Today was the day I pulled on my Giffnock North vest for the first time since summer 2016. It was the Strathaven 10k and the official start of my London marathon training.
I had already planned to take it easy and my mate Moz was happy to buddy me along today . So there was no racing , more just a lovely saunter in the sunshine .
Perfect running conditions , sun splitting the sky and not a breath of air . So off we went . Unlike any other race I’ve done we chatted and wandered and generally had a sociable run. It was great . My time was irrelevant . Although at the start of the race my head was saying go for it go for it !!!! However coming back from so much injury sense actually prevailed . There was no scalded cat 🐈. No worrying about spilt times except to make sure they weren’t too quick , and no thoughts of a PB.
I got cheered across the finish line by my Giffnock mates and I even got in the team photo. Am I back ? Who knows but today it felt like it . I just need to stay away from those damn injuries .
It was just great to have my club vest on and run with my mate .
As for the man wax!!!! Well I made a huge chunk of money towards my London marathon total , I cried ,I grimaced and god help me I was redder than superman’s cape, cos nobody told me what to expect ! Well it was a challenge and I accepted it but I could’ve had some warning ⚠️. One things for sure I don’t think it’ll make me run faster, aerodynamic or not !!!!
I had a good couple of weeks training up to going off to France for my holidays . Arrived in a sun drenched Côte d’Azur the and my foot was playing up. So discretion being the better part of valour I decided to rest it whilst away. Now to be honest it was baking hot so it was a great excuse to sit on ma bahooky and get a tan. I was also aware I had knee surgery coming up on the 28th of July so my motivation had dropped.
With the knee op due on Friday I went with a group gallant friends down to Irvine Beach to have a wee run and do some training for the Tiree ultra which is on the 10th of September. I’m only doing 9 miles so hopefully I’ll be ready by then . We didn’t really run that far and we didn’t really run that hard . It was definitely more of a day doon the waater than a training session for most of us. It gave us a chance to discuss the routes and ask our resident Tiree expert Malcolm about stages and the correct foot wear . Somehow this cost me a new pair of ladies trail shoes but not sure how that worked .
Anyway it was a great last night out with my pals culminating ,I’m sad to say a fish supper on the way home . I bet our running clubs, newly crowned commonwealth junior gold 1500 meter runner didn’t eat that after her race 🏁
So off to hospital for a day of lying around reading my booking chatting to pals oh and a knee op at 4pm . Having been in since 8am and not eaten since the aforementioned fish supper the night before I could have eaten a scabby dug by this point . Knocked out mutilated and woken up at 5.30. It was all over .
Upside of all of this is my right leg is the size of Usain ⚡️Bolt’s sadly not in good way. I’m trussed up like last years Christmas turkey so running 🏃 is a no no for an indeterminate period of time . Like most runners when the doctor said ” don’t run for a few weeks ” maybe try cycling in two weeks and do your physiothrapy every day I heard . “You’ll be fine to do Parkrun tomorrow and maybe go back to the running club on Thursday ! Well I’ll have rested for three days ! That should be enough rest shouldn’t it ?
Seriously though if anyone sees me out running in the next few weeks , pull over drag me into your car , physically restrain me if needs be and take me home . To encourage me not to run Tanja has hidden my running shoes . All 9 pairs of them!!!!!
I’ll be back ….. but maybe not this weeek!
Just a short discourse on the perils of running … it makes you throw up 🤢 literally.
On Tuesday night Caroline kindly offered to do some loops at Rouken Glen . She claimed she didn’t fancy a long run with no rests . Don’t ever believe her as this is the lady who ran the west highland way just cos it was there . She’s also signed up for another ” ultra” so I’m like who is she kidding . Anyway off we went to Rouken Glen and did our 1k loop session with a nice 3 min recovery ( I need 3 mins to recharge my oxygen tank. Mrs G had a cold so suggested maybe on lap 4 she would set off and I could try and catch her . Stupid me was like duuuuh that sounds fun. So away she went and about 3 seconds later I went chasing after her . So much for ” I’m not feeling great tonight ” I never got close to catching her and ran so hard my stomach tried to turn itself inside out about 100 meters from the finish line . Caroline was finished and having a cup of tea when I came wheezing and gagging over the line .
We tried again and this time she had about a two second head start . I Caught her this time because I cut a corner , sprinted down the hill and held my breath for 100 metres to avoid being sick . So the lesson is don’t trust and ultra runner claiming to be feeling ” poorly ” .
So tonight it was my triumphant return to Giffnock North . There was no fanfare and less sympathy than I’d hoped for . Runners are a hard lot I’ll tell you . One pal did flick me the V sign so I assumed that was as good a welcome back as I was going to get ! You know who you are !!!!! Oh and to be fair I also got a cuddle !!! Anyway……
Back to Rouken Glen for more loops. Tonight it was 1.8k loops up past boaters the ducks and geese and no time for ice cream.
Long story short …. it was awful. My legs forgot how to run, my lungs didn’t work and I was dry heaving at the end of the first lap.What the hell am I doing here I wondered and hoped I’d misread the session and that was it just the one . But oh no there were two more . So off I went this time sticking in the middle of the group and trying to hide so one could see my pain. Well I managed that one then God help me a third . By which point I was bellowing like an asthmatic donkey climbing a vertical rock face carrying a couple of happy cabballeros on my broken back. It wisnae pretty . There was also more dry heaving .
I came home sat down and found my legs had given up for the night . I smelt bad , so bad the dog left home , my legs ached and my pride was beaten to a pulp . But I did it and yes running does make you sick . But as Bernie the coach says if you’ve left anything on the track you’ve simply not tried hard enough . Wise words for me to carry to bed …. question is who is carrying me to bed as I can’t get up ????
I had threatened to go back to Giffnock North after my knee op at the end of July. However ( I blame Caroline Gibson ) tonight I found myself at Williamwood for my first track session for what about 9/10 months ? There had been some Facebook chat about a later track session , partly promoted by me . I was keen to give it a go but was a bit intimidated by the seriously quick guys that go at 6. So I agreed to go up with the aforementioned Mrs G and do our own more leisurely session. The plan being to do a do a wee session at 7 to avoid speedy Gonzales and the Road Runner.
So in typical scottish summer weather up we went ( it was pissing down and felt like November). A nice simple session of 10 x 400 metres with 2 min rest followed . Caroline kept the pace like a metronome and we just kept knocking them out . We had a speedy number 9 and 10 then a stagger round for our warm down . It was great and lovely to have a Giffnock Pal to run with . Sadly my track days have been cut short as they are going to tear up the football pitch so the track is shut for the summer . Oh well back to the drawing board .
It’s been a good week as I managed 8k on Saturday and 11k on Monday at the windfarm with Tanja followed up with tonight’s track session . I’m taking the plunge and going back to Giffnock on Thursday night so that’s going to end in tears and snotters.
On a high note I’ve also had final confirmation through for my place at the London marathon next year for the Funny Lumps charity . The neurofibromatosis charity that supports and helps kids with NF which Josh has . So whilst my posts will hopefully make you laugh or more likely groan there’s a serous side to all of this . It’s all about raising awareness of NF and ultimately we want to get a specialist clinic opened in Scotland as there’s nowhere here for kids or their parents to go . Don’t worry I will also be asking you all for money ….. just not yet .
So wish me luck as Thursday is a big day. I may be sometime as Captain Scott famously said 😫
Last Friday night was the Brian Goodwin 10k. So what you might ask , you’ve done loads . However I’ve not run one since May 2016 and I believe it or not I had a sleepless night on Thursday . I wondered would one or all of my multiple injuries recur and make me stop . Would I take two hours ? Would I end up walking? Would tanja totally kick my ass and be gloating for weeks like she did after our last park run .
It’s fair to say I’ve never felt less prepared for a race in my life . I nearly pulled out altogether on Friday as my nerves were in tatters . My race plan was simple . Run at 6mins per k then ” sprint ” the last 100 metres and break an hour . I was so worried I didn’t even wear my Giffnock North running vest . I’m thinking folk would be saying look at that daft old geezer walking round Bellahouston in a Club vest . Who is he kidding ?
So fully unprepared I picked up my number, kissed Tanja good bye and walked to the very very very back of the start line. In fact I was still in the toilet for the fourth time when the gun went off . Haha 😂 I thought it’s fine it’s a chipped race so my time will start as I cross the line . No panic . There’s a laugh I felt sick as I started .
So off I trundled me and a couple of retired pensioners watching the race disappear into the sunset .One step at a time I’m saying . So I’m counting slowly in my head then bzzzzzzzzz first k gone . Oh crap I’ve gone out too fast it’s 5.30. Right slow down focus . Bzzzzzz second k 5.28. Oh come on slow down. Stop buzzing stupid watch. 4th k 5.20. Aw come on help …… what am I doing . Then I clock my nemesis ! My wife ….. I wonder if I can catch her …. mmmm . It’s coming to 5k and the water stop and I catch her there . Right now pride kicks in keep going don’t let her catch you . My knee feels fine my foot feels fine . I’ve gone through 5k faster than I’ve run since last year . I’m definitely going to break 60 mins . So I slow down . 6th k 5.20. Help me I can’t slow down . My brain is saying slllllloooooow down . Stupid legs are saying run faster run faster. I’m dying ( did I mention it was hot ). I’m at 9k well inside 60 mins so think bugger it and go faster again. I’m having a wee race with a lady from Bellahouston and another girl who has been beside me from about 2k Oh don’t break now legs !!!! It’s a sprint finish flat out lung busting I cross the line and fall over . I’ve run 54.02….. what!!!! My last k was 4.50!!!!
So once I’ve recovered I realise that whilst not spectacular I’m well ahead of my expectations. I’ve beaten Tanja this time ( although I fear she’s already planning her revenge as she was well off her best pace) and I’m not injured . I’ve not even clocked my other pal Ann because she was so far head of me . Still it’s a result and a hugely unexpected one at that .
I’m still amazed that I ran that quickly , I didn’t break and I didn’t throw up. The nicest part of all though was being back amongst my running buddies . All the good lucks the well done’s . That’s what made the night . Not the run , the weather or the burger . Just being back in amongst my running pals . I missed you guys and it’s good to be back .
Mmmm where’s my next race I’m already wondering ???
My wife Tanja went out this morning in the pounding rain and rain a super 10k at the Vale of Leven. I felt inspired so I thought I’d do a wee slow gentle plod of a 10k later in the day . Because of all my injuries and lack of running I’ve not been able to run with my pals . However I knew Nic had been struggling with a sore bum cheek and a cold so I thought maybe she could suffer a slow run with me . She must’ve felt sorry for me cos she agreed to come out for a plod . So off we went . Surprisingly the sun had now come out and was splitting the skies and we set out to do a wee hilly 10k round the streets of Giffnock and Newton mearns . A couple of k of flat warm up then 4K of up hill torture . I had to stop twice …. like what ???? Last year I was up this hill like Bambi on red bull. Anyway once we got up there it was a nice long down hill back to the house . My watched vibrated to let me know we had completed 10k . I checked the time . I’d broken 1hr. Not by much but a whole 14 seconds . Who cares it’s a milestone in my running recovery . Thanks to Nicola Urquhart for the company and the chat and keeping me going when I struggled to breath on that damn climb . It’s amazing how unfit I am and those hills showed me how far I still have to go . But you know what it’s the first time I’ve been able to run with a run buddy for nearly a year , and it felt great to be back . Now where’s that Alison Gordon? She’s next to suffer my chat ?
So last year I ran my first marathon in London at the grand old age of ….. well over 30 let’s say . It was a great experience and I throughly enjoyed it but it wasn’t a great success . I had a few niggles and injuries between Christmas and the race so my time was disappointing as I had hoped to break 4 hours . I missed it by a good half hour . I decided after that to focus on 10k races because I reckoned I’m super speedy . ” read super stupid ” but lo and behold I got plantar fasciitis in June of 2016. End of running career for a couple of months .( I thought ) I had a couple of comeback attempts which didn’t work out as it wouldn’t go away so that was that . Coupled with a torn cartilage ( done whilst trying to manoeuvre round a water spill in the office ) not even a heroic injury like landed badly after my 30,900 foot sky dive or some other nonsense . So I’m thinking god will I ever run again. So this year lying in bed in April watching the start of the London marathon and trying to see my pals running it , I thought bugger this got up and ” ran” 5k . More like hobbled limped and like Father jack said feck !!!
However after much moaning and groaning I went back out and tried again and again and again . Followed by a visit to the doctor to see if she had any suggestions. She started off with suggesting euthanasia might be easier in my state but as that might’ve upset my dog she gave me drugs to ease the pain and help with the inflammation. Within 24 hours my pain had almost gone and the hobbling had stopped . So I kept on going out and running. It’s been slow , painful and I’ve missed my pals at Giffnock North and I’ve gone back to join my buddies at Sheila’s jogging group. But the miracle is that the pain has gone from my foot and my Leg pretty much and my running is improving slowly .
Somewhere along the line whilst disoriented by the drugs I must’ve mentioned to some one in the scottish neurofibromatosis charity that I’d run a marathon for them . Well today guess what the buggers called my bluff . Yeeeeh they said ” we got a charity place at the London marathon.” Yeeeh they said ” remember when you were doped up on drugs you said you’d run it for us . Oh bugger said I so I did.Well what could I say . These guys support my ten year old son Josh who has neurofibromatosis and are truly inspiring and wonderful people so I said yes 😂.
Tonight I made my triumphant return to the Olympic running track home of champions Williamwood High School . I hurtled round the track at a pace more akin to that of an octogenarian with a 60 a day cigarette habit than the world beating marathon runner I keep thinking I am. Anyway I’m home I’m knackerd and my legs hurt and this is day one of my London marathon training . God help me I’ve another ten months of this torture . When I see my doctor I’m going to be having words with her about those drugs she gave me . Wish me luck . I’m going to need it .