A Simple Run

A Simple Run

Tonight, I’ve had a lovely, straight forward run.

Nothing fancy, no distractions, just a run. It’s great, when you just have a brilliant run.

I was enjoying the smell of the sea air, with its tang of ozone, and salt.

I was able to enjoy the tranquility of the harbour:

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And I even took time to enjoy the flowers, some still enjoying the sunshine, and hanging onto the summer for as long as possible:

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While elsewhere I could see some signs of the season beginning to change:

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All in all, it’s really beautiful here, I’m really lucky:

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Today’s Stats:

Run: 4 fantastic miles

Time: 43:28, slow, enjoying the views

Weather: Cloudy with some sunshine; warm

Trainers: Nike Lunar Glides

Favourite Running Track Today:

Today’s Life Lesson: it’s the simple things 🙂

When did you last stop, look around, and enjoy?

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Family Fun, and Back on Track

Family Fun, and Back on Track

Hello, Happy Monday!

I’ve had a fantastic weekend!

Saturday was a girl’s day out with my sisters and my mum: we hit the town, with a trip to Glasgow’s West End, and had tapas at Cafe Andaluz. It was amazing!

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Sunday was KAD’s 5th Birthday party. Since the weather was brilliant, we spent the whole day outside, and had a ball. I thought you might like to meet the Magnificent Seven, since I’ve been talking about them all week:

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There were presents….

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And cake:

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And good fun:

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As well as some more quiet moments:

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I also won a comp this weekend, over on RunEatRepeat and I’m so pleased! It’s an identity bracelet for runners, and I’m planning to order it tonight. It’s from CrossTrainID so I’m heading over there now to take a look. 😀

Today, it’s back to training. Six weeks to go until the Great Scottish Run 10k, and so the Nike Training Plan has begun, with a 3 miler. Bring it on!

Today’s Stats:

Run: 3 miles, and it felt good to be focused again!

Time: 32:22, nice and slow

Weather: Cloudy with some sunshine; warm

Trainers: Nike Lunar Glides

Favourite Running Track Today: one of my PowerSongs

Today’s Life Lesson: sleep is a precious commodity….

Did you have a busy weekend?

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!

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?

Village Jogging

Village Jogging

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I had planned to head out for an early run to beat the heat, but I’m afraid that the sun and the heat beat me to it!

Today’s stats:

Run: 7 mile ‘long’ run: definitely tapering now!

Time: 1:10:57 Given the heat, that’s Ok with me.

Trainers: LunarGlides

Weather: Sunny, hot, humid

First running track of the day: Jimmy Somerville- this reminds me of a teacher I had at school, who loved him!

As it is the Tarbert Traditional Boat Festival, I thought that the village would be busy, but it was much busier than I expected, for 9.30am! As I ran along the harbour, past the pontoons, there were lots of walkers, people heading for breakfast, walking dogs, enjoying the early morning sun. There were also lots of people setting up their stalls for the festival later today: the whole area was a hive of activity!

As I headed off of the path, and up onto Garvel Road, I managed to take this picture, and when you see it you wouldn’t know that the village was busy:

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Gorgeous!

As I headed back toward the harbour for the second time, I saw that the pontoons had filled up with lots more traditional boats than there were on Thursday night when I was last down by the harbour.

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Last week I asked, is there always something going on in Tarbert? Definitely yes! 😀

There are loads of activities planned for the day, including climbing the greasy pole. The prize for the highest climber is a bottle of whisky: I’m not even sure I could do it with it still laying flat!

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By the time I reached home I understood for the first time ever what is meant by the phrase ‘sweat pouring off you’. It was! But I’ve showered, rehydrated, and refuelled on some Thai red curry:

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I hope you all have a good run today, and a fab weekend!

Today’s life lesson: jogging in and out of walkers, saunterers and cyclists is not a good look, when you have no co-ordination 😉

What’s your favourite food to refuel with?

Back-to-Training Tuesday

Back-to-Training Tuesday

I ran today! Woo hoo!

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OK- so it was very hot, at about 25 degrees, and very humid which is not something I  need to deal with every day! So, my run was very slllloooooow and pretty short as a result. But I did it!

It actually felt great, to get out and stretch my legs, since I hadn’t run since Friday. Except for the sticky suncream. Yuk. Factor 1,000,000 30 since I burn as soon as the sun appears, even if I’m only out for, maybe, 30 seconds 😉

Today’s stats:

Run: 3.5 mile recovery jog

Time: 35:37 slow and steady

Trainers: Free Run +3

Weather: bright and very sunshiny!

Best running track of the day: Hey Boy, Hey Girl, Chemical Brothers:

As it was a short run, I decided to wear my free run +3s. I only wear these for really short runs, as I much prefer my lunars for longer runs.

Here are my fabby coloured free runs:

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And here’s a wee pic of my Nike trainers:

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As you can see, I quite like a wee splash of colour! I do like to keep my trainers in rotation, to extend their wear and to make sure they’re in decent condition next time I run in them.

Tonight @thewelshwookie and I are toasting Andy Murray’s success having cracked open this beauty:

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Today’s life lesson: whenever you take a day off, your workload is always waiting for you, including a couple of surprise challenges! For me today, that’s gone for both work and running!

Which suncream do you use when you run on sunny days?

Long Run Early

Long Run Early

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Woo hoo! It’s Friday! And I’ve kicked off Seafood Festival weekend with an early long run I say early because I had to do two things:

  1. Run before work (I usually run in the evening) so I was up early, and knackered raring to go;
  2. Do my long run a day early. I usually try to get my long run in on a Saturday, but I don’t want to disappear and leave my visitors for over two hours tomorrow! Not very hostess-with-the-mostess!

Today’s stats:

Run: 11 mile long run

Time: 1:55:34 slow and steady

Trainers: Lunarglide+5

Weather: cloudy, with a little spot of rain during the last two miles

First running track of the day:

As I said, my run was early in the morning, which was a bit of a shock to my legs! For the third time, I donned my new, bright pink, compression socks, to give them another try. The jury is still out as to whether I think they are helping- I think they are, but I’m not entirely sure! Do you want to see how fetching they are?

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Lovely, huh? Nobody tells you that it takes about 10 minutes to get them on! Or maybe that’s just my chubby legs 😉 

It was lovely and cool outside, and the rain had stopped awhile, leaving a bit of humidity in the air (no laughing- we do occasionally get a touch of humidity on the West coast of Scotland!). It was surprisingly lovely to run when the village was still quiet and peaceful.

Here’s a pic I took with the Cafebarge just peeping into the foreground:

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And here’s another from the harbour:

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Can you see the boat to the left of the picture, with the yellow trim? That’s Singing Sands. She used to be parked along the side of Garvel Road, out of the water. She marked the first mile of my run, most days, and was always a welcome site. Now, I have to rely on Nike+ for my mile marker, but it’s lovely to see her in the water.

Today’s life lesson: it’s always a good idea to make sure your Nike Sportswatch is charged before a long run: had to use my iPhone instead!

We have the Seafood Festival this weekend: what do you have planned?

6 Month Mark!

6 Month Mark!

Well, we’ve arrived at the 6-month mark in 2013 already: wow! Happy Canada Day!

Today’s stats:

Run: 10k training run

Time: 1:00:11

Trainers: Lunarglide+5

Weather: cloudy, but bright

Fave running track of the day:

Well, I headed out tonight, thinking that the heavens might open, but fortunately, that didn’t happen. I ran two slow miles, along Tarbert harbour, and out to Garvel road end. While heading out along Pier Road to the concrete, my legs took over, and I was running quicker, which was good: felt OK tonight! A little boost of disco always helps, right?

Glad I got the 10K in, as I was tempted to chuck it after two miles. Go me!

Then, I came home to have a wee dip in the hot tub to find it had switched itself off, and was cold. Bummer. Oh, well, something to look forward to tomorrow night!

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