I should’ve seen it coming really. Performance depends on training and training is effort plus rest, that’s what they say. They say it because it’s true. Hell, that’s what I say, all the time as a matter of fact. The Two Breweries had cost me a lot more effort than I thought it would, I hadn’t given enough thought to rest in the intervening week and my effort therein had been disastrous. Stupid really, but Glory was whispering in my ear: “It’s true James, sure, for other people that is. You could be different, you could do it. You’d be a hero.” “A hero?”, I thought, “That sounds good.”
Standing at the front of thousands of people in the ‘Fast-paced Club Runners’ section, rubbing shoulders with classy roadsters and international athletes of some repute it was easy to believe my own hype. The horns sounded and we were off and the first half went gangbusters; the gears were rusty but the wheels were turning. It was exhilarating really, cruising up an eerily deserted in St Vincent Street then on to a Clydebank expressway reserved just for us. I was in the second pack trailing the top boys – I was on the edge of the top-10 and had every hope of moving in to it by the end of the course. I paced it well and passed 5km at a shade over 17 minutes – exactly where I wanted to be. It was all too good to be true.
Karmic retribution came in stitch-form at 5.25km a spectacular explosion of pain from nowhere that, after about 2s of manful resistance on my part, stopped me in my tracks and I stepped on to the grass at the side of the road to walk for about 30s. Once I got running again I tried to find my old pace but that only brought the pain back and caused some more walking. I considered dropping out but realised that this would solve nothing as I’d have to make my way back to Glasgow Green anyways. So I went on my plodding way, eventually finding a pace I could maintain, ignoring the crowds and savouring my own frustration.
Anyways, I crossed the finish line in 36:53 in 35th place. Nothing to sniff at, but not enough to pierce my own ridiculous bubble of self-pity. The free t-shirt and the complimentary massage at the end helped though. After that I waited around for Christine to finish her own tough and impressive race before skulking off home to ruminate on lessons learned. It’s the oldest one in the book – don’t be f**king stupid!
Thanks to John Quinn for the shout of encouragement at the start and to Gaynor on the shout on the expressway – looking forward to hearing how her race went.