It has been one of the biggest years of Susan Partridge’s career.
But now the Team Scotland marathon runner is planning a two-month break from training in order to recover.
Partridge, sixth in the Glasgow 2014 marathon for one of the best ever performances by a Scottish woman at the Games in that event, finished fifth in the Great Scottish Run last weekend.
Susan didn’t really expect a repeat of her 2013 victory and, as she collected a Scottish Half Marathon gold, was already looking forward to an extended break.
‘I am looking at taking a couple of months completely off,’ said Partridge.
‘Probably through towards the end of the year, in fact. I have had trouble with my back and been told to ‘off-load’ things for a while.
‘The medics have said I can cross-train but I don’t see me running in the pool. I won’t feel the need on a break, I don’t think! I suppose I might go a wee bit stir-crazy and need something to do but I just want to lead a normal life a little bit and not have to think about training commitments.
‘I’ve got to allow my body a little time to recover. It has been a couple of years since I have taken anything more than just a couple of weeks at a time and I think the recovery time is important. I’ll be back and ready to compete in 2015.
‘I carried the season and the training on after the Commonwealths and the Great North Run but we’ve reached the stage where I need to stop.
‘To run 72 something wasn’t a terrible time by any means. It was a different race (from last year), I was a bit isolated after being dropped. It is not quite the same as being out in the lead.’
Leeds-based Partridge clocked 72.12 as her fellow Team Scotland athlete, Beth Potter, made a good debut at the distance to run 73.29 – which was no surprise to Susan.
‘I thought it was a great debut by Beth,’ said the Scottish half marathon champion.
‘It is not a surprise at all because she is a good athlete. If you can run a sub-33 10k then I think you can do a good half marathon – rather than thinking it is too long. If you can do that good 10k then you can run a good half because your long runs will be half marathon distance.
‘Beth is a quality athlete – the marathon might be a bit different but I expected her to do pretty well in Glasgow on Sunday and she did.’
Laura Dunn won the Great Scottish Run 10k and will now throw herself into cross country action ahead of an indoor season.
All of that was in some considerable doubt a few weeks ago as the Edinburgh AC athlete pondered whether she wanted to carry on with her athletics at a good level.
‘I have changed jobs a few weeks ago so a lot of routines are changing for training and so on,’ said Laura.
‘I was a bit fed-up at that time and wondered whether to carry on with my athletics if I am honest. But I am over that now and this was enjoyable.
‘I think it happens sometimes when the track season ends and you only have a heavy schedule of winter training to look forward to!
‘But I am ready for cross country now. I will do some of the relays – including the National at Cumbernauld – and that will take me through to December and then I will focus on indoors.
‘Indoors is definitely in the plan for 2015. I will probably focus on the 3000m but will race at 1500m as well.’
*With thanks to Jeff Holmes for these photographs