History Part 8 – MAC, finding my feet.

So for ages I’d seen joining a club as a big thing. Peter from Motherwell was also a Jogscotland leader. I’d always hoped he’d pull me aside and say I was running well, would I like to come along to Motherwell and try out? I know, how American. Then I’d go to the mall and get a new shirt for the prom or something. Anyway, back to real life. Peter was the first one I spoke to and he gave me a briefing and then John the coach came in. He looked hard as nails. I was a bit scared of him. Nick was charged with looking after me. So I went my first run with him and Steven amongst others. It was maybe 5 miles or so but I hung in there, watching John’s group get further ahead but I stayed with the group as we done the Dalziel loop, and we even slowed down at the hill for someone that wasn’t me.  Anyway I done it. Went back the next week and done another run. Go me. Then went the next Tuesday to a tempo run round the loch.  Cracking run really enjoyed it. The chairman Ewen shook my hand and made me feel like a real member, I liked that, and plenty of people were talking to me. They were going out their way to introduce themselves. The spirit was magic. My nerves subsided a lot over the first 2 weeks, and I took the plunge and joined.

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I ran my first time trial, 28 mins 14 seconds and overtook people. It felt magic. Did all sorts of mad training over the next month. Chatelherault (where I went with the best group and got humbled and was so far behind, but the spirit was such that the good runners waited for me, but lesson learned), tempos, mad interval sessions, great stuff and I was feeling the benefits. I ran a 10 k at strathclyde park, and although the course was actually long I did it in 44.35. A new PB by 2 minutes. Shocked not the word. I was worried I would let the new vest down, but surprised myself. I had broke my 5k PB on route.

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The next week it was a MAC Club championship race at the Glasgow Pollok parkrun. I went along for the experience as I wasn’t eligible for the championship. It’s a hilly 5k, so didn’t expect to get near my Strathclyde PB. Spoke to my old school friend Hilary before it as she has won the female race many many times, and ran well under 20 minutes. “Work hard down the hills”. So I gave it a go. Man it was a toughie, was struggling up the final hill and could see that John McParland and Steven McCaw were right down my neck. I trained with these guys the week before doing 2k reps, I was really pleased to be ahead as these are guys I regarded as being a good bit better than me. Anyway it spurred me on and I finished ahead of them. Looked at my watch. 20 mins 55… oooft the training really helping. By the time the next time trial came I was starting just behind Tommy. I took the first section hard to try and get past him and felt really good. I went for it, and was fortunate to start passing people. Final bend I could see John McParland again just ahead. I knew if I passed him I would have to kick as he’s a strong runner. I gave it a go, and kicked off, the final straight was longer than I remembered and I wobbled over the line having held John off.  26.46. A minute and a half faster than last time. And somehow I had managed to be first across the line. My first trophy in 25 years, and although it was only to be mine for a month and it didn’t mean much to anyone it meant everything to me. It made me feel like I deserved to be there 🙂

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Chapter 1 of MAC was to finish when i went on holiday to Ibiza in June, but before that I had entered the Mens 10k at Bellahouston. My first race from 2011 was to be a marker now of how I had progressed. Kev was going to run it as well. In the week before it I had a flare up of my groin injury and wasn’t going to run, but on the morning I decided to do it and went out hard. I managed to hang on, barely at the end, but enough to get over the line in 42 mins 14 seconds. Another 2 minutes off my PB and 13 1/2 minutes faster than the last/ first time I had done it. I could hardly walk after it, and probably shouldn’t have run but I was feckin delighted.  Bring on the Ibiza all inclusive :p

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