A merry band of Striders set off yesterday on the coach, and a few others came independently – about 20 all in all. It poured en route, I envisaged running torture for 90 minutes, and only my hot flask of tea and Karen Chalkey’s pleasant chat kept me awake! Was not in the mood at all, I wanted to go back to bed …
It was brighter at Brampton, a bit nippy and a few tiny showers, but I liked the feel of the place from the start. Lots of people millling around, all very friendly and chatty. I made a fool of myself -NEVER! – by holding my Garmin up to the sky to locate the satellites, till Alister told me just to leave it on the wall a wee while!! I ignored him and continued doing the same, till another (unknown) lady did likewise, and we were challenging the skies together…yes, a friendly (mad??) buzz converted my weary mind to a state of eager readiness for the start …
Bang went the gun! Vamoose down the hill…and we were off…Allan’s words of wisdom rang in my ears..hill at 4 miles…don’t go off to fast…bit of undulation 7-9 miles..then downhill…think I can hack that, I thought. But my legs had other plans…I kept wanting to get by people early on, and couldn’t stop myself. Hills, fading too early, pace..an attempt at common sense kept running through my mind, but I couldn’t temper my legs to slow down …
At about 3 miles (and already after a hill!) we turned a corner into glorious sunshine, and it was almost too hot for running…flat steady roads kept on coming, and my legs refused to slow down. You will notice that I separate my legs (the physical) from my mind (the mental) [Very good idea. Ed.], which didn’t know what the heck had hit it. I tried to think “pacing” thoughts, but just knew it wasn’t gunna happen….was it the mini Mars bar just before the start, or the fact that I hadn’t run as much that week due to extra work?
Who was breathing down my neck at 6 miles? I had been yo-yo-ing with another runner a few times, and thought it was him. Round the corner off the little bit of gravel path came Flip…grrr, it wasn’t 9.7 miles where he usually turns up. How dare he! I shouted “PIG!” at him, and told he he wasn’t allowed to run past without a word. Then shrieked out my 10k time at him, only to realise I had just run past the only water station and it was too late to go back … oh well …
Onwards and upwards..well, not really, although there were more slight gradients in the last 3 or so miles than I liked. Legs were starting to get weary, but on I plodded, amazingly still pretty much maintaining the pace from the start. Just when I thought I had reached the tip of a slight gradient, another one appeared, then the 9 mile marker came in sight, and I knew I was homeward bound. But still another small gradient, till the final drop down into the Sports Stadium. What a wonderful noise to hear Striders yelling and shouting encouragement at that last corner, it really does your heart good when you need the extra will to speed to the finish. 3 seconds behind Rich Hall…never would have believed that in a million years!
Sorry for the one-sidedness, I am still so very excited after yesterday, but there were great runs by many of the Striders yesterday, new PBs, wonderful support (thanks Angie and Jacquie) and a great feeling of camaraderie. What a great club to run with, I thought on the way home. I do hope Lindsay is fine after someone ran into her early on and she fell..and still got a PB! And let’s wish Michelle well, who was ill whilst we tucked into the hotel food and continued to be all the way home…
|1||James Douglas||Border Harriers & AC||M||0:50:33|
|28||Mhairi Duff||Dumfries Running Club||L||1||0:58:49|
|351?||Phil Owen *||V40||1:20:02|
* Subject to stewards’ inquiry.