Firstly a huge thank you to the response to my last blog. From PMs to texts to comments to messages to conversations, I really appreciate every one who went out their way to acknowledge how I had been feeling, ask how I was feeling, and just offer me friendly words. Genuinely, it’s humbling to see how many good people there are out there. And that is what doing the Paisley 10k was all about for me. Community. I was born in Paisley, it’s where my family are from. I think of my Dad when I run there, which I like. I get to run past St Mirren’s Feegie Field of Dreams (and despondency). As I said on Facebook, Sometimes I wonder about doing my blog as putting myself “out there” sometimes can cause me grief. Today is one of those days when I’m glad I do it, meeting so many people at the Paisley 10k I would never have spoken to otherwise.
I am not running comfortably just now and I know that. In 2 weeks I have raced three times, had one aborted training session and one jog. So Paisley shouldn’t be run. But for all the reasons above I had to do it. And I had no fears, no nerves, no expectations. I was asked, and replied to go out and run hard, have no regrets and if possible get close to my course PB of 39.05. All good. Went along myself and for a wee jog. Got booed by the Chairman and Kitbag Kev when I bumped into them after having an online altercation the previous day but I refused to go away and we all seemed pals again. And then it all started, meeting loads of folk I had only been in contact with on t’internet due to the blog. It was a pleasure to meet so many people for the first time, and others maybe seeing for the second or third time, but people I was only fortunate to have got to know due to this here blog. So thanks for that Mr WordPress. My viewing figures may be declining as my running abilities follow suit, but it has ALL been worth putting myself out there. Don’t want to go mentioning everyone in case I miss someone out, but thank you.
Onto the race and about 3000 entrants apparently. Knowing the tight start the MAC lads headed to the front section and we were off, while apparently some folk were still waiting in the baggage queue. The usual fast first k as we did a wee loop of the centre and myself and the chairman were almost side by side. In the third pic below I can also see the moustache of the legend that is Paul Forbes, still the 5th fastest Scottish 800m runner of all time, and a fella I have got to know after mentioning him in this here blog. Top lad.
I settled in at a steady enough pace, wanting to try and hit steady 3.50s to potentially come in around 38.30 like last week. Held together fine until about 4k or so and started to feel it. The hammies weren’t being kind, the legs were feeling heavy, the breathing was getting worse, and people were coming by me. Through 5k slower than expected and the tough wee climb up towards where the path lifts up to the cycle path on the canal. Man I had nothing I tried to lift it as my average ks went over the 4 min mark and I couldn’t respond. Didn’t even have the energy to wave to Derek Hawkins (Hello Derek!). Not to worry, all about the run. Keep strong and make sure I get under 40. Person after person came by me on the path. NAACs Ian McIlwraith came by fast and I couldn’t respond. The video here of 8k shows how badly I was lumbering. I’m here at about 4 mins chasing Ian and with people streaming past me. Thanks John Kynaston for the video.
The low point of the run with a 4.08 kilometre. Not the pace of a man who had run a sub 38 only 2 months ago. I continued to toil and feel heavy until familiarity crept in, and knowing there was a k to go, with the last 3/4 downhill I got out my stupor and went for it.
I got past Ian and started catching the runners in front of me, passing a few groups and came round the final bend and sprinted hard.
I’m at the back of this one here, in the distance but at least I look like I am trying.
Crossed the line in 39.00.00. As 39 dead as you can. To have a mare of a run and finish in a course best of 39 was really pleasing, even if it was a season worst. This was all about the run. Clearing the head. And I did exactly that. Again there was good banter after the race, a few pics, and a dodgy looking water bottle.
And it’s all good. Though I tried hard as I always do I didn’t expect anything too decent. 30 seconds down even on last week and that’s ok. I’m too worn out to be honest in many ways. I’ve scratched from the next couple of races that I had lined up and will train instead, and run. I’m taking steps in my life to change the other factors and so far all positive. But this one, at Paisley? It did what I wanted it to. I loved the day, the community, running through the streets of my town. And I got cake (and abuse for my jumper).
Thanks to you Paisley, thanks to you my running friends, and thanks to everyone who has read the last few blogs. It’s an easy thing. You CAN race even when not race fit, because the people make it worthwhile. Never underestimate that. Until next time, here’s the second best band to come out of Australia. Songs on the playlist here…the playlist.
Thanks to Kenny Philips, Kitbag’s Mum, Paisley Online, Louise Hetherington, Paisley 10k anyone else I may have forgotten for the pics.