Fresh feeling – GAA miler meet 1500m and beyond

Disclaimer: again none of this will make sense. Spoiler, I ran crap but I’m happy. Go figure. The tunes are on the playlist.

Friday came along. Heat 8 of the GAA miler met 1500m. Seeded no. 1 and in the inside lane. And sort of up for it. Now I know my track form, I know the way I have been feeling recently and was under no illusions, this was simply a battle with the head. Get round. Don’t die. Don’t drop out. Breathe. Easiest thing not to run again. It was going to be honking, but I was determined to give it a right go. Had a warm up with the Legend and we got lost and went further than expected though we weren’t the only ones (getting a rep Connell ;)) but onwards to the start after watching some phenomenal 5000m races and a cracking finish by Tony McGale in the 1500m heat before ours. Had a word with Jim White, the Legend, before the race. He is flying just now. In a rare bit of honesty I said I thought he could run 4.43 and told him that I would say this once in my life and once only. I told him I looked forward to seeing him a long way away from me tonight and smashing it. You know where this one is going. He is a friend first and running rival further down the list so I’m cool with that. My old fella would have killed me.

And we were away.

Being in lane 1 I made the fatal mistake of getting boxed in straight away. I went to the back then up the side in behind Jim and the pacemaker at the front, albeit in lane 3, but I couldn’t keep it going. I was knackered. I did try. I fell back, and back and further back. I dug in though. One paced. No real push as I tried to go after a stream of runners just ahead over the last lap, and an 11th place out of 14 on a season (s)low of 4.53.

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Jim won the race at a canter in 4.43, a new PB by 7 seconds and well deserved for the graft he has put in. Delighted for the fella, top bloke and talented runner.

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Thanks Bobby Gavin at thatonemoment.co.uk for the fantastic race pics.

Now I had mixed feelings on this one. Disappointed of course. But happy I had seen it through. One of those eureka moments where you realise that it’s simple and either the track legs aren’t here this season or I am just not a good track runner. And that doesn’t matter anymore. Use it to try and improve other areas of my running and don’t take it seriously. I haven’t done track training, I got my rewards.

I got up Saturday morning and felt fresh since I had hardly physically knocked my pan in on the Friday night. Went to the club session, to be 5 x 1000m with 500m recovery at Strathclyde Loch. About 5k pace. I would tend to do these about 3.45 usually but alongside my wee group of Brian McLinden and Stevie Allen I decided to lead off, and although Stevie would peg me back over the last 100 or so of each one I didn’t just hit my marker but got faster one each one. 3.38, 3.34, 3.29, 3.28 and finally 3.21. That’s a boost. That’s a lift.

That’s game back on.

Ok I may not have track speed, but that’s good speed endurance for my level. Sunday and long run, only 11 miles, but for the first time in a few weeks I didn’t stop.

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Now we are talking. So I may not be where I was and I may never be there again, but I’m running. And I enjoyed it at the weekend like a fog had lifted from my head.

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5 years to the week since I went on the Champix to stop smoking and joined Jogscotland I listened to Kit and Komms Kev Kardashian’s words of wisdom.

“Shoes on. Heid doon. RUN!!!!!!!!”

Indeed. JUST DAE IT! So for this week I’m ok. I have the Fresh Feeling. I do have an 800m to do for the club next weekend that I have committed to, but that’s ok. Won’t let them down and I will do my best. There’s a lot to be thankful for. I’m glad and proud I’m not that heavy drinking smoker anymore. I know the chances of me ever winning a race are as remote as Coldplay ever bringing out an album that I like, but I’m cool with that. Sod championships and everything like it. If stress interferes with the enjoyment of running then I’ll find another area of running. I don’t want to walk away from the sport like I did in 1990. If I don’t fancy a particular race or run I won’t do it. And I owe explanations to no-one 🙂 . Until next time, Shoes on, heid doon, RUN!

More eels this week, but a cheerier one. This one is beautiful.

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