“Eastenders was hilarious tonight”
“No barcode mate? No worries”
“Loving Gavin Hinde’s new perm”
“Ach Brexit doesn’t matter, let’s all just get pissed” Jacob Rees Mogg
“I had a lot of luck today” John Speirs
“My brother is my best pal” Noel Gallagher
“High flying St Mirren”
“I didn’t like it…. I thought it was utter p1sh” Simon Cowell
“I genuinely cannot complain” Mark Gallacher
Things you don’t expect to hear, but see that last one? Yep, that’s the one. You are going to hear it.
I genuinely cannot complain this year.
Aye me. Grumpy Baws. Mr Irritating. The man who is more Hoffic than him with the red shorts and the talking car. Aye, I’m actually quite content. This has simply been my best and most favourite running season EVER and I include those when I was young and quite good and had hair and everything. The season is over, it’s winter build up time and also time for my wee review of the year. Will it be self congratulatory? Of course it will. Full of stupid quotes? Aye. Annoying? Most definitely. But let’s be honest I am not going to get the chance to do one like this again.
“The tattooed calf speaks to me (not a cow, that would just be weird)”
January started off with my first winter’s training in many a year. After my Achilles and poodle incidents which ruined my 2018 I had been training constantly since October albeit with still a bit of timber still to shift. But what a start. The Emirates and my first indoor race. 3000m. Followed the pacemaker then had 5 laps on my own but won in a new PB of 10.18. I cannot put into words the confidence this gave me and the switch it flicked in my head. For once I threw caution to the wind and it came off. The next week I came first at Ayr parkrun. I know it’s not a race but I had the balls to go for it. Just held on. Was pleased with my run at the Vets Relays into a crazy wind. All going well as I continued to get into shape. Last year I thought I had plateaud but just maybe there was still another wee bit in there.
“She was shouting for Benji and Sasha and instead of seeing her dogs she must have instead saw the sight of yer man’s arse with a huge toalie hanging out.”
February saw some different stuff. Trail up at Devilla. Hills at Kirkintilloch. Both tough but great fun and getting stronger with each run. The month finished with a first sub 18 parkrun at Strathclyde. 17.59. Confidence growing. Fitness growing. But waiting for the fall, it always comes.
“I have really let the team down now. I’ll be thrown out the club. I’ll have to go to Hamilton Harriers or jogscotland but they have both got rid of me before.”
March and after slicing my head on an Airdrie sign did the Scally relays with the 4 Horsemen having not realised it was on my wedding anniversary when we booked it. Baws rattled, and deservedly so, but so was PB. Round 5k in 17.39, official time 17.43 as no starting timing mat. Gobsmacked. 10k at Springburn and a great Team Baldy procession into the wind and a big PB in 37.15. Ooooft. Honking parkrun at Troon in the cold where my bottle crashed then a decent 6 stage relays in the MAC A team. Didn’t let myself down which was always the worry.
“It wasn’t Grangemouth’s fault, but it didn’t help. I can’t separate it. Bad Grangemouth”
April and a 3 minute 10 mile PB at the Tom Scott races, just over the 60 minute mark. Racing against people I had previously been scared of. Unexpected and amazing fun. Slight foot injury afterwards but having learned from last year I reign it in and am ready for the Grangemouth round the houses 10k two weeks later. Fresh and like a coiled spring, I leave it all out there for a 36.27. If I never run another 10k in my life I’ll be delighted with that one. A sub 37 just does not compute. 17.27 at Victoria parkrun. The 17.30 a big barrier. Crazy stuff.
“I know, it’s not part of the script, people like me don’t get to take these guys on. He’s Cammy, the Golden God of MAC!” May and a golden weekend saw new PBs at 5k 17.17 (Scottish champs) and 3000m 10.09 (LAAA OGM). 17.00 official time and a 3rd place at Drumpellier 5k, outmuscled by Cammy at the end when I didn’t really believe I could beat him. My watch said 16.59.7, do I get to claim a sub 17 here? Anyway, a rare go on a podium without having to dance. A thrill. 36.11 at Cambuslang 10k, legs going the last mile to deprive me of a sub 36. A great mile race at Stirling but bossed by Big Boab, pleased I gave it a go though.
“The watch is at 35 minutes as we approach the first of the last two turns. I can almost touch the barbeque through the trees and hear the beers getting opened”
June saw track and road and PBs at 10k and 3000m, but not until after hitching a lift in the ark at Scotstoun where I had a stinker in the rain. There was a 36.28 at the Mens 10k where the legs went on a long course but top 10 and 1st V45 was pleasing. 10.02 at East Kilbride for 3000m, and a hard fought 35.57 at the Brian Goodwin 10k for that sub 36. Great end to the first part of the season and off to Ibiza to recharge the batteries and reinstall the belly. Team Baldy were officially formed.
There were no blogs as I had lost the love for it but July was my much needed holiday and building up again. A honking run at run the blades showed me where I was and the head went down for some hard work to get back to where I was.
“by that stage I was beaten even though I was running strong. The devil on my shoulder was kicking the fck out the angel.”
August and a hard fought 36.31 at a windy Paisley 10k. Big course PB so happy with this and further along the road than I expected to be. Confidence back up, OGMs at crownpoint see 9.51 on track for 3000m (a sub 10!!!) and a 17.08 5000m. The month ends with a season low when I can’t cope with the conditions at the Scottish masters track 10,000m and drop out midway while in the bronze position. One blip in concentration and it’s over, a step off the track you regret and can’t take it back.
September and I channel my failure into something positive. Silver medal in 3000m LAAAs in a new PB of 9.49. Huge 10k PB of 35.31 at Cumbernauld combined with a wee hissy fit and fall out at the club. These things happen, emotions get high. Confidence still there, attempt a sub 17 at Victoria parkrun, manage a 16.57. Or rather my shoes do and the course is short. Yep I keep forgetting it’s not me doing the reps. Finish month with what I think was my performance of the year as I have never been good at the longer runs. A PB by over 7 minutes at the Great Scottish run with a new Half marathon PB of 1.20.27. Sore, cramped, gave everything that I had demolishing my target of 1.22.30.
“On the Thursday night I am sitting having a pint when the teams are posted for the Saturday. I am in the A team, and as happy about that as BA Baracus when they try to get him on a plane.”
October was relay fun. See what I did there? Made the MAC Masters team for the west district and national XC and we were 4th in both. Not my strength but great fun. Wee silver in the LAAA road relays. Ran round a lake in France in the pouring rain.
“I was embarrassing him by wearing a bin bag like a dodgy Toto Ceolo tribute act while we waited in rain and wind at the top of the hill”
November and up to date. Strathaven 10k and some good fun racing, just outside a PB but a third sub 36 for the year when I couldn’t break 38 last year. Decide to ease it off for the year.
So that was the year that was. I have been fortunate to be injury free, been a better eater than I had been, fitting in the speed work where I could and have managed over 20 PBs from the mile to the half marathon. This can’t and won’t happen again especially as I head towards the V50s so yeah I stop, and I reflect on the season that was.
I genuinely cannot complain.
So what’s next? The marathon itch has started again, but not sure if I will entertain it, but it is tempting. Get a good winter in and hopefully I can continue to run at the same sort of level for a bit longer. Not about PBs, just consistency. I actually don’t know. I have a blank canvas in more ways than one and have no idea what or where for next year, but if I can enjoy it half as much as I did this year then it’s one to look forward to. Thanks everyone who has read my ramblings this year. Now for the song? “Repetition” by Ride. What’s worked for me this year? “The shoes” aw feck off. Naw, for me repetition. Reps on the track at goal pace. Can’t beat it. Worked for me. Thanks to everyone I shared this year with.