A Ridiculous Run

A Ridiculous Run

I’ve entitled this post ‘A Ridiculous Run’ for two main reasons:

1. Some of the hills we tackled today were so steep, it was ridiculous:

2. I went out, looking nothing short of ridiculous!

After such a lazy day yesterday, I was looking forward to getting out in the fresh air, and blowing away some of the cobwebs. Also, I wanted to run, in honour of fellow running blogger 278toBoston’s first ever marathon, which he is running today.

@TheWelshWookie had a complete moment of madness, and suggested that, instead of running our usual route, we should go off road, and run one of the trails behind Tarbert Castle. It sounded like a great idea!

I started with an espresso, though:

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We decided to run with camelbaks, instead of using hand held water bottles. And it was raining. So I’m sure that I’ll have drawn some weird looks!

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Instead of heading straight for the Castle, we decided to tackle my nemesis from the TT10K: Big Brae. So, we did. And we ran up most of it. Result! We then ran/walked the blue route, which takes in some of the steeper hills along the trail.

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We ran up the hills, and walked some of the straight and downhill sections, to make the most of the day. It was tough, but in a good way!

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Some of the viewpoints along the way give some great views down towards the village.

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We ran past the Millennium Cairn, where is was particularly muddy today, due to the rain. It actually felt great, to be caked in mud for a change! Weird, huh?

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I need to admit that the final mile and a half was virtually all walking: the downhill sections were pretty steep, and I don’t have great balance at the best of times. But, we got out there, and we did it!

And the heather was blooming:

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Here’s a map of my run today:

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When I returned home, I caught up on 278toBoston’s progress: marathon done in 4:14:32 – amazing! Well done, what an achievement! I hope that some of the cooler air from here made its way over to you 😉

Today’s Stats:

Run: 4 mile trail run/walk

Weather: cloudy, with both rain showers and sunny spells

Trainers: LunarFly GTX +3

Favourite Running Track of the Day:

Today’s Life Lesson: sometimes the tough runs are the ones you enjoy most!

What do you find yourself thinking about when you run?

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Race Report: Tarbert TT10K

Race Report: Tarbert TT10K

Date: 17th August 2013

Profile: Hilly

Terrain: Road and Trail

Weather: Cloudy, but warm

Website: TT10K

Positives: great course, well organised, good & supportive marshalls, fab t-shirt

Negatives: unpredictable weather!

This race was the first ever Tarbert 5k & 10k event, and given that it is my local village run, I was really looking forward to it, as well as being a little anxious as I knew the course would be a challenge!

@TheWelshWookie headed out early, to open the school grounds as a car park for visitors, and to check that the tape was still intact, marking out the running route around the area he was marshaling- part of the first trail run, behind Stonefield Farm & Coffee Shop. I had my gear all laid out and ready:

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That meant that I had plenty of time to get ready, and pose…

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I planned to head into the village to support the 5k runners, but I do not know what happened- I lost track of time. And so I ended up running out of the door, quite literally!

As I walked past the Village Hall, I saw that it was bedecked in bunting, ready for the barbeque and party later in the day:

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As I made my way along to Garvel Road, ready for the start of the race, the 5k runners were still milling about at the finish line. At this point, I was pretty envious: their race was over, and the party had begun!

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I took a couple of snaps, just to capture the views, and because the weather had taken me by surprise- it was almost sunny! The rain seemed to have vanished: it had surprised a lot of runners, who were wearing long running pants and jackets!

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My nervous walk along Garvel Road:

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The facilities not far from the start were great: runners could use the Harbour facilities before and after the race: toilets, showers, etc. The start itself was at the end of Garvel Road. One of the first things I noticed when I arrived was that this was Serious. With a Capital S. There were loads of club runners, and runners who looked like they meant business! But I could see that there were quite a few ‘normal’ runners like me!

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With about 5 minutes to go, Councillor Anne Horn gave the safety briefing- reminding us to take care on the trail parts of the course, as they would be slippery and soft underfoot. And then, almost suddenly, we were off!

As there were only 200 runners, everyone started at once. I tried to hang to the left hand side of the road, and let the faster runners past me…. there were plenty! I tried to remind myself to just go at my own pace.

Here’s the map of the race:

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At the end of Garvel Road, we headed up the main road, and uphill again, over the High Road. Remember I posted a pic from up here, when I was out checking the route?

The view from the High Road
The view from the High Road

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We then ran down the other side of the High Road, and headed off along Campbeltown Road towards Stonefield Farm & Coffee Shop. I knew that @TheWelshWookie was at the highest part of this section, so I was looking forward to reaching there! The route took us past the shop on the left hand side, and past the wigwams, which are available as holiday accommodation. Then, we were greeted with a sign saying: Welcome to Jurassic Park with a cartoon runner being chased by a dinosaur- that made me laugh!

The trail climbed steadily, and at this point, the faster runners were heading back down. Us slowbies were walking, or run/walking because I was knackered to let the faster runners by. We reached a cottage ruin, known locally as Maggie’s Cottage, which I thought was the turning point. How wrong I was! We still had a good distance, all uphill, to go!

Eventually, I caught sight of a fluorescent jacket, and I saw that it was @TheWelshWookie! Yay! We’d reached the top! He managed to take a snap, with me actually smiling- maybe it’s a grimace!

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We then turned around, and ran back down, around the opposite side of the coffee shop. I must admit, I took it easy running downhill, as it was pretty slippy underfoot, and I have terrible balance at the best of times! At the bottom of the hill was a water stop, but I was all good, and kept going.

As we left Stonefield, we headed back down Campbeltown Road back into the village. For me, this was the part I was looking forward to – my regular run along the harbour out to the end of Pier Road, where I’m used to views like this:

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At this stage, the sun really broke through, and it was pretty warm. I managed to pick off a few runners along the road. The 5K mark was just at the fish quay, which was great. I’m pretty sure that there were lots of people thinking ‘Is that all we’ve done?’

I really enjoyed my run all the way to the turning point at the end of the road, where there was a second water point. I filled up my bottle, and headed back. Why I didn’t take one of the jelly babies on offer, I will never know!

All along the route, the support was fantastic. People were out, cheering and clapping us on. The marshals, in particular, were very, very encouraging, giving me that extra boost to push on. They also had a tough job because none of the roads were closed to traffic, so they managed to cheer us by, while keeping an eye on safety.

I then reached Big Brae, which leads onto the Castle loop. After the experience at Stonefield, I knew that the fast runners would be trying to run down while us slower runners were heading up. So, I decided to play safe, and walk to the left, to let them pass more easily. But as soon as I arrived at the Castle loop, I was determined to run this part of the trail. I managed most of it- only walking a short distance up the hill on the loop. My GPS ticked off the 5th mile, and that really boosted me- I was on the final mile!

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I finished off the Castle loop, headed back down Big Brae, and made my way back along the harbour to the Harbour Office. This was it- the home straight!

The support along this final part was tremendous- loads of cheering and clapping. @TheWelshWookie was waiting at the finish line, ready to take my pic:

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I was so excited to finish that I forgot to switch off my SportWatch GPS! Doh! @TheWelshWookie handed me a bag of jelly beans, which I scoffed right away. I then collected my goodie bag.

Here’rs the contents of it:

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I collected my medal, and headed back to cheer on the rest of the finishers across the finish line.

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But, yet again, I was distracted. By some deliciously amazing home baking for the finishers- including home made tablet- pure bliss!

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There was even some entertainment for the kids:

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And just to prove that the sun came out:

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We waited for the prize giving: well done to the winnersl! Each trophy winner received a voucher for The Gallery- lucky folks! 😀

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We then headed home for a very quick change, and headed back out to the Village Hall to join in the rest of the Tarbert Harbour Authority Centenary celebrations. When we arrived, we received our ‘wages’, a copy of a salary cheque issued by the Harbour Authority 100 years ago:

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That entitled us to a free drink at the bar, and free food from the barbeque! Result! Why does free beer taste so good?

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i wore my new t-shirt, of course 😉

The Village Hall was really busy, with some people dressed as they would have 100 years ago:

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It was a real party atmosphere, with stalls and entertainment.

It was a great day!

My Stats:

Time: 1:06:55 I finished 85th out of about 140 or so runners.

The Medal: A hand made, pottery medal, made locally:

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Goody Bag: draw string bag, leaflets, lip balm, wet wipes, doggy-do bags, button badge

T-shirt: A black & red technical shirt, with the logo embroidered on the front

I’m hoping that I’ll be better prepared for next year!

A Terrific TT10K

A Terrific TT10K

I did it! I ran the TT10K, and I loved it!

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I survived my third run in 12 days!

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The weather was very kind to us: it did, unexpectedly, involve some sunshine.

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Yes, I found both off-road sections pretty tough, as they were both uphill, but what an amazing sense of achievement!

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I’m pretty pleased with my time, considering the course, and I was definitely helped along by the really positive marshals and fantastic support.

We’ve been to the Village Hall, to take part in the Tarbert Harbour Authority Centenary Celebrations, and partied with free beer and BBQ! I wish all races ended like this!

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I’ll post a full race report soon, but for now, the hot tub is calling; and I actually have a mud-related blister to tend to (there’s a new experience for me!).

Who’s up for next year? You’d be crazy to miss this one from your calendar!

Today’s Stats:

Run: 10K race: hilly, part road and part trail

Time: 1:06:00 or so. Forgot to end my run on my Nike+ SportWatch GPS at the finish line!

Weather: Cloudy with sunny spells, warm and humid

Trainers: LunarFly +3 GTX

Motivating running track today: This track played just as I got onto the Castle Loop- it’s one of my Power Songs. I LOVE it. And I needed it!

Today’s Life Lesson: Even older trainers and socks can still cause blisters, especially when caked in mud!

What was your first off-road run?

TT10K Tomorrow!

TT10K Tomorrow!

It’s the night before is the inaugural Tarbert 10k run, the TT10k.

It’s also Friday.

It’s also sunny, which wasn’t forecast.

Woop Woop!

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@TheWelshWookie and I went for a short run, mainly to look like runners when we visited the registration marquee because it was such a lovely evening, and I wanted to have a wee stretch/limber before tomorrow.

I took some pictures, just to show how gorgeous it is tonight. The forecast for tomorrow is torrential rain and high winds, so I wanted something to compare with my photos tomorrow!

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We then went to the registration marquee, and I collected my bib for tomorrow:

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It was lovely, being greeted by the ‘caution, runners’ signs on my way home!

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I’m now organised, and ready for tomorrow.

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Bring it on!

Today’s Stats:

Run: 2.5 miles, slow and steady

Time: 27:32

Weather: Glorious sunshine

Trainers: Lunarglides

First running track today: this will get stuck in your brain!

Today’s Life Lesson: if you see me standing in a queue at the supermarket, join a different queue. I’m likely to be in the slow moving one.

What’s the weather forecast for you tomorrow?

Getting Ready for TT10K

Getting Ready for TT10K

This Saturday is the inaugural Tarbert 10k run, the TT10k.

I can’t wait!

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There are two runs: the 5k kicks off the day at 10am, followed by the 10k at 11am.

One thing that I’m really, really looking forward to is that I know the route well.  Pretty much every step of it.

But I know it will be challenging: two parts of the run are off road, on trails, which is totally new for me. I’ve never done an official run on a trail before! Also, it has hills. Pretty sizeable hills.

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OK, so maybe not quite a mountain, but still:

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The view from Tarbert Castle
The view from the High Road
The view from the High Road

It’s definitely high enough for me!

Saturday also marks the 100th anniversary of Tarbert Harbour Authority! So, we have another fun filled weekend ahead, including a village barbeque after both runs. The organisation that has gone into setting up this event has been brilliant, and I’m sure it’ll all go very well, as the people behind the run really have put in loads of work, and obviously care about making this a great event for participants, marshals, volunteers, locals and visitors.

Here’s an idea of the route:

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It’ll be worth it, for views like this:

Here's my usual running route.
Here’s my usual running route.

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Today’s Stats:

Run: Not today, planning on some strength training

Favourite track from today: on of my most favourite songs ever!

With all of this running talk, I forgot my important news: I’m an Auntie again! 😀

My sis had a gorgeous baby boy yesterday, he arrived weighing 7lb 14oz, and looks just like his brothers! My family now has a rugby sevens team: seven boys, no girls!

Can’t wait to meet him!

Today’s Life Lesson: as soon as you walk away from your desk, you can guarantee that an important call will come through, and you’ll miss it….

Does your village/town/city have any running events?