Sometimes the "madness" of a taper brings its own benefits - for example I have managed to watch the whole of the first 2 series of Downton Abbey thanks to the DVDs of a friends - but also it means that you have time to give something back to the community that are there helping you out and supporting you when you need it.
Bet you didn't think I needed a megaphone!
Last Sunday was the 31st Dumfries Half Marathon, which is the flagship race of my club. The timing of it has been such that I have been able to help out rather than race it for the past few years. This year was no exception, and although I did jog up to the registration/start area to show the TV cameraman where to position himself, my main job for the day was doing as I was told, by both the Race Organiser and "he who must be obeyed" in charge of the finish area. It was ideal weather for running a fast time - cool (but not cold), no direct sun, and most of all, no wind......so in a way, it would have been nice to have taken part....but on the other hand it was good to watch others put the effort in and get their just rewards of shiny new PBs. My contribution was just starting the watches and then taking them down to the finish, where I announced and cheered people in with the megaphone - with as much gusto for the last runner as for the first home!
City (orange)vs Fortuna (green)
A few days later I was up in Glasgow - at Petershill Park - "working" as match doctor for the first leg of the UEFA Women's Champions League round of 32, between Glasgow City and Fortuna Hjorring (yes, from Denmark so no gags about the Scandinavian love for pickled fish in their diet). The home team were outplayed in the first half, though had been unlucky to go a goal down after only a few minutes, but they piled the pressure on in the second half to bring it back to a 2-1 loss. It was interesting to compare the ladies' play to runners I know. Glasgow City are Scotland's top women's football club and so usually win matches easily without having to play to the best of their ability. This can mean that they relax too much, so that when playing another high quality side, they can fall behind before getting onto their game. It appeared that this is what happened on the night, as the second half was dominated by the City ladies with some great plays and a new lease of life. I have seen this in runners, who only compete in local races which they can win without having to really push themselves. When they go to larger, competitive races, they find themselves much further back than they expect and then have to work hard to make up the deficit that has developed before they realised it. I guess it is a lesson that all of us can learn - never be off guard and never underestimate your opponents........you cannot control their ability and performance, so all you can do is be the best you can be.
In City kit at the dugout
On a more medical note, I learnt another lesson from Louise Duncan, the team physio. Again, the key is to be prepared.......I noticed that while we were sitting on the bench in the dugout, she always had a latex glove on her right hand. If anything happened she was ready to spring into action, be it a nose bleed or a hyperextension injury (both of which occurred on the night), and could then discard any clinical waste wrapped up in her used glove, while putting on another glove ready for the next casualty.