Pampered Feetsies (Can Outrun The Bombsquad)

Pampered Feetsies (Can Outrun The Bombsquad)

Thanks to Girl Runs Wild for this! 🙂

Girl Runs Wild

A few weeks ago, the wonderful Tartan Jogger and I thought it would be fun to swap our running music playlists.

But rather than being all boring and lazy about it (and just e-mailing a list of all the songs), we decided to spice things up a little: each of us bought an mp3 player, uploaded our unedited running tunes (yes, including the embarrassing ones) and posted it the other person.

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When I got home from work yesterday, I found a little parcel waiting for me and was surprised to find that it was rather bigger than your average mp3 player! The reason for this is that Tartan Jogger had included not just the mp3 player, but also an entire pampering kit for my tortured feet – including a soothing and cooling gel, soft socks and nail varnish – wonderful! After racing my socks off on Sunday, this wonderful present…

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Let’s be clear – the #ScottishConservatives lied about #foodsafety in schools

Let’s be clear – the #ScottishConservatives lied about #foodsafety in schools

Patrick Mackie

I’m a patient old Hector, but five weeks is plenty long enough for me to wait for the Scottish Conservatives to offer up the evidence behind their unfounded assertions about food safety in Scottish school kitchens. They may well be right in thinking that I’m an insignificant blogger – and my stats wouldn’t disagree – but that’s not the point. I care about evidence-based environmental health, and I care about the press and the public being given accurate information based on reliable sources about food safety and other matters of public health interest. In fact, it’s more important that the press are given accurate information, because the majority of media outlets simply don’t have either the scientifically-trained staff, the time or the inclination to check the assertions that are presented to them as facts.

And this is where the Scottish Conservatives fall down. I’m going to reiterate the whole sorry…

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Signing up for Around the World Running Blog Relay 2014

Signing up for Around the World Running Blog Relay 2014

It’s almost time! Who is in for the Around the World Relay? Sign up here! 🙂

Improvement required from the Scottish Conservatives

Improvement required from the Scottish Conservatives

Patrick Mackie

Improvement Required

I wrote previously about bad food safety statistics from the Scottish Conservatives and, a week later, about their failure to respond to my questions about their report. Since I’ve had no acknowledgement nor any response in the week since my last enquiry, I’ve now emailed Mary Scanlon MSP directly as follows:

To: Mary.Scanlon.MSP@scottish.parliament.uk
Subject: Food hygiene standards in Scottish schools

Dear Ms Scanlon,
Earlier this month the Scottish Conservatives published a media release on food hygiene standards in Scottish schools and which quoted you as the Education spokesperson for the party. I do not believe the conclusions reached in that report could be based on the reported data sources, nor that the report accurately represents the regulation of food safety in schools in Scotland. I have written a critique of that report here
.
I have twice attempted to obtain additional information about the report through the enquiries form…

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Bad food safety statistics from the Scottish Conservative Party

Bad food safety statistics from the Scottish Conservative Party

For anyone who read the ‘scare’ story publicised by the Scottish media yesterday about food hygiene standards in school kitchens, please read this post.

Patrick Mackie

Improvement Required

The Scottish Conservatives have published a report (well, a media release) on food hygiene standards in Scottish schools. This was picked up by the BBC, STV, The Herald and The Sunday Post, amongst others.

The summary of the story is, that over the period from 2009 to 2013, 83 schools, nurseries and after-school clubs received “Improvement Required” food hygiene ratings. This means that the establishments failed to meet the “broadly compliant” rating scores for the rating elements of food hygiene, premises condition or confidence in management. Obviously, this is a matter of concern, but it does not indicate that any of these sites were serving unsafe food – a site could fail to meet the requisite standard simply by failing to maintain adequate records of temperature checks, or having some structural problems, which are not themselves directly hazardous to the safety of food being prepared. More serious…

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Around the World Running Blog Relay 2014

Around the World Running Blog Relay 2014

The Clutha

The Clutha

Today, on St Andrew’s Day, instead of spending time reading a blog, please say a prayer for the victims, survivors, rescue services, volunteers and families of those involved in the terrible incident last night. The people of Glasgow have shown their resilience and community spirit once again.

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Product Review: CrosstrainID

Product Review: CrosstrainID

Good Evening, everyone; have you had a good week?

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Here’s how I’ve felt today:

Long-Friday

So. Did you see any of last night’s season opener? Wasn’t Peyton Manning on fire? I’m so pleased that I have Wes Welker on my fantasy team! Roll on Sunday……

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I had won a competition on Run Eat Repeat which is  fab blog!

Well, my prize arrived on Wednesday, and I am delighted with it. I love being a

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What is it?

It’s a CrosstrainID bracelet!

These are ID bracelets designed for runners, walkers, cyclists, swimmers, etc. especially those who train by themselves. You can decide exactly what text you want included, but suggestions are name, address, emergency contact, medical conditions, allergies, etc. So, if the worst does happen, anyone coming to your aid would have the information they would need to help you. Smart, huh?

The bands can be made of silicone, or fabric. I opted for a fabric one, with a pink reflector band, for extra safety. And because I love pink.

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After filling out the order, I noticed that there was no delivery option for the UK (the company is based in the US), so I emailed them, and the customer service I’ve had from David has been brilliant!

He agreed to send me the band, at no extra cost for postage- how amazing!

As soon as it arrived on Wednesday, I decided to take it out for a test drive:

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It matches my visor 😉

I wore it on a 6 mile run, in sunshine, so I was sweaty and sticky. It was a proper road test.

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It fastens with velcro, and I thought it might rub. But, no, it didn’t rub or chafe at all. In fact it was really comfortable to wear, and I easily forgot I was wearing it! That’s exactly how an item like this should be, I think.

As the nights are drawing in, and the autumn is getting closer, I think I’ll feel much more secure, running with my CrosstrainID. Thanks, David at CrosstrainID, and thanks Monica over at RunEatRepeat! 😀

RnR Dublin- Done!

RnR Dublin- Done!

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I did it! I ran my second half marathon, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Dublin half, and it was GREAT! My unofficial time, courtesy of my Nike+ SportWatch was 2:16:10 which is over 6 minutes faster than my first, so I’m pretty pleased, but I’ll wait for the official time before I celebrate that!

Right now I’m celebrating finishing, feeling good, and smiling the whole way round (well, we’ll see if the photographers captured that!)

The medal’s great:

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And I’m not aching, or waking oddly- yet!

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At mile 11, this song came on and, cheesy though it may be, it really gave me a boost in the final couple of miles:

I’ll post a full race report later this week. For now, @TheWelshWookie and I are heading out to hunt down a Guiness- shouldn’t be too hard!

Today’s Life Lesson: get to the portaloos early, for obvious reasons….

What have you achieved on this lovely Monday?

Hot Hills and Hazelnut Pavlova

Hot Hills and Hazelnut Pavlova

Today, I met the DreamTeam for a spot of lunch, where we promised that we would not talk about work for a whole hour. We didn’t even last five minutes! Anyway, we had a lovely lunch at The George Hotel in Inveraray. It was busy, and as ever, the food was great. We all had dessert, as their selection is fantastic. Knowing that I would be heading out for a run after work, I still decided to have a Hazelnut Pavlova served with blackberry & cream ice cream. It was amazing! Want to see?

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I knew that I’d need to head out for my hill run this evening, but being absolutely stuffed a little full after lunch, I was able to have a quick flick through my BodyFit magazine, which arrived in the post today:

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When I felt that I couldn’t put it off any longer I could actually begin to run, I headed out for a hill session. Now, this is something I’ve been putting off for quite some time! I’m the first to admit that I like to run on the flat, and any incline is difficult for me. Anyway, having signed up for the TT10K in August, I thought I’d better try out a couple of the hills that I know are en-route.

I headed out along the harbour as usual, and along to Garvel road end, which is the start of the TT10K. I ran along Garvel Road, and turned onto the main road to face the first, and the smallest, of the hills I was tackling today:

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Doesn’t look to bad, eh? It was actually ok, I wasn’t heaving and gulping in air when I got to the top. Immediately after this one, though, I crossed the road, and turned the corner onto the high road, to face the second hill. Don’t be deceived by the next picture- this is only the start of it, and the rest of the hill is over the brow of the one in the picture below:

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Yeah, right, I hear you say. It can’t be that high? Well, just to show you how high it is, I took a pic of the harbour where I started, from the viewpoint at the top of the hill:

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Pretty high, right? And gorgeous, of course. So lucky to live here.

Anyway, I managed the second hill OK too. I continued my jog back down the high road, and back along the front of the harbour, making my way to the hill that would take me up to Tarbert Castle and the Castle loop, which is a trail part of the run. This is the monster biggest of the three hills, and it snakes and winds its way up to the Castle. Here’s the first part:

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Well, by this point, my large lunch was beginning to take its toll and my legs were a bit heavy, so I lumbered powered up as best as I could. I admit that I had to stop and walk for about a minute, then I continued to run to the top of the road and onto the trail.

I had planned to finish here, but as I am totally crazy it was such a lovely evening, I thought I’d just take on the Castle Loop too.  😮

This was tough going- much more hilly to run than I remembered from walking it in the past, but I’m glad I stumbled, walked and jogged my way around it. I stopped at a bench because I was knackered to take a picture, but it doesn’t really show much, I’m afraid, though it is really pretty:

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I then headed home, to watch Andy Murray win! Woo Hoo!

Today’s stats:

Run: 3.5 mile hill run

Time: 40:25 (lots of walking!)

Trainers: Lunarfly GTX

Weather: sunny- yay!

Fave running track of the day: Gotta Get Thru This, Daniel Bedingfield. This track came on as soon as I reached the hill up to the castle!

Today’s life lesson: Don’t expect to have lunch with work folks, and avoid talking about work.

Also, don’t have a big dessert and expect to run as if you haven’t!

Have you ever regretted doing anything before going for a run?