Sunday, 9 June 2019

St Christophers TT, Newton Mearns

I've managed a couple of Parkruns in the last month.That's progress. Parkruns are the litmus paper for my running form (and also the climate) at the mo.
There was a toasty humid 5k Parkrun in late May. I finished in 20:22. Not great; not bad. Yesterday, again at Blyth, I ran 21:29 in an adversarial northernly and a grim, driving, salty rainy deluge. True, one half was running with a huge tailwind, but running into rain like that reminded me of the Ben Nevis Hill race in 2009. That was awful. A proper test of application. It found me wanting...and not wanting more. 
What I really want to report in this blog is my mental 6 hour round trip to take part in a time trial in Newton Mearns on Wednesday to ride 10 miles on a course bathed in rough potholed tarmac, long challenging drags and piss poor weather. What was I thinking of? As a (delayed) reaction, I was booked in for another 10 mile test today near Thirsk, but I've come over all Mike and Bernie Winters and forfeited my £10 entry fee and cancelled. That said, Ive saved a 3 hour drive and £40 in fuel by not travelling. My heart wasn't in it. I've simply not being doing the miles. Not been doing the time.

Newton Mearns is a place I lived beside but never visited back in the day around the time when Radio Clyde were established, when Runrig were formed and when we were relative newbies in the EU. My spatial geography of Glasgow is very poor in spite of my two years as a young teenager living there.
I arrived at the Fairweather hall in good time. The sky had been looking ragged and angry for an hour or two and as I unpacked the bike I chatted on with a fellow rider, Lorna Sloan of the Fullerton Club, who was off two before me. She looked older and I wondered if I might catch her. I was glad for once to don my velotoze shoe covers; at least when it poured my feet would remain dry. I was off no. 32.
I rode the two miles in the light drizzle to the start and then spent 10 minutes doing a couple of efforts to try and get my heart rate up. It was unconvincing. Lorna appeared at the crest of the hill and gestured that she had punctured. No ride for her tonight. A portly looking bloke was making his way back from the startline as the rain began to come in. Another puncture victim. The rain was washing fresh gravel onto the road. Small streams appeared in places cutting across the tarmac. The potholes were filling up nicely.
I took off my training top and was counted down. It took around 3 miles before I caught sight of the chap in front, my minuteman, Alex McPhee of Dooleys. The occasional car or bus came past spraying us lightly as the rain continued. I thought I was catching the bloke McPhee, but it was a slow business.
I maintained my focus on the leg back but clocking 15 minutes for the outward leg, I knew the overall time would be slower than a snail on dope. Sure enough, a late 26 minutes was the result and as I collected my wet trackie top I reflected that at least I'd got a ride. I finished toward the top of the bottom of the field again 28th out of 40 odd who finished. I commiserated by stopping for a small fish supper from Hooks fish bar somewhere along a busy road and got home around 12:15am after negotiating a series of night time road closures.
On the positive side, I've entered July's Sunderland 5k which is always fast due to the first 800m being downhill and today I managed a slow and steady 12 miles in the sun taking my weekly mileage up to 24 miles.Happy with that, thank you very much.