Monday Motivation: Three Weeks Until Spartan Day

Monday Motivation: Three Weeks Until Spartan Day

I can’t believe that, in three week’s time, it will all be over and I’ll have- hopefully- completed my first Spartan Run. Eek! This is hurtling towards me at an accelerated pace, and I’m hoping that my nod towards training is enough to see me through.

As I said in last Monday’s post I started the week with WAR. And I had DOMS for days, I definitely pushed myself! On Tuesday I did a 5k run/ walk which felt good, but reminded me that my body isn’t quite 100% yet, my left leg still felt a bit off and weak. I’m hoping that my runs this week will show an improvement, but who knows. 

I had an unanticipated busy week, with a trip to Islay on Wednesday meaning that I missed my regular Jog Scotland run. I was out on Thursday night and so I missed PiYo but I managed a walk and a little cross training on both nights which was better than nothing. Since then, I’ve had visitors all weekend for the Seafood Festival, which is one of the best weekends of the year in Tarbert. This year was no different: it was really wet but we had great fun, great food, excellent company and a few cheeky drinks including the newest addition to the local gin collection: Kintyre Gin   I’ve had a day off today, which had mostly been spent getting beds stripped and washed, and catching up on a few things around the house. We have a quiet weekend coming up, with no visitors which will be nice as we’ve enjoyed company for the past three weekends. I’m hoping that this week will give me a chance to keep my fitness goals on track. I’m heading to WAR later today, we’ll see how that goes after such a busy weekend 😉 

We then have a trip to London planned before the Spartan Race, so I’ll be doing what I can between times to keep up. Eeek! Here’s some Monday Motivation that I’m holding on to- I hope it works for you!

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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

Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Tarbert-10km/570186306335004

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

Hello, how was your weekend?

Mine was fab, thanks. We had visitors: my BFF Pauline, her hubby Gavin, Olivia and Christopher. We had a blast! And, I think we were really good – we ate well (80/20 of course, mostly healthy with a few G and Ts) and we were active too. On Saturday, Olivia and Christopher joined in at our SUPercise session, which was brilliant fun. Both did so well!

  
In the afternoon, we then had a good walk into Lochgilphead. It was pouring with rain, we were soaked, but it was good to get a solid 10K or so in the bag.

Tonight, @TheWelshWookie and I ran a solid four miles around the harbour. I really enjoyed it, and feel in control, with six weeks to go until the Great North Run.

  
Tomorrow calls for a seven miler, so keep your fingers crossed for a dry day 🙂

Here’s a little something to help get your week started:

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Have a wonderful week!

A Break from the Games, Back to the Village

A Break from the Games, Back to the Village

I thought you might appreciate a little break from my posts about the Commonwealth Games. While I’m watching the gymnastics, including another gold for Team Scotland, I thought I’d share a local Tarbert festival, which I missed this year.

While @TheWelshWookie and I were sunning ourselves in Tenerife, my family were at our house, enjoying Tarbert Seafood Festival! I enjoyed last year’s festival so much that I split my review into two posts, which you can read here and also here.

They had fabulous weather, and they told me that there were even more stalls than there were last year. They enjoyed sampling the seafood delights:

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Enjoyed a little beer:
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and basked in glorious sunshine.
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Stacey was a winner this year: she won a fishcake! No, not a fishcake, but a Fish Cake! Nom nom nom.
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And on the Sunday, they enjoyed the music at Beer on the Pier. They took the boys over to the outdoor gym, and were able to enjoy the music from the other side of the harbour. Smart thinking, guys!
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There is no way we’ll be missing the festival in 2015 😀

The Vikings Were Here!

The Vikings Were Here!

The week before we went to Tenerife was a very special one in Tarbert.
For months, villagers had been working on building a proper Viking longoat. It was made by hand, using traditional techniques. And, it was ready to celebrate the inaugural Tarbert Viking Festival, and the traditional boat festival.
So, during the week leading up to the festival, the village was overrun with Vikings, who sailed the boat to ‘raid’ local villages. It seemed like lots of fun!

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We missed the main event on the Saturday, which was a reenactment of Magnus Barefoot’s historic claiming of Kintyre as part of his kingdom. In 1093, Magnus and his Viking hoard laid claim to all of Scotland’s islands. An island was described as any body of land that his boat could circumnavigate. When he arrived in Tarbert, he and his men carried the longboat from the East Loch to the harbour, thereby circumnavigating Kintyre. Hence, Kintyre is known as the Mainland Island 🙂
On the Friday, the Vikings made a victorious return to Tarbert from their marauding and we celebrated with a big barbeque, music and a ceilidh.
The weather was great, and it was lovely to see the village busy.

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The music was provided by villagers, and was brilliant. There were folk groups:

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And choirs:

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A barber shop group:

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And even this guy did a few songs…… do you recognise him?

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We had a famous attendee: Rory McCann, who plays The Hound, Sandor Clegane in Game of Thrones. To be honest, he didn’t seem very pleased to have been spotted. I asked if he’d allow me to have a photo taken with him, and he said ‘no’, and walked off 😦 Good casting, maybe?
Anyway, we had a lovely evening, and it set us up very well for our holiday!

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Have you ever been refused a photo or autograph before?

Heroes

Heroes

Today marks the 70th Anniversary of the D Day landings.

Today, I’ve been thinking about how different life could be, if those heroes hadn’t given their lives for the liberation of Europe, and secured our freedom. To see the images of the 2,000 or so veterans paying their respects to their fallen comrades on the beaches of Normandy has been poignant. Thinking of coming off those boats, onto a beach into heavy gunfire, and then through land mines must have been truly terrifying.

Even watching ‘Great British Menu’ has been an eye opener, with the veterans’ inspiring stories. Who knew that ladies were flying airplanes? Until recently, I didn’t. It sure puts my issues into perspective.

The simple things I take for granted: a run along the harbour, copious food, a glass of wine, a dip in the hot tub. My typical Friday night.

For these simple pleasures, I am thankful.

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True heroes.

 

A New Arrival

A New Arrival

On Saturday, @TheWelshWookie and I went for a little run around Tarbert Harbour. It was a damp day, with blustery showers, but we were lucky and managed to time our run between them: more by luck than design, I hasten to add 😉

And, the village has had a new arrival: our brand new ferry is here, and almost ready for action!

Our current ferry, MV Isle of Cumbrae, is a lovely little lady. But she’s a bit tired and ever so slightly old fashioned. But we’ll miss her.

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Her replacement is a hybrid ferry, both diesel and electric, and she is much bigger than her predecessor.

She’s MV Lochinvar, and can carry 150 passengers and 23 vehicles. She’s brand, spanking new, and only the second of her hybrid-kind in the CalMac fleet.

I can’t wait until our next visit to Portavadie, so we can see what she’s like inside and on the water 🙂

When was the last time you were on a ferry? Where did you go?

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Indoors and Outdoors

Indoors and Outdoors

The training is under way again, and after a couple of months of just running when I felt like it, and for as long or as short as I wanted, I’m surprised at how easily I’ve fallen back into the schedule!

I’ve always liked routine, so I suppose I shouldn’t really be surprised. Structure works for me 😉

Last night, I mixed it up a little, and did my three miler on the treadmill.

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I watched the latest episode of The Following while I ran, and that helped the minutes to fly by. Turns out my teenage crush on Kevin Bacon is still there…. 😉

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I also did some weights, as the show hadn’t finished by the time my run was done. I’m sticking to my plan like glue!

Tonight, it was great to get outside and run. I really, really enjoyed it. It felt great after yesterday’s cooped up run. Unusually, it was both dry AND still daylight when we headed out, but the light faded fast at the end of the run.

Here’s the view over the harbour at the end of my three miler, which is a little blurry: sorry about that! 🙂

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Tomorrow’s a rest day, and I suspect that I’ll be itching to get out again come Saturday!

Are you training right now? How’s it going for you?

Countdown to Madrid

Countdown to Madrid

Tonight, the training started. The Countdown to Madrid has begun!

OK, so between now and then there’s the small matter of a wedding, but for this evening, my mind is firmly on Madrid! 🙂

Following yesterday’s rest day, my training plan called for a nice, easy 3 miler, which @TheWelshWookie and I did around the harbour as usual. It felt great! I forgot to set my Hal Higdon app, but I was able to enter my info manually.

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Tonight, I’m going to settle down with my Madrid guidebook, and begin planning our post-race festivities!

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Have you ever been to Madrid? Any ‘must do’s’ I should know about?

A Sunday Run for #MegsMiles

A Sunday Run for #MegsMiles

Like many of you, I’ve been touched by the story of Meg Menzies, who was tragically killed by an alleged drunk driver while out doing a training run last week.

I’m sure we’ve all had the same thoughts: sympathy for her family, comparisons, and the inevitable ‘it could have been me’.

And so, in honour of Meg, @TheWelshWookie and I ran 5K today. We chose to run our favourite training distance, following our favourite route around the harbour. I think that’s the most fitting way to honour this runner I didn’t know: getting out there, doing what we love, in the way that we love it.

Rest peacefully, Meg.

#MegsMiles