Monday 14 March 2011

Balloch to Clydebank Half Marathon

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This was my 4th attempt at the Balloch to Clydebank Half, having previously run 1:18:17, 1:20:04 and 1:19:30 in 2007 to 2009. I missed out last year through injury, and took these photos of the race instead. For 2011, I felt in reasonable shape, having run every day for the past 103 days.

I started fairly slowly and tried to resist running a ridiculously fast opening kilometre, which I managed with a 3:36 opener. I kept this pace going for the first 8km, running in a pack of 8 down the Renton backroad to Dumbarton, sitting right behind the Henderson brothers David and Alan.

As we dropped down the hill over the River Leven to Mile 5, the group was getting bunched so I jumped into the road to overtake. However this proved to be a mistake, since as soon as we went under the railway arch on to Bank End Road, I found myself dropped and struggling to catch any of this pack which was suddenly scattered.

I chased in vain, but never caught any of these 7 runners, however I did pass Toby Messenger (Garscube), Christopher Macdonald (Motherwell) and Scott Martin (Kilmarnock), who had all started too fast. As I reached Mile 11, I could hear heavy breathing and Damian McAuley appeared on my shoulder. This woke me up, and I realised I'd need to start making an effort. I realised I'd been coasting along for most of the route, and only now did it suddenly feel like a race.

I was fairly confident that I had enough left to hold off Damian, but I didn't want to blow up by hammering off too fast with 2 miles to go, so I slowly starting ramping the pace up, digging in for the little climb up Duntocher Road, before hitting the long almost final straight along Singer Road and North Avenue in the Clydebank Business Park. I realised I was now closing fairly quickly on Craig Ross and Bruce Carse of Bellahouston RR, but I couldn't quite find the impetus to close the gap fast enough.

Having gone through 10 miles in 59:33, I was thinking I must be close to going sub 1:18, and despite putting in a last ditch sprint down Seaforth Road I went just over, and clocked 1:18:15. However this was a course PB by 2 seconds, so I was reasonably pleased.

Thursday 10 March 2011

101 Not Out

I've just managed my 101st day of running on the trot.

In other words, I've now run every day since 30th November 2010. Perhaps not an enormous achievement, however this forms my longest unbroken stint of running since 2007, when I set most of my road running PBs. So I'm hoping that in the coming weeks I might start seeing some benefit, not least at the impending London Marathon on 17th April, if the body holds together until then.

I had a bit of a nasty fright last night on my 100th day, when my left ankle decided to start spontaneously collapsing whilst I was running. This became quite annoying, especially seeing as it was freezing cold and pouring with rain, meaning I could only manage a slow hobble whilst battling with the onset of hypothermia.

Tonight with some trepidation I went for a ridiculously slow pootly run up to Loch 27 and back, just to test out the ankle, which seemed OK but I'll need to take it easy for the next few days to be in any sort of shape for Balloch to Clydebank Half Marathon, which has been a significant target in my mind over the past few weeks. I'm hoping to clock a half decent time if the body decides to behave itself, although of course it depends how windy it is on the day, etc. etc., but I'm thinking that 1:17 shouldn't be totally out of the question, if I play my cards right.

Sunday 6 March 2011

Lasswade 10-mile Road Race

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My 3rd race of the weekend.

By racing twice yesterday, I essentially blew my chance at getting under the hour since I was running with sore legs from the start. However, I thought it would still be useful marathon training by trying to maintain a constant level of effort when already tired.

I made a deliberate effort to start as slowly as possible, hoping that I might warm up during the race and catch a few folk later on.

From about 4 miles onwards I was closing down on Michael McGovern of Moorfoots, but it took until Mile 6 before I finally caught him, however he didn't give up, and we ran more or less together until Mile 8 when we were caught by the Portobello duo of Douglas Carstairs and Michael Fullarton. By Mile 9 things were hotting up as we all passed Darin Dougal of Moorfoots, and turned into the grounds of Whitehill House. With 800 metres to go, I managed to dig out enough of a finish to go past Michael McGovern (again) and Michael Fullarton, and opened out 15 seconds of gap, but not enough to close down Douglas Carstairs.

I finished in 61:07, which wasn't too bad and was still a PB on this course having previously run 61:39 and 61:41.

Saturday 5 March 2011

Nigel Barge 10k

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Having run the Glasgow Parkrun 5k a few hours earlier, I wasn't really planning on running the Nigel Barge 10k. My original plan had been to take a few photos, however seeing as the light was pretty dull and there didn't seem to be that many folk about, I thought I might as well run the 10k as a bit of extra marathon training, and figured I could jog round in 37 minutes or so.

I tried to start slowly, but went through the first kilometre in 3:23, which was a bit too fast. I dropped 7 or 8 places during the first lap, and coming into Lap 2 I was caught and passed by Michael Diver. I then followed Michael until the return into Garscube where I just caught him again before the line. I finished the race in 36:28.

Glasgow Parkrun #112

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I worked my way up to 5th place after the opening stampede, then spent the rest of the race chasing Bryan McLelland, but not quite managing to close him down at all, so I finished 5th in 17:41.

I ran kilometre 2 in 3:34, and kilometre 4 in 3:38, so not a huge falling off in pace, although if I ever wanted to run sub 17 minutes, I'd need to be averaging 3:24 pace for the whole race. So I'm well off that at the moment.