Monday, 18 March 2013

What does it say about society, or at least the consumers of online blog material, when a post entitled 'A Bigger Penis' makes your hit counter spike alarmingly? Someone, somewhere must have either wanted larger appendage themselves or was looking discreetly on behalf of their husband/boyfriend.

If anyone reading this happens to be one of those individuals please accept my apologies for disappointing you with tales of bread pudding and running. In proving your time has not been entirely wasted, and in attempting to provide some advice in that particular subject area, just let me say this: bread pudding definitely will not enlarge the size of your Hampton. But eaten in large enough quantities it will expand your waistline, which in turn, will reduce the comparative size of your chopper (indeed if it's minuscule to begin with you'll never see the fuckin' thing again).

Likewise with running; that particular activity will not enlarge the size of your custard launcher either. In fact, if you run when the weather's cold enough, you'll believe your beaver basher has become nothing more than an oversized clitoris.

Anyway, enough of that and on to the meat of this post: the D33 Ultramarathon. I did say that this would either be a tale of triumph or a story of woe. In fact it's neither really. Triumph would have been beating my target time of five and a half hours while woe would have been a DNF and neither of those occurred. But before I go on I should say that from an event perspective, and in terms of planning, preparation and execution, this race is the nuts. The Race Director, George Reid has created an early season event that's accessible, achievable and a whole lot of fun. And I'm not just saying that because he's my mate and he let me stay at his house. Over 300 people entered it so the numbers don't lie, but onward with my triumph-free-yet-woe-less tale.

It's the night before the race and after arriving in Stonehaven Mrs Mac and I head for the Station Hotel where we know the Race Director and his glamorous assistant, Karen 'Poopy' Donoghue, will be holding court. Indeed that's where we find them and they're surrounded by a group of runners. I know these people are runners for a number of reasons:

1. They look fit, lean and lithe.
2. They wear clothes with labels like 'The North Face' or 'Asics.'
3. The talked incessantly about training, split times and PBs.
4. I know quite a few of them.

Of course, in considering the above criteria numbered 1-3, none apply to me but I feel no inferiority on that score. Do you know why? Because I can drink most of them runners under the table and when it boils down to it that's all that really matters.

So, after five pints of Guinness we're off to George's gaff to get our heads down.

The morning comes around far too quickly and my desire to wear shorts and tee shirt is discarded in favour of full Max Wall clobber due to the below zero temperature. My plan is to start the race and allow my pace to be dictated by heart rate (keeping below 140 BPM), stick at 10 minute mile pace, and never venture ahead of Bob Allison. My reason for sticking behind Bob has nothing to do with my appreciation of his peachy derrière and everything to do with the fact that for seven years I've stormed out of the blocks at the West Highland Way Race leaving Bob eating my dirt, only for him to cruise past me before Conic Hill and make that shaky hand gesture favoured by irate car drivers.

The 10 minute miling, 140 BPM and staying behind Bob all seem to be working well but I feel I'm holding back a bit too much. Anyway, it's all going swimmingly up to the 10 mile point when Bob stops to fish something out of his bag.....SHIT.....this wasn't in the plan. I either stop to help him and risk being arrested by the local constabulary for apparently attempting to rob one of their fellow Scots, or I go past him.

Bob mutters: 'Fuck off Dave, I've had enough of you enjoying my slipstream,' which kind of makes my mind up for me so I do indeed fuck off.

A few miles later and my sorrowful position in the race is made apparent when the leaders come haring toward me having turned around at the half way point. At one stage some fella I don't know almost crashes into me....he steps left, I step right....I step left, he steps right.....we're doing this ridiculous dance in the middle of the Scottish countryside and he's getting angrier by the second as his finishing place is being compromised by some idiotic Londoner. Eventually we find a way round each other and he's off like a rocket while I continue on to the turn around point at half way.

At this point the pain in my lower back is beginning to concern me. This is a condition I've been afflicted with for over a year and it's put a stop to a number of races. At the half way point I ask John Duncan if he's got any pain killers and like a Scottish Pablo Escobar he furnishes me with enough drugs to get me a part in Trainspotting.

By the 3/4 way checkpoint my pace is slowing and the pain in my back is becoming unbearable. My body has betrayed me, the drugs don't work (see what I did there?), the five hour thirty minute finish time has dissolved and serious consideration of DNF is made.

Then I think of a friend who I won't name but her blog is linked to mine. She's presently having a bit of a fight with illness and would like nothing better to be racing in the Scottish countryside with nothing to bother her but a bit of rain and an insignificant pain just above her arse. Anyway, I neck a caffeine gel, stick the Airborne Toxic Event on my iPod, and remarkably the pain goes and I get moving again.

I find my pace and make up a good few places in the race. I'm running along singing to the music and feeling pretty good. Whether it was the gel, the music, or thoughts of my friend that pick me up I'm not sure but I'll be trying that combination again.

I grind out the final few miles and arrive in Duthie Park in around six hours. I've scored a PB although I'm 30 minutes off my target time.

So what about a review of the race, of my training plan and the future? Well, with regard to the race I know a better time is in me and without the back pain I reckon I could have achieved my target. I reckon I could have bettered it too if I didn't hold back so much.

I intend to stick with the training plan and seek some physio. It's my belief that the back pain is caused by tight hamstrings so I'm presently looking at ways to solve that.

And the future is still on: The Highland Fling in April and the West Highland Way in June.

Finally, if you are one of my readers that came here looking for a bigger penis, I'm often told that size doesn't matter but here's something for you:


KarenR said...

Dave, I'm doing weight baring squats and deadlifts to help me with lower lumber pain (even bought those gay looking gloves cos the bar is now so heavy it's slipping) now don't let that make you feel slightly inadequate ;-) To June without injury , we shall raise a pint or two!
PS, June the month not a person

KarenR said...

Dave I'm strengthing my lower back/lumber area with weight baring sqats & deadlifts. Have previous issues. Even bought a pair of those gay looking gloves cos the bar is now so heavy it's slipping. (don't let that make you feel inadequate in any way ;-) here's to June injury free. We'll raise a pint or two'.
PS June the month not a person