Gallus Glasgow

Gallus Glasgow

Well, Glasgow was indeed pure Gallus over the past fortnight.

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Our Commonwealth Games experience began on Friday, 25th July when we arrived in a sunny, scorching hot Glasgow for the live ‘Friday Night is Music Night’ broadcast from the City Halls. We were thoroughly entertained by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, John Owen Jones and Gloria Onitiri. Boy, could that girl sing!

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We were also lucky to see several British sports stars including Dame Kelly Holmes, Matt Pinsent, Rodger Black, Colin Jackson and Steve Cram. Wowsers!

We then enjoyed a Saturday night wander around the Merchant City, before heading to George Square to take some photos at the Giant G:

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I even got to ‘high-5’ Clyde:

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And to hug him, of course!

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Saturday morning was an early start, and we caught the train back into Glasgow, and headed to the SECC for the Judo. The security was very slick and efficient. and we were inside the venue in plenty of time.

Our seats were fantastic: very close to the action, and I found the contests surprisingly easy to follow. Although we only saw preliminary rounds, through QF, SF and repêchage, there was plenty of success for the home nations teams, and we saw many well deserved wins.

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When the event ended, we stopped off at the Crowne Plaza hotel for a lil’ drink. And, we were surrounded by BBC execs: Clare Balding and her team were sitting at the next table prepping their show for later in the evening 🙂

We then walked along to Glasgow Green, to experience the Commonwealth Games Festival and we had arranged to meet Simon, Pamela and Matthew, Joe, Stacey and RJ, and Angie and Ryan, and his nephew Kieran. The queues for security were quite long, but when we were inside, there were lots of activities and fun for the kids – including the big kids!

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We had a few little drinks there, and when the rain made an appearance we retreated to a nearby pub.

@The WelshWookie and I had dinner reservations for Brown’s, which was wonderful. I had lobster linguine, while @TheWookie had steak. Yummy.

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Sunday morning was a little damp, but we headed into the city once again to see the marathon. Not long after we arrived in George Square, the male marathoners past us. Those guys are fast! We then met up with the wonderful Allison aka The Running Princess and her husband Steve which was fab! We watched the female marathon runners pass by, and Allison gave me the MP3 player with her running tracks on it, as part of the Great Music Swap. Stay tuned for a later post on this! 😛

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@TheWelshWookie and I walked back down towards Merchant City, and had a look around the Irn Bru ‘pop up’ museum, before stopping to cheer on the marathon runners as they made their second of three laps around the city. We then headed to Glasgow Green, and were lucky to find a spot around 100 metres from the finish line, where we could cheer the runners.

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The atmosphere was fantastic! Yes, it was a little wet and showery, but everyone was in good spirits. And when Michael  Shelley from Australia rounded the corner an realised he was at the finish line, his joy was palpable!

We then spent the rest of last week working, but glued to the Games all week.

And, on Friday at lunchtime, we headed through once again to Glasgow, for this weekend’s shenanigans!

We met up with Angie and Ryan in George Square, before catching the shuttle bus to Hampden for the athletics. And what a ball we had!

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Our seats were fantastic: right behind the flag poles, at the start of the race track. It was also just where the pole vaulters were performing.

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We had a wonderful evening, and the events seemed to fly by, including the men’s 10,000 metres, the ladies 800 metres, with Lynsey Sharp bagging a silver medal for Scotland! We also watched the pole vault final, triple jump, ladies high jump final, discus and javelin. And we also saw the heats for the 4×400 relays and, of course the 4×100 relays too!

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We were very lucky to be seated just where the anchors would start their run, which meant we could see plenty of two of the biggest sprint stars in the world: Shelly-Anne Fraser-Pryce and, what’s the name of that fast guy again? The entertaining one? Ummmmm.

Oh, that’s right.

Bolt. Usain Bolt.

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Despite all of the controversy during the week, he received a fntsatic reception from the crowds and he did not disappoint with his explosive running. Wowee.

You can see him in action here:  

The evening ended with the women’s 100m hurdles, which was also very impressive. We then headed back to the queue for the shuttle bus before stopping off for a night cap on our way home.

Saturday morning and we found ourselves heading back into the city for two events. It was pretty wet and damp, so we had some breakfast at the station before we caught the train to the SECC and joined the queue for the para-powerlifting event.

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As we queued the rain started, and the brollies went up. The tickets said gates would open at  12.30, but that came and went and we were still waiting in the pouring rain. Turns out there was apparently a misprint on the tickets, and they weren’t ready to let us in! Needless to say I was soaking wet, and not impressed.

Finally, we were allowed in, and both security and the Clydesiders did their best to get us into the dry of the Clyde Auditorium (a.k.a. the Armadillo) quickly. We found our seats easily, and settled with a beer to enjoy the event. The athletes were really impressive: how they have overcome various levels of disability to lift and achieve so much was inspiring. We also saw a new world record, when Ali Jawad from Team England broke his own world record not once but twice! I reckon that was one of my highlights of the games.

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When the event finished, the rain was still pouring, and so we headed back to the Crowne Plaza again, knowing we could have something to eat and wouldn’t have to go back through security once again.

The gates for the Boxing were due to open at 6.30pm in the newly built SSE Hydro, and so as I paid the bill, I saw that we’d been given a 20% VIP discount! 😀 The staff must have thought we worked for the BBC or something, as most of those there appeared to do so.

Anyway, we left the hotel at around 6.45pm, and found that the doors had not yet been opened, and for the second time in one day we found ourselves queueing in the rain. Finally, we got in, and we were in the circle, overlooking the boxing ring.

In fact, we were sitting next to the VIP area, and throughout the evening, lots of the referees and officials were coming to stand just in front of us to have their photos taken above the ring, as it was the perfect spot for that!

We saw the finals of the women’s middleweight, and the men’s middleweight, light heavyweight, heavyweight and super heavyweight. The atmosphere was simply amazing! The star of the evening was Saint-Pierre, from Mauritius, who was very entertaining. But, the audience were shocked when the bout – and the gold medal – were awarded to the New Zealander he was fighting!

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By the time the boxing drew to a close and the medal ceremonies were complete, the rain had cleared and we walked to the train station, stopping for a night cap before catching the train back to Dumbarton.

Our final taste of the Commonwealth Games excitement was brief, on Sunday. It wasn’t just wet, it was torrential. We had to head into the city to run an errand, and we were lucky enough to watch the men’s road race from the dry within the Apple Store on Buchanan Street.

When we got home, we settled down to enjoy the closing ceremony, and to reflect on all of our fun over the past couple of weeks.

Glasgow did itself proud: the people made the games: the friendliness, the hospitality and the support was brilliant. The Host City volunteers were a credit to Glasgow, and the Clydesider volunteers (including my sister and my mum) really made the games very special, and made everyone feel very important.

I’d like to share my wee voice of congratulations, and thanks to everyone involved in some way to making the Commonwealth Games such a wonderful success. Puredeadbrilliant!

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News Round Up

News Round Up

Hello! How has your week been?

I have a couple of wee bits of news to share with you tonight:

Fever Struck

Have you been affected by the condition ‘world cup fever’? Be careful – it can be serious! 😉

So, tonight we see the kick off of the world cup. As an auntie to seven nephews, I think that football is going to be an important topic of conversation over the next few weeks! To keep us interested, we’ve had a family sweepstake, and my teams are France and Japan! @TheWelshWookie has Germany and Equador. Tonight’s game sees my dad and my brother Joe going head to head.

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Mo Runs

In other news, Mo Farah has announced that he will be running the 5,000 and 10,000 metres at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Hurrah! I’m really looking forward to seeing him run the 10,000m.

Expansion

In my post last week, I’d mentioned that we’d gone to Campbeltown on an errand. We had something to collect. Do you want to know what it is?

It’s………….

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Yip; an exercise bike! So, our home gym is now complete. We have the bike to complement the rowing machine, the treadmill, the free weights, resistance bands, etc. Now that I’ve started my marathon training, I think I have to take my cross training a bit more seriously, and not count a walk to the cafe as cross training! 😉

Yesterday, I did 18K on the bike. My legs were burning, using long neglected muscles, but I feel fine today, fortunately. DOMS might kick in tomorrow, though! My little toe is still pretty sore from the blister and bruising from Sunday, so I’m going to give it a couple more days and give it a test on Saturday’s long run.

So, who’s your pick for the World Cup?

 

 

Coos on the Beach

Coos on the Beach

Yesterday, @TheWelshWookie and I had a busy day.

We started our Saturday off with a little run, involving a mahoosive hill, followed by a dip in the hot tub. It was a beautifully sunny day!

After an early lunch, we headed to Campbeltown, on an errand. I’ll reveal more about that later in the week 😉

On our way, we saw this:

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And we also saw a few wakeboarders out enjoying the weather.

While there, we were lucky enough to see the pupils from the local school in a football tournament. It looked like they had a brilliant time, and the weather couldn’t have been better for them! Not only were there schools from around Argyll, but also from Dumbarton, Glasgow and other places. Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time!

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We then headed to Muneroy Tearoom in Southend, which is the most southerly point on the Kintyre peninsula. Southend is also the place where St Columba set foot in Scotland, and has a cracking beach!

At the tearoom, we had FANTASTIC cake. They post pictures of their latest home baking delights, and we were not disappointed. @TheWookie had a Butterscotch Cream sponge, I had a Mint Choc cake. Wow. It was served slightly warm, with the icing just going gooey and was sprinkled with mint aero and had mint aero bubbles too. Oh, my. It was nom nom nom!

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Given that the weather was so good, we drove back to Campbeltown the scenic route, and it was beautiful. Ailsa Craig and the Isle of Arran were partially hidden by the haze caused by the sunshine on the sea. We even saw some Highland Cows Heilan’ Coos sunbathing on the beach! Not something you get to see every day!

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Today, I wore my RnR Madrid vest on a run for the first time, and got in an 8 miler. It was warm! So, of course, I finished up with another dip in the hot tub.

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The GB Relay has begun today: good luck to all those running this week, and we’ll see you on Sunday in Argyll! 🙂

How has your weekend been?

Marathon Training Tuesday

Marathon Training Tuesday

I ran today! Woo hoo!

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Today’s Hal Higdon marathon training called for 3 miles. It was great to get out there. I sported my Great Run t-shirt for the first time 🙂

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As we headed to the harbour, it was sunny and a little warm, but by the time we got to the end of the first mile it was chucking down! But, it actually felt really good to run in the rain.

When I uploaded my Nike+ SportWatch data, I saw that the Nike+ running site has had a facelift, and I like it! 😀

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I was really pleased with the pace tonight.

I also received an email today from the organisers of the GB Relay. It contained a link to the contact details of participants, so I’ve emailed the people on either side of our stage, so that we can arrange the baton handover. Hopefully it will all go very smoothly!

Did you run in sunshine or rain today?

 

Back Indoors

Back Indoors

Well, my outdoor running lasted from Saturday until Monday.

The weather has driven me back inside, and onto the dreadmill!

It’s not the driving rain that’s the problem, really. It’s the really high winds that have cancelled ferry sailings across the West coast. There was a time today when I could barely walk upright!

And so, after the elation of running in the fresh air, and at a decent pace, I was back to grinding out a slow run tonight. But I got it done, and feel smug better for it now.

I’m taking a rest day tomorrow, so hopefully I can get back outside on Thursday 🙂

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Am I Cold Blooded?

Am I Cold Blooded?

It’s Monday evening here in Tartan Land, and it’s been one of those days today.

So, I was really ready for my three miler tonight!

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@TheWelshWookie and I headed out to the harbour just as dusk settled around us. It was beautiful. Around the end of the first mile, it started to rain, and the rain continued until the end of our run, considerately stopping to allow us to walk home without being miserable. Just at the end of my run, I accidentally soaked myself by running through a big mahoosive puddle! I felt good- the run was just what I needed!

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We pushed a little, and ran our fastest three miler in a while, at around 10.08 per mile. I’m pretty happy with that!

As usual, I came home, showered, and wrapped up in my comfies.

I have a question  I’ve been meaning to ask you all: do you often find yourself really cold after a run? What do you do about it?

I know that at this time of year, the walk home from a run can obviously cause my body temp to drop, but my home is toasty warm, I take a warm shower right away, swap into warm comfy clothes, often wrap up in a fleecy blanket and sometimes even switch on the fire. I rehydrate, and have something to eat, then have a hot drink. But – sometimes – I can be cold for a few hours after an outside run.

Does anyone else find this? What do you do to warm up again? Am I making any mistakes, or do you have any tips?

#ATWRBR2014

I’m thinking about adding a daily distance log to each blog post during March and April, to keep track of my kilometres for the Around the World Running Blog  Relay. What do you think?

Have you signed up yet?

Back Outside!

Back Outside!

Welcome to the weekend! What are your plans?

At the moment, @TheWelshWookie and I are chilling out, watching rugby (OK, I’m watching and blogging- gotta love multi tasking!) and drinking coffee. It’s bliss!

This morning, I ran outside for the first time in a couple of weeks. And it felt G-R-E-A-T! The dreadmill has been hammered lately. Well, I say hammered. I really mean that it has been used for some pretty slow runs while watching Winter Olympic action from Sochi. Having the various sports to watch has made my treadmill running much more tolerable than it would have been otherwise: what am I going to do when the Games finish?  😦

Today’s Hal Higdon training plan called for a 6 mile run. It’s Week 3, Day 6 already. How did that happen?

@TheWookie and I had decided last night that we’d run the Big Glen: a loop that takes us out from the north of the village along the main road for about two miles, and then follows a single track road for a mile before reaching West Loch Tarbert. It then leads back into the south of the village, and is about 5 miles long. To increase the mileage, we decided to run along the Kilberry Road, past the village golf course, before  heading back into the village.

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And it was dry outside: no rain! It’s a miracle! 😉

We decided to stick to a long, slow run pace, and so I used my Audio Fuel track to keep me on target for this. Although I start off really slowly, sometimes I can pick up the pace at around mile 3 or so, and I didn’t want to lose steam at the end! Turns out, this was a great plan. I had a fantastic run, I really enjoyed it! At the end, I could have easily tagged on an extra couple of miles. I didn’t, though: best stick to the training plan 😉

As I ran, I was excited, thinking about the forthcoming Around the World Running Blog Relay: it’s going to be a great couple of months for us runners and bloggers out there! 🙂

We’ve refuelled on some soup and home made bread; and I have the new edition of Women’s Running to enjoy!

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Have a great weekend, all. How long is your long run this weekend? How’s the weather looking?

Do you Run to a Routine?

Do you Run to a Routine?

I do. But then, I really like routine and knowing what is coming next. For those of you who like management-speak, I’m a typical Myers-Briggs ISTJ. I’ll bet you’ve worked that out by now!

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I’m not much of a weekday morning runner. I’d really like to be, I know it would set me up for the day, and I’d feel really smug! But the thought of getting up early instead of squeezing out the last 20 minutes of sleep in my cosy bed it just too difficult for me.

So, I head off to work, and think about my run, before home time comes around. Then, I head home, get changed into my running gear and get out there. If I hesitated too much, or get caught up in other things, it probably wouldn’t always happen. After I’m done, I shower, download my GPS info, and have the evening to myself, which is great.

If I’m home at the weekend, I usually have a light breakfast, then head out for my run early to mid morning, knowing that I’ll have the rest of the weekend for chores, shopping, relaxing, going for walks, coffee, etc.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about mixing things up a little.

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When it comes to race days, it usually involves an early morning start, which throws my routine. With a few halves coming up, and my first marathon looming on the horizon, I think I might benefit from changing my training, to help get used to the early rises. But, I’m struggling to make a start, and commit to a change! At the moment, I’ll probably continue to toy with the idea until after the wedding, and look to make changes then.

Have you ever changed up your running routine? How did it go? Did you stick to it, or change back?

GNR: I’m in!

GNR: I’m in!

Well, the title of this post kinda gives the game away! I’m doing a very happy dance, as I’m in! I secured a place in the Great North Run! Squeeeeeeeeee!

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It’s one of those races that I watch on TV every year, and wish I was participating. And this year, I will be!

I think I’m right in saying that the Great North Run is the world’s biggest Half Marathon (correct me, or back me up on this, please!), and this year, the one millionth participant will cross the finish  line. Secretly, I’ll be running and pretending that it’s me 😉

It’s on Sunday, 7th September, and since that’s about seven weeks before my first full marathon, I thought it would fit in nicely with my training. I may have to tag on a couple of miles at the end, but that should be ok 😉

Unfortunately, @TheWelshWookie didn’t secure a place 😦 so, I’ll be running myself.

But I can’t help but be excited!

For anyone who has run it before, any tips?

Commonwealth Games Marathon

Commonwealth Games Marathon

Many of you will remember my post last year, when I excitedly announced that I had secured tickets for judo and for athletics, including the 10k, at the Commonwealth Games being hosted in Glasgow this summer.

I’m really looking forward to it!

Yesterday, the marathon route was announced, and I’m so excited by it! There are some great vantage points along the route, and it covers loads of roads I’ve run along before!

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It begins in Glasgow Green, which is where I ran the MoRun back in November, and is also the finish for the Great Scottish Run too.

It then heads out along the River Clyde to the SECC and The Hydro, and over the Squinty Bridge which is also part of the GSR route.

Next, the route goes through Bellahouston and Pollok Parks, which is part of the route for the Glasgow Women’s 10k which I didn’t run in 2013, but I have run it 4 times before, and it’s over 10 years since my first one!

The route then follows the old GSR route back through Glasgow’s south side, and back into Glasgow Green. It’s a great route!
I now have a few months to work out where I’ll spectate from 😀

Meanwhile, the first week of half marathon training has gone well. I got in a slow 4 miler today, the first of my ‘long’ runs, I know they’re just going to build from there. Mileage for this week: 13 miles. Bring on week two!

In wedding news, it’s my hen weekend next weekend, and I can’t wait! 🙂 It’s now less than 9 weeks until the big day!

Do you have a long run (or a not-so-long run, like me) planned this weekend?