Sunshine Shake Out

Sunshine Shake Out

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It’s a gloriously sunny day in Tarbert, and @TheWelshWookie and I have just got back from our last shake out run before Sunday’s RnR Half Marathon. It felt great!

It was also warm, which I think was perfect preparation for Sunday. The forecast is for sunny spells, and a high of 21 degrees/70f so the weather should be good.

We’re now completely packed, and ready to head to Edinburgh tomorrow: bring the adventure on! 🙂

I’ll try to blog at some point next week, but please check out my instagram account or my twitter feed for more regular updates while I’m away.

Adios, amigos!

 

 

 

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Madrid Madness

Madrid Madness

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I think I may be a little obsessed. I’m eating, sleeping and talking Madrid ALL THE TIME. I’m pretty sure that everyone is fed up of it, and we haven’t even been yet! 😮

The taper is under way, as is some early carb loading (any excuse!) as @TheWelshWookie and I had dinner at our favourite cafe tonight. Yum!

I’ve been scouring my Madrid travel guide, highlighting places I want to visit, and working out the closest metro stops that we will be using. I’m also just about packed, too 😉

I’ve checked and rechecked my race day gear, and it’s all ready to go. I’ll be packing my trainers in my hand luggage……. just in case!

Saturday morning cannot come quickly enough…

Does anyone have any tips on places to visit, or any favourite restaurants and bars that we shouldn’t miss?

 

Taper Time!

Taper Time!

Today is the beginning of my taper for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Madrid. I can’t believe that the race is next Sunday!

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It’s a beautiful, warm and sunny day here in Tarbert, which was great for a run in preparation for next week. We did 8.5 miles, and I now feel ready to conquer Madrid! 🙂 I tested out the shorts and trainers that I’ll be wearing, and while the shorts were great, I had the beginnings of a blister on my right heel. I’ll have to be ready to prevent that next week. Anyone have any tips?

I’ve already begun packing for our trip, which is actually late for me. I’m usually packed at least a couple of weeks before! But, as we don’t leave until Friday to head to Edinburgh for our flight, I still have plenty of time.

Meanwhile, have a wonderful Easter weekend: I hope you eat LOTS of chocolate!

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Anyone rolling their eggs tomorrow?

 

The First Bunny of Easter

The First Bunny of Easter

Welcome, one and all, to Easter Weekend 2014!

The weather here has been much more spring-like this week, which has been wonderful. The trees are all budding, daffs cover the grass verges and gardens are beginning to bloom. It won’t be long until the bluebells fill the hillsides!

Yesterday, we went for a lovely, sunny run. We ran along the harbour, and it was fantastic! We clocked in five miles, which was our scheduled Hal Higdon training distance.

And, we saw our first Easter bunny!

There are usually a lot of rabbits hopping around by the harbour, but this year I seem to have missed them all – until yesterday. This cheeky chappy was running quite happily in front of us, then hopped onto a garden wall, and sat in the garden watching us run past.

It was too cute! 🙂

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Do you have time off this weekend? Any plans? Have you seen any Easter bunnies on your run?

 

 

Back to Running…

Back to Running…

Well, now that the excitement of our wedding is beginning to subside, my mind is beginning to drift back to running.

On Monday, I received an email telling me that the Perth Kilt Run entries are now OPEN!

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This is an attempt to break the world record for the number of kilted runners participating in a race. It was a brilliant event last year – here’s my race report of 2013’s event.

And, if you’re interested in signing up, you can do so here

Now, I’ll need to get some miles in this week, in preparation for RnR Madrid: I can’t believe it’s only a week on Sunday! Yay!

 

Tartan Running in NYC

Tartan Running in NYC

Unfortunately, I haven’t been TartanJogging in NYC today, but many others have been 🙂

Today was the Scotland Run 10K, organised by New York Road Runners, and it kicks off Tartan Week in the city.

Lots of runners wore kilts, and ran to the skirl of the bagpipes. It looks like it was a lot of fun!

The race attracted almost 8,000 runners; I particularly liked the saltire on the race bibs!

Photo from: http://www.nyrr.org/races-and-events/2013/scotland-run-10k
Photo from: http://www.nyrr.org/races-and-events/2013/scotland-run-10k

Maybe I’ll get to run it in the future – who knows?

Piping for the Weekend

Piping for the Weekend

Hi everyone! Here, on the West Coast of Scotland, we’ve reached the weekend, and @TheWelshWookie and I have spent the evening scrubbing the kitchen…… it’s Spring Clean Weekend here! A bit early, but, oh well!

We’re just about to have some pasta, some vino, and relax. Tomorrow morning it’s the living room and bathroom’s turn for a good clean, before the Six Nations rugby starts, of course! 😉

Here’s something to kick start your weekend: a lil’ bit of Red Hot Chilli Pipers covering Avicii courtesy of BBC Radio 1.

Enjoy!

I’ve Only Gone and Done It!

I’ve Only Gone and Done It!

Earlier this month, I posted about Mo Farah’s pledge to move from Metres to Miles in 2014, and how I was considering running my first marathon, too.

Well I’ve only gone and done it. I’ve signed up for  The Loch Ness Marathon this September! Eeek!

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I thought: this is the year. It’s the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. It’s the Year of Homecoming across Scotland. Mo’s stepping up the distance. And I signed up!

There was something extra special about signing up for this race: it’s the first race I’ve signed up for in my married name- since I’ll be an ‘auld married wummin’ by then! That was exciting, too!

Be prepared to be very bored with my marathon chat, folks! 😉

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Race Report: Mo Run 10K

Race Report: Mo Run 10K

Date: 9th November 2013

Profile: Flat

Terrain: Road

Weather: Frosty cold, wet

Website: http://glasgow.mo-running.com/

Positives: great fun, lovely atmosphere. very flat course

Negatives: lack of instructions

The night before the MoRun, @TheWelshWookie and I met up with my bestie Pauline, her OH Gavin and her two wonderful kids, my god daughter Olivia and her bro Christopher. We had a lovely evening carb loading, and swapping birthday pressies. Amongst other things, I received a fab new bag which has instantly become my new race day bag:

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As we had packed on Thursday night, I had my gear all prepared and ready:

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On race day, we were up early, and got ready before leaving the house. We must have looked a sight!

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Our early rise was greeted with a beautiful sunrise, through the rain. It was cold and frosty, and I had opted not to wear a base layer. I quickly realised this was a mistake, and so it meant that I had to do a quick car-change 😉

We arrived at Glasgow Green, and parked in the same place as we did for the GSR last month. We walked down to the gazebos, in the rain, to pick up our race packs and our head bands. It was so cold! But the park was looking beautiful!

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We headed back to the car, fixed on our race bibs and our head bands:

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And then we had a gel block each. Soon, it was time to brave the cold and join the rest of the runners near the start line.

Our first stop was the portaloos, as the queue was pretty long. I saw that we weren’t the only people dressed up, which was great! I was the only one sporting a green wig and moustache, though 😉

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The atmosphere was friendly, and we milled about a little, waiting for the pre-race warm up and instructions. There was a gazebo containing the PA system, and we kept warm tapping toes and dancing a little to the music (OK, maybe I was the only one). There was a guy with a mic, but no one could really hear what he was saying, which was odd.  Anyway, I figured out that they were calling the 5K runners to the start line first, and they got off pretty quickly. Oddly enough, the start line was not the start. I was about 50 metres further away. Hmmmm.

Here’s my view from the start:

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Soon, the 10K runners were moved to the start line, and we were off! I had a false start with my SportsWatch, as we ran over the finish line before the start, so I started my watch a little early.

The race itself was entirely inside Glasgow Green, and involved two laps of the route. The route was lovely and flat, with no hills at all. We ran past the Peoples Palace:

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And we also ran past the new national hockey centre, which will host the Commonwealth Games hockey sessions. Our pace was slow and steady, which was our plan all along, as @TheWelshWookie hasn’t run since the Zombie Night Run. He re-injured his knee, and so has been resting it for the past fortnight.

We also ran along the banks of the canal, and watched the rowers out on the water. As the park was open to the public, we had to run around dog walkers and others who were out and about, as well as the slower 5 and 10K runners, but all in all it was fine. The support was great, particularly from the race marshals, many of whom had some really motivational signs!

I enjoyed the second lap, as I knew by then that the course was lovely, and the time seemed to pass quickly. There was one water stop, but was only manned by two people, so some runners were having to stop and fill up their own water.

At 6K, the clouds opened, and dumped an icy rainfall onto us, for the remainder of the race. Shortly after that, at around the 7K mark, we had to stop, as @TheWelshWookie’s race bib had come off-  the rain had made the bib tear easily and so it had torn free from the safety pins. I reckon that cost us a couple of minutes at least, but as we weren’t worried too much about time, we just started running again when he was sorted.

The final half kilometre or so was great; running up towards Nelson’s Monument. Only, a few inconsiderate runners who had finished had decided to walk four abreast back down the path, meaning that those of us still running had to run around them while they laughed and joked as they walked! I’ll put that down to their post-race euphoria, but why they were allowed to do that, I don’t know.

Anyway, we were happy to reach the finish line, and collect our superb MoMedal 😀 and a bottle of lucozade sport. As it was so cold and wet, we didn’t wait about – we headed straight for the car, knowing that a warm shower was only a half hour away!

We posed for a couple of photos first, of course:

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Here’s the map of the race:

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I’d definitely do this run again!

My Stats:

Time: 1:03:29 which included the stop to sort out @TheWelshWookie’s race bib

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The Medal: a cool moustache, with runners along it:

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Goody Bag: no goodie bag, but we did get a MoRunning headband and a bottle of lucozade sport

T-shirt: no T shirt

@TheWelshWookie was running to raise funds for Movember, and he is still growing his moustache. Will give you a fundraising update when I have it! 😀

Race Report: Zombie Night Run

Race Report: Zombie Night Run

Date: 19th October 2013

Profile: Hilly

Terrain: Trail

Weather: Raining!

Website: Zombie Night Run

Positives: great fun run, brilliant support from marshals and other runners

Negatives: the weather, no medal, cost

This was our first ever obstacle race, and @TheWelshWookie and I had planned our outfits far more than we had planned the run itself!

My sister-in-law, Janice, transformed us into zombies, and she did a great job:

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We arrived at Helensburgh Rugby Club with plenty of time to spare, before registration opened, and so we were able to use the WCs before most people arrived, and watched the end of the rugby:

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As soon as we were able to, we signed our disclaimer forms and collected our bibs:

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And then soaked up the atmosphere. We had our photos taken with quite a few of the other runners: these are a couple from the ZNR FaceBook Page:

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I wore my base layer compression top, and long running tights with my Nike LunarFly GTX trainers. I don’t have a pre-race gear check pic 😦

The facilities at the start/finish were good, with runners having full access to the changing and shower facilities. if I knew then how much these were needed…… more of that later! There was music playing, and the runners, both zombies and survivors, were milling about, chatting and taking photos. There was a mix of runners who were, and weren’t wearing fancy dress.

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The race was due to start at 5.30pm, but we were told that there would be a short delay. At around 5.45, we were asked to enter an enclosed area for the pre-race briefing and warm up. As the ground was a little marshy, people (us included) were trying to find dry-ish areas. Turns out that was just daft!

The ‘survivors’ were then asked to head to the start line, and they headed off, with a five minute head start. Each survivor had a belt with two ‘life tags’, and the zombies were supposed to chase down the survivors, and take a life tag. After what seemed like forever, we were allowed to go; and we entered the forest in a cloud of dry ice- very atmospheric!

After only a couple of minutes, we were towards the back of the pack, but those in front of us took a wrong turn, and before we knew it we were leading the zombies! Of course, this only lasted for a few minutes, before we were swiftly overtaken!

The rain had just started as we began running, and the grass was wet and slippery. The light was beginning to fade, and I realised that this was going to be great fun! We reached our first obstacle, and had to crawl under a bridge, into a river, under a cargo net and up the muddy riverbank. Only then did I remember that I had my iPhone in my waistpack, and I was soaked through! Fortunately, my phone was OK!

So, even in the first kilometre my feet were squelching and I was dripping wet. We ran up a farm track, in the mud, where we were joined by a cow on the path! At the top of the muddy track was a large bog which we had to cross, and I managed to get my left leg well and truly stuck- fortunately I was able to drag myself out, and the next part of the race was through the dark forest, which was really, very muddy.

Some parts of the course were in complete darkness. Other parts of the race were lit with glow sticks, or had strobe lighting. It was slow going, but so much fun. On more than one occasion, I found myself hugging trees for dear life!

The marshals were excellent, they were very supportive and really encouraged us to keep going and kept us in character!

There were two water stops on course, with jelly babies at both, which was ideal, as much of the ‘race’ was walking, or wading through mud!

Towards the end of the run, I was able to pick up some speed, and run along a forest track road. Despite the squelching and the mud, I managed an OK pace! At around this time, the rain started to fall, really heavily, which didn’t help with visibility or the conditions; but added to the atmosphere.

At the last kilometre, we had to wade through a burn, which was icy cold. I couldn’t stop smiling! And there was one final surprise in store- a series of hay bales to climb over and cargo nets to clamber under. Fortunately, @TheWelshWookie was able to give me a shove over the hay bales: I’ll really need to work on my upper body strength! Finally, we crossed the finish line.

I’m happy to report that we finished ahead of several survivors, even though we didn’t get any life tags.

We then had to give our numbers, to make sure that all runners made it across the finish line!; and we were given our goody bags. We then grabbed our dry clothing and headed to the clubhouse to change.

Here’s the map of the race:

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The goody bag was OK: a biscuit, a snack bar, a Buff sticker and tattoo and a bottle of water:

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There as an after-run party which I’m sure was fantastic. We had planned on going, but I had a baby shower to go to and so we couldn’t stay for the party. Maybe next year!

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I have two bruised and scraped knees, but I survived!

Here’s a short video clip:

My Stats:

Time: 1:35:42, but I came up a little short on distance.

The Medal: There was no medal, though I was sure that the website did originally say there was going to be one. Maybe I dreamed that.

Goody Bag: a paper bag which was sodden in seconds, with a biscuit, a snack bar, a bottle of water and a Buff tattoo and sticker.

T-shirt: a black technical T shirt. The design is good, but it was only available in men’s large, which was a little disappointing.

This run was a little on the expensive side, given that there was no medal or choice of t shirt size, but brilliant fun.

There are some great pics on Dougie Coull’s Website you should check them out!