Cambuslang’s Charlie Thomson were trying to hang on for dear life.
The home straight was fine but as soon as we go to the back straight it was moving to lane 2 as lane 1 flooded and the headwind was like a bungee was attached to you at times. .
I can’t pretend I was enjoying it. I fact I was hating it. I don’t lie when I say at least 3 times I was going to step off the track and drop out. Others in the race had already done it, and Charlie was on my shoulder about to go past me and leave me marooned in last. I was ready to chuck it, I am not proud but something inside me kept me going and as we came to the bell I was still there and made a move to get away from Charlie which actually had me catching a wee group in front. The three runners I was with were all or had been Scottish champions. The afore mentioned Charlie, Cumbernauld’s Ross, fresh from winning the men’s V50 5000m title, Springburn’s Michelle Sandison who if I remember won the British vets XC as well.
No worries Marko but as I say something woke me up and with 300m to go I went for it and managed to go clear, overtaking 3 on the last lap. My last lap was the same as my last lap in the mile last week, what’s that about? I was really pleased with my finish, forget the few laps before it, I’d eventually battled back and my time of 10.13 in those conditions, only 4 seconds outside my best was a bit of a boost.
Bobby Gavin caught the finishing straight and the first thing Elaine said when she saw it was that I looked like my Dad in it.
My Dad passed away 10 years ago this year and I still miss him like mad. He could be a cantankerous old sod at time but I always remembered a Different Bob, and didn’t always appreciate all he did for me. Here’s a wee tale of that, the Legend likes this story SHEEPSKIN BOB. It’s an excuse for a wee song as well from many years ago, maybe the face coming through was him giving me a helping hand because he did always kick my arse for feeling sorry for myself and would have loved the fact I am running again.
Maybe, just maybe, after a few races where I had nothing to give at the end my kick was back again?
So that was that. Big thanks to the people on the night that gave me kind words about the blog, for the encouragement, and the friendship shown, particular kudos to Garscube’s Gavin Hinde for the pics and the Team Baldy t shirt, nice to be part of a group of follicly challenged runners, if you see the shirt say hello 🙂
Thanks to Bobby Gavin at thatonemoment for the pics, his wife caught a picture of him snapping us, so show your support and buy his pics.
Sunday I had agreed to do another 3000m to help out the MAC track and field squad. The CSSAL league and was relegated on the day to B team senior runner which was all good. Having chucked running as a junior and started again as a vet it was nice and weird to be doing my first senior race at the age of 48 🙂 It was windy and rainy again as I reminisced on league meetings of old with Springburn’s Andy Callan (whose highly talented brother Adrian had been the first ever runner to lap me in a race, and not the last). You got roped into all sorts for points and throwing the hammer for Hamilton Harriers at Saughton was a weird one. Anyway 25 or so of us went to the start and the conditions calmed a little, the rain going to drizzle and the wind relaxing a little. It’s East Kilbride, I train there most weeks myself on this track and it’s always windy so it’s cool. I am wished luck by the fella who got the steeple chase barrier out for me last year and we are off. A decent wee start and although the rapid runners are away erm rapid I’m with a wee group. The first few laps were in just under 10 min pace, I did my best to hold it, to hold it, 5 laps gone and still 2 or 3 seconds in the bank. Top half of field, sub 10 a possibility.
Thanks John MacMillan for the pic
You know where this is going. I couldn’t maintain it, or told myself I couldn’t. A lap to go and I know it’s not possible, dropped too much time but raised myself enough to know a PB is on, maybe even 10.05. 300 to go and I kick off again, overtaking the guy I think is leading the B Race, ahead I see Springburn’s Andy Norris. The last time I raced at EK he beat me by under a second to take the LAAA 1500m bronze. I finished last. Go for it Marko. The kick is there, I’m running hard again, I get past Andy and start gaining on Cammy from MAC. The line comes though and I am over in 10.02, a new PB and really chuffed. Aye OK, I failed the sub 10 again, but another big chunk off the PB. So that’s the week. Positives outweigh the negatives. Another PB and I found my kick again. That’s really pleasing, so here’s the song. Another 80s one and since I sparkled in the rain (cringe) here is Simple Minds with The Kick Inside of Me, because it popped back out to say hello.