Demons -the Haddington Half marathon and Wishaw OGM

As I said in my last blog, the next plan was to revisit Haddington Half to try and finish it on my feet this year, rather than last year’s chauffeur driven jaunt in an ambulance. I was disappointed by the lack of nee naw to be fair. Before that particular branch of demons I had some more to battle.

The 3000m at Grangemouth had been good to get me in a race again after some head confidence problems, but the next step was to do it in front of people I knew and potentially against people I knew as well. With great trepidation and maybe a wee bit of excitement I entered the Wishaw Open Graded Meeting 1500m. Had no idea what time I could run as I hadn’t run one since the 1980s, so halved my 3k time to 5.15, then rounded it down to 5 mins for luck. A bit daft but had no actual idea. No speed in the legs. Got the race listings out and I was in the fastest race, and the slowest in it. That’s OK.  Elaine and the boys came along again and although it was pouring with rain, and the inside two lanes were flooded, I was raring to go, despite the Legend, Delboy, the bearded Laldy and the miniature Paula all being there to watch. Was pleased/ terrified to see Shettleston’s Brian Scally line up. When I was a junior he was a very well known runner. Under 3.50 for a 1500m, different class. My simple aim tonight was to avoid last if possible, and if fortunate get under 5 minutes. Bang and off we went. Or they did. I don’t know what happened but I reacted slow and was already last. Oops. Ran the first lap in lane 2/3 to try and get myself up the field. I was getting soaked and already the number had come off my back. The race was over in a flash and I avoided last place finishing a decent enough 6th and had sneaked under the 5 minute barrier in 4.59.7. In those conditions and not being very fast I will take that. Lesson 1 though, if I am going to do track again then I need spikes as the Adios in the rain gave me no traction at all. And you know? I really enjoyed it. More power to the head.

I spent the next 2 days and nights at work so had no runs or time to dwell on Saturday but it came around quickly enough. The H word. H for hilly, honking, head killing, Haddington.  Elaine and the boys came again, I think Jon and Louis wanted to join me in the ambulance this time…. and Elaine wanted to make sure I survived. We walked into the park where the declarations were and the finish was, and the boys ran on through the finish. They had already went one better than me 😉 The wind was picking up and the forecast was for strong winds. That was all good. Simple aim today. To get round and finish. Get rid of the demons. Get that monkey right off my back. Away ya wee hairy beastie, take your banana with you. Use it as a training run for the Scottish Half in Edinburgh and try and go as close to a steady 1.35 as possible. It was a MAC club champ race, but sadly there was a poor turn out, only myself, the Legend, Chewy, the miniature Paula, Dicko and the Woodpecker daft enough to travel. The size of the field seemed a lot less than last year but the quality seemed just as good, with Derek Rae having a run out before he heads over to Rio. Away we went and I was running freely. I actually had to reign it in remembering last year but had already decided to run that little bit faster until we got out of the town and the fun of the hills began. And it began. As we came out of the town I got myself behind a father and daughter, one of which was pacing the other. After a k of that I felt I was getting in the way so upped the pace a little and ended up doing what I said I wouldn’t. I was on my own again, just like last year. There were no evident groups. I was keeping to my decided pace of approx 4.30 a k, and went through 5k 1 minute slower than last year. That’s more like it. We had the first huge climb and then into the first straight section and the wind was pretty horrendous. More in your face than 808 state (aye showing my age there). Nowhere to shelter, nowhere to hide. Plenty to run though. It was a case of head down and find the rhythm. And I did. The run was uneventful. I kept steady, easing down when I felt I was going to up it. That was for another day, today was about closure. I had a small group of 3 or 4 who were having shots each at the front and I actually tailed a guy from HBT for a good 6 or so K if not more before taking my shot at the front. I took water on at all the stations. I went steady up and down the hills, no heroics, no daftness and I got to the 18k point on strong legs rather than the wobbling jellies and confused mind of last year. I called the bush I had collapsed into “a wee w@nk” as I passed by and set off for home. The last stretch felt like forever but I was happy to get down the final hill, round onto the rugby park and the sprint (ha!) for home, cheered on by my boys. Finishing time of 1.32.52, 28th place and 5th V40. All in all a good day. A heavy weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Onwards and upwards and don’t look back. Will I do Haddington again? Never say never but at least I can now say it. Haddington. Haddington. Haddington. Another wee break for my head. I’m getting there 🙂

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So what is next? I have an entry in for Paisley 10k next week and may actually do it. It’s my hometown, my black and white town. Later blogpeeps.

The Super furry Animals are the best band to come out of Wales and that is fact. This is a beauty of theirs, out on Creation records and from the sublime “Radiator” album. Demons. “Coz I know that Apathy only ruined me, Hanging around waiting for calamity”

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