Falling to pieces – 50 miles, 800m, 5k and others

Disclaimer : This is my blog. And I have always used it as therapy for me. Be kind. This one a mixed bag, so some extra tunes, moans and races.

It has been a while since my last blog. And as you will see it’s not been from lack of running, or racing. Or anything linked to it. I know my running of late hasn’t been great, but I’m over the anxiety blip of that and am at peace with that. But the real reason I am at peace with that is the realisation of where it has been coming from, how and why the black dog has bitten, how hard it has bitten and what I need to do to get my physical and mental health back on an even keel. Now this is a running blog so I am not prepared to go into details here as things aren’t fixed, resolved, I’m still being affected but I KNOW what’s going on now, and how to work toward clarity.  Running for so long, to me and to so many others, is the great head helper, but sometimes that doesn’t work. And you know? It’s OK to say that you’re not OK. And the majority of people I have spoken to have been helpful, have tried to understand, and have just been there. You do get those who treat it as a weakness, but they are the problem, not me. For a couple of weeks I did feel I was falling to pieces but I’m glad I spoke out. Don’t be afraid to do the same. Thanks for staying this far. Have a tune, and this one rocks. Faith no more.

So onto the running. I went into the club time trial with no fear, actually with no feelings one way or the other and just ran it. And bizarrely equalled my PB of 23.52 for the 4 miles after a sprint finish with Christie. Strange but pleasing. Competitors here. Bright shoes if not bright mind.

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Oh I know, it’s like that ITV 2 programme when they reunited all the boy bands and girlbands and stuff. The CSSAL track league was next up and Coach John asked me to be the B competitor for the masters 800m in the Legend’s absence. Aye no worries. Again didn’t really care about it, as long as ran my best and aimed for second last. There was a big line up of masters with 16 or so in the race, and I’d love to tell you where I finished but the results still aren’t out. I had a good first lap in about 70, fell asleep for 200 behind other folk, woke up last 200 , sprinted the last hundred actually overtaking someone (aye see below, I got him :p) and finished about midpack in about 2.22. Very happy with that one. Pics below from John McCluskey.

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Much better, feeling confident. Club quality session on the Tuesday and was to be 20 x 40 seconds. With my new sod it attitude I led most of them out, not caring if I died. Sadly at about 12 or 13 in I felt the hammy going so had to step aside at 15 after easing a couple to assess the damage. Well done anyway. Rested a few days, missed the next club champ 5k race that I wouldn’t have done anyway for head purposes but passed myself fit for the Sunday race as I had been really looking forward to this one.

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Aye the John Lucas 50 mile ultra. Oh I know, but I’m not totally cuckoo. We had a five man relay team, or to be more accurate 4 men and a little terrier.

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There were 31 teams in for the relay race of varying legs. I had the short one of just over 10k. Lorne was lucky enough to get 14.5 miles including the biggest hill in the world. This run is 50 miles around the villages and country roads in the vicinity of Strathaven. I don’t think there is a single flat bit in the 50 miles. Major kudos to the ones doing the full ultra themself. Oooft. Little terrier Connell took out the first leg hard and came in in first place by a good few minutes. Superb running but pressure on the lads. Race faves EK were a good 9 or 10 minutes back. EK had some flyers still to come and Barrie ran a great leg to hand over to me still in the lead after US scholar Aiden Gilbride had bitten chunks into it. I had a start of 2 -3 minutes over Martin Lynas from EK who I knew was a regular 33/34 minute 10k runner, so although I started off up the first 2 mile long climb in first place I knew I wouldn’t be so lonely come the end. I went out and ran as best I could, hard up the first hill and the sun was sapping my strength but I gave it all except on the downhills where I wasn’t going to stretch out and end up on the deck with a ripped hammy. Up and down the course went. And then the bike started coming. The bike would come rushing past me, the rider would jump off and start his watch as soon as I passed him. Now I’m no Tour de France veteran but I know a split timer when I see one. EK were getting their chase times and were catching and I know with the increased regularity of the bikes appearance that Martin was gaining quickly. Final climb up into Stonehouse and a long road to where I could see Lorne in the distance. One thought, get there first. I could hear movements behind me. I had about 200m to go. It was a toil but I tried to up it with the little strength I had left and changed over with Lorne about 2 or 3 seconds ahead of EK. Man, what fun! What a buzz! Oh I know I lost a 3 minute lead but I got to change over in first place and that felt superb. Happy enough for my split of 38.30 for what was just over 10k. We knew only one team were going to win this looking at the strong runners EK had left, and that’s with no disrespect to Lorne and Danny who had great runs to bring us home in second place. A really good day and one I would recommend to anyone. Something different. Love it. I had also kept myself going with looking to get to the 25 mile mark during my leg. Why? This tune. In my head for about 3 miles, superb 🙂

Back to real life after this though and the wonderful work had me going down to Chester.  I took my new Go pro toy with me though forgot about charging the thing. And after finding a new sexy look …

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… I took myself out through Chester. Too scared to use a head or chest strap so just had the go pro in my hand. With little battery. Had a nice wee run, and a laugh and made this…

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Oh I know, but it’s good fun 🙂 I had looked to see if I could find a running track when I was down and found a 5k race only a few miles away from the plant. So I entered as you do. The Ellesmere Port RC 5K. In a wee village called Capenhurst. Sneaked away from work and straight there. Got changed and went back to the car in the rain looking happy.

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Mr Happy :p

Now this is a well known race down there. Course record under 14 minutes. Flat and fast. The rain stopped and the wind calmed down a bit. Bumped into David Hulse from Bella Road runners (they get everywhere), told him I hope to get about 18.30 and we lined up for the start. Now I wanted faster obviously. My aim was to go out hard and try and hold on. 3.36 a k for 18 minutes. If I blow up no one will know. And away we went. And man it was fast. Through 1k in 3.35, perfect. Second k 3.40, that’s OK. Third k and there is a single file section here and I got stuck. Through in 3.50 and too much time to make up. No point me hammering it and risking the hammy from here, and not really sure I could have upped it anyway, so ran a steady fast 3.40 for the 4th and 3.37 for the last (again running like a sh1tebag downhill to the finish). 18.27 and 52nd, right behind the first Female who had ran beside me all the way round. Yeah, I could do better, but really enjoyed it, a run where no one knew me, no pressure, no fear and a key ring as a memento. If you are down that way give this race a go next year, it’s a real cracker.

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So that brings me up to date. On a running tip? I am enjoying it again but I am not where I had been. And I get that. Lack of sleep gets to you. Constant worrying and feeling sick gets to you. Getting old gets to you. Inconsistent training gets to you. And the head and the legs have to work together. But I’m ok with it as far as running is concerned. I will go through a patch for now where my performances won’t be where they were. And it isn’t going to worry me. I know changes that have to be made and that could take a few months. Until then I run. Maybe not for fun, but for running sake. Races aye because I like the events, but I wouldn’t expect this year to bring me any PBs or even to be near it. And I’m OK with that. And I’m OK because I wasn’t OK, and it’s OK to say you’re not OK. Don’t forget that, OK? OK. Have some Beach Boys and later blogpeeps.

 

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2 thoughts on “Falling to pieces – 50 miles, 800m, 5k and others

  1. It’s definitely ok notto be ok, and the more people who admit that the better off we will all be. I keep seeing your club mates everywhere – there was definitely one of those hoodies in the stadium for the Worlds last week. From now on when I see one I’ll give you a little thought and send you some ok-ness through the ether and hope it makes it north of the wall.

    Liked by 1 person

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