Beauty #2/ Where’s your head at? – SVHC Clydebank 5K and the Scottish Mile 2022

I wasn’t even going to bother blogging about these as hardly anyone reads these things anymore anyway but things change all the time. This one is for my old noggin so I can look back at it. You can plan your life away but things always happen to change your plans and all you can do is try and make the best of it. I had planned to be down the south coast until Friday but had to come back up on the Monday and a late call into Ada and I was a late entrant for the SVHC Clydebank 5k on the Wednesday. Thanks Ada. This is a brilliant race. Flat. Fast. A high calibre. Last year when I was in the form of my life I managed a 16.38 as it all went right on the night. Haven’t been under 17 since mind you. Or even near it, like Paisley and Greenock, seem so close yet so far apart. I hadn’t tapered or anything for this to be fair as hadn’t thought I was doing it, so no idea what I was capable of running. My best this season was a 17.14, so if I could get near that brilliant, but knowing the race I won’t lie, I was going to go out hard and try and get near a sub 17, and if I blew up then so be it. I didn’t actually care because my head was more than a wee bit pickled so sod it. Aye my head wasn’t in the best of places but I got along and had chats with so many people and it really gave me a lift. Thanks everyone who even said hello on the night, every wee bit helped to lift me. It’s true what they say, you never know what’s going on in someone’s head, and a friendly word can really make a difference.

With Gav, and the gift that upset the Inverclyde boys πŸ™‚ A top man.

Anyway, conditions were perfect, and had a good warm up with James from Clydesdale who was lowering himself to a very rare 7 minute mile and Alan from Corstorphine. 3 1/2 laps of the circuit, ideal conditions, great runners all around me, 3.24 ks to hit the 17 minutes, bring this on!!!

We were away fast, really fast. I wanted to hang onto clubmate Richard and Speirsie but even a 3.12 first k had me way behind them. 3.12 is not 3.24…. oops. So the group spat me out. Myself and big Jamie from Garscube were trying to keep in touch but kept each other going at a good pace, banging in solid 3.24s for the next 3k.

Not sure we could have done it without each other but it worked. A k to go and we are gaining on the group ahead. The sub 17 is on but I know from last year that it comes in long. I manage to reel in Richard who is on his way to a massive PB after having ran almost gone sub 35 for 10k the week before. Jamie opens up his massive stride and pulls away and I try to stick with him but I am 10 strides for every one of his, not fair really. I am catching clubmate Hodgey but he turns and sees me and has enough to hold me off. All about the sub 17 and the watch buzzes for 5k in 16.44. Except I still have maybe 60/70 metres to go. Ooops. It’s going to be close but I come in just behind Jamie and Hodgey in 16.53.

That fast first k had done the job for me. Had been gubbed by Speirsie and James but I wasn’t bothered, absolutely delighted how I had run, to be back under 17 again where I confess I didn’t think I could get to again, and was chuffed for them on great runs. This really was a lift for me on both a running and a personal level. Thank you SVHC for a totally marvellous event yet again.

Track session on the Friday not quite hitting the marks as this still in the legs so Saturday totally off ahead of the Scottish Mile at Cramond on the Sunday organised by Cat and her Blast Running team. It’s something different. A series of one mile races at Cramond. On road. In one direction. Wearing whatever shoes you want, and designed so that if there was a wind, the direction would be such that it wasn’t against you. Sounded good for a laugh. Only thing I personally didn’t like was that it was a heat for me (the “elite” heat ;)) at 10.10 then the 30 fastest would have a final at 11.00. I was honest with everyone, I would give it all in the heat but if I qualified I wouldn’t even consider the final. I know my body and two all out miles in under an hour would wreck me. Another few folk I spoke to were doing the same, so all good. Toe the line, give it what I have got, and see how close it would be to my track mile of 4.55. To be honest I would have been disappointed to be outside the 5 minutes but you just don’t know, it’s so different. There’s no 400m lap times, there’s no tactical battles (it’s 30 folk on a line all going for it,), it’s straight, and the potential to go out either too fast or too slow was huge. Some right good runners there, a good Edinburgh contingent, Speirsie again since he is on fire looking for the sub 5, former clubmates Nicky and David, good depth. We are off and its a rapid start. I can’t keep with them again and it’s difficult to know the pace. It’s just going to be a case of race the best I can until I get to the bend at 400 to go and see what’s in the legs. Mid way through and Speirsie and Nicky are getting away, not today lads. Have to fight to get in front of them at the 400 to go, and time to push it on. Ben from Fife comes haring past, usually he is further ahead so no shame there. I feel I have the jump on the group behind and I am battling Fraser from Bella but can’t quite get past and he takes me through the line in 4.46.

EDIT: Drone footage my race from around 3.21

You know and I know it’s a novelty and it’s flat and we had the slight wind behind us and had the vaporfly on, but man a 4.46 mile is still more than decent! I tried to talk it down until Craig from Falkirk reminded me a track mile is still bouncy spikes on a bouncy track, so yeah, I can be pleased with that one and give myself a modicum of credit which will upset the usual negative eejits. Most importantly though it was brilliant fun! I was the fastest M50 on the day by about 19 seconds or so, but since I didn’t run the final I didn’t get a prize, but fair play to the M50 lads that did, you are hardier than me.

So there it is, none of these runs are going to change the world, but from a personal perspective it is two beauties, both went better than I thought and both show that my training is coming together again. For someone like me who actually enjoys training if you are training hard, enjoying it, then start to see the results of it then that’s what it’s about eh?

Edit no 2: Official time of 4:46.6 rounded up to 4:47 for the rankings. Amusingly in the charts at no 7 for UK All time M50. Aye ok, it may not be raced much but for somebody like me this is very cool. In good company there.

Cheers to Gavin Hinde, Kenny Phillips, Mike3legs and Lindsay Theobold for the pics.

The songs, there are two this time. Two races , two songs. Both on the playlist now. The first a slow burner until the last wee bit, maybe like a 5k. From one of my all time favourite albums. Beauty #2 by Ultra Vivid Scene. Then one for the noggin by Basement Jaxx. Take care people and never stop saying hello to each other.

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