A pre-emptive ‘end of the month of August’ post for you to push your eyes into. Yes for me August, and the fun stuff that has happened and is yet to happen in this lovely month, is over. I leave to go to America for 8 weeks in 20 hours or so. Set your watches. This will likely be the last broadcast from Fellicionado Towers until mid-October I’m afraid.
Anyway, enough dripping from me, here’s what I’ve been up to……
Not much it turns out. Had two races since my last post. The Lomonds of Fife hill race in….Fife and a local Aberdeen-based club summer series counter up by Stonehaven, the aptly named Cheyne hill race (that doesn’t mean anything!). Do you want the good news or the bad news? The bad news. To the Lomonds one first then. Disappointing. Actually probably the worst race I’ve ever ran. Not the course/organisation/people etc but my personal race. I started walking on the flat before I even got to the first hill! Just could. not. be. arsed. Almost jacked it in and retired. Legs felt heavy like I’d borrowed them from Dr. Frankensteins odds and sods bin, lungs felt like I’d run 40 cigs through them and head was not playing ball. All in all I’ve put it down to feeling residual knackeredness from the Sierre-Zinal race the weekend before. I came 26th and almost gave up racing for the season. Then I noticed the Cheyne race. Short – 6.4km. Local – 40 minutes up the road. Low key – Cosmic Hillbashers (perhaps the crappest name in hill running?!) summer series race 4 of 4. Ideal. With no big name runners there I was able to win it fairly comfortably – though the wind flapping around with my race number made me think I had someone right behind me the whole way round – in 27:07 and my flagging confidence had been restored. Huzza!
These two very contrasting races made me realise two things in running. Rest/good nutrition/good hydration is very, very important for running and running well, and winning is nice but it’s not everything and I learnt more about myself from having a crap race on the Sunday than I did from having a good race on the Thursday.
Taraa in a bit.
UPDATE: Yeah so flight was delayed a week. Not to be outdone but gravity I squeezed in a couple of races. On Wednesday it was the first in the three race downhill only series at Alva (Nebit Downfall). In a word. FUN. Start from the top of a hill and run as fast as you can down. Simple right? I came 5th in a time of 5mins 18secs. The record is something in the 4mins 46secs region. Crumba-lumba!
After that, on the Thursday, was the Argyllshire Gathering in Oban. I’ve got a fair bit of history with this as my beloved Mama is from Oban and I’ve been a stalwart of the Oban Pipe Band moshpit for coming on 29 years. It was, FYI, the first time I’d competed in the hill race or athletics events. The hill race was good; a nice out and back route round a flag on a hill that finished with a victory lap round the athletics track in the centre of the showground. I had no cause for the ‘victory’ part of the lap as I was firmly wrapping my tits in, struggling into fourth place after getting a bit excited at the start. After a quick pint I found myself lining up for the scratch mile (turned out to be a couple of hundred metres further than a mile), coming 4th in just over 5mins; as soon as this finished I was lining up again for the mile handicap (this, due to my handicap, being just less than a mile (0.94) according to my posh watch) which I got round in 4mins 40secs to get 3rd. AND WHEN THAT WAS DONE……the 4x150m relay came about. My team, with me firmly as the anchor, literally and metaphorically, came in 2nd place.
On the plus side, and you’re all sworn to secrecy here, I found out that Highland Games are an absolute honeypot for collecting shekels! Just taking part earnt a minimum of a tenner! Managed to come away with £110 in winnings….and I never even won!! There were some young lads there that had literally entered every race going and were walking home with £250 and more. Gold mine! Our little secret right?!
In a bit.