Stay Loose – the catch up blog(s)

Well it’s been the GSR since my last blog. Due to a combination of a heavy workload and then a wee break away I haven’t had the opportunity to do any blogs, though in my head I have had about 4 or 5 already written. “Stay Loose”, “Let’s get lost”, “London”, “Breakaway”  and “It’s yer money I’m after baby” have all been festering in some shape or form over the few weeks. I will sadly have to somewhat dilute them then but here goes in an attempt to cleanse my soul and get up to date:)

Just a wee reminder though before I start….

I’m very happy to say that my wee blog has been nominated for blog of the year at the annual Running Awards. It would mean a lot to me if you considered giving me your wee vote if you enjoy what you read. The blog section is under community and it takes only a minute to register. Ta:)
https://therunningawards.com/vote/109/110#vote

see you at http://www.facebook.com/markgallmac

Stay Loose

Work really, really is heavy just now and I have been snatching runs where I can, and getting along to the club has been rarer than Kitbag Kev enjoying marathon training. Trying to run where I can just to stay loose as the old legs of mine tighten up at the drop of a hat. So no actual training, just occasional runs, with a long run at the weekend. On one Tuesday I made it to club and unfortunately it was time trial night. I’m not the greatest fan due to my well documented nervy disposition, but if nothing else it would be a good run out, blow away some cobwebs. It was a great turn out as we switched to the Winter course. I was starting just behind the Ginger Prince and alongside Deano who was on a rare visit from his forces base. I hadn’t run a decent one in a while for this as I was injured the bulk of last winter but had managed one as I started my recuperation, running in about 26.50. My best was about 25.20 from the year before so my aim was to try and beat that, but I reckoned that if I wasn’t too rusty and didn’t bottle it then a sub 25 was realistic. Deano went off fast so I tried to stay with him and we were soon past Ross as we climbed up the first hill. As we came down the hill Dean went away and Ross sprinted back past me. It was another half k until I caught Ross again and Deano was well away by then. Downhill running and me aren’t on the same page just now. Anyway my aim was to run steadily under 4 min per k and I managed this. Surprisingly caught Dean with about 1 k to go and finished well to complete the 4 mile course in 24.15, smashing my PB by over a minute in the process. Happy with that one, and further up the handicap field than I expected. A couple of weeks later I did the LAAA Road relays in similar circumstances, no training except those stay loose and long runs. My best for this was 15.37 2 years ago, backed up with a below par 15.58 last year as I was toiling with an injury. I was to do first leg with the B team, the first leg also having the under 17s straight race.

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The whippets were out in this one and I knew within 1/2k I was out too fast and adjusted my pace accordingly. Still through the first in 3.32. My legs were protesting and the second k, the downhill bit, saw person after person go by me. Once again the downhill bit my downfall, something I need to sort, be it confidence with my back problems, or just a mental block. This second downhill k was to be my slowest. Got to the turn and an uphill stretch and I starting picking folk off. Last k and I opened up a bit, and finished well smashing my course PB in 14.33. Very happy with that after my rusty starting, and I am sure that if I had been training properly I could have taken more off that again.

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Let’s get Lost

The moral of the story is if you plan a long run, and want to do a new route then CHECK that route prior to going. I wanted to adapt my usual 10 mile reservoir loop into a 12 or 13 mile one as I build up for the Southside six. Extra wee mile at Chapelhall, check. Extra wee mile up to Terminus roundabout and along, check. Next one was up distillery hill. I reckon if you carry on past my usual turn then it’s round to roughrigg road and an extra mile here round the reservoir. Easy. Of course it wasn’t roughrigg road at all. I kept going further out and you ask yourself when it is best to turn back and admit defeat. You can of course be pig headed and carry on convinced you are right until you are 10 miles out and heading up a hill to the Blackhill transmitter in the middle of nowhere…OK, now I am lost. I know it’s 10 miles back so I am not doing a 20 miler. I decide to go straight on, climbing higher, seeing cyclist clubs who laugh at me. In the distance I can see a town. What one and how far I have no idea. Thankfully the climb down comes to the M8 and I find the bridge across, I come to Kirk o Shotts and know there are only 5 miles still to go…. Not far shy of 17 miles in the end. And a broken man as I haven’t done over 14 before. What a numpty. img_2171img_2170

Couldn’t even consider running for 4 days after that! But went out and did the bulk of it the next week with Kev just to prove I had found a new route 🙂

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London

This was predicted ages ago. I intended to concentrate on short stuff next year, track and 5ks, so how we joked about how this would be the year that I got through the London ballot. As time ticked away on ballot notification week everyone I knew was collecting their rejections. So sure enough through it came. The man who wasn’t bothered had got in.

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There were a lot of people a bit peed off to be fair, and I think I would have felt the same, but now I am in i am changing everything and will be going for it. I always said I would do one marathon, so here it is. I will give it my full commitment and hope that you will follow my wee journey as I go for the first marathon. I will be running it for Breast Cancer Care for current and historical family reasons. Thanks to my wife Elaine for buying me some new Pegasus for my training 🙂 Mr Motivator Merriweather has offered to help my with my training schedule so I look forward to that.

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Breakaway

So last week I got a wee break away from the craziness of my life here. We took the kids to Blackpool. Met a few famous people as you can see, and gave Gail from Corrie a lift on my BMX.

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Anyway the real point is this. Do you run when you are away on holiday, on that break away? Every morning I was up at 7 to explore the area. I love nothing more when  away. The first morning was uninspiring as I ended up on the main road, but days 2,3 and 4 had me on the trails out on Marton Mere with the tower in the distance, up to Stanley Park, across bridges, along duck ponds, past the zoo and model village, round the athletics track, and back on the trails. In the running world there isn’t much better than the exploration run of a new area. Loved it, and back refreshed, even managed a Fursday fartlek session 🙂 Hoping now to kick on from here. After I lose the burger belly 🙂

It’s yer money I’m after baby

Now as well as being a runner I am a customer. No race can expect me to run them without giving me value for  money or decent customer service and sometimes certain race bodies forget that. The recent Scottish Half marathon has in my opinion been a massive shambles from start to finish and I will be reluctant to use any of GSI’s events again. It’s all about the money. Extortionate entry fee. Extras like having to pay for a bus as there is nowhere to park at start or finish. Charging kids the same price. Having generic t shirts for 10k and half marathon, and worst of all there medals weren’t available at the finish. it took weeks to get medals to people. Deadlines passed with no info. Then blame games started. Then the cheap generic, non dated, uninscribed cheap thin medals arrived. Insulting to the punters. Take the money in advance, then what happened, do they wait to see how many actually completed before they get the cheap medals made? Who knows, but the customer service was appalling and I for one won’t be back, and will endeavour to avoid their events. Want a big run? Do the Great Scottish Run. Do your local events, plenty more races out there. Organisers, don’t forget the punters as you concentrate on the cash. You will end up with neither.

Thanks if you have go this far. Back to work Monday, see what running delights I can fit in again.

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