Monday Motivation 

Monday Motivation 

Happy Hallowe’en to you all! 🎃🕸

How was your weekend? Any parties? We had Tarbert Book Festival, and we enjoyed it with my bestie Pauline, Gavin, Olivia and Christopher. We had a great natter and catch up on Friday night, followed by a couple of very interesting sessions on Saturday. Early afternoon we enjoyed Janice Galloway’s talk about her latest book, Jellyfish. She was very honest, forthright and thought provoking, as well as being a wonderful reader:  Our next session was in the Anchor Hotel and was a Date with Death, about historical crime fiction by Shirley McKay:  Listening to authors describing their work, how they craft their stories and how their books come to life is fascinating. 

We had a meal at the Anchor, which was delicious, before heading back home for our own book group. Gavin had chosen Robert Harris’ new book, Conclave, which we all read in advance so that we could discuss it. I loved that we took the Festival weekend a step further for ourselves, and after a few glasses of wine we had plenty to talk about! 

On Sunday we had yet another lovely lunch at the George Hotel in Inveraray. The fires were lit and the food was as amazing as it usually is. 

Tonight, Body Conditioning was cancelled; and Pound is cancelled tomorrow night:( so I’ll need to work extra hard on Wednesday and Thursday nights. This Friday is the first of the new Salsa classes, I can’t wait!

Here’s a little motivation to start the week:  Have a good week! 

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Monday Motivation 

Monday Motivation 

Hello! A happy St. Andrew’s day to you!

Have you had a good week? Mine has been great. We had Joe, Stacey and Ryan here, celebrating Tarbert Book Festival with us. It was such brilliant fun! On Saturday morning, Ryan and @TheWelshWookie had a comic masterclass with Kev F, who draws for the Beano, the Dandy and Marvel comics, amongst others. As ever, Ryan ended up inadvertently volunteering to help: 

  And he was also responsible for the interesting title of the comic:  

 Yes, it really was called Space Aliens that Invaded the Earth Only So they Could Eat All the Bacon 😮

In the afternoon, Joe, Stacey and I had a reading and discussion session with Linda Cracknell and her book Doubling Back: Ten Paths Trodden in Memory. It was very interesting.

We had a lovely meal at The Anchor Hotel, and rounded off the evening with wine, movies and games 🙂

We then put the Christmas deccies up on Sunday, and so I’m feeling very festive!

Tonight was a fab Clubbercise class, after it was cancelled last week. I thoroughly enjoyed it. So did our newest class member- a giant helium balloon shaped like a Bride- stuck in the ceiling of the village hall 🙂 

 Here’s something positive to start a fresh, new week, especially when life seems so busy at this time of year:

 

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

How are you all feeling after the weekend? Did you manage a run?

For us, we had our local running weekend. It kicked off on the Friday, with the ‘Dookers Dash’ races for children. By all accounts it was great fun, with t-shirts and medals for all! Unfortunately, I missed it, as work got in the way, as it does 😉

However, Saturday morning broke with beautiful sunshine, which was a lovely change! The Tarbert 5K and 10K is now in it’s third year, and the previous two years have been wet and miserable – particularly last year. So, the sunshine made a welcome visit, and we headed into the village, ready to run.

When we had collected our bibs the night before, I had said that we had to get some extra mileage in to keep our half marathon training on track. One of the wonderful race organisers, Lorraine, suggested that we tag along at the back of the 5k, before getting the 10k done. What a brilliant idea!

So that’s exactly what we did. We ran the fast, flat 5k route, but took it easy, and stayed towards the back of the pack. Then we had a quick change into fresh tops and trail shoes for the mixed surface 10k. And it was fantastic! As ever, the support, the marshalling and the organisation was second to none – these girls can give the big events a good run for a lot more money! We did the 5k in 33.15, which, even though it was taking it easy, was 3 minutes faster than my recent ParkRun time. Woop!

I don’t want to go into any more detail now – I’ll save that for my race report. But if you’re after a challenging, multi terrain 10K which is well organised and supported, I’d tell you to add this one onto your list. Well worth it, especially for the gorgeous tablet at the end!

I feel like our half marathon training is going OK after Saturday. @TheWelshWookie and I had lost some ground last week due to having nasty colds, but running the two races on Saturday really boosted my confidence. I think we could easily have gone further had we wanted to. I want to get out at least three times this week, maybe four if we can, as I won’t get a long run in this Saturday. We’ll do a final long run of 10 or 11 miles or so a week on Saturday, and then we should be all ready for our first Great North Run. Yay!

If you need a little boost to get you out the door this week, here it is:  

 Have a wonderful week!

Messing Around in the Water

Messing Around in the Water

Today, @ TheWelshWookie and I tried something completely different: we went paddle boarding!

Dave, who runs the fantastic water sports business Kayak Majik in Tarbert has some fantastic new paddle boards, and we couldn’t resist giving them a try.

So, at 9 o’clock this morning (usually known as PJ time for me on a Saturday), we were at the West Loch with some fellow intrepid adventurers: Dave, his wife Alison, Mark, Janet from Pure West Media, her hubby Gordon and son Struan.

Dave got us kitted out with wetsuits and buoyancy aids, and then took us through a briefing about basic balance and techniques while we were still on dry land. That turned out to be really important! We then carried the boards to the waters edge, and climbed on.

I’ll be totally honest: I did not think for one minute that I’d be able to stand, but the boards were great, and I went for it….. And stood up! Woop Woop!

Next, Dave took us through some basic techniques while we were in shallow water, and before I knew it, I was moving: miracles do happen! I kept trying to work on my slice, and by the end of the lesson it was beginning to get there. We had a wonderful paddle around the side of the loch.

I’ll admit that, when trying to push my balance on one leg during one of the exercises, I took a dunk 😮 . But TheWookie took a few dunks (one was pretty spectacular) – he said that it was because he was really going for it. Yeah, well…. 😉

Towards the end of the lesson I found myself at a standstill, battling against the wind (and my weak arms) so I had an extra leg workout wading through the water, pulling my board towards everyone else. But I loved it! Some of the others moved onto some more technique work like the hybrid stance. Me? I was happy with mastering standing up!

Look! I’m standing! ©Pure West Media

Thanks to Janet for this pic, which sums up my experience today 😀

We’re busy with the Kintyre Way Ultra next Saturday, with Julia from Girl Runs Wild but will be back out on the boards the following week if we can!

When we got home, we kicked off Hot Tub Season 2015 😀

What’s your favourite water sport? Ever been stand up paddle boarding?

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?