Great Scottish Run 2013 Review – My 2nd Ever Sub 2 Hour Half Marathon Race
This won’t be my best of race reports as you can’t write these regularly without repeating yourself and boring everyone to death.
I’ll start with Friday.
I got way too drunk on Friday and went to the Cathouse.
The Cathouse is a godawful rock house where young angry bastards go to drink Red Stripe and Rekorderlig cider out of cans and headbang. I went once before and it was shit.
This time was no different.
Saturday morning was fucking awful. I haven’t had a headache quite as bad in quite some time.
I relieved the agony with Nachos and Crabbies Ginger Ale in a rundown old Wetherspoons in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow.
It’s times like that where I start to know that I’m going off track. I don’t want to be doing this. It’s meant to be fun, but this sucked.
Next time if I’m gonna wake up with a killer headache, I’m gonna do something good. .
Saturday was a bit of a write-off. I went clothes shopping whilst hungover and honestly thought I was gonna belly flop off of the top of the Buchanan Galleries in a fit of dizziness.
I was gonna go out Saturday night too but I decided to have a conservative night in the hotel restaurant instead with some lovely pasta.
Race day came and I was up bright and early at 6am and had some delicious Greek salad, as well as 3 cans of Relentless for breakfast.
I was spitting hate a politics show on the BBC and wanted to kill everyone and everything.
I was ready to go.
The last time I enjoyed the preparation for a half marathon was the Great North Run 2012 when I managed to lose my racing chip on the start line.
I was naturally suspicious that it was all gonna go wrong in someway again.
I set a personal best of 1:56:12
This was unexpected as I haven’t been doing much speed work at all recently.
I think the hills have been a major factor in improving my stamina again.
Having that extra confidence in your stamina is hugely important as it allows you to push that little bit more and test yourself.
Breakdown of my half marathon mile splits.
Mile 1 – “I better start good so I’m not having to make up time at the end again!” Thankfully no awkwardness at the start line. – 9:18
Mile 2 – “Wow it’s only 2 miles in and I’m already under 9:09 average!” – 8:51
Mile 3 – At this point I was running strong over the Kingston Bridge and really fucking euphoric. Honestly thought I could go for 1:40 – 8:53
Mile 4 – “Calm down you mad bastard. Stay sane. Keep to the plan!” Still excited as I knew once I hit 10 miles the wind would be at my back. – 8:57
Mile 5 – Bit worried as I recorded only my 2nd mile over 9 minutes. Feeling a bit of fatigue. Worried that this is the start of the slowdown. – 9:03
Mile 6 – 10k and half way point. Go through both and I’m strong as hell -. 8:49
Mile 7 – Weather turns. Drizzle and bad wind. Keep my head up and moving forward. Hit the flow. Think back to the 50k and know I have more than enough to get through this – 8:51
Mile 8 – It was at this point that I decided to go for the personal best and beat Dublin’s 1:57:55. I could either wait for a sprint finish or just up the tempo a little bit. Easier to just go a few seconds a mile faster earlier than to leave it until the end – 8:39
Mile 9 – Hit a stroke like flow. Amazing. – 8:49
Mile 10 – “Nice one. A lap of the museum. This will be one to tell the grandchildren about!”. First time I had negative thoughts of quitting – 8:49
Mile 11 – I’m far too wet and my race number is blowing off. We’re running on a dual carriageway. This fucking sucks. 8:49
Mile 12 – Begging for it to be over, not out of pain, but out of boredom – 8:48
Mile 13 – Annoyed by the runners around me who were far too close to my elbows. Wanted to throw my arms out to both sides and scream “well you weren’t expecting that now, were you?” 8:24
Finish – Wet. Cold. Relieved. Pissed off that I didn’t record a 1:55:xx.
I was pretty fucking pissed off at the finish line as I’d tied the race chip around my laces and some old girl was giving me an earful for using it wrong.
I couldn’t be bothered arguing so I just stood there and pretended that she wasn’t talking to me. This is an effective avoidance tactic if you can’t be assed talking to dicks.
Reasons why the half marathon went better than expected.
- The bagpipes were a huge fucking help. Every time they started off on of their fits of music I started on a sprint. There were a few miles were I close to falling back into a 9:xx min/mile. Thanks to the bagpipers and my utter contempt for them, I kept going until the end of every mile.
- It was the first time I’d ran in a week. This is really quite important as in most of my past half marathons I ran on the day before the race too.
- I actually ate sensibly the night before. Well vaguely sensibly. 2 plates of pasta and a chocolate Sundae. And 5 pints of beer.
- I had a positive mindset from the outset. I was attacking miles rather than worrying about crashing. I ran uphill steadily and took downhill stretches as quickly as I could.
- I knew I could do it. I focused on breaking through the 9:09 min/mile half marathon pace as early as I could and just tried to keep going a little faster than it on each mile.
Finally making some progress with running.
This time last year I knew I wasn’t making any real progress. I ran 2012 only 2 minutes faster than 2011 and it hurt a lot more.
This year I ran 13 minutes faster and it didn’t hurt much at all.
I really needed this run. After the 50k & Belfast Half Marathon debacles, I had to end the year on a positive note.
Post run fun
It took me quite a while to find the place. I spent 10 minutes waiting like a fool in a museum cafe. I knew I had the wrong place but I just didn’t want to move back into the cold.
Then when I actually found the restaurant it took me another 15 minutes to find them.
They were sitting behind me all along. I turned around and tapped Mr Mock Jogger on the shoulder, half worried that he was gonna land a right hook on my jaw.
It was great meeting and drinking with them. I don’t do it often enough. Too often I’m preoccupied with getting to my hotel and to the plane.
Plus in all honesty FOR ALL MY FUCKING BOMBAST, I’m an awkward pain in the hole.
Still, a great weekend was had and I’ve yet to shit my liver out.