Sunday, 9 March 2014

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Saturday saw us head into "The Toon" for the King's Buildings 5 mile race.
Done this race before, but it came as a bit of a surprise, when looking through my log, to discover it was six years ago. I thought three or four!
Anyway. I couldn't completely remember the route, but I did know it was hilly. Add to that yesterdays horrible winds and it was always going to be tough.
We got there in loads of time and put ourselves through the rather strange "registration process". You paid for your number (fair enough), and THEN the runner had to go to a row of laptops and negotiate their way round a rather badly designed "registration form". The whole thing had a bit of an "internet cafe" feel about it.
Anyway. Met a few folk and had a bit of a chat before me and Nick headed off for a bit of a warm up that took in the first mile and a bit of the route. I had forgotten just how much of the first part of the race was run on pavement alongside a pretty busy road. With the amount of "street furniture", wheelie bins and shop signs around it was going to be tricks and passing opportunities were going to be limited at the start.
Our warm up took us to the bottom of the first real climb and it suddenly came back to me what the route was like (and not in a nice way).
Anyway. We jogged back to the start in time to shed jackets and tops and get into the start line with everyone else.
Being hosted by a university team there is quite a young crowd at this race.
A few words from the starter..a whistle..and we were off.
As I'd feared, the start was a bit of a guddle and I wasn't in the best position, but just tried to keep the head until we got to the foot of the climb where I knew the pavements widened out and the roads were a lot quieter (you can pop off the pavement and use the road here).
For most of the climb I was running pretty much shoulder to shoulder with Willie Jarvie of Portobello, and we could see Rab Watson of Musselburgh ahead.
Once up the hill we were running along by the Braids Golf Course and it was at this point that the cross wind was at its worst. Got ahead of Willie here, but I could not tell by how much as I didn't dare look behind me. I just kept the head down and tried to reel in Rab (didn't happen).
A fast downhill section along by Liberton and I think at one point my GPS was clocking 5:30 pace.
The last section, however, is a slight uphill and I suddenly became aware of WJ right behind me. Then passing me...Then pulling away. Just didn't have anything left to answer.
Still. Pleased with my time (28:59 by my watch) and happy to see that it was a bit faster than six years ago.
Have to wait on the results to see how I got on.

Back in the hall at one point I was sitting waiting on Anne going back to the car to get some change for a coffee. There was a young girl at a laptop - obviously doing the results. I was trying not to look as I know how frustrating it can be to be trying to do results and have someone looking over your shoulder! But when she shouted over to one of her pals to ask him if he knew "anything about Excel" I couldn't keep quiet. Turns out she hadn't put absolute references into her VLOOKUP and she had also missed out the "false" statement that makes the statement look for an exact match.
Bloody students eh? Got to wonder what they teach them these days :-)

Today, being Sunday, it was a day to worship at the church of "Oh God, Make Me A Better Runner" by doing a bit of LSD.
My planned 20 mile route got changed halfway round when I met up with George Gilholey and ended up running with him for a bit. Quite enjoyed my run with George.

Legs were a bit "heavy" today. Plan this week is to keep the mileage up but keep the effort low.

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