Friday, 27 March 2015

Catching up

It's 4 weeks since I last wrote anything here... where has March gone?  I cannot believe how quickly the days have passed!  Last time I wrote an update, we'd been at By The Way for a Fling training weekend, there's another one this weekend, but we're not participating as tomorrow morning we're off to Berlin for the Half Marathon on Sunday. 
To backtrack a little, after the horrendous weather at Tyndrum, we had a nice day in Glasgow and then on the Monday we had a fine run on the canal.  Falkirk Wheel to Linlithgow, 14miles including a wee detour as the hated 'darkie tunnel' was closed for repair (phew...) lunch in Linlithgow then the train back to Falkirk with a 2 mile jog back to the car, arriving just as the snow started - and kept falling!  It snowed heavily overnight and again the next day then fortunately the weather broke and the sun started shining. Before we knew it, it was the weekend and the Saturday was back to the usual horrendous weather, heavy rain, grey skies and high winds.  John braved the elements and ran 9 miles in it, I didn't.  However we woke on the Sunday  morning to bright sunshine and blue skies and headed up to do some recceing on the Cateran Trail. 
I dropped John at Glen Isla, and drove to Blairgowrie, he was going to run across the hills and meet me there.  Just as I parked up, the heavens opened but undaunted, I put on my jacket and headed off onto the trail that leads to Bridge of Cally.  I like this part of the trail, it's well marked and easy to find your way, it's party tarmac and partly fields, and a few hills for good measure. 
sunshine after the rain
For 20minutes the rain and wind was horrid, then it stopped and the skies were blue as far as the eye could see!  I went 5miles and turned back, getting caught a second time in a short sharp downpour - if you can call horizontal rain a downpour!  I got back to the car only a minute or so after John so that worked out well, with neither of us having to hang about waiting for the other.
Another week of circuit training and short runs, then it was D33 Weekend.  We had the Friday off work and I had a hospital appointment before we headed up to Aberdeen and we had agreed to be part of the marquee building team, so after lunch we met up in Duthie park with our fellow erectors and got to work.  Johnny Fling has a huge marquee which we helped to erect and dismantle last year and mostly the same folk turned up again this year so we had it up in no time! 
(it helped we didn't have to battle gale force winds!)
Friday evening was spent catching up with friends in the Station Hotel in 'Stoney' then it was Saturday and an early breakfast before heading back from Stonehaven to Duthie Park.  For a number of reasons, I was unsure right up until the start whether or not I was going to run the full distance and in the end, I didn't.  I did however have a really good run with Bill to Milltimber and feel I made the right decision.  We were back in the park in time to get warm clothes on and a coffee inside us before the winner Ross Houston came flying home shattering the course record!  I was delighted to watch many friends finish the race smiling, many of whom got PBs and some of whom were finishing their first ultra.  The post race party in the Station later that evening allowed us to catch up with others and hear their tales.  Sunday morning we had a fab run through Dunnottar woods to the castle with Karen, Mike and Graeme then John and I went to Auntie Betty's for ice-cream before popping in to see George and Karen before we headed home.
A good week followed, the Inspiration Evening in Stirling on Tuesday, preceded by nice burgers with Amanda and Clark.  Bright sunny early morning runs, circuit sessions and then it was the weekend again... Up on Saturday morning and off to train on the West Highland Way.  I'll write about this wee (mis)adventure in a separate post :-)

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Marching on...

 No pun intended given that today is the 1st of March, but 'marching on' is a fair assessment of how I am feeling at the moment. 
I've done a few fairly tough and fairly hilly sessions over the past few weekends, and in the main I've enjoyed them, however the last 7 miles of yesterday's was definitely a case of 'head down and keep on moving!' 
We were at By The Way in Tyndrum for the second of the three Fling weekends and as always, Johnny Fling put on a great weekend.  We have a long weekend this weekend so we travelled up on Friday afternoon and after checking in and getting changed I had a good run round 'Kirsty's wee loop' especially enjoying the second half through the woods where there was thick snow and I was able to run confidently in it both up and down the hill.  I am still sticking with my run 4m30s and walk 30s intervals and they are becoming easier to maintain
Saturday's planned run was from Beinglas to Inversnaid and back but I wanted to go North to get some more hill practice and John is recovering from a calf tear, so he agreed to come out with me.  I said I would go out for 5 or 6 hours depending on the weather, the miles being the secondary objective, the main objective being time on my feet and climbing metres in my legs.  I was out 5h32m and climbed 615m so goals achieved.
It was pretty wild going over Jelly Baby Hill but nowhere near as bad as when we went in January but the real shock was on the way back, I climbed up from the station at Bridge of Orchy and the wind was so strong that I could hardly stand in it never mind run in it! 

This is what Beinn Dorain looks like on a nice day, I've climbed it twice but the horizontal sleet/hail/snow/rain and gale force winds changed my perspective of it yesterday as I trudged and shuffled my way back to Tyndrum - it is still a spectacular mountain though!

Once back at BTW, showered and 2 cups of warm soup inside me, the world took on a more amenable glow and thanks to Donald's laptop and the big screen, we were able to watch the rugby as the other drookit runners started to come home, chittering and dripping. 
The rest of the evening consisted of the usual great meal, followed by the quiz -  we really missed Emma's presenting skills!  This morning, a few folk went for a run on the 'wee loop' we decided not to - the legs felt fine, but the thought of another battle with the winds and rain held no attraction. 
We decided to head down the new road at Crianlarich and so ended up in Glasgow where a spot of birthday present shopping and a nice lunch was enjoyed.
Tomorrow we have another day off so another run is on the cards.  Fingers crossed for some fairer weather, but I'm not too hopeful...

(ps I chose the marching ducks as they reminded me of Boston)