Saturday, 6 August 2016

Bad Housekeeping

Whoops, I’ve allowed a bit of a backlog to build up, and now have 13 unblogged races.  Due to a combination of failing memory and lack of inclination to do otherwise, I’ll keep things relatively brief.

East Lothian Summer Series (Haddington): Nice evening, ok run, par for the course placing (beaten by two Davids who are undoubtedly faster than me).  Daughter Jamie came along and ran, and was 1st female junior.

Traprain Law: Grey day, greyer run.  Personal worst, lots of walking.  Got to kick water up Peter’s back at the river crossing though, and we got a club picture in the local rag.

Self-Transcendence 2 mile race #1: Persistent drizzle, some skidding off the path on the tighter bends, lung-burning stuff, but pleased with my time.  Jamie came to this as well, and got a taste of racing satisfaction when she managed to beat a guy who kept putting on spurts as she drew alongside him.  I’ll let her off for starting the race with her hands in her pockets…

Self-Transcendence 2 mile race #2: Better night, better time.

7 Hills: Like a lazy student I tried some last minute cramming of hill reps in the week before the race.  And flunked the exam on the day.  Another PW.  Spot prize!  Part of the problem may have been that I invoked my 2 mile race pacing strategy, and then died a long and slow death.  Another part may have been that I became dislocated from runners around me – without people to drag me along, I slipped into a more sedate pace than I should have.  I also made two major route changes (Haymarket, and the Gutted Haddie) but difficult, on this performance, to evaluate their respective merits.  Must try harder…

Self-Transcendence 1 mile race: Weird how exhausted I could feel after little more than 5 minutes worth of work.  PB.

ELSS (Archerfield): Great venue and nice course, but not a particularly fast 5k - too much twisting through trees on a muddy path.  Chased three fast youngsters in vain, and thought I’d done myself an injury in the process.  Mercifully, probably just cramping calves.

Crieff 10k: Excellent trail-y race that would make for a lovely training run at gentle pace.  Reasonably tough at speed.  Acquitted myself reasonably well on the climb, and then reeled in a few places on the way home.  Finished just behind (in terms of places at least) Stuart and Olympian Freya Ross – I’m fine with that.  Top quality scran afterwards – probably ate 3,000 calories having burned 600.

Self-Transcendence 2 mile race #3: Good turn out from the club – five in total, and three in the top 10.  Got a medal for 5th.

Musselburgh 10k: Best performance of the year so far, although that is perhaps not saying much.  A stiff westerly provided a challenge, but at least it was in the best direction for the course.  Hid behind the first lady for the first mile to the harbour, then made the most of the next 2 or 3 miles with the wind at my back, before turning and digging in for the slog back to the finish.  37:14 is my best for two years, or 2nd best ever, and only 30 seconds off my PB.  Pleased with that.

ELSS (Portobello): Warm weather made for a busy Prom.  A few clowns made for near misses – it takes two to take avoidance measures.  Again, par for the course placing.  Frank did an excellent and appreciated job in guiding Jamie round to her second 1st FJ.  If she turns up to the final race I think she is guaranteed the category prize (proud Dad alert).

Turf Cutting Run: Part of Musselburgh’s Riding of the Marches festival.  Similar to the 7 Hills in that there are 12 “turf cutting stations” marked by polished granite plaques.  You have to visit each, but can do so in whatever order and taking whichever course you choose.  But the lack of hills helped me.  Great fun, and I was delighted to receive a handsome cup for the win.  Small field mind – it really deserves to be better subscribed.  

North Berwick Law: Only 3 miles from the harbour to the top of the Law and back again.  I decided to wear my racing flats (rather than trail shoes) in the hope that they would make a massive difference on the 2 miles of tarmac, and be not much worse walking up the hill in the middle.  They didn’t make a massive difference on the tarmac and they were utterly hopeless (or was that just me?) coming down the hill.  I was very “Princess Tippy Toes”, to use Stuart’s phrase.  Not that that had any bearing on young Angus beating me to the top of the hill, and indeed the end of the race!  Great fun though, and a free ice cream (courtesy of Dr Neil’s negotiations with the Fry) cleansed my palate nicely for my main course of chips.

Haddington Half is next on Saturday 13 August.


  1. Zippy reports and short fast races go quite nicely together!

  2. congrats on WIN (shiny cup and all!)and well done doing lots of high speed training (racing, it has worked well and I had to REALLY try hard to catch up at NB Law.
    Good fast blogging - I am 4 behind currently.

  3. Thanks Peter - I was delighted to be anywhere near you at the finish!