Weird Shopping

Weird Shopping

So, @TheWelshWookie and I were in Glasgow today, shopping. Running was, of course, the main purpose of the shopping trip.
First, we visited the Nike store to swap my broken NikeFuel band. They swapped it, no problem at all- excellent service as usual!

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After a lunch stop at Buzzy’s in Princes Square, we picked up some pieces for our Zombie run:

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We also visited Run4It for a mooch, but didn’t buy anything.
Our final stop was at Go Outdoors. In preparation for winter, we’ve taken the plunge and bought:

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A head torch! Yay!
Winter is Coming….

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Fantasy Football Friday

Fantasy Football Friday

Well, I have good news for you. If you’re reading this, it means that you’ve made it to the end of another working week. Hooray!

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Tonight, I’m supposed to be doing a 4 mile run. But the rain is lashing down. The wind is howling. I have stuff to do, so I’m chickening out rearranging my training schedule slightly. Besides, I have wine that needs to be consumed 😉

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Actually, I have housework to do. And packing.  THEN it will be wine o’clock.

I can’t believe that football season is almost upon us already, and it’s fantasy draft time this weekend!

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I’ve been in a fantasy league for 9 years. This year, @TheWelshWookie and I are in a different league, so my 10th season will also feel like a new start, in many ways. We’ve also moved from ESPN to NFL. So, as part of these changes, I’ve been reviewing my past draft strategies, and working out what has, and hasn’t gone so well in the past. Most years, I’ve gone for some form of handcuff deal, and it’s probably worked out well 75% of the time. As we have a new league, we’re starting with no keepers, which seems odd. I’ve had Wes Welker as a keeper since forever, so it’ll be weird not starting with him automatically on my team!

Here’s some of my prep scribbles so far….. no peeking too closely, now!

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Bring on Sunday, I can’t wait!

On running related matters, my bib and medal hanger arrived…… woo hoo!

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I’m just deciding where the best place is for it to go.

And my Nike+ FuelBand has conked out on me, so I’m a little disappointed about that. I’m hoping the Nike Store will exchange it this weekend.

Today’s Life Lesson: sometimes good folks really do think alike 😉

Are you a football fan? Do you play fantasy football?

A Different View

A Different View

We’ve made it to Thursday, and another weekend is almost upon us! Tonight, I arrived home later than planned, and not really in the mood for a run. But, I manned up, and @TheWelshWookie suggested that we try a new route. Instead of doing the usual out-and-back, he suggested we do the Big Glen, which is 4.5 miles, followed by a final half mile at the harbour.

I knew that it would be a little more hilly than usual, but I thought- why not?

We headed out, through the village, north along the A83 towards Lochgilphead. Although I drive this way most days, and I’ve walked it a few times, I’ve never run it!

We ran along the main road for just over 2 miles. The first mile or so is uphill, with some undulation over the second mile. I stopped to take some pics:

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At the bottom of the hill, just at Stonefield Castle, we turned off, looping back towards the West Loch. The first half mile or so was uphill, but after that, the next mile is all downhill. I loved it!

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And along the head of the West Loch.

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As we ran back towards Tarbert, there’s one nasty, wee steep hill: but we ran up it!

As we reached the A83 heading back into Tarbert from the south, I stopped to take some pictures of the deer:

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And a wee video clip too:

Here’s a map of the run:

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It’s lovely to have a shake-up once in a while!

Today’s Stats:

Run: 5 miles

Time: 56:20 – I kept stopping to take pics!

Weather: Cloudy and cool

Trainers: Nike LunarFly GTX

Favourite Running Track Today:

Today’s Life Lesson: what people tell you sometimes needs to be checked, to see if it meets with reality…

When did you last vary your route?

August Round Up

August Round Up

As we reach the end of another month, and because I’m lazy having a rest day, I thought I’d give a race recap for August.

I’ve done three ‘races’ this month.

1. Dublin RnR Half:

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2. Perth Kilt Run 5K:

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3. Tarbert TT10K:

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I’ve had three four fantastic medals:

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And some great swag:

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Here’s my run routes:

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And the highlight of my month was the Super Six becoming the Magnificent Seven!

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I have no runs planned for September, it’s all about focusing on training this month.

Today’s Life Lesson: My brain can only retain so much information at one time….

What’s been the highlight of the month for you?

A Simple Run

A Simple Run

Tonight, I’ve had a lovely, straight forward run.

Nothing fancy, no distractions, just a run. It’s great, when you just have a brilliant run.

I was enjoying the smell of the sea air, with its tang of ozone, and salt.

I was able to enjoy the tranquility of the harbour:

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And I even took time to enjoy the flowers, some still enjoying the sunshine, and hanging onto the summer for as long as possible:

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While elsewhere I could see some signs of the season beginning to change:

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All in all, it’s really beautiful here, I’m really lucky:

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Today’s Stats:

Run: 4 fantastic miles

Time: 43:28, slow, enjoying the views

Weather: Cloudy with some sunshine; warm

Trainers: Nike Lunar Glides

Favourite Running Track Today:

Today’s Life Lesson: it’s the simple things 🙂

When did you last stop, look around, and enjoy?

Family Fun, and Back on Track

Family Fun, and Back on Track

Hello, Happy Monday!

I’ve had a fantastic weekend!

Saturday was a girl’s day out with my sisters and my mum: we hit the town, with a trip to Glasgow’s West End, and had tapas at Cafe Andaluz. It was amazing!

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Sunday was KAD’s 5th Birthday party. Since the weather was brilliant, we spent the whole day outside, and had a ball. I thought you might like to meet the Magnificent Seven, since I’ve been talking about them all week:

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There were presents….

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And cake:

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And good fun:

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As well as some more quiet moments:

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I also won a comp this weekend, over on RunEatRepeat and I’m so pleased! It’s an identity bracelet for runners, and I’m planning to order it tonight. It’s from CrossTrainID so I’m heading over there now to take a look. 😀

Today, it’s back to training. Six weeks to go until the Great Scottish Run 10k, and so the Nike Training Plan has begun, with a 3 miler. Bring it on!

Today’s Stats:

Run: 3 miles, and it felt good to be focused again!

Time: 32:22, nice and slow

Weather: Cloudy with some sunshine; warm

Trainers: Nike Lunar Glides

Favourite Running Track Today: one of my PowerSongs

Today’s Life Lesson: sleep is a precious commodity….

Did you have a busy weekend?

Race Report: Tarbert TT10K

Race Report: Tarbert TT10K

Date: 17th August 2013

Profile: Hilly

Terrain: Road and Trail

Weather: Cloudy, but warm

Website: TT10K

Positives: great course, well organised, good & supportive marshalls, fab t-shirt

Negatives: unpredictable weather!

This race was the first ever Tarbert 5k & 10k event, and given that it is my local village run, I was really looking forward to it, as well as being a little anxious as I knew the course would be a challenge!

@TheWelshWookie headed out early, to open the school grounds as a car park for visitors, and to check that the tape was still intact, marking out the running route around the area he was marshaling- part of the first trail run, behind Stonefield Farm & Coffee Shop. I had my gear all laid out and ready:

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That meant that I had plenty of time to get ready, and pose…

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I planned to head into the village to support the 5k runners, but I do not know what happened- I lost track of time. And so I ended up running out of the door, quite literally!

As I walked past the Village Hall, I saw that it was bedecked in bunting, ready for the barbeque and party later in the day:

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As I made my way along to Garvel Road, ready for the start of the race, the 5k runners were still milling about at the finish line. At this point, I was pretty envious: their race was over, and the party had begun!

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I took a couple of snaps, just to capture the views, and because the weather had taken me by surprise- it was almost sunny! The rain seemed to have vanished: it had surprised a lot of runners, who were wearing long running pants and jackets!

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My nervous walk along Garvel Road:

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The facilities not far from the start were great: runners could use the Harbour facilities before and after the race: toilets, showers, etc. The start itself was at the end of Garvel Road. One of the first things I noticed when I arrived was that this was Serious. With a Capital S. There were loads of club runners, and runners who looked like they meant business! But I could see that there were quite a few ‘normal’ runners like me!

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With about 5 minutes to go, Councillor Anne Horn gave the safety briefing- reminding us to take care on the trail parts of the course, as they would be slippery and soft underfoot. And then, almost suddenly, we were off!

As there were only 200 runners, everyone started at once. I tried to hang to the left hand side of the road, and let the faster runners past me…. there were plenty! I tried to remind myself to just go at my own pace.

Here’s the map of the race:

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At the end of Garvel Road, we headed up the main road, and uphill again, over the High Road. Remember I posted a pic from up here, when I was out checking the route?

The view from the High Road
The view from the High Road

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We then ran down the other side of the High Road, and headed off along Campbeltown Road towards Stonefield Farm & Coffee Shop. I knew that @TheWelshWookie was at the highest part of this section, so I was looking forward to reaching there! The route took us past the shop on the left hand side, and past the wigwams, which are available as holiday accommodation. Then, we were greeted with a sign saying: Welcome to Jurassic Park with a cartoon runner being chased by a dinosaur- that made me laugh!

The trail climbed steadily, and at this point, the faster runners were heading back down. Us slowbies were walking, or run/walking because I was knackered to let the faster runners by. We reached a cottage ruin, known locally as Maggie’s Cottage, which I thought was the turning point. How wrong I was! We still had a good distance, all uphill, to go!

Eventually, I caught sight of a fluorescent jacket, and I saw that it was @TheWelshWookie! Yay! We’d reached the top! He managed to take a snap, with me actually smiling- maybe it’s a grimace!

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We then turned around, and ran back down, around the opposite side of the coffee shop. I must admit, I took it easy running downhill, as it was pretty slippy underfoot, and I have terrible balance at the best of times! At the bottom of the hill was a water stop, but I was all good, and kept going.

As we left Stonefield, we headed back down Campbeltown Road back into the village. For me, this was the part I was looking forward to – my regular run along the harbour out to the end of Pier Road, where I’m used to views like this:

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At this stage, the sun really broke through, and it was pretty warm. I managed to pick off a few runners along the road. The 5K mark was just at the fish quay, which was great. I’m pretty sure that there were lots of people thinking ‘Is that all we’ve done?’

I really enjoyed my run all the way to the turning point at the end of the road, where there was a second water point. I filled up my bottle, and headed back. Why I didn’t take one of the jelly babies on offer, I will never know!

All along the route, the support was fantastic. People were out, cheering and clapping us on. The marshals, in particular, were very, very encouraging, giving me that extra boost to push on. They also had a tough job because none of the roads were closed to traffic, so they managed to cheer us by, while keeping an eye on safety.

I then reached Big Brae, which leads onto the Castle loop. After the experience at Stonefield, I knew that the fast runners would be trying to run down while us slower runners were heading up. So, I decided to play safe, and walk to the left, to let them pass more easily. But as soon as I arrived at the Castle loop, I was determined to run this part of the trail. I managed most of it- only walking a short distance up the hill on the loop. My GPS ticked off the 5th mile, and that really boosted me- I was on the final mile!

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I finished off the Castle loop, headed back down Big Brae, and made my way back along the harbour to the Harbour Office. This was it- the home straight!

The support along this final part was tremendous- loads of cheering and clapping. @TheWelshWookie was waiting at the finish line, ready to take my pic:

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I was so excited to finish that I forgot to switch off my SportWatch GPS! Doh! @TheWelshWookie handed me a bag of jelly beans, which I scoffed right away. I then collected my goodie bag.

Here’rs the contents of it:

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I collected my medal, and headed back to cheer on the rest of the finishers across the finish line.

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But, yet again, I was distracted. By some deliciously amazing home baking for the finishers- including home made tablet- pure bliss!

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There was even some entertainment for the kids:

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And just to prove that the sun came out:

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We waited for the prize giving: well done to the winnersl! Each trophy winner received a voucher for The Gallery- lucky folks! 😀

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We then headed home for a very quick change, and headed back out to the Village Hall to join in the rest of the Tarbert Harbour Authority Centenary celebrations. When we arrived, we received our ‘wages’, a copy of a salary cheque issued by the Harbour Authority 100 years ago:

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That entitled us to a free drink at the bar, and free food from the barbeque! Result! Why does free beer taste so good?

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i wore my new t-shirt, of course 😉

The Village Hall was really busy, with some people dressed as they would have 100 years ago:

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It was a real party atmosphere, with stalls and entertainment.

It was a great day!

My Stats:

Time: 1:06:55 I finished 85th out of about 140 or so runners.

The Medal: A hand made, pottery medal, made locally:

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Goody Bag: draw string bag, leaflets, lip balm, wet wipes, doggy-do bags, button badge

T-shirt: A black & red technical shirt, with the logo embroidered on the front

I’m hoping that I’ll be better prepared for next year!

Lucky Number 7

Lucky Number 7

Last night, I met my new nephew for the first time, and he is a cutie! I can’t believe he is 9 days old already…. but he seems so tiny compared to his brothers and cousins!

I’ve been describing my nephews over the past week as our very own rugby sevens team:

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I had to post a pic of the Wales Rugby Sevens team, for @TheWelshWookie!

I now have seven nephews on my side of the family, and we also have a beautiful, talented, wonderful niece and a fun, entertaining, brilliant nephew on @TheWelshWookie’s side, too.

There are lots of good things that come in sevens. There’s the Seven Wonders of the World:

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And the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World:

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Of, course, I could compare them to the seven dwarfs….

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And my favourite- Seven Harry Potter Books 😉

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There’s also:

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As well as:

  • Seven Samurai
  • The Magnificent Seven
  • The Seven Sisters
  • The Seven Hills of Rome
  • Seven Sacraments
  • Seven Seas
  • Seven years of luck

Ok, so we’ll gloss over this one:

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Today’s Stats:

Run: 2 miles

Time: 19:55 woo hoo!

Weather: Sunny

Trainers: Lunar Racers +3

Favourite Running Track of the Day:

Today’s Life Lesson: When writing, remember to save, back up, save, back up…

Can you think of any more groups of seven? Which is your favourite?

Mo Motivation

Mo Motivation

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Mo Farah is my running idol. I think that it helps, him running 5,000m and 10,000m, and moving up to half and full marathon distance in the coming months/years. It kinda makes him more ‘real’ since he runs my distances.

I’m so inspired by him- I watched him win the World Championship 5,000m and 10,000m golds in Moscow last week. How he reacts to pressure, trusts his instincts and his training is awesome. You can watch the BBC sport clip of his final 10k lap here:

Mo Farah wins in Moscow

I watched Mo Farah at the Anniversary Games in London a few weeks ago, running in the 3,000m. He was amazing, bagging a personal best over this distance.

I watched him smash Steve Cram’s 28 year old 1500m record in Monaco recently.

I watched Mo run half of the VLM, just to test himself and his training.

I watched him achieve his gold 10,000 on Super Saturday, during the 2012 Olympics in London, and his 5,000 gold a week later.

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I watched him try his hand at other sports by participating in Superstars.

And I’ve watched him for years. I follow him on twitter. I read other people’s posts about him. He’s some guy.

And he seems to just get better, and better.

He’s such an amazing distance runner: he always looks so relaxed, and the way he is able to pull away from the pack in the later part of his races is awe inspiring, and tremendous to watch.

He runs his own charity foundation. Usain Bolt has agreed to race him, for charity- to benefit both of their foundations.

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He seems to be a thoroughly decent, dedicated, hard working guy who loves his family. He loves his football.

He does the MoBot.

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I find him really inspiring.

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What’s not to like?

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Birthday Celebrations!

Birthday Celebrations!

Today is @TheWelshWookie’s birthday- altogether now:

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We celebrated with some dinner in the cafe.

Followed, of course, by a glass of vino and a dip in the hot tub 😉

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It’s also my nephew’s 5th birthday today- a big

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to you too, KAD! xxx

It’s Birthday Overload here!

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Today’s Life Lesson: check the zip of your jeans before you leave the house…

Have you treated yourself today?