“In running confidence is everything”. Wise words given to me today by Cambuslang’s Stuart Gibson, who as well as having the confidence is also blessed with a natural ability, but I know what he means.
I had decided to do Strathclyde parkrun. Hadn’t completed a 5k since my 18.38 in Paris and had dropped out my last attempt as my head and my running collided. After my recent track exploits I wasn’t confident of doing well, but was confident that I could face the people, the starting line and at least run hard. Woke up to the following on my “Timehop” wall:
Wow. 5 years to the day I got my 24.59 at Strathclyde. Was nearly 2 years until I did my next one after wrecking my back and putting on a few stone but was nice to see. Had arranged to meet McCue and McNulty there and do a few miles afterwards with them so strangely was actually looking forward to it. Weather was nice, dry, wee bit of sun, but unfortunately as I jogged out the start and came back, everyone’s favourite headwind was there. Didn’t care. Wasn’t a PB attempt, just needed to run hard to help the head. Had a pre race nod to Cambuslang’s Tony McCutcheon and a wee chat with MACs Alan Tait who was running incognito after forgetting his barcode, then up to the start. Marcus arrived last minute and we were off. First k I felt good, was running steady. Hamilton’s Simon Fraser, Alan and Tony were away from the rest, followed by Iain Tomb, a sub 18 runner today with a buggy, Hamilton’s Neil Robbins, and another couple of athletes. Marcus and Shettleston’s Charlene McCallum, who I’d raced over 3000m on Tuesday were also there. As I came round the bend I had got myself to about 7th or 8th but felt the second k was a slog. The head wanted me to drop out here, but I was strong enough to resist today. Was through that in about 3.45 so straight away knew the PB wouldn’t be today, so maybe a bit of pressure off. Unfortunately for Tony at this point he picked the wrong fork in the road while leading going right instead of left. Simon took advantage and was away. From k 2 to 3 I felt OK, possibly the track work kicking in, and overtook a few athletes and with two to go was sitting in 5th. The next 2 runners in front of me were Alan and Neil who I had never been near before so I knew I must be running solidly. Maybe just maybe…. Round the bend and 1.5k to go and I went past Alan, got to the never ending straight and the headwind came out to play. Ach well, not today. Dug in, and went past Neil who gave me words of encouragement and with my poker face on hit for home. Didn’t have a sprint sadly today but held on for my second third place and a new course PB of 18.11, one second off my 5k best, 11 seconds away from my holy grail. Genuinely didn’t expect to be there so delighted with my recovery, my finish, my racing, and my head. Was actually closing on Tony who had a great run just back from injury but missed the sub 18 after his wrong turn. Neil told me to remember to mention him in the blog, so here you go, thanks for letting me past 😉
Felt good. Yep, confidence a wondrous thing. Getcho Soul Together and get out there. Glad to get one under my belt again. Did a few miles with the lads afterwards who had both had good runs, McCue allegedly so as had forgot his barcode…. #teambaldy
So job done, an enjoyable day. Yes, I get nervous. Yes, I’ll have my head battles. But I know I can beat them. People of my ability are never going to be race winners but having days like this where we sneak into top 3 and take one-off scalps whilst troubling our best times? Makes it all worthwhile. Back to the track again this week, I’ll keep mixing it up. Thanks for reading.
Thanks to all the Strathclyde parkrun volunteers.