Parklife: Me in the Park 2015 part 2

Firstly good news. There are no pictures of me this time after the overkill of last week’s blog.

The buzz from the Tom Scott carried me through to Tuesday night which was to be the MAC Monthly handicap time trial. This was to be the first of the summer route races, which is a lap round Strathclyde loch, then an additional straight to bring it up to the 4 mile mark. My fastest on this route was 25 mins 42, which was in a month of good form last year where I also ran my 5k and 10k PBs. There was to be a lot of de ja vu from Sunday, it was that loch again, plus the way the handicaps worked Paulo was starting off right behind me. He wanted revenge for Sunday and rightly so, he shouldn’t be getting beaten by the likes of me. The first lot of runners off then it came to me, off I went and 6 seconds later off went Paulo. I could hear his breathing all the way up the loch as we went anticlockwise around it, just like at the Tom Scott. That time he had went away fast but this time he sat 5 yards behind me. For the 1st k, then the second, then the third. I was running steady but waiting for him to take a shift. His tactics were obvious. About 4k he finally went past me, my legs were a bit dead, so all I could do was try and not let him get too far away so my bottle didn’t crash. The handicaps were starting to unwind now and thankfully Paulo was getting no more than 20 or so yards ahead of me. That was reelable. We came round the last bend with about 800m to go and I kicked off past him. Then realised how long that straight was. I dug in, and like Sunday I managed to finish fast and went from 20 yards behind Paulo to 10 seconds in front of him by the end. Then I looked at my watch. 25 minutes and 12 seconds. A course PB by 30 seconds. Ooft! All thanks to a cracking race with Paulo. We both really enjoyed it and he will probably get me next time as we have an equal record in the trials. The second PB of the week at Strathclyde Park. After the last 2 months I have had I was more than ecstatic. Last time I ran this course well I went out on the Saturday and did a 5k PB, the ideashamsterwheels started to go round in my head…. Special mention goes to Kevin Durnian. He took 2 minutes off his time to win the male time trial and smashed his 5k PB in the progress. Coming back from injury that is exceptional. And Pat Allen fresh from her age group victory at the Tom Scott also smashed her best to win the female race. More titles than Stephen Allen this week. Bragging rights back for Pat 🙂 Since there are no pics of me this week here’s one of smug Kevin, happy Pat and poor John B who is trying to get the Jim Tracey trophy renamed in his honour….

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i hope Kevin doesn’t mind me sharing this here, but I was pleased when he emailed me that night.

I quote: “I was thinking about something you had written in your blog when running tonight, I ran the first mile and a bit in around 6:30ish pace, normally I would have looked at my watch and thought ‘fuck me, slow down Kevin’ however tonight I just thought let’s see how long you can go before you blow up, and managed to hold a pace for nearly 4 miles. I remember you had written something similar to this, sometimes our watches actually hinder our racing! Who’s in charge here me or my watch!!!” Like I also found out tonight with Paulo, racing and listening to your body can get you results.

So last time I did the time trial then the parkrun double, in between them i did what is called the roller coaster run at the club. It’s called that due to the up and down hill sections in rapid succession, it’s a challenging run. When i did that on that occasion I knew my legs felt good enough to challenge my best. So i go down to the club on Thursday and we do….. the Rollercoaster run…. oooft, an Omen. My legs were very heavy, but Nick Hughes ran it with me and it was the fastest pace I have run this at, and on a hot hot night. Was it worth a try therefore to try and beat that psychological barrier of 19.30 that has defeated me so far this season? I was 50/50 as the weather forecast wasn’t good, I had an easter egg and a big packet of those cheesy walkers mixed crisps things and Ross Burton had messaged me to say he wanted to do a fast one at the parkrun. I was going to do a sneaky one, so if I blew up no one would know. I wanted to do this one as it was Strathclyde parkrun’s 5th birthday and as a previous blog explains, had I not had encouragement on that parkrun in June 2011 I wouldn’t be running nor writing this today. Ross wasted that. And for that I have to show the world that Ross is a Lanarkshire cousin of the Proclaimers.

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The wind was a bit dodgy through the night, and the rain came but when I woke up at 7 on the Saturday morning it was dry and the wind was relatively ok. I got down to the park for about 8.30 to give myself a long jog as it can take a while for my niggles to calm down. I have to say that since I stopped doing the previous set of stretches etc my problems have diminished by about half! 9.15, time to do some strides and the wind came out to play. Ooft Strathy can be very exposed. I confess that today wasn’t about listening to my body, be that right or wrong. I was after a sub 19 1/2. Ross appeared with 1 minute to go, as usual, and stood beside me to wind me up. And off we went. For that first k and a half the wind was strong, swirling and in the face and to the side. It was tough but through the first 2 in an average pace of 3.53. I needed to run at 3.54 or below to hit 19 1/2. Ross was away from me but I didn’t mind. I was only racing myself today. The next half k to the turn I really found my stride and was going well, we hit the turn and boom! The wind built up like a mad one. I ended that k in 3.59 as i couldn’t stride out and kilo 4, with 3/4 of it in the wind was even worse at 4.05. With a kilo to go I was at 15.51. I was going to fail unless i could find something special. Thankfully the wind eased off and it was that long run for home. Ross wasn’t that far ahead and I passed a couple of people. I gave that last half k serious laldy and threw myself at the line. A final k of 3.35 and time of….. 19.26. YYYYYAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Grasping victory from the jaws of defeat. 3 PBs in the one week, and all at Strathclyde Park. I think it now gets renamed after me.

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Ross had a good run in 19.17 and I was happy to be that close to him. I used my garmin today to get me what I wanted so sometimes watches can be good. After the start of the year I have had, to have a week like this makes it all worthwhile as I was ready to chuck it last month. I know there will still be some bad days ahead, but I know they can be turned around. I will chase that 19 minutes now, why the hell not, I’ve already got further than I expected, I’m not for giving up now.  Got my email and I was third in my age category. THAT is progress. Keep believing running peeps.

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