Disclaimer – the title is totally tongue in cheek, don’t take it seriously, I certainly don’t.
It’s been a month again since my last musings and it’s been a really topsy turvy month with more ups and downs than a kangaroo wearing Alphaflies. I was into my marathon plan but nothing was gelling and nothing was going as it should. Over the winter I had 100% focus for the April marathon and wanted that sub 3. I tried really hard, I hit all my markers, it hit all my session aims, I PBed over 1500 3000 10k and half marathon and got myself in the shape I wanted to be in for an attempt and it just didn’t happen. It’s ok thought I, I’ll just do it in October, and thinking ahead I’ll book hotel for the following April as well in case it’s cancelled again. All planned out, accommodation sorted for both eventualities, easy does it.
Except easy didn’t do it. If this is easy then unlike Phil Collins and his other pal Philip I am no Easy Lover.
I don’t know if it has been mental or physical or both but I just couldn’t do my long runs, the staple of my plan. I was cruising them before but now it was any excuse to stop. I was running the transmitters with Baldy John and having to stop. He was embarrassed to be seen with me, like I was his first time jogging cousin, whereas he does sub 3 marathons for fun.
On my own even shorter runs I was finding an excuse to stop. It was becoming a habit I couldn’t get out of. Quitting was easy but even easier was finding any excuse not to get out the door. On more than a few occasions I would look forward to a run until I got to the time of getting my gear on and I’d find something else to do, any reason not to do it. I love running, it isn’t like me. Total and utter confusion. When I committed I had some good sessions, a good solo “track” one, efforts at Strathy with the Legend, some good runs in the company of young Dave from Cambuslang, but long runs? Not happening. Short runs on my own? If they happened I’d have some stops. Confusion.
It came to a head when I agreed to do a 5k leg for MAC at the Scottish Athletics virtual relays. Got up Friday morning at 5.30, planned my route, aimed for 17.30 – 18.00 for the 5k, warmed up, felt great, started off, first k in 3.30, all good so of course I stopped after 1.5k. Why?
I don’t know, any excuse.
Mentally and physically didn’t feel at the races. Basically drained. A couple of cars were coming across the road I had to cross. I took that as permission to quit. Felt like an absolute eejit. Jog back past the start and to my car. What am I doing? I had went to the bother of doing everything except seeing the run through and had no answer as to why. I confessed on RFS that I had turned into a “can’tbearsedaholic” and got some good responses. A big thanks to Dino, Gav and David who went to the bother of helping me sort my head out and after seeing the efforts going into the relay by the MAC squad I managed to refocus. My team did inspire me so thanks to all of them. Strathclyde Park on Sunday. Parkrun route. Doesn’t matter how fast or slow, break the downward spiral and just get a 5k on the board. Got down to the park and conditions pretty perfect, and early enough that it wasn’t yet busy barring a gargantuan gaggle of geese who were looking at me funny and running back and forth across the path just to noise me up. I had to do this. I felt better about it knowing that no matter what I would finish it and just get a time on the board for the team. I had absolutely no excuses.
Except those bloody geese.
Sub 18 was the aim, 3.36 ks, but if I couldn’t sustain it who would actually care. I won’t go through a stride by stride account of what was a solo time trial but I went out too fast. I thought I was slowing it back down again but I wasn’t. After 2 k and I’m on 17.30 pace. Ach sod it, let’s see how long I can hold it for. And I held it. The last 2 k I was on rubber legs but held my form. The geese all ran at me but I knew I was going under 17.30 and they weren’t stopping me. “Mon then ya big gaggle!” I think I shouted to make them disperse and I got a gap and got through with about 500m to go. Rubber legs, man it was hard but 5k beep, stopped the watch, hit the floor, really pleased that I had left it out all there. The fastest I have done Strathclyde parkrun is 17.13, my 5k PB 17.00, victoria parkrun 16.57. And solo with my head up my arse I had just run 17.03 on the Strathclyde parkrun course.
Where had that come from? Confusion. A big fog lifted. A big boot cracked my backside, like I needed. You tell yourSelf that you are in bad shape and sometimes its not true. It got amusing. The participation rate not as high as it had been in previous events but I ended up finishing the weekend as the fastest Master (over 40) runner over the 5k distance. My age graded score of 85.87 had me on the “Best Performances” board.e
Aye none of it made sense to me. Confusion reigns. In my own wee airy fairy world then surely means that I am virtual Scottish champion? (Disclaimer, this is utterly tongue in cheek but go on, let me use the line in my blog…). It’s simply a boost for me when I was right down there, and bizarrely I got a second boost when Manchester anounced they were cancelling again. Yep, I was relieved, rather than disappointed to be fair. This time it didn’t take me long to take the refund, cancel the hotel and cancel the April hotel as well. It isn’t meant to be just now. Maybe I will come back to it, maybe I won’t, but it’s not what I want to do going into next year again. Massive fog lifted, spring in my step, and a new pair of spikes bought.
Yep back to the short stuff, back to the track and do what I enjoy again hopefully. When you stop enjoying what you are doing it’s time to look at what you are doing I guess. I was tired and was marathon training this time for the wrong reasons. For now the confusion lifted, for now a set of new targets, and hopefully a return to the short stuff that I do enjoy.
Thanks for reading and take care of yourselves. Here’s some New Order