We were happy to leave the sub-standard hotel in Glasgow on Sunday morning. The streets were quiet and the sun rising as we made our way to Strathclyde Park in the sleepy hollow that is Motherwell. Thankfully, there were no obvious after effects from my sporting achievements the previous day. We had met the dark destroyer and speedy joe for an Italian on Byres Road the night before. It was chocka. Plenty of disposable income and appetites in evidence.
We arrived at race HQ in good time and Missus Mac went in for the numbers. With a field of just over 350 athletes, the Tom Scott 10m road race is a high profile run. Broadly comprising 2 laps around the lake and with only 1 incline, it has the potential to deliver fast times. My recent training runs have, however, gone poorly. The work in the gym and on the bike have affected my legs somehow, perhaps tightening the ligaments. The flab has also been hard to shift. Nevertheless, I was keen to get my 2019 running (or jogging) account open and 10 miles seemed like a daft enough idea. It was make or break. Having finished Andy McNabs Bravo Two Zero in record time (a really enjoyable read), I was steely in my determination to see this test through.
We set off at 10am. A long line of runners stretched out in front of me. The wildlife in the lake seemed to take this rampage in their stride. I noticed the presence of a few Hawks vests, but I've not renewed my membership this year and was wearing my Morpeth vest.
I plodded along for the first 3 miles clocking around 7:10min miles. I was aware of the seemingly inevitable tightening of my right calf after 4 miles and the pace dropped to around 7:40min miles. The very warm conditions brought out swarms of mayfly which at times were pretty unpleasant as we wound our way around the lake. I was surrounded by a couple of Perth runners, one from Dumfries and a local Motherwell runner, but I was losing speed as I prayed for the mile markers to come. My stamina was definitely in question, but my resolution wasn't.
At eight and a half miles I had a stabbing pain in the calf and walked it for a wee while, before resuming the final stretch of the race. To be honest, I probably didn't lose much time and finished in 1:12min. All in all, satisfactory.
As I sat on the grass eating my Tunnocks Log and swatting the flies away I mused how antithetical the experience had been compared to my ride yesterday. Maybe I'd best park the trainers for a while.
Next weekends hilly time trial at Darlington will, no doubt, bring me back down to earth. Maybe best to focus on what I can do. Better all round for the morale. Happily the rest of the team did well and I retired late in the day when we got home to write a less than complimentary review on the hotel in Glasgow and, conversely, a glowing one for the hotel in East Kilbride.