Wednesday Wisdom


Race Report: The Tarbert TT10K 2015

Race Report: The Tarbert TT10K 2015

Date: 15th August 2015

Profile: Mostly flat, but with three killer hills

Terrain: Mixed: road and trail

Weather: Warm and sunny, but with short rain showers


Positives: Brilliant course, awesome views and the best support. Beats bigger races for organisation!

Negatives: Those flipping hills!

This was the third year of my local race, the Tarbert 10K. If you read my post on Monday, you’ll know that @TheWelshWookie and I tagged along on the 5k and ran it before the 10K, but this report is focussing on the main event we signed up for – the 10K.

I’ll also begin by noting that I didn’t take anywhere near as many pictures before the race started – I think I was just too busy thinking about enjoying the run! 🙂

As I always do, I had my race gear ready to go the night before. I had two tops sorted, road shoes for the 5K and trail shoes for the 10K at the ready. Note the second ‘elite’ race number in a row – after being Number 1 for the Carradale Canter, I was now Number 2 for the TT10K! 😀  

 This race had an 11 am start, but we were up and breakfasted early, and ready to run the earlier 5K at 10am. @TheWelshWookie drove the car into the village so that we had somewhere to stash our change of t shirts and shoes, and some snacks for in between the runs, and then we had a lovely stroll down to the harbour in the sunshine.  

 We were so busy chatting away to other runners, supporters and marshals that we almost missed the start of the 5K! But, we made it, and thoroughly enjoyed the fast, flat course, and the brilliant support. We were done in 33.15, which was a surprise, as we planned to take it really easy.

We had a quick change, and once again made our way to Garvel Road end for the start of the 10K. We mustered at the back, knowing that we’d be amongst the slower runners. We listened to the race briefing, pointing out the mud we could expect at Maggies Cottage and at the Tarbert Castle loop. There had been a couple of changes to the route this year. Instead of entering the first trail section through the main gates of the Heritage Centre, we entered through the gates to the horse paddock, and ran over the rubber surface. That was different! Our return into the village had changed too, and we had to run past our house, along side the astroturf, along the TAWNI path and out at the school where @TheWelshWookie works before heading back out along the harbour. It was great to mix it up!

Here’s a map of the race:  

 The race was started by a countdown and an air horn, and we were off. We didn’t start too fast, and kept to our planned pace, knowing that the first section involved a climb uphill, with a tight turn. It’s always a hard start to a race, and this year was no different! But the views at the top of Lady Ileene Road are worth it, sweeping over the harbour. We could then recover on the downward run back off Lady Ileene Road and towards the Herifage Centre, through the rubber paddock and onto the first trail section up to Maggie’s Cottage. This is a long, slow incline on a muddy trail up to a turning point that gradually gets steeper and steeper. We were warned by Muriel, one of the marshals, to keep to the middle as it was very slippery on the left. Fortunately, as there were no more runners during our descent, we could actually run on the right, and could avoid the slip hazard altogether.

We headed out of the heritage centre, back onto the road and towards our house. Hazel caught a great photo of us at this point:  

 Thanks Hazel! And @TheWelshWookie half joked about popping home for a cuppa 😉

Next we ran a route we do most days – along past the astroturf, so it was a very comfortable run for us. We then made our way up the TAWNI trail path (TAWNI stands for Tarbert Academy Wildlife & Nature Initiative) towards the school, and then downhill to the harbour. We then ran our usual route along the front, past the 5K mark, all the way to the turning circle at the end, known locally as The Concrete. There, we were met by Jacqui and some others, with water and some much needed jelly babies!

We headed off again, back along the harbour, and up to the killer hill at Big Brae. We did not even attempt to run this – it’s a definite walk, with its steep incline and twists and turns! We also had faster runners hurtling past us heading back downhill, so it was easier for them if we walked, tucking ourselves into the left hand side. Then, we were at the muddy, boggy, Castle Loop, with its hills. But, like other parts of the course, it’s well worth it for the stunning views. I’m pleased to report that we didn’t see any adders this time!

Already we had reached the five mile mark, at the top of the final, big hill. We made our way back around the remainder of the loop, back down big brae, and along the harbour to the finish line.

As every other year, the support was fantastic, with plenty of cheering and support. I haven’t mentioned how well marshalled this event is, with plenty of guidance and help, and cheers along the way. It really does knock the socks off other events.

We gratefully received our hand made, pottery medals which were white this year, and our goody bags – turquoise gym bags with the TT10K logo on them. They were fab! And the neon orange T shirt is great for running on roads, like we do around here.

The Fisherman’s Mission were supporting the event, and there was copious amounts of tea, coffee, home baking and most especially tablet! This was manned by my friend and colleague Sheena, who snuck me a piece of tablet as I waited in the queue. Thanks, Sheena!

There was enough food to feed three villages – we could help ourselves to the home baking, as well as to water, apples, bananas, Tunnock’s caramel wafers, mars bars and a wide selection of pre-packed sandwiches. I grabbed a mars bar, water and a tuna & sweet corn sandwich – a perfect take away lunch!

We waited around, chatting with other runners, comparing times and tales from the run. We then watched the prize giving, with winners receiving bespoke acrylic plaques from Midton Acrylics. They were really unusual and brilliant!

Before we left, I popped over to have a quick chat with Lorraine, one of the organisers, and congratulated her on a job well done – and thanked her for yet another brilliant event. 

Our stats: 1:16:27. 10 minutes slower than the first year; but 2 minutes faster than last year, which is fantastic, given we had just run a 5K and last year was on fresh legs 🙂

The Medal: A locally made pottery medal, with the Tarbert Castle logo embossed on it.  

 Goody Bag: A fab gym bag with the logo on it, T shirt, trolley coin, air freshener, water and mars bar. I didn’t know these were in there before I took another of each, along with my sandwich too!  

 T-shirt: Bright neon orange this year, with silver writing and logo, with the local slogan ‘Run, Jeck, Run’ on the back 😀

I now feel ready for the Great North Run, and just need to keep on track over the next few weeks. This race is a must in my calendar, it’s been very highly rated in Runner’s World, so please check it out. Even better, come and join us next year!

Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

Hi, guys! How was your weekend? If you saw my post yesterday, you’ll know that my weekend was one of two distinct halves: a stormy Saturday and a glorious Sunday. We had a rare quiet weekend at home with no plans, and it was bliss.

I rounded up week three of my training plan nicely with a gorgeous walk, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I’m pleased to say that my training is firmly back on track, with three solid and consistent weeks of sticking to the plan 😀 Happy, happy!

Here’s how last week went, with the scheduled sessions on the left compared to my actual training on the right: 

 This week is the midway point of my ‘get back to it’ plan, and the mileage ramps up a little this week. We’ll see how it goes 😉

To get me started, here’s something I”ll be focussing on this week:


Have a brilliant week, lovelies!

Catching up with 5×50

Catching up with 5×50

Betcha didn’t expect to hear from me tonight? 😉

Just a quick post to say that, already, we’re on day 31 of the 5×50 challenge. Oooft, that’s come in quickly!

While I’ve been getting in my average of 5k or 30 minutes each day (I know because my Up band told me so), I hadn’t been logging it. My bad.

Tonight, I ran 2 miles then walked another 2 miles- go me! Not outside, but on the ‘mill. Watching Suits. I then logged my 5×50 and was surprised how the kilometres add up quickly:  Not too shabby! I’ve also got my training schedule tightened a little, after working out the basics of it last night. 

All in all, it’s been a productive Tuesday 😀 

Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

Hello, everyone, and welcome back, winter! 😮

It’s freeeeeeezing out there! Brrr! The hailstones have been fairly battering down today. Mustn’t complain, though. We’ve had a great few weeks of mild, sunny weather.

Well, here we are – four days’ blogging in a row 🙂

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my recent posts, and those who have offered positive comments and support following my wee admission yesterday. It’s good to know that I’m doing the right thing. Last night, I organised my ‘return to running’ plan for the next few weeks. I’ve bolted together a 5K, 10K and half marathon training plan to coincide with the Color Run, the inaugural Carradale 10K, culminating in the GNR. And, I’m actually a little excited to get back to it in a more structured and sensible way.

I’ve started tonight, with a return to Clubbercise after the Easter break, then missing last week’s class. It was GREAT! There were new routines, including one to ‘Uptown Funk’ and another to Scooter’s ‘Logical’:

It was brilliant! 😀

Here’s my soft, fluffy-pink approach to this week. It matches my mood………


Have a GREAT week, all!

The Blip is Back

The Blip is Back

Way back before was born, I had a Blipfoto account.

It lasted 12 days.

And, if I’m honest, that’s about how long I thought the blog might last. How wrong I was, eh?

I’ve decided that I’ve nothing better to do with my time I’d give Blipping another go.


For those not familiar, Blipfoto is an online photo journal, a bit like a blog, where you can record a picture and a few notes every day. Now, I know I’m not likely to post every day, but there may, perhaps, be some times when I think a picture needs shared, with a few more words than is right for Instagram!

If you’re interested, have a wee peek at by Blipfoto page.

Let’s see how long this lasts, eh? 😉

Monday Motivation – Clubbing Style!

Monday Motivation – Clubbing Style!

It’s Monday! And I am MOTIVATED! 😀

This weekend, @TheWelshWookie and I have been busy. We’ve decorated the hall, and it is looking fantastic. We have also -at last – replaced our cooker. The last one blew up 😮 and we just hadn’t gotten round to getting a new one. But, now we have: and can you guess the first thing made in it?

Yup. Chocolate Cake 😀

But it will make healthy eating a little easier again. After I treat myself to a pizza this week, of course. Pizza, I have missed you!

Anyhow, I have kickstarted this week in a fun filled and energetic way – with a Clubbercising class! It was totally AWESOME!

The class is aerobic, dance style, which you can do to suit your own abilities, either high or low intensity. Everyone has glowsticks, and the music is upbeat: dance, clubbing style. I LOVED it! 🙂

And what was even better was the lights are dimmed, there are disco lights, and no one is watching what you’re doing 😉

Some of my favourite running tracks were used, which was great: Titanium and Pump up the Jam, amongst others. But the track of the evening was one I remember very fondly from clubbing in Glasgow when I was in my late teens, early twenties:

Gotta love me some N-Trance on a Monday night, reminding me of Destiny nightclub, and The Boulevard at the weekends.  Brilliant!

If you get the chance, take a Clubbercise class!


Bring on February!



If, like me, you’ve had a wonderful week of eating, drinking and lazing then you might be ready for a fitness shake up. So, wit this in mind, I’ve just signed up for Jantastic 2015!

I’m all set, and raring to go again on 5th January.


Bring it on! 😀

I Moustache You a Question

I Moustache You a Question

A little bit of mid-week fun today as I link up with Allison, the Running Princess who invited me to join in and share a little bit about myself.


Four names other people call me other than my real name

Only four? Ok then….

  1. When I’m in trouble, I’m called by my proper first name, which is Jayne Frances. My grandma, gran and occasionally my parents call me by my proper name too. The last time I used it myself was on my wedding day 🙂
  2. My friends from childhood, my siblings and other family call me Jaynie. It’s also what I call myself, and what I think of as ‘me’.
  3. For some reason, I’ve always been Jayne at work. No idea why, I just am!
  4. Of course, my alter ego is TartanJogger 🙂

Four jobs I’ve had

I’ve only ever worked for four different companies – I’m pretty loyal.

  1. While at Uni I worked part time for Homebase, the DIY store. After graduating, I did their management training programme and was later a DIY Manager. Want to know how to plumb in a washing machine or wire a light fitting? I’m your girl 🙂
  2. I was a Branch Manager for Phones4U for a very short period of time. While I could sell, sell, sell no problem, it wasn’t the kind of company I wanted to work for, I didn’t share its ethics (or lack of them).
  3. I worked for Barnardo’s, which I loved: I had a great team of staff, and many fabulous volunteers. I often miss it, it was also lots of fun!
  4. Now, I work for a local authority, and really enjoy my job – though it’s very demanding and can be stressful. I get to drive around the most gorgeous part of the country – with a coastline longer than France – and I have hundreds of fantastic staff. I couldn’t do it without the Dream Team 😉

Four movies I’ve watched more than once

  1. Dead Poets Society. I love this Robin Williams classic. It was released when I was at the same age as the characters, and I was also in love with poetry and literature. Oh, Captain, my Captain.
  2. Terminator 2. I remember being blown away by the special effects when this was released. I went on the T2 ride at Universal Studios not longer after it opened, and my sister thought it was real……. yes, really. She did………
  3. Harry Potter. What’s not to love. I’m including all eight films here. There’s nothing better than a HP marathon!
  4. The Polar Express. This was a difficult one – I could have picked any Christmas movie, as I watch them every year: Elf, Miracle on 34th Street, Santa Claus: the Movie, The Snowman, etc. I also love the TV Channel Christmas 24! But the Polar Express contains a really important message, which I love. And I can still hear the bell ringing.

Four books I recommend

Where do I start? I’m a bookworm, so this is tough!

  1. The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald. To me, it’s perfection. Decadence, tragedy, shallowness, depth, the American Dream – this book led me to study 20th Century American Literature at Uni. I re-read it often, and love its symbolism
  2. The House on Pooh Corner by AA Milne. Not only a childhood favourite – it contains so many nuggets of wisdom throughout. I even have a version in Latin!
  3. A Christmas Carol  by Charles Dickens. Marley was dead, to begin with. The greatest opening line, IMHO. I love Dicken’s imagery, descriptions and his cliffhanger episodic writing. Remarkable.
  4. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. I love her writing – and all of her books are wonderful. This one, though, is my favourite, for its tension and setting.

I can’t believe I haven’t even touched upon distopic fiction, horror novels or sci fi/fantasy fiction! 😮

Four places I’ve lived

  1. My first home was a flat, in Dumbarton. They’ve just demolished these, which I’ve found quite upsetting! I have great memories from living there.
  2. My parents live in the house we then moved to, which was close to the flat – I clearly remember the day we moved in, when I was seven.
  3. My first flat, in Dumbarton East, was a tiny, one bedroom tenement, which I loved.
  4. My current home, in Tarbert, which has an open door to family and friends. We’ve been here for seven years now – how time flies!

Four places I’ve been

  1. Toronto, Canada. I’ve been twice, and I love it. @TheWelshWookie has never been, but we’re planning a visit for my ‘big birthday’ next year.
  2. Tenerife, Canary Islands. It’s where I met @TheWelshWookie, and we visit often. It’s a magical island.
  3. Madrid, Spain. I was blown away by how wonderful this city was – I’d love to visit here more often.
  4. Paris, France. I’ve been twice – both visits included a trip to DLP!

Four places I’d rather be right now

  1. Florida, specifically Disney World. I’ve been in December before, and I loved it.
  2. Capri, Italy. It’s a gorgeous, chic island and very relaxed.
  3. Tenerife. Nuff said.
  4. Portavadie. It’s only a short ferry journey away – but it’s a hidden piece of paradise.

Four of my favourite foods

  1. Brussel Sprouts. Roasted with some balsamic vinegar, or with some bacon and chopped nuts. Oh, my. Delish.
  2. Steak. You can’t beat one of Auntie Jayne’s fillets, cooked rare.
  3. Scallops. A little piece of heaven. Any seafood r fish is, really. Add some caviar and I’m there!
  4. Pizza. Life’s too short to not eat pizza!

Four things I don’t eat

  1. Tomatoes. I’d love to love ’em, but I just don’t.
  2. Porridge. Even the smell of it makes me feel nauseous.
  3. Bananas. Yes,, I’m a runner, and I can’t stand bananas. Even the smell of the skin in the bin is awful!
  4. Kidneys. The worst thing is eating a steak pie, and realising that it’s a steak and kidney pie….. 😦

Four tv shows I watch

  1. The Blacklist. It’s one of many dramas I love. James Spader is awesome. I love it.
  2. Game of Thrones. Peter Dinklage is absolutely wonderful in GoT. What a brilliant actor.
  3. The Newsroom. It’s another fantastic drama, with brilliant acting. I’m really sad that it’s in its final series, but I’m also glad it’s ending while brilliant.
  4. Pointless. It’s a bit of a guilty pleasure! We sky+ it every day and watch it in the evening!

Four things I’m looking forward to this year

Taking this to mean 2015 (after all, there’s not much of 2014 left):

  1. It’s a BIG birthday year for me in 2015, so I’m hoping that I’ll be having an epic year, with some wonderful challenges, so my birthday trip to Canada is definitely top of my list.
  2. I’m hoping to conquer a marathon, since I had to pull out this year.
  3. I’m also looking forward to family fun as usual – the Viking festival and the seafood festival will no doubt be highlights.
  4. I’m looking forward to building my fitness levels back to where they were a year ago – and shifting the 20lbs I’ve gained since we got married! 😮

Four things I always say

  1. “Good Stuff” very annoying, no doubt!
  2. “Dream Team” referring to my colleagues at work – I’m not being condescending – I’m just being honest.
  3. I drive @TheWelshWookie nuts because I use “bring” and “take” interchangeably. He hates that!
  4. My nephews probably want to run a mile every time I ask for “kisses” when leaving, or if they’re heading to bed. I really have turned into the embarrassing old auntie!

What would your responses be? I’m going to tag Kyla, Scott, Unsporty and anyone else who’d like to join in.

Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

Happy New Week to you all.


How’s your weekend been? Mine’s been very relaxed and chilled: we watched some of the autumn international rugby games, and went to our local Remembrance parade yesterday.Other than that, we didn’t do much of anything.

Some times, we need a weekend to relax and recharge 🙂


And, yes, that can include taking some time for yourself too 😀