Friday, 18 June 2010



The best thing to do when your running a short, fast and hard race in the evening is to try and have a restful day leading up to it.

So with those wise words in mind, there I was very early yesterday morning running along Portobello prom thinking “Ooh, in 12 hours or so I’ll be racing here.” To be honest though the little run in the morning was really gentle and hopefully just a short session to keep the old legs loose. I am not doing enough stretching these days and suffer quite badly from stiff legs and a stiff back in the morning. What my early run did make me realise though was how hot it was yesterday. And as the day went on it just got hotter and hotter… was going to be tough.

Anyway. A “working day” later I met Anne and, after a coffee and cake, we headed down to Portobello for registration.

There was a good turnout from the club last night and we more or less headed out “en mass” for a bit of a warm up before the start after a quick group photo.

I was secretly aiming for sub 23, but due to the heat I was starting to revise my plans.

Anyway, we got back from our warm up. Quick last minute visit to the loo. On to the start line for the usual words of advice from the starter… and we were off.

For about the first forty or fifty metres I felt quite comfortable, but after that it was just maximum effort all the way round.

The first part of the race up towards the turn at the cat and dog home is just a bit of a blur to me to be honest. I know that for this part of the race me and Ian were either shoulder to shoulder, or taking it in turns to try and take the lead, but even in something as short as a four mile race the first mile is still pretty much about trying to settle in and then trying to move up the field (well, it is for me).

Missed the fist mile marker (there was one – but I just missed it), so I was more than happy to get to the two mile marker, back down on the prom, to see that I was managing about 5:40 pace.

The run from King Street, along the prom before turning round for the home stretch is always a toughie for me. There were a group of Edinburgh guys ahead of me and I just set myself the task of trying to get towards them. My breathing was so laboured by this time that I really couldn’t tell what was happening behind me and didn’t dare risk looking round in case I lost time or saw Ian sitting comfortably behind me.

Turned and headed briefly onto the High Street before a quick dodge down a side street and a sharp left back onto the prom for the last mile.

Unfortunately, some of the slower runners (still heading towards the turn) had decided to ignore the race instructions to “stay on the left” preferring to go to their right to try and get shade from the wall.

I noticed that one of the Edinburgh group had been dropped slightly and tried to reel him in. However, my breathing was so laboured that the guy obviously knew it and pulled away slightly every time I got close. Finally managed to pass him, close to the swimming pool, but he really tried to get back and made me work all the way to the bowling club and the finish line.

Finished 12th in 22:20 which cheered me up no end. Another PB this year.

Usual efficient “results board” posted just by the drinks station is always busy – a great way to quickly see how you got on and who’s in line for what prize.

A quick shower and change before the prize giving then we all headed down to Musselburgh for a curry.

I think though that the effort of the run had played a bit of havoc with my stomach and although the food was tasty enough I didn’t quite mange it with the usual relish.

Any disappointing parts to the evening? Well yes there was. A beautiful sunny evening by the beach. Was there ladies beach volleyball on? No there was not L

Maybe just as well though, might have ended up getting about 25 minutes.

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