Monday, 23 July 2018

The heat, the flies....

I've been struggling with the heat and the prolonged hot spell we're having. Probably like a good number of folk, I like a warm day, don't get me wrong. Sometimes a nice couple of sunny weeks is just the ticket. But the watering can is knocking on the door asking for Sanctuary and I find myself closing the curtains at mid-day in the absence of my Mediterranean shutters. Someone cheery in a flowery dress on the news this morning was pointing to a number that was over 30. FFs.
The running has been going steady and last Monday I ventured out with the club for a session. Panning myself around a 9 mile circuit, however, does not really fit in with the new short distance specialist image I am trying to cultivate. It took me 2 days to recover from said exertion. Instead, I have been dropping down to 4 mile steady sessions, the intensity of which are dictated by how I feel after a mile or so (usually hot).
It was the Sunderland 5k ten days ago with its ski slope start, a faster 5k course you'd be hard pushed to find. I was in the first race and aiming to beat my Vicky Park Parkrun time in March of 18:45. Around 150 vets and ladies galloped down the wooded lane and then settled into a grumpy trample around the flat 2km circuit around yon big pond. It was pretty bloomin hot and after passing Holt and Bennett Jnr, I tried to make some impression on training buddy Walker, but I ran out of juice and commitment in the last kilometre and was presented with a slice of summary justice when the Holt Bennett tandem came passed me and continued to move away ahead. I nevertheless careered onto the finish like the frothing racehorse loon that I am and delivered a halogenetic 18:36 which took, as they say, every bit of my sinew to deliver.
This weeks been steady with only 22 miles on the road and 45 on the bike, not forgetting, of course a weekly trip to the dojo. I have been the toast of the house however for my splendid efforts in clearing out the garage which has never been a happy place and has been a tipping ground for memorabilia and such like for many years. As I sifted through the detritus and debris I found a small group of lost soldiers. They were reclining in the undergrowth there having a smoke. Thankfully, they had no ammo left. I always thought I could hear voices at night below the bedroom floor.
I think I've been booked into a couple of half marathons later this year by Mrs Mac. She can barely find the energy to run after long shifts at work, but it doesn't stop her getting carried away on these new fangled websites for the lycra endowed. I should break the news of my new short distance image to her soon.
I have checked the forecast for today....pheeuw, more of the same. Is that the watering can I can hear again at the door...!?     

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Nibbling the White Line

Thanks to CM & the Clan-facebook
I wasn't sure if I should run at Monkton in the vets mile track race. I had a number for the Bridges of Tyne 5m tonight which I had transferred from Miss L. who had entered previously but couldn't make it. However, an email from the organiser yesterday sealed the deal when he said I hadn't got in to the road race. I was 4 days late with the transfer, so it was a no-go.  Total bo%£cks.
Anyway, that left me free to bury myself in a 100% effort in order to secure a sub 5:30 on the track. Easy target? I had a big extended family day out on Saturday and my previous weeks mileage was just steady miles. No speedwork whatsoever.   Why should beating a PB by easy? I think not.
In the process of getting to the track, I misplaced my phone. I hunted around the car when I arrived at the track. Time was getting on, however, so I locked up and trooped along to the little clubhouse of Jarrow & Hebburn, Steve Crams old club.
I joined the queue and signed up for the event.
There was quite a good turnout and I found out I was in the 5th heat of 6 races. I thought there was a good chance of running in a group, which might help with pacing. I donned my Nikes and did some  stretching. Although it was dry and warm, there was a decent breeze on the back straight and I wasn't at all sure it was a fast night. No matter how many times I rooted through my bag, though, there was still no sign of the phone. A wee jog back to the car. Nope.
It was soon time to line up and I was 3rd from the inside. There were around 10 in the race and we were under starters and ...bang...we were off.  I tucked in behind Mr G with 3 others ahead. We were round lap 1 in 73 seconds (or so the bloke at the line shouted). On the back straight the 3 in front were moving away and Carla M. from N Shields moved up just as I was thinking about going across the gap, so I moved onto her shoulder. She was moving well but I wasn't sure about the pace. It was fast, but I was reluctant to move to the front of the group and sat there for 2 more laps. With 200 to go, I moved out and went. I could feel someone behind me and knew I wasn't alone, but ploughed on to the line. The fact that I could attempt a sprint meant I hadn't run this as well as I might.
The result was 5:44. How could I have lost 14 seconds from my run a fortnight ago?
But we weren't quite I began to jog on, I was called back by an official and politely read the riot act about 'nibbling' the inner edge of the white line of the track. Next time a DQ was on the cards. I nodded. Disappointed with the time, I was probably more disappointed with my lack of drive in letting someone else do all the work. Resolving to put in the graft next time, I said my goodbyes to Mr G and took off home.
I caught sight of the lads road training group coming back from the Steads as I got back into 'Peth. Maybe I would have been better doing a long training session?!
The phone was in the toilet. Plonker.
Giving myself a hard time for my poor track run, I put my trainers back on and promptly knocked out a 10 miler round the lanes. Must try harder, Mr Mac. Slacker.