Sunday, January 07, 2007

Hello to 2007

Like most years, I've started 2007 in a wave of enthusiasm for running and generally getting myself into decent shape. I've run every day so far, totting up 57 miles for the week, including a 20 mile run on the WHW on the 2nd of January. I drove up to Tyndrum reasonably early in the morning and was delighted to find it was a bright, clear and sunny day, with snow covering the hills. The views were absolutely amazing. I ran up the track for 10 miles to Forest Lodge, then came back the same way, pushing pretty hard for most of the run. It was great. Somewhat surprisingly there were hardly any people out walking or running, although I did meet one fellow WHWer, Mike Thomson, just after I had turned at Forest Lodge. An excellent day was capped by the usual high quality post run bowl of soup in the Green Welly. If anyone hasn't been there it is well worth a visit. I would however advise you to try and get in to the restauarant before the old people from the various bus tours, or you may have a bit of a wait. In fact here is my tip for the day. If you arrive at the Green Welly and see a bus pull up, I would recommend that you run into the restaurant as quickly as possible. I am normally a strong advocate of good manners but I would have to say that, in this situation, it would be downright foolish to stop and hold the door open for anyone, particularly anyone over the age of 60 - treat it in the same way as you would treat the last 100m of a race where your closest and most hated rival is just a few metres in front of you. From my experience you are likely to beat all of the bus tour people to the front of the queue, even if they have a bit of start and you have a 20 mile run in your legs, although this may require a bit of pushing and shoving at certain points. The extra effort is definitely worthwhile, in my opinion, and will mean you have a chance of getting your lunch at lunchtime rather than dinner time.

But I digress. The day after my WHW run I was still on holiday and made it along to Strathearn Harriers' Wednesday evening session for the first time. We had a good fast run around Crieff, with everyone working pretty hard. I was really pleased by how good I felt, particularly after the long run the day before, and decided that I was probably ready to take on the Nigel Barge 10k on Saturday.

And thank goodness I did! I ran 38.40, my best 10k time since May 2005. (The results have me down for a time of 38.27, but that's not right, and I'm not going to claim an extra 13 seconds credit when I'm not entitled to it). It was a 2 lap course around Garscube Estate in Glasgow and I ran very consistently, covering both the first and second 5k in around 19.20. It was hugely satisfying to be in front of a number of people who have been beating me for the last 6 months or so, and has shown once again that running is quite a simple sport - the harder you train, and the more you put in, then the more you are likely to get out in terms of better results.