Sunday, 8 May 2011

Gala 10K

Some modest but unaccustomed drinking on Saturday night might have accounted for a poor night's sleep and a grumpy start to the day today for the Gala 10K. During last week's tooth fiasco I was taking Metronidazole so couldn't drink without risking adding "the boak" to my list of woes. Peter held back the drinking of his Highland Fling pink fizzy until I could join in and have some too, so we decided to get it opened last night. Unfortunately we used glasses we don't usually use and after 2 glasses realised we had nearly finished the bottle. Not much to drink but not ideal prep.

We picked up Johnny and Willie on the way  and drove through a downpour to arrive at Galashiels just as the sun was coming out. This year the course was to be 3 X 2 mile loops. Remembering other races that consist of loops my only thought was DON'T go off too fast or the temptation to drop out is just too strong.

The usual things happened, there was a spread of cakes to look forwards to, it was smoothly organised, nice hanging out on the steps with the Porties wishing that the cakes and the race were more intimately involved, like a cake a lap or a cake-athon, the sun came out and baked our heads as we felt the dread rising.

Pretty soon we were OFF. I didn't know what I was looking for...quicker than Dunbar where it was blowing a hoollie perhaps. It was a club championship but there was no way I was catching fellow age-grouper Emily.  My plan became clear to me as  I drew even with Aileen Ross about half a mile into it and realised that if I could stay ahead of her there were only 2 Porty ladies ahead of me so IF we got a ladies' team prize, IF there WAS a ladies' team prize then I would be third counter and might get my sticky hands on something....

Looking at my splits I see I paced myself evenly, taking 15seconds longer for each mile, until the last mile when I rallied and ran my 2nd fastest mile (The first was the fastest of course). Got that?

Coming up the short steep hill for the third time I risked a glance behind for the first time and discovered the Ladies' breath that I'd been hearing for the last 4 or so miles was not Aileen Ross but a Gala lady. I dropped her a little bit on the hill but she caught up and sat right behind me along the long endless and very hot cycle path. I tried not to weaken. "Maybe she's hurting more than me." I thought, doubting it all the while. There was a sharp left off the path and over a bridge and she did loosen her hold a little here. Then there was a short run into the wind in which I remembered how at Dunbar I'd dealt with the wind by leaning into it and using my legs as if I was running up hill. This seemed to be working and the gap widened but the air was getting drier and hotter and I was conscious there was  3 sides of the rugby pitch to be negotiated before the finish...It was a long lonely way but I opened the gap between me and a bunch of people behind. That was something. And I was a bit quicker than Dunbar, which was also something.

Once you stop all the pain goes very quickly and its time to chat and eat cake. The Galas sorted out the results in little more than the time it takes to fill your plate twice, drink juice and coffee and chat to Graham Henry who ran the Fling last Saturday, E2NB race yesterday and turned out for the 10K today because it was nearby. He was telling me he's feeling his age!

Willie Jarvie had come away with the MV50 prize and Shelagh McLeish seemed to get the FV40 prize? Portobello didn't win the male or female team prize, but I would have been 3rd team counter if they had.

Lots more photos of Porties will be going up on the Porty Webpage. Photos by Peter.

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