Human Racing – a round up to the Paisley 10k 2019

It’s been a while. Two months off. Not off running, but writing a blog. I do have some reasons, some good, some not so good, some justifiable, and I actually didn’t know if I would ever do another, or if I ever felt like doing another. I don’t even know if I will finish this one, but if you are reading it then I guess I did. If you aren’t then ignore this, or something?

Anyway have an early song, an Underworld banger where I decide where this is going.

Where was I? Ah the Brian Goodwin 10k, sub 36 in the bag but knackered. I’d run myself into the ground. Decided not to run the Vets 5k and take a wee break as I headed off to Ibiza. Ibiza was amazing. A lot of running, exploring the trails, over the Mambo, but the eating was even more. No regrets but nearly a stone on.

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Back I came and had arranged to do the Run the Blades 10k. Knew I wasn’t in shape but gave it a go. Pouring rain, honking weather. Out fast, legs went. A bloody awful run. Immediately dropped out the forthcoming track 5000m and just concentrated on doing some hard training. Or that was the plan.

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Big Bad Brian’s stag do gear 🙂

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Not long after, and I won’t go into details, something happened that hit my family quite hard and put everything up in the air. I withdrew from the Go Festival team as couldn’t commit the time but wish the event the very best of luck. Planned parkruns went by the wayside, training was “as and when” but in the last week things (thanks to staff at NHS Aberdeen and Hairmyres) have picked up and with that my training started hitting the mark again, I even found time to have a barney with 2 guys at EK track who wanted to walk in lanes 1 and 2 when I was getting 300 reps in, so the old crabbit, irritating me was coming back.  They were wrong and I was right by the way, despite their elbows and in my face threats, bullying doesn’t make you right you couple of utter tosspots. Anyway, we are all human, sometimes that can be forgotten.

Paisley 10k was coming along and I had never ran a decent one there and wanted to, I have a St Mirren tattoo so it should be the law. I have no idea what shape I am in, I did a 4 mile time trial at MAC where I was about 30 seconds outside my best from March, but a 10k a different beast. Course PB of 39.00 should be beatable, but I wanted sub 38, in fact I wanted as close to a sub 37 as I could. Whether right or wrong I was going to try and go at 37 pace, around 3.42 per k, and if I blew up then I didn’t care, at least I would know where I was. I went through with Kev and Ewen and we posed for day glo trainer pictures but I will need to speak to Balega about sending me some orange socks.

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The forecast was for 20 mile an hour winds and heavy rain but what would be would be. It was good seeing everyone again, being part of the race day experience. I feel good, no nerves even with the wind building up and the rain coming out to play. Off we went, and my legs were away like wee whippets. A 3.30 first k was daft but I reigned it in. Some usual suspects there, Brent and Victor, both running well, John from Airdrie doing his Baldy stalking like he wanted to steal my washing.

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Out the centre and the wind was getting heavy and as we passed the St Mirren Feegie Theatre of Dreams it was getting like running into a wall. Scottish Marathon champion Jennifer from Central passed me about here and I tried to latch onto her. A couple of years ago at Stirling 10k I had tried the same but she cruised away from me, then when I mentioned it on Strava she said I should have done better against a heavily pregnant athlete.

Ouch, sting sting sting, I was burned.

You get that way that you end up running behind instead of running alongside or even pulling away even if you feel fresh but you don’t want to put yourself on the line. You want to avoid awkwardness or getting put back in your place, so I was happy to try and get pulled along. The wind really heavy here but I thought if I could get to 5k the second half would be better, and was nice to go through in just under 18.30 so things going to plan. My nemesis was still to come though, the cycle path where I had crumbled on my previous attempts.

I felt good.

Again it struck me that we are all human, some of us may find the wind tough, some of us may find it ok. I felt fresh and as we got to the climb up to the cycle path I went for it. I overcame my fear and went past Jennifer. I passed a few folk and was on the cycle path of doom, passing people then a gap, the next one ahead was Brent. Again I was worried about taking him on  but decided to be strong. He saw me and moved to block me, the track runner in him coming out. Missed a photo from Kev Queenan as I couldn’t get past. Waited, switched sides then decided to go for it. I was handling the cycle path. Another quality runner in Central’s Fanni Gyurko wasn’t far ahead. People like this I don’t get near often so as we left the cycle path and into the last mile I tried to catch her. Up Lady Lane and I sneak past on the inside. 1k to go, wee climb then a fast finish on the slippy cobbles. The dander was up, I was running freely, confidently.

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I felt like I was back. Oh man what a liberating feeling that was.

Last corner and slowed it so I wouldn’t go on my arse then hard to the finish. 36.31, a course PB by 2 1/2 minutes. 39th out of 1500. 6th V40. Not where I had been in June but a hell of a lot closer than I expected.

So here I am.

I am happy, not annoyed, not angry and have learned today to try and stop respecting other runners too much. Jennifer showed the human side by saying to me at the finish that she couldn’t use pregnancy as an excuse this time and well done. When the big runners acknowledge you it does feel good, and you realise that out there we are all not just runners, racers, but human too. Respect yes, fear no. Do how you feel on the day because you never know how others are feeling. I have a track race this week where by rights I should be almost lapped and be last by 100 or 200 metres, but I will go out and run my race and who knows what might happen? Head up, jist dae it.

So back to the 80s for the song. A right oldie, and a bit different from usual. Human racing, Nik Kershaw. Enjoy.

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