Monday, February 16, 2009

A pleasant meander along the canal

On Sunday I decided to run along the Forth and Clyde Canal from Glasgow to Falkirk, a distance of 26 miles or so. While there was a very good chance it would be the most boring run I had ever done, it was also likely to be good training for the Glasgow to Edinburgh canal race, an event which I have entered and is now less than 4 weeks away on Saturday 14 March. So I got up a bit earlier than normal for a Sunday and drove to Falkirk High Station, parked the car there and jumped on a train into the centre of Glasgow. Just after 10am I left George Square at an easy pace and headed north, through Possilpark, and eventually found my way onto the canal.

It would be exaggerating if I said it was an exciting run, but it was nothing like as bad as I had feared. I listened to my radio for most of the way, which probably helped, and I played a game called 'Count the Supermarket Trolleys in the Canal' that helped keep me entertained for the first hour or so. Before too long I passed through Bishopbriggs and Kirkintilloch, then arrived at Auchinstarry after about 2 hours and had a quick stop for some of allybea's home-made carrot cake. The Old Firm game started - it sounded like a shocker - and in no time at all I was going past Banknock, under the A80, through Bonnybridge, and then along to the Falkirk Wheel, where I had a quick stop to refill my water bottle. We used to stay in Falkirk, so I know that area pretty well, and I was soon onto the last short section along the Union Canal. I hammered along there at a fine pace (well, I jogged a bit quicker than I had been going earlier) and arrived at Falkirk station after 3 hours 51 minutes. It was a faster time than I had expected, with the added bonus that I had felt really good for most of the way.

So that was encouraging. A good couple of week's training and who knows? I might even begin to record some half decent times again. I improved a bit in our club's 5 mile time trial on Saturday, but my time of 33.47 was still a bit embarrassing (John - note the spelling) and doesn't suggest I'll come close to a place in the top half of next week's National Cross Country champs. Still, I'll give it my best shot and see what happens.


Thomas said...

Ian, I almost did that section on Saturday!
But the weather put me off and I did my usual run here in Gourock...
What kind of footwear would you advise is appropriate for the canal? Just normal RoadRunning shoes or someting heavier or/and more grip?

See you soon,

Subversive Runner said...

Hi Ian,

Re: your comment on my blog 'is 42 too old to be boxing?' The answer to that is YES!!! I'm just starting to realise this now. I went to the boxing club to take my son and daughter along and got persuaded to do a bit of sparring with the lads there. Then one of their boys pulled out of the fight on the 28th and I was aked to step in....I said yes without relly thinking too hard about it. I'm feeling it now and I think this might be a last hoorah!!