Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Personal Worst

Today was my 75th 10k road race, and up until today I had the proud record of never having recorded a time over the 40 minute mark. The City of Stirling 10k is organised by my club (Central AC) and is generally viewed as a fast, runner friendly type of course. And as anyone reading my blog from last night will appreciate, I was hoping for a season's best time.

It didn't happen. I finished in 40 minutes and 37 seconds, not only a season's worst but an all time worst (known in running circles as a PW - a personal worst, which is the opposite of a PB - a personal best).

I'm not going to make any excuses. How can I when Hayley Haining ran 32.36, a world class time for a woman? I can hardly say it wasn't a good course, or that the conditions were against me. It was an ideal course and the weather was perfect for running. I am getting a bit bored looking for reasons for my crap perfomances (as I'm sure are the readers of this blog) so I'm not going to go down that route again.

So what's next? It's the Loch Ness Marathon in 2 weeks. Surprisingly I'm looking forward to it. Today just confirmed that my strategy will be to go out nice and easy, not care about the time, and see how I get on. After all it's supposed to be fun, isn't it?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Quick update

I'm sitting here at my computer at 10.30pm on a Saturday night (is there a more exciting person in the whole world, I wonder?) and I can only give a very quick update as I have an early start tomorrow for the City of Stirling 10k. So it is a highlights only version tonight I'm afraid:

On Friday last week I ran from my work in Edinburgh to my house in Falkirk, in a somewhat desperate attempt to get a long run in before the Loch Ness marathon. Although the first hour out of Edinburgh was full of traffic and just generally dull, the run went very well and I felt strong for more or less the whole way. It took me just under 4 hours for the 26.5 miles, and I could have done a lot more. So that was pretty good.

The following Sunday I took part in the Comrie Hills Relay race, running the 4th (and easiest) leg for the Central 'mixed' team. The sun shone, the scenery was brilliant, there was great camaraderie amongst all the teams, and all in all it was a great days running. My time wasn't anything brilliant - about 58 minutes for the 7.1miles - but that didn't really matter.

Then it was on to the Meadows for the last Sri Chinmoy race of the season, a 2 mile blast round the park. I was pleasantly surprised to finish this in 12.02. These races take place throughout the summer, organised to a high standard by Adrian Stott and his team. Although I don't really consider myself to be a 2 mile runner, it's a good hard workout and I feel as though I should have done more of them throughout the summer.

And then Friday night was the annual 'Piss Up in the Brewery', a thank you party held for West Highland Way helpers in the Bridge of Allan Brewery. I'm not sure I help enough with the race to merit an invitation, but as Dario had invited me along I wasn't going to turn it down or ask too many questions about my apparent lack of credentials. I was one of the last to arrive, having been at Ayr races, and then one of the first to leave, having to catch a train at 11pm. Despite that it was still a first class night.

Today we were at the football, watching Falkirk lose 2-0 to Aberdeen. The 3 of us have season tickets for Falkirk (the Domestic Female, son No 3 and me). After a great start to the season (7 points from the 1st 3 ganes, joint top of the league) Falkirk have now reverted to more typical form and have failed to win a point in the last 4 games, scoring only 1 goal in the process. Our earlier optimism is starting to disappear, and we are now anticipating a long, nervous battle against relegation.

I'll be back tomorrow to update on my Stirling 10k performance. It's a fast course so who knows - would it be asking too much for a season's best?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Golf, Robbie and the Glasgow Half Marathon

It's been a busy few days. On Friday we had our annual golf day with a crowd I used to work with at a firm called Arthur Andersen (you may have heard of them: they got into a bit of bother with an American company called Enron and imploded shortly afterwards). As usual it was a brilliant day. This year's venue was Gleneagles, with a meal at night in a hotel in Auchterarder. The highlight of the day was undoubtedly one of the guys, Gerry, managing to win for the first time ever, although he did have a handicap of 54 and was allowed to ignore any shots he had out of a bunker. I won a very fetching golf shirt (black with silver stars, about 8 sizes too big) courtesy of my rather excellent performance in the morning round when I managed to score 2 2s. For those who don't play golf, that's pretty good.

On Saturday it was off to Hampden Park for the Robbie Williams concert. It's probably fair to say that I wasn't a huge Robbie fan beforehand, but it was a fantastic show and I am his biggest fan now. That man certainly knows how to "entertain you". We had a very nice meal beforehand, then drank champagne in our chauffeur driven car on the way to Hampden. All in all a great night, although we didn't get home until 1am, as the car couldn't get past all the girls wearing pink cowboy hats and angel wings. What is all that about? They looked so good that I nearly bought a set myself. It would have gone well with my new suit.

It probably wasn't the best preparation for Sunday's half marathon in Glasgow. I was up at 6am, just a few hours after I got to bed, headed into Glasgow for about 8.30am, then finished the race in a very average 1.30. Conditions were wet and drizzly, which was just about perfect, so I can't use that as an excuse. Although I found the last 5 miles hard, I generally enjoyed the race. It was my 16th Great Scottish Run, out of the 25 that have taken place so far, and hopefully I'll be back for my 17th next year.