Huggin’ Stuff

Huggin’ Stuff

I’m not a big hugger. Of people, I mean.

But I recently posted about how I hug Christmas Trees! 😮 You’ll find that post here.

Then, I was reminded that I actually hug loadsa stuff!

All things, mind, not so much people…..

Here’s me hugging the 150 years anniversary monument, at King’s Cross Underground station:

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And here’s me hugging the R’n’R sign in Dublin:

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Finally, for now, here’s me hugging a large garden ornament in Iona:

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Sorry, it was a flashless night time pic 😉 Maybe my huggin’ addiction is worse than I thought?

Do you have any weird habits that someone else has pointed out to you?

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Baubles from Run Destinations

Baubles from Run Destinations

When you’re away in a different city and running, do you buy yourself souvenirs?
I do! 🙂
Here are some of the new baubles we have collected this year:

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The first is my Harrods bauble, which I picked up when I was in London for The Color Run UK back in July. We always buy a Harrods bauble each year, and have done that since 2007, so we now have seven!
Next, is the silver ornament we bought at the Guinness factory in Dublin. We picked this up when we visited for the inaugural RnR Dublin half marathon in August.
Bottom right is a wooden heart with a reindeer’s head, which I got when in Centre Parcs for the Hen Do. Not a race, but I did go for a run that day.
Finally, the sparkly red reindeer is from The Tree Shop at Cairndow. We stopped off there after the inaugural CowalFest trail run, which was in October.
@TheWelshWookie and I have also given in to temptation, and bought some festive goodies.
We now have stollen, as well as these:

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I’m looking forward to having a glass of mulled cider, and to tasting these cinnamon Pringles! They also had Mint Choc Pringles, but I though those were a step too far!
Anyone else tried those?
Meanwhile this weekend, I seem to have transformed completely into the embarrassing old auntie….

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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?

Rockin’ and Rollin’ into 2014

Rockin’ and Rollin’ into 2014

Evening, all!

Are you fed up with me titling my blogs with words ending in -in’ this week? I promise this will be the last. Ok, at least I think it will, so I’d better retract that promise, just in case!

After signing up for the Zombie Night Run UK event this morning, as a Zombie, I’ve been excited all day, thinking about it. Now that I know where it is (it’s still a secret, except for those who have entered early 😉 ) and I’ve decided to be a chaser rather than be chased, I’m looking forward to it! It also comes at the end of a week’s holiday for me, so it’ll be something to look forward to.

And when I arrived home from work tonight, I found that another amazing run has been announced.

Drum roll please………………………………………………..

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2014 will be the inaugural Rock and Roll Liverpool Marathon and Half! Woop! Woop!

@TheWelshWookie and I have already been considering dreaming about the possibility of doing the RnR Madrid run next year. I’ll more than likely do Edinburgh, and I’d love to go back to Dublin, too!

Does this mean a possible 3 or 4 RnR events might be on the cards for us?

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Ooooh, decisions, decisions! Whatever I decide, I’ll be looking to add another of these to my collection:

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Today’s stats

Run: ANOTHER run-less day…. I need to get that sorted soon! Stretching (and eating) instead 😉

Favourite Stretching Track today: an old Coldplay fave

Today’s life lesson: think before you speak. That’s all.

Have you planned any runs for 2014 yet?

A Dublin Photodump

A Dublin Photodump

Today, I’ll not be running. I’m going to take a day off, just to keep my legs fresh for Saturday. I’m really looking forward to the Perth Kilt Run, as I’m running with @TheWelshWookie, my bro, sis-in-law and nephew 😀

Today’s Stats

Run: no, stretching is my limit today. I’ll do NTC, probably Kara Goucher.

Surprise tune I heard at random this morning: FLC, I hadn’t heard this for aaages!

In order to free up some memory on my iPhone, I thought I’d clear out a load of stuff upload some of my pics from Dublin.

We managed to squish in quite a lot of sightseeing. On Sunday, we did loads of shopping:

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We also did tour of the Aviva Stadium, aka Landsdowne Road. As a huuuuge rugby fan, @TheWelshWookie was really pleased about this!

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After the race on Monday, we visited the Guiness Storehouse, which was great fun. Here’s the view from the Gravity Bar:

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And then headed to the Temple Bar area of the city:

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On Tuesday, before we flew home, we visited Trinity College.

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We had a brilliant walking tour around campus, then we saw the Book of Kells, which is beautiful. It was written by monks on the Isle of Iona, in Argyll, don’t you know? 🙂 The visit also includes entry to the old library which blew me away, it was so impressive. It looked like something from a film set!

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And I couldn’t finish my Dublin adventure without sharing these famous watercourses:

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Today’s life lesson: don’t spill baked beans down a silk dress. It’s a nightmare to get out!

What random pics have you taken recently?

Race Report: Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, Dublin

Race Report: Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, Dublin

Date: 5th August 2013

Profile: Flat

Terrain: Road

Weather: Cloudy, not too hot

Website: http://ie.competitor.com /

Positives: good expo, great course, excellent organisation, friendly runners

Negatives: lack of support around the route, pacers (what pacers?), goody bags

As @TheWelshWookie and I were making a weekend of it, we flew into Dublin on the Saturday afternoon, giving us plenty of time before the race on Monday. We headed to our hotel which was on the outskirts of the city, as we had a hire car.

After we checked in and organised ourselves we headed into the city itself, to find the expo. We took the Luas, or tram:

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We headed to the expo, which was well organised, busy, and had lots of stands. I had to pose, of course:

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I collected my bib, my race pack and Tshirt. The goody bag was a bit rubbish- but that’s not hugely important to me anyway. I then collected my World Rocker medal, albeit a bit premature as I hadn’t actually run the second half yet!

We then browsed the stalls, and I treated myself to some Yurbud earphones, which lock in place and don’t fall out. They also allow you to hear what is going on around you, for safety when out running. And the sound quality is great I LOVE them! I also bought some CEP calf compression sleeves, in neon green!

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We spent Sunday sight seeing, shopping and scoping out the start of the run at St. Stephen’s Green so that we knew exactly where we were going, and where would be best for parking.

On the morning of the race, we were up at 5am, had breakfast at the hotel, and drove into Dublin. We were greeted by some motorway signage 😉

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We parked right at St Stephen’s Green, so we didn’t have to walk too far. @TheWelshWookie headed off at 7am to find where he’d be doing the gear check, while I waited in the car for another half hour getting more excited just chilling out. At 7.30am, I headed onto St Stephen’s Green and took a walk around, just to soak up the atmosphere, and to keep warm- it was a little chilly, given that I was wearing shorts and a vest!

The facilities at the start were great: loads of portaloos, and the gear check was easy to use, spread out well, and manned by the wonderful @TheWelshWookie amongst others!

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The start itself was really good. From 8am, we were advised to go to our corrals, which was ideal. The build up was pretty slick with a very brief warm up, and the excitement built to the sounds of U2.  I was in the last corral, so anyone slower than 2:20 were all lumped together- all slowbies together!

Here’s the map of the race:

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The race started at 8.30 sharp, and the final corral (including me) headed off after about 10 minutes. We were notified that the pacers would be wearing coloured balloons, and I was hoping to track the 2:15 balloon, at least for part of the race. I only saw one pacer for each time- there were more in Edinburgh- and for some reason, the 2:30 pacer started in the corral BEFORE us? Huh? That made no sense to me, as I was running 2:20!

A sea of neon green!
A sea of neon green!

Anyway, we headed out of the start, and the support for the first kilometre or so was really good. Within about 10 minutes, I had caught up with the end of the previous corral, which was great, and I caught sight of the pacer. But, before I knew it, they had raced away on ahead! So much for running at 2:30 – I’m pretty sure they must have come in much quicker than that, as I didn’t see them again! So, after such a great pacing experience at Edinburgh, I was disappointed that this pacer didn’t seem to do what was needed for us slowbies, anyway. 😦

As we headed towards Phoenix Park, the support dwindled, and that made the course pretty quiet. A large part of the race was in the park itself, which was gorgeous. It also meant that you could run on the grass, if you preferred. We ran past the zoo, and there were some families out, showing support. I got a high-5 off of a boy of about 3, at mile 4, which was great!

At the 10k mark, we began to head slightly uphill, which was a shock as it was the first hill of the race, but wasn’t too bad. There were sensors at 10k, but I haven’t been able to find my 10k split anywhere on the website. Hopefully, I’ll come across it!

As we headed out of the park, I noticed that we ran along whole streets, with no one out supporting. I thought that was odd, but maybe support isn’t as good as elsewhere? What it did mean was that I really, really appreciated the support that we did get- it was greatly appreciated!

The route wound its way back towards the city centre, and at mile 9, we came to The Hill. Now in most races, it would probably have just been a hill, but for this lovely, flat course, it was THE hill. Pretty steep! But, at the top of the hill was a water station- whether that was by luck, or by design, I was happy to see it, and to fill up my water bottle.

From about mile 10, the support began to pick up a little, with some fantastic crowds over the last mile. One of the great things about this route was how quickly we seemed to come cross the finish line- it just appeared, out of nowhere!

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What made up for the lack of support were the brilliant bands at every mile marker. They were all really great, and this time, there were only two finishing  songs as I came past, so I got to hear lots of them! And, unlike Edinbugh, the mile markers were all present and correct!

As I crossed the line, I was handed my fab medal, and I managed to bag a bottle of water and a powerbar: the isotonic drinks were all finished 😦

I had to wait for @TheWelshWookie to finish giving back gear bags, so I headed back to the car, got changed, then came back to the square, where I found a wee spot to sit and listen to the bands. It was brilliant!

My stats: 2:16:04 only 5 seconds short of 2:15!! I  have no idea how many participants there were, but I finished 3990th. Here’s the only stats I could find:

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The Medal: Really good, fab, sparkly and heavy!

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I also had my brilliant World Rocker medal:

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Goody Bag: money off vouchers, leaflets, blister plasters & a packet of crisps

T-shirt: It’s a fab. neon green number!

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After a quick shower and change, @TheWelshWookie and I headed first to the Guiness Storehouse, where we enjoyed a Guiness, for it’s restorative powers only, or course 🙂

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And we finished our evening partying in the Temple Bar area, listening to some fantastic music.

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All in all, we had a brilliant weekend, and can’t wait to visit again!

Home- Between Runs!

Home- Between Runs!

I’m ho-ome!

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@TheWelshWookie and I spent the morning in  Dublin.  We visited Trinity College, where we were thoroughly entertained by  tour guide named David as we did the walking tour. We then queued, and visited the Book of Kells, and the Long Room of the old library. Both were really impressive!

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We then flew back to Glasgow, and were thoroughly delighted to find that my mum had made us dinner before we headed home. Thanks mum!

So, I now find myself between races- recovering from the Dublin RnR, and looking forward to  The Perth Kilt Run on Saturday. It’s a busy week for running!

But, boy, it’s good to be home:

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Today’s life lesson: people seem to leave their brains at home as soon as they get to an airport, so be prepared!

What do you look forward to most after a trip away?

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?

‘Twas the Night Before…

‘Twas the Night Before…

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Tomorrow is the big day: the one I’ve been working hard for. It’s my second half marathon- the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Dublin! Squeeeee!

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Today’s plan is to take things easy: do some sight seeing, stop for lunch and for coffee, and stretch my legs with a short two miler. I’m hoping to get a good night’s sleep too!

I’ll let you all know how it goes- see you on the other side! 😀

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In Dublin’s Fair City

In Dublin’s Fair City

Today, @TheWelshWookie and I have arrived in Dublin!

We were in Glasgow Airport for 8.30am, and waited an hour, having coffee, until we could drop off our suitcase. Our flight was at 11.30, and we flew to Dublin with Air Lingus. Look away now if small planes make you feel queasy!

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After a pretty bumpy flight, we touched down in Dublin, and waited aaaaages for our bag. Yawn. But, when we headed for the car hire, a pleasant surprise awaited us- a pretty smart hire car!

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We drove straight to the hotel, had a very quick change, then caught the Luas, or tram, into the DT Dublin Hotel, which was the venue for the Expo. The expo was about a half hour walk, which was a good opportunity for us to really get our bearings in the city.

The Expo was fun!

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i picked up my bib, goody bag (which contained mostly leaflets and money off coupons, a packet of crisps and a packet of blister plasters, which will be very handy!) and T shirt.

I then collected my World Rocker medal, even though I haven’t run the second half yet! It’s massive, and, of course, I had to wear it all day 😉

I bought some new earphones, to wear whilst running:

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The yurbuds are super comfortable, and designed not to fall out when running. We’ll see!

We then headed back into the city centre, to find something to eat. We had a lovely walk:

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Until the heavens opened, and we got a thorough soaking! Fortunately, we flagged down a taxi, who took us to the Hard Rock Cafe, which is where we ate the night before the Edinburgh RnR Half, too!

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We’re now back at the hotel, relaxing, and looking forward to the rest of the weekend.

Today’s Life Lesson: Remember to take important paperwork with you- going back for it is a pain!

What have you been up to on this Saturday?