Sunday 1st October
Race- Great Scottish Run 10km, 1st in 31:37, first race since 27th August.
One key difference in my training in 2017 has been increased mileage. At the time of writing, 45 weeks into the year, I've manged 60 miles or more in 17 of those weeks with a high of 63 so far. I aim to have clocked 20 such weeks by the end of the year. For a lot of runners, 60 miles per week is not a huge amount but, for someone who was used to 40-50 then 50-55, it is. I have noticed a great benefit, particularly feeling stronger in the later stages of races, even when it's not been going as well as I want. The Scottish 5000m at Grangemouth is a case in point.
The planned preparation for Glasgow had been 3 weeks of 60 plus then taper off. I managed 2 out of the 3 60 milers, the only exception being a vomiting bug seeing me miss a session then shorten a run to give a total of 44. As for the race, I was delighted with how it went. Yes, my time was slower than 12 months previously but conditions were far less favourable. Running in a group until 3km, I made a burst for glory uphill onto the Kingston Bridge and pretty much held on from there. I couldn't relax because my gap in the end to runner up Alasdair McLeod (Shettleston) was only 18 seconds with my clubmate Douglas Roberts (sadly disqualified due to an admin mix up) another 11 seconds adrift. People can often assume that because you're clear in a race it's easy. Rest assured it isn't. I always run on the assumption there's someone on my shoulder. I would also add that you've not won until you've crossed the finish line, no matter how big your lead. Celebrate after you're safely over the finish line.
The day wasn't only about me as my buddy from Inverness, Jenny Bannerman, took runner up spot in the ladies race in 35:50. In addition, my brother Robert, running the race for the second time, clocked a personal best of 51:28, a 6 minute improvement in a year. Finally, there was the mystery friend who has enjoyed an occasional cameo appearance on this blog recently. When I say "friend," putting the word "girl" as a preface more accurately describes matters. So well done to Laura Farquharson of Hamilton Harriers who, improving by 2 minutes on 2016, recorded 45:58 and a new personal best (which she has since bettered again incidentally). Thankfully her 4 mile run with me the previous morning did not do (too much) harm. I need to watch my back!