Many readers of this blog will think I do nothing except run. It may therefore be a bit of a surprise to read that I played a round of golf on Wednesday night, and actually played well. It was my first game of golf since 2nd January, so when I turned up at Auchterarder Golf Club (a club I am hoping to join) I had little expectation of producing a good performance. It was however a lovely night, warm and still, so if nothing else I was looking forward to getting out and having a good catch up with my friend Keith.
There is probably nothing more boring in the world than reading a blow by blow account of someone's round of golf. "I hit a good drive down the right of the first, then I hit a 5 iron just short of the green, then I pitched on to the green, then I left my putt a yard short, yawn, yawn..." I am the first to admit that type of report doesn't make good reading, so I'll spare you any of the boring detail (except for mentioning my 7 iron tee shot at the par 3 12th, which I almost holed...) Suffice to say that I played out of my skin. I hardly hit a bad shot all night, beat Keith 7&6 (if you don't understand golf that means I was 7 holes ahead with 6 to play), and I played the 2nd 9 holes in 38 (which is only 5 over par, not bad for someone who hasn't played since 2nd January). I loved it. There are some great feelings in sport - one is obviously finishing a WHW race (although I have to think back a bit to remember that feeling), another is setting a personal best time at any distance (ditto), but hitting a great drive right down the middle of the fairway ranks right up there. And I did it time after time after time. Superb.
I also did some running this week. On Wednesday night I went to the picturesque village of Bridge of Earn, just outside Perth, for the 5 mile 'Brig Bash' race. I ran quite well and was pleased to finish 30-somethingth in a time of 31 minutes 47 seconds. It is quite a long time since I have run at that fast a pace, and I had forgotten that amazing feeling where you think that you can't run another step, that you are right at the edge of your running capabilities, and that there is no way you will be able to keep that pace going for the remaining 2 miles. Then you pass someone, realise everyone is feeling exactly the same, and by some miracle you actually manage to speed up. Although it is incredibly painful at the time, going through that type of experience is probably one of the reasons why I enjoy running so much - it is a brilliant feeling to push yourself beyond the point you thought you could cope with.
I'm racing again tomorrow, at the Stonehaven half marathon. It's a new race for me and I'm looking forward to it, possibly because it is advertised as one of Scotland's toughest half marathons. I like tough half marathons, so it should suit me fine. Phil T from the club is running as well so that should keep both of us on our toes. I'll report back in due course.