Christmas parkruns and the Marcothon

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I’ve been struggling with colds for a while now but was still struggling out to get my Marcothon Days ticked off even if the wind and rain wasn’t really conducive to my good health. That said I still had a number off good training sessions, despite my tiredness. With no rest days built into Marcothon, I guess it would be easy to say that my colds were the result of a combination of Scottish weather conditions and over training. I’ve always argued that you can run with a cold, as long as it’s not in your chest but I’ve also argued that rest days are just as important as training days. I had convinced myself that a half hour run in the Scottish winter could be construed as a ‘rest day’.

I doubted very much that I would be fit enough to race so I decided to give the Glasgow parkrun a shot on Christmas Day. This was my 101st racing of the Pollok Park 5k and my 4th time running it on 25th December. With their being only 30 of us taking part in 2009, there can’t be that many who have competed on every Xmas Day but Luke Traynor is one of them, although now not as much a regular at the parkrun, Luke not only has run in every one of the 25th December but he’s also won them all!
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It’s a sign of just how much Luke has improved that he was disappointed with his time of 16:04 in an impressive field of 227. Although his time was a bit slower than last year when he defeated 100 runners to place first in 15:22., it was much better than his 17:42, which helped him beat 86 runners in 2010 and his time of 17:42 in 2009. Although to be fair these slower times were run on an alternative off road course.

Toni McIntosh had won the women’s race in 2009, with a time of 19:15 but Jill Smylie had beat her in 2010, with a time of 21:29. A loss of form and injury didn’t stop Toni turning up in 2011, when Winchester’s Sandra Bowers won the women’s race, with a time of 18;53. Now hardly running at all, Toni still made her annual pilgrimage to Pollok Park this year, forgetting her barcode, Toni placed a respectable 5th female, with teenager Holly Still placing first, with a PB of 18:29. toni

As for me, I tucked into the pack and decided not to push myself too much and hopefully hold something back to allow me to take part in, at least, one of the Ayr Turkey Trots being held on Boxing Day.

Although I did think about running along with some slower runners, I decided just to run at my own pace. I was a bit surprised to find that sparring partners Martin Myant and Graeme Pert couldn’t keep up with me, they must also have been off form, whilst others must have been taking it easier than me. I was extremely happy when my steady pace took me over the line in 56th position in a time of 22:42.

With the Burrell Café being closed, it was good that some people had brought along tea, coffee and cakes. However I didn’t want to hang around too long in the cold and soon made my way home to a hot bath and back to bed.

Unfortunately my exertions took more out of me than I thought and my cold worsened, resulting in me having to miss out on visiting friends and family during the day. Common sense then added to my common cold as I decided to give the Ayr Races and Marcothon a miss and have a few recovery days instead. As I say, rest is an important part of any training programme.

I hope you had a good Christmas and here’s looking forward to a great 2013. May all your miles be happy ones!

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