I’ve started training again, just me and the dog until I build up enough speed and confidence to train with a group. I’m also building up gradually, although I walk with the dog every day, there’s a big difference between walking and running and I don’t want to do anything that would set me back or exacerbate the hamstring injury. It’s been a year now since I damaged it and despite having great treatment from the NHS Physiotherapist for nine months and the associated daily stretching exercises, it’s still not 100%. Perhaps it never will be, but it’s good enough to run. Well a bit anyway. As you may know, I’ve back doing the weekly 5k parkruns.
I’ve set myself a target of doing one per week until I reach my 200th one and then reassess the situation. It’s not that long to go as on Sat 13th August, I completed my 195th. Jack and I returned to Pollok Park and joined 510 other participants round the two lap, undulating course. Jack is getting used to cani-running and didn’t need any coaxing to get moving this week. Running from the off and only needing the occasional reminder not to walk, we had a good positive race and crossed the line in 74th with a time of 22:13. I was delighted to have taken nineteen seconds off of our Victoria Park time, seven days previous, and 83 seconds off of our joint PB at Pollok two weeks before. Good progress, which is always great to see. Someone said that my next target should be to get a 21 something 5k.
We had a tough off road session at Rouken Glen Park on Sunday morning, a couple of walks on Monday and a hot and sweaty 5k, in Queens Park on Tuesday. Wednesday was one of the hottest days of the year and we had decent walk in the morning. We sometimes do the Great Run Local 2k together along the River Clyde at 6:30 in the evening but it was over 20c, so I decided to leave Jack in the cooler confines of home and cycle down and back to the Broomielaw, where I decided to use the 5k event as a training run. This would be only my second run this year, unaccompanied by the dog. The other being July’s 3k on the Green.
Great Run Local
Despite the absence of the SQA gals and a number of other regulars, some of which were racing in Irvine, there was still a decent turnout of 31 runners, plus another five in the 2k option. After the pre-run announcements from Emma O’Rourke we line up for a photograph and made our way to the start. We cheered the 2k runners as they passed us and then got our own race underway.
I was pleasantly surprised to find myself running along side Al MacLachlan for the initial part of the race, however when we reached the bridge for the first time he darted off and I took a more cautious approach. Over the bridge and back and I started to feel that I was being isolated so I targeted Gary Henderson and chased after him, passing Maria Doherty on my way.
I couldn’t see anyone in front of Gary, so I was happy to tag along behind him for a while. Although I was just looking for a training run, I started to think that it would be good to get that sub 22min 5k.
As we a approached the bridge again, I noticed Stephen O’Neil ahead and decided to overtake Gary and target Stephen.
By the time we had returned to the north side of the Clyde, he was within catching distance and I decided to throw caution to the wind and overtake him too. There was almost 2k to go and I worked hard running out to the turning point on my own trying to establish a decent gap on Stephen.
I noticed the fast boys as they approached me. First Darren McQuade and then Michael Healy, a bit of a gap and then Al MacLachlan and Connor McEirien, running shoulder to shoulder. another gap and then Jim Buick and that was it. Next was me.
I ran around Iain Littler, marshaling (taking pics and providing words of encouragement) at the turning point, and I was into my final kilometre. There was no sight of Jim but I noticed Stephen and Gary making their way to the turn. I had established a decent gap on them and knowing that I had no chance of catching Jim, it was me against the clock. I worked hard both physically and mentally and the the final one thousand metres took me 4:01 mins. I surged over the line, holding my wrist strap up as I did but forgetting to stop to allow he scanner to work. Emma caught up with me and made up for my error.
Al MacLachlan congratulated me and I thought that he said ‘you got your 21 something’. I had worked hard in the heat, ran a good race and got the tie that I was after. However after chatting with the others, I realised that he had said that I had got ‘under 21’. 20;56 according o his watch. My Garmin revealed that I had stopped my watch at 20;58 and the official results show that Emma scanned me at 21:05. All of which are way inside of my target of sub 22.
To be honest, a few months ago, I wasn’t sure if I’d run again. To achieve a sub 21 minute 5k wasn’t even in my plan, never mind reaching it so soon after my comeback. I’m pleased to be ‘back’ but I’ll resist the temptation to go gun-ho and carry-on gradually building up my training.
Thanks to all the volunteers and fellow runners who have continued to support and encourage me over the last 12 months and more.