However, as planned I decided not to "break them in" on the Edinburgh to North Berwick Race on Saturday - but rather just wear my old holey pair for the race and hope they held out.
Neil Jones had come up with the idea of some of us sharing an 8 seater taxi from North Berwick to the start line on Saturday. A great idea that worked out cheaper than various modes of public transport, and gave us all a good chance for a bit of a natter before the run.
We timed it well and got to the registration with the right amount of time to collect numbers, get kit ready, loo visits and warm up without either being rushed or feeling we were killing time.
I like a bit of a warm up before any race - just to loosen off - but I don't feel the need to do too much before a distance like this, so I was more than happy to stop every now and then to chat to others.
Bit of a strange feeling to be lining up for the start of a race alongside so many others by the prom at Seafield. I associate that bit of road with very early morning solitary runs when other than me there's usually just the odd cyclist or dog walker.
I honestly didn't know what to expect of this years run. I came to it last year after doing a Spring marathon - and, more importantly, after doing the training for a Spring marathon. This year, despite my early good intentions, I've not picked a marathon (other than York in October) and, as such, I've not really done the number of long runs I would normally have done.
Anyway. A few words from Barry ... and we were off.
The first few miles passed in a bit of a blur and, to be honest, uneventful. I just got into what I thought was a comfortable pace and tried to get into a "zone". I do remember getting to the bridge at Musselburgh and thinking "Jeeze - is that only three miles?"
Got to the Pans and I was fourth on the road. The front guy was WAY ahead, but I could just make out the two guys in front of me (Neil Renault of Edinburgh ended up setting a course record of 1:49). Spent the next 5 miles or so just slowly trying pick up the pace and reel them in. Managed to catch up with them by the time we got between Longniddry Bents and Aberlady (I always hate that long strait stretch of tree lined road before Aberlady).
My joy at catching and passing them was tempered a bit with the knowledge "feck' I'm second". Passed Alex Jackson at the 15 mile mark who informed me "the leaders only 11 minutes ahead of you". "Oh good" I thought - I only have to pick it up to about three minute mile pace and I could win this!!.
As it was, that was not to be a worry. I got passed by two runners just before Dirleton. I had a quick look at them and their numbers and thought to myself "they're not vets" - just let them go...
I don't usually bother with "food" during this race, but this year I had two veggie Percy Pig sweeties with me that I had at Dirleton - just to give myself a bit of a boost.
Felt better on the last two miles from Dirleton to North Berwick than I've ever felt on this race and was lifted towards the end by encouragement from some Dunbar runners who had come out to marshal.
|"Chest Out, Shoulders Back" The complete antithesis of “Chi” running.
Photo (c) Bob Marshall
Crossed the line in 2:04:54. 4th overall and 1st vet. Slightly quicker than last year - but I'm sure that was down to the stiff tail wind we had for most of the race.
So that's two years in a row that I've been 4th and 1st VO40. And I can categorically state that it's also the last time that will happen.
Club had a good result with Rhona getting 2nd lady overall and her, Mary and Anne bagging the ladies team prize.
Celebrated last night by allowing myself a bottle of alcohol free wheat beer with my tea - 'cause that's the kind of wild and crazy guy I am. As it's "technically" a PB some sort of jazz purchase is in the offing as well.
Today. Well the new shoes got taken out of the box and together we set of for a decidedly leisurely six miler.