Saturday, 30 July 2011

Getting there - albeit slowly :-)

I like this poster it makes me smile, and today I can say "Yes" I did run. Not very far, about 4km and not very fast, but I got up, got out there and I did it. John ran with me round the new parkrun course at Falkirk, he was racing and I was volunteering - today I was managing the funnel, which basically means making sure that the finishers stay in order after crossing the line until they've received their barcode. This ensures that each person gets the correct time.
So we arrived a wee bit early and he used it as his warm up - it was good, I enjoyed it and am looking forward to going back and running there again. It must have paid dividends for John too as he ran round a full 30 secs faster than last week! Tomorrow I will try and run 10k or so.
The weather was glorious here today, hot and sunny so hopefully it will be nice again tomorrow, fingers crossed.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Ups & Downs

After having a good day on Tuesday where I got in my run and my 2 cycle rides, I was really tired again on Wednesday and my poor old legs felt like lead :-(
My training programme had a 7 mile run scheduled and I just couldn't face it when I got home...
It was hot - well hot by Scottish standards! Sunny and still warm at 6pm and the way I was feeling it was too warm to run so I ducked out and decided I'd burn some calories by washing the cars. They were both in great need of a wash so it was a good job well done, but it ended up taking me about an hour and a half and because it's quite a stretch up to do the roof of mine, my calves got a really good workout!
So much so that I had a dreadful night's sleep, kept wakening up with shooting pains going through the big muscles of my thighs and calves so woke up on Thursday morning in a terrible mood :-(
Tears and tantrums ensued as I had a real moan about how unfair it was that I was tired and didn't feel like running even though my head wanted to and so on and so on...
I was gently reminded that I have run 3 marathons this year and it was only 12 days since my Ultra, didn't make me feel any better though!
However, I had a massage booked for Thursday evening and although it was quite painful in parts, it did the trick and my legs felt much better afterwards and I slept better last night - probably as a result of legs being bit less tight.
I haven't run today although I have done a fair bit of walking, and I am marshalling again tomorrow at Falkirk parkrun, but I intend to run round the course before I start so hopefully I will manage that and then get a longer run on Sunday morning.
Will let you know :-)

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Busy but productive day :-)

Woke up just before 5 this morning and it was a beautiful morning. I tried to lie still a while longer and was trying to decide whether to run at lunchtime or in the evening or now? I realised I wasn't going to get back to sleep so I got up, got organised and was out the door about half past 5.
It was a still, peaceful and fabulously clear morning with the ground mist rising along the valley. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and by the time I was heading home into the sun, it was promising to be a hot day - Yay!! Only about the second or third one this year!!

I ran the same route as Sunday in reverse, and with an extra half mile added on at start and finish so I got the full 4miles which was on my program for today. I took it steady, my legs are still tired deep down inside, there's not much spring in them even though they're willing and my head is trying hard to spur me on, they just don't have it...

I know it will come back though and I am actually really really pleased at how well I have recovered from my ultra, I have to remind myself it was only 10 days ago!

As it was such a beautiful morning we cycled to work which was lovely - we are very fortunate that we have a great network of cycle paths around where we live which all link into the National Cycle Network and which are increasingly being used by locals to run/jog, cycle, walk their children/dogs etc.
The route to work is great, it's all downhill! It's not such a pleasing prospect at home time :-) I did however manage to cycle all the way up to our house which is a really gratifying measure of my increased strength and fitness as it is a hard hill to cycle up - I was reminiscing a week or so ago about how when we moved in here, fat, couchloving and unfit we never gave a thought to buying the house at the top of the hill, I couldn't in those days walk up the hill without needing to stop to catch my breath, and now we run and cycle up it without any great stress... I like these little measures, they help you take stock.

I lit the fire bowl this evening so it was BBQ for dinner which was nice and great to be able to sit in the warm sunshine and enjoy it. I then spent the next 2 hours scarifying our "lawns" an extremely satisfying if mucky and dusty job - we now have a brown bin full of moss and clover!

Tomorrow's run is scheduled to be 7 miles, I'm not overly looking forward to it as my calves/achilles are both a bit sore and stiff but I'll give it a go, I'm sure I'll warm up and get into it and it is true you do always feel better afterwards.

I chose this photo to put on my post, because tonight we had a frog in the pond - he hopped up the waterfall and under the big green frog :-)

Sunday, 24 July 2011

First post -race run (jog)

I have been taking it easy this week so although I went to the gym on Tuesday at lunchtime I haven't run since last Saturday. I cycled 3miles in gym and walked 1mile on treadmill with a couple of 1minute jogs for the last 10minutes.
It's been beautiful here this weekend - at last! Probably this will be our summer, if we're lucky it will last another couple of days...
Yesterday John ran the new Falkirk Parkrun and I marshalled on the course, it was great to see all the runners twice from my marshalling spot and I'd definitely volunteer to do it again.

We've had some downtime this weekend and it's been lovely, went to Edinburgh to the Jazz Festival yesterday and Glasgow today for the Merchant City Festival, so sunshine and culture!

I had it in my head I was going to get back out again this weekend, but the motivation hasn't been great, I jogged half a mile back from marshalling yesterday with the tailrunner, and it felt pretty good, but it didn't really count as a run so I really wanted to get out today, eventually about 5.30pm the wee voice in my head said "come on then shoes on!" So off we went. We've a new path been finished nearby so that's given me another nice 5km route with only a couple of stops to cross the road and a couple of cattle grids on the path, a nice steady trot in the warm sunshine complete, I feel much better :-)
So that's it, back into training programme again now, although I might be a little behind I'm sure I'll catch up in plenty of time for Berlin, I keep reminding myself
1.. You've plenty miles in your legs and
2.. it IS OK to be tired! :-)

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Well who'd have thought it?

I am officially an Ultra-Runner :-)

Saturday 16th July I successfully completed the 40mile (65km) yes 40 miles, Clyde Stride

I haven't mentioned this before as I wasn't 100% sure I'd be able to complete it and didn't want to set myself up for a fall, but I am happy to tell you all about it now, any time you want, and over and over if necessary :-) Poor John he must be fed up of me coming out with random thoughts, memories or anecdotes...
Seriously though I couldn't have done it without his support, he was there at every checkpoint for me with nutrition, fluids, changes of shoes & clothes, kind words and even an ice spray at the last one :-)

40miles is an awful long way to try and retell so have a look at the website and have a look at the route maps etc there. The route goes from Partick Station in Glasgow city centre to New Lanark visitor's centre, with some fabulous but varied and challenging terrain in between. The Race Director - the wonderful Lee McLean states that the course undulates in parts - she tells lies!!! There are a couple of nasty hills and some really steep steps along the way.

We follow the Clyde Walkway for the whole race, it's worth doing as a walk even in manageable chunks if you don't fancy it all in one day, but the last half especially is quite stunning. If you want to know a bit more about the trail look at my previous blog post about my Long Run that turned into an epic adventure :-) This was the day that I ran the second half of the route as a recce...

Fortunately the temporary bridge had been opened in time for the race so I didn't have the extra 5 mile detour this time, although the two big fallen trees are still lying across the farm road near Carbarns Farm. Guess the farmer will get round to moving them when he needs access to the road.

I was very tired when I was finished, but on such a high I couldn't stop chattering on about it =:-0
Didn't sleep particularly well and then we'd another early start on Sunday morning to go to Dundee as John was running in the Half marathon. I managed to get a brisk 3-4miles walking in which helped my recovery and today I managed to get to the gym and do 3 miles on the bike, 1 mile walking on the treadmill and 5mins at the end jogging :-)
I'm not going to say anymore about it there's too much... oh and BTW it was supposed to rain all day and instead we had roasting sunshine!

I've included a few photos but there are more on the Clyde walkway site which do it better justice :-)

Wednesday, 13 July 2011


Yep I know I've used that title before, but I am! I suppose it's not altogether unreasonable given the tough day we had last Sunday but it's still hard to come to terms with - you think you're recovered but you're not really...
I had a non-running weekend and I really enjoyed it :-) I ran on Friday 5km on the treadmill and although I wasn't too uncomfortable, the legs were still heavy and a bit achey. John was doing his long run on Saturday so I spent the day driving around the countryside in glorious sunshine with the roof down on the MR2 :-)
Sunday I contemplated running but started the day with breakfast outside enjoying the peace and stillness - before the rain came! Did an hour of tidying up in the garden then got showered and organised and headed off to Glasgow to Achilles Heel for new shoes - that always cheers me up :-)
Another nice chat with Katie & Co and
left the shop with my purchases

They didn't have the socks in store that I wanted, but they had them in online store and I ordered them on Sun evening and they arrived today - great service (and free p&p)
I've only done 1 run this week, 5.1K on the treadmill on Monday lunchtime, been really tired yesterday and today - hope it's just fatigue and not somebody's bugs =:-0
So not much else to report, I took the bike out for 40mins yesterday with a couple of good hills in the route so that was better than nothing...
I'm back at physio tomorrow evening so hopefully legs will feel brand new after the pain wears off :-)

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Lakeland Trails Marathon 3 July 2011

It's not the most flattering photo - then none of them are :-) but I hope it gives you and idea of
a) how high up we were
b) how high up we'd been
c) how b****y hard I was working!!!

oh and d) what a scorching hot day it was!

What more can I say...
I can categorically state that this was the hardest, toughest, most challenging race I have ever done, but at the same time it was fantastic! We climbed and climbed up out of Coniston village then climbed some more, (1000ft of climb!) ran along the top of a hill ran down over boulders and rocks - dried waterfall beds I'm sure, through bogs, over a stile, over barbed wire fence, through a fast flowing river, then another 5 miles or so (in soaking wet shoes) down single track sheep trails in shoulder-high bracken followed by the last couple of miles along the lakeside trying not to trip up on tree roots and stones! What a day - oh and all that in the scorching sunshine :-)
I could rabbit on about this for ages but that's pretty pointless, I am just immensely chuffed to have finished this race upright and still able to move my legs - if you want to read the reviews of others then have a look at Runner's World it's great to know I'm not the only one who thought it was tough...
Spent a really enjoyable couple of hours in the park afterwards with fellow finishers, enjoying the beer, the ice cream and the live music. Wandered back along into the village to the Black Bull for scampi & chips and another beer then back (slowly) to the campsite for an early night :-) Wonderful breakfast in Ambleside and a lovely drive back up the road in the sunshine.

Oh and YES I would do it all again!