Monday, 24 April 2017

Things are sent to test you


Well I ended my last blog with - London's Calling

And calling it was. My first London Marathon, THE Marathon,  the only one that matters, the longest etc etc

I've had many opportunities to  run it, I actually got in on my first ever try through ballot, got injured deferred then found myself on Ultra scene. silly. Then I've had GFA for ages, being so good for my age, obv. (and thats super soft for girls quite frankly)

So this was the year! Cant say I was excited about it if I'm honest. I love watching it on telly, love tracking folk but being there, I had no desire really. I supported Ian a few yrs back when he was running & loved it but to me I thought I'd need boxing gloves to get folk out my way.

Training for a marathon & a 100miler isn't so easy though, because I was targeting London for a PB it meant trying to get speedwork and long road runs in as well as making sure I got the long trail runs in too. Been averaging 75 mil weeks peaking at 99.3 yes really, and no I wasn't tempted.

2 weeks out I did cutback week after my back2back weekend of 78 miles (that 99.3 week) and did 51 miles & had 2 full days rest, next week again 2 full days. On Good Friday we were both off & went out on out nice wee 5 mile loop we have through blackford & braid nature reserve and I said to Ian I was getting shooting pains in my knee. Randomly, not all time. This was before even leaving house & happened couple times on run. It made my leg buckle, not so good. had good run so thought nothing of it. Rested next day then we headed off to St Andrews for a wee break.

We went out for run around golf course, trails  & beach and although it was glorious, I had a proper niggle in my hip. This didn't go away & only got worse as day went on moving into my back. By Monday I was sitting with hot water bottle against lower back, taking drugs (paracetamol, don't worry) and desperately trying to appt with my stupidly popular busy physio    this guy...

He said he'd call me if he got cancellation and I got apt for Wed morning. He did his best to make me scream a lot ( does everyone else bite their tongue he always tells me I'm very vocal)  gave me some exercises to do. Said I hadn't damaged anything & that "I'll probably hurt" on Sunday, but that I could run. Friday night & Saturday morning my back still hurt. I managed it with wine pretty much.

It wasn't  all about the Marathon though, Ian bought me (us) tickets for Les Miserables for the Saturday for my Christmas. I was so excited about that more than marathon it has to be said! We were both working Friday so arrived at Airport separately, I went straight to lounge and got tucked into the wine & Ian arrived about an hour later. We arrived at hotel and got bite to eat before heading to bed around 11ish. having been up since 6am

Up early Saturday to head to Expo, needed to get there, see bit of it, get back to hotel then head out to Theatre, busybusy!  I forgot to mention I'd bought myself new shoes at airport. I love Kurt Geiger & bought I pair of shoes in same style id had before which were comfiest ever. So I wore them.
Sometimes I worry about my decisions, this was one of them. 6 miles of walking and 5 blisters the day before you're trying to PB at a Marathon

Add to that the Lrg Wine & 2 prosecco with lunch. The 2 Prosecco during theatre (which was magnificent b
tw) We met Gayle & Alan for dinner after theatre.
 Had bottle wine  (that I shared) with Gayle
I guess my prep isn't quite textbook!


On the plus side, my sore feet made me forget about my sore back, that's good right....

Because of my blisters rubbing against duvet I woke up quite a lot during night. not the best. Breakfast of smoked salmon & scrambled eggs, if only I had a bucks fii to go with it, I seriously would've had it.  view from breakfast room looks over London city. proper trendy bar at night to be in I believe

Ian walked me to station to se me on my on way, by then I was starting to feel really nervous. I don't get nerves. Not even for WHW race, I'm usually as chilled as a chilled thing. I think I use my nervousness  leading up to that normally as I'm usually in tears all week watching Home & away &whatnot, Maybe this week because I so worrying about even being on start line it took that away only for it to thrown itself on me on race morning

Its a lonely old world and not one person had spoken to me til I was finally finding my way to green start & heard an almighty holler.Could only be the voice of Gavin, who is even louder than me. What a great wee boost that gave me. they were in jail so I had to kiss them through the barricades


off I went to green start & met up with more Scottish folk! hurrah. David & Caroline at start, knew I wouldn't see them again once we got going. When someone dressed as massive toilet roll joined by pen I made sure I was well away from them!
 I positioned myself  passed on my good luck wishes and suddenly we were off, It took only 2 mins to cross line but immediately I got stressed. So so busy, no room to move anywhere for first few miles it was worse then we joined  the red start. Made it even more busy. I was asked plenty times what time I was going for.Training indicated between 3.30 & 3.35 so I told everyone 3.35  which was genuinely what I thought I would do. No chance of choosing pace had to go with flow at that point, Luckily they seem to have starting points correct so everyone looking at same sort of pace. I deliberately went ahead of 3.30 pacer guy as I as I so used to running on my own and didn't want to be slave to that then lose heart if I lost him. And I prefer to have bit in bank. He didn't pass me till about mile 23
I calmed down about 4 miles in when there was bit more space, I always took the outer route when I could rather than cut corners, I even saw runners run down pavements behind supports. wtf. roads have been closed for you guys, fucking use them and let the pedestrians use the pavements.

I deliberately didn't put my name on vest, not sure if it was because I was nervous about my pb attempt & if ended up walking didn't want *go Sandra, looking good* when you feel anything but! or if it was just a selfish thing,  this was about me.

Have to say, the miles flew by. Incredibly so. I passed Antonia & we had quick hug. I knew she'd pass me later ( & she did, super speedy girly)  There was 2 moments when I got clipped-barged by folk who didn't apologies- they heard me after for sure *insert swear words*

I knew Ian was going to by Fetchpoint at mile 12 ish which is a station set up every year by Fetcheveryone see link here... fetch ( I've supported there before and set up same in Edinburgh, its proper awesome. I was so excited & emotional leading up to there,  was still on course for sub 3.30  at that point and just hoping it wasn't a fluke

The cheers I got gave me massive boost, and I knew that the next 10 miles til I saw them & Ian again would be tough. I sometimes regretted not having name on shirt but most of time I was happy being ingocnito so to speak. Back to FP & I was still running strong, I high fived all way along and again it put spring in step, Didn't see Ian though, then suddenly at 23 miles I heard him scream my name! my goodness what that did for me you have no idea. I kept thinking, when am I going to blow up, when will I need to stop, to walk... it never happened.  I kept telling myself over & over " Sandra, you're an ultra runner, you've ran much further than this etc" I still expected to massively slow down though.

3 miles to go, I kept calculating worse case scenarios in  my head- if I do 10minute miling  from here I will still pb, 2 miles, same thing - if I do this that, the next thing... I swear I didn't even see big ben or Buckingham palace, head was firmly on finish.

That last 200m felt like 2 miles. I was so so delighted to finish in 3 hrs 30 mins & 56 secs. A stonking 10 minute PB!  I was a bit tearful when I finished & even more so when walking past all the baggage handlers who were applauding us. The organisation is tremendous, from start to finish. I walked through to met up area and found Ian waiting and cried again.

I still don't feel like it happened to me, but it did! Even know, it feels like an out of body experience. I ended up with 26.6 miles on watch with all the weaving & trying to find spaces to run but hey, its is what it is.

Bloody hell I've worked hard for it though, I take my hat off to all my friends with young children. How they do it I have no idea. I think I got my time down to bigger mileage, smarter training and better eating. Marathons are damn hard work. Given I'm so close to sub3.30 I may well train for one later in year once I've recovered from SDWrace.

So that's London done. London's not calling anymore  but Winchester certainly is - few more runs to fit in before my 100Miler.

reasons to run, click here!! for my sponsor page- very worthy charities.

Here are the some of the stats, quite impressive reading I think...











Sunday, 9 April 2017

3 nights, 3 hotels,a few wet miles on the way & a little help from my friends.

Last week it snowed.

It was no huge surprise to be honest, I mean my ayephone told me it would. The day before I ran to work in a vest and Lorna Mc pointed out to me I wouldn't be in vest next day She was right, as was my ayephone.  Just as I stepped outside at 5,48 or thereabouts the first few snowflakes started to fall. By the time I was  miles in it was full blown snowstorm and I was finding it difficult to see. I stopped to do a live video ( as you do) as I wasn't sure anyone would believe quite how bad it was.

I mentioned in video that we mustn't let weather affect or stop training run (never have) and I've always said "it could be like this on race day"  Now I did say in the video that if its like THAT on race day then I'd stop drinking champagne AND I'd eat my hat, a woolly ronhill one in case you weren't watching.

I am now a bit worried my sick & twisted crew will ship down some snow.

I took last Friday off work with the plan for 2 days running on WHW route. I've actually not done a big back to back in a long time so although I've been running pretty strong this year it was a big ask for my wee body. Originally I was doing it solo as it was Ian's financial year end at work but the pull of long run on his favourite part of whw was too much of a pull, or maybe he was going to miss me...

So I'd made plans to do it alone, kinda. Plan was to get train to Milngavie and Carol would pick me up and take me to Oak tree. Slight change to go meet Lorna for catch up Glasgow then meet Carol but we still got Oaktree in end. Had lovely dinner with Carol then she went home only to return at 8am to run the first 7 miles with me.  I wanted to leave pretty sharp with a long day ahead of me

Weather was pretty dreich but certainly warm enough for us to be in vests. given that Carol is a small ultra chatty wee blonde and i'm an ultra chatty wee blonde it was a talkative cocktail as opposed to a Molotov cocktail. The  7 miles went in a flash & I sadly waved goodbye knowing I had a lonely 35 miles ahead.

Even though I was on my own & having done this route so very often I made good progress and got to Inversnaid bang on target. I was happy to find hotel open so popped in to use toilet and dry off for few minutes, the rain was relentless but it still wasn't cold. I set off for lochside knowing the rocks would be a bit treacherous, I was right. It made for pretty slow progress, last thing I needed when on my own in middle of nowhere was to injure myself, i'd barely seen a soul since rowardennan, one guy I did pass almost had heart attack, clearly not expecting anyone else to be daft enough to be out in that weather.

As I got to top of Darios hill suddenly the wind picked up and I had to stop & put jacket on as it really chilled me. I decided to nip into Beinglas & get cup of tea to takeaway but once I was inside I decided to run garmin off for  mins and dry out-warm up a little knowing I still had 22 miles to go.

Every waterfall I passed was ferocious, some you'd not normally notice as they trickled down hillside were so full & noisy, rather beautiful. No such thing as bad weather.. Cow poo alley was pretty disgusting, I had to get through herd of cows who gathered round the calfs and glared at me, I shouted shoo like Ian showed me to but they laughed in my face and stood their ground. I was hopped over the style I thanked them for not killing me. If anyone had come along and saw me speaking to cows I'm sure I'd have got a strange look or two but hours on your lonesome can do strange things.

Rollercoaster passed quicker than normal, passed few groups of kids doing DOE and soon enough I was at road crossing. Got to field to find these signs, I followed the advice. I'd suggest anyone out there running soon does too.
Unless you like disappearing into more soggy bogs. not long after going under road I got to river crossing (where there is now a bridge!) and bumped into Mel, first runner i'd seen all day. She said Noanie was just ahead walking the dogs and sure enough there was Rufus & Sam bounding up the trails, I shouted on them and they ran to greet me then probably wondered who hell this drookit wee thing was.



After a lovely Hug from a surprised Noanie I set off up road with her, we were about mile & half away from Tyndrum and it was nice to have bit of company after 8 hrs on my own. I decided a wee walk break would do me good and give me bit more energy for my last 10miles. I bade her & dogs goodbye at Bytheway then ran off on my final stage.

Stopped off at Brodies for a mars bar after realising I hadn't eaten all day. So walked up hill eating that, it gave me spring in my step for my favourite part of course. Still the rain came down, heavier than ever, but I could see ahead there was bits of blue skies peeking through. Saw few more runners from training weekend & had quick chat with Tina before running on. About a mile out from Bridge of Orchy a miracle happened-it stopped raining. 9 full ours of rain and it stops when I have half an our of running left, go figure! Nice to get jacket off and back down to my vest for last push up & over Jellybabyhill. As I crested said hill Ian called me to say he was just leaving Edinburgh & expected to arrive around 9pm.

The glorious sight of Inveronan hotel, speaking to Ian and the killers on loud put a smile on my face & a spring in my step for the last downhill of day. Got into my room and did a victory dance to find I had a bath, was dreading arriving to find a poky shower room. You can keep your icebaths, after a run (a very wet one at that) I need a soak in a hot bubbly bath and boy did it feel good. Coupled with cup of tea, bag of crisps and a cup of tea it was pure dead brilliant.


Can highly recommend this wee hotel, friendly attentive staff, lovely cosy room and superb food. No wifi, no signal on phone and the tv doesn't even get a signal but none of that mattered. Ian arrived 9pm sharp and  we had few drinks in bar before finishing off wine I'd brought with me.

Lovely breakfast of scrambled eggs & smoked salmon and Ian set off in car for Bridge of Orchy so we could get train back there next day. he was running from there, I was lucky enough to have Lorna, Emma & Louise for company for start of the day. Lorna & Louise were doing 5 out & back and boy did those 5mile pass quickly .We waved them off and me & Emma who was running to Kinlochleven (from Tyndrum) set off again and were surprised to see Kingshouse hotel appear rather quickly. Amazing what chatter and not constantly looking at mileage can do.

We got down to Kingshouse to find 4 very tame deer wandering around, now although its fabulous to see them up so close its kind of sad too. They know they will get fed by tourists but its not the stuff wild deer should be eating really. Still lovely to see them. Emma was uber excited!



After a few pics we set off on that god forsaken section to Altnafeadh and the devils straircase. Again this section which usually fills me with dread passed quickly and we were soon climbing up the staircase pondering when Ian would catch us up.  I like the Devil, I never find that climb nearly as bad as the climb out of KL.




We got to top and they may have been some larking around.
Off we went of the never ending descent in the mythical town of kinlochleven. About 3 miles down Ian suddenly appeared behind us just as another runner ran towards us to stop for chat. I gave Ian a quick kiss and he powered on ahead. few mins later we stepped aside to let a runner who was hammering it g past us, we watched in awe as he ran on then skipped up hill past Ian as if he wasn't even on a hill.

Further on we came across a group of walkers, think they were Italian, they stood wither side of trail whopping, cheering & high fiving us, utterly brilliant. Ian said they did same to him. wish I'd got pic but we were laughing so much from the reception we skipped on down the trail . We were now trying to work out timescales as Emma had a bus to catch to get her back to her car. As we got into KL we ran up road to see bus sitting there, we asked driver when he was leaving and he said "now" oh, wait till we get a selfie said we! haaha he did too.  I sadly bid farewell to Emma and tried to talk myself into positive frame of mind for next 14 miles and *that* climb.

As I ran through the town I came across this>
I stopped for a moment and thought about my Mum, and I knew she'd be very proud of me. It gave the positive boost I needed and I ran on with happy thoughts of her in my head.

here is great excuse to put my fundraising page. >>>

As I set off up the trail Ian called to warn me of a possible turn I might miss. There was bit in path with no sign that means its possible to go uphill when in fact you should go left & down. I have been known to get lost but I was ok, although I did see a few walkers head up that, maybe they wanted to though...

Eventually I got to top and once round corner and properly onto Lairig mor I started spotting Ian in the distance in his yellow fling tshirt. It was taking my mind of things watching I'm appear & disappear up and down hills or round corners & I wondered if I was gaining on him. I knew with all those miles in my legs i'd be hard pushed to catch him. Eventually Lundavra appeared and as I wandered up that hill it made me think of last time I did it in the race, good times.

Its a few miles in before you start to see the forestry work that's closed that part of route for past 6 months. At first its just lots of branches and debris all over path making it easy to trip up on my tired legs and catching in my shoes a fair bit. As I crested hill to where main part f feeling was I found 2 bewildered  foreign walkers who were standing on top a muddy mound  just looking around in astonishment. The path totally disappears and they weren't sure where to head. I picked my across the mud mounds and found path again and they gratefully followed, after that part its easier to see the trail even though its mostly covered but they'd be able to watch me in distance as I ran on ahead.

The forestry commission did say they would re open the path on April 1st and they stuck to that, but I do think it was perhaps a tad too early, I'm pretty sure its all been cleaned up now but it would've been confusing to anyone who didn't really know the route. Not that I passed anyone on Lairig anyway but still.



I used to love running through that bit of forest but hey, that why these trees are planted as I explained to the tourists who were horrified and asked why on earth they'd do that. I guess its just the shock of the devastation. Anyway, I was soon enough on fire road and on the never ending road to Braveheart car park. I passed the famous30mph sign and couldn't resist a photo stop by the leisure centre where I got a bit emotional thinking of my last finish there .


Another half mile to go and I arrived at Hotel just as garmin clocked 34 miles. 77 Miles done & dusted, two very different days. Challenging conditions but I loved it all.

Felt strong on both days and finished still running strong and happy. Was surprised to arrive at check to find Ian hadn't checked in but I soon found him next door in pub. Nice wee rehydration was in order for sure and well deserved I felt.

Next day we went for wander around town and seafront to loosen off legs before getting train to Bridge of Orchy to pick up car. Oh my goodness, what a stunning journey that is, right through middle earth ;) passing through Rannoch moor and the most remote station in the UK. Breathtaking scenery. Its nice to sit back & enjoy.




We stopped off in Tyndrum for spot of lunch at Real food café & managed to catch up with John, Noanie, Gavin, Lorna, Mark and few others who'd been on training weekend. Lovely end to a great two days training.

Had to celebrate once home...






As I write this one week on, I'm pleased to say I recovered pretty quickly, a good indication of where my training is at. I took 2 full days off and was back running by Tuesday. Nice easy cutback week. London in now calling.....



Monday, 3 April 2017

What's happening

I've been meaning to blog for ages and I never seem to find the time.
We are away most weekends and seem to be busy all time and blogging is way down on list of stuff that needs doing! But hey, I've got the day off so here I am.

Reason I've taken day off is to rest & recover after long weekend of training - which brings me to explain why I am back in blogland. Last year I didn't really have a big plan nor a big race to train for. I just picked races as the year went on and did stuff I'd not done before. Islay half marathon, Glencoe Marathon, Strathearn marathon to name a few. All good stuff and its good to do different things instead of same old stuff year on year I reckon.

So this year I needed a focus. That focus is the South Downs Way race in June. Its 100 miles long, starts in Winchester & finishes in Eastbourne. I've always had a pull to do this race and here's why

I actually did my very first Ultra on the South Downs Way, It was called the Downlands challenge, no idea if its still going but it was a 30 mile race. I don't even know where it started but it was 15 out & back and there were windmills which I'm pretty sure were called Jack & Jill! my friend Jen Jackson had persuaded to do my first Ultra & although it was a damn long way to go I thought it was nice distance and not too scary.

Jen had done loads of Ultras so I put my trust in her-. I went down to stay with her and totally loved the race and was truly bitten by the Ultra bug. Jen had always loved the South downs way and was convinced it would make a great 100 mile race. So she decided she'd create one. And right there is where the SDW100 was created.  Susan ( my ever present crew) was marshalling as were many other running friends. lots of whom live down that way.
At that stage I could never imagine running that distance. I'd crewed for Jen when she did WHWrace in 2009 and I was in awe of everyone doing it. Funny how things shape your life, little did I know...my goodness we were clueless, there is a blog about all that if  you look far enough back lol

Jen organised the race in 2010 & 2011 before deciding it was too much work have recently bought a horse which took up lots of her free time. She passed race into the very capable hands of James Elson & its fair to say he hit the ground running (excuse the pun) and  & has made a great success in form of all the Centurion races.

So it feels like I should be doing this race after all this time now I know I can indeed run all that way!

With 10 weeks to go and I reckon training is going well It feels good to have a focus again.  Although I am following plan loosely based around my 2015 WHW race training, I am also running London Marathon for first time so I've been trying to incorporate marathon training alongside Ultra training. Tricky but doable .
This include nice mix of road & trail runs, races &  intervals. Also doing some weights to mix things up a bit and keep me strong. Touch wood its all going to plan. I've PB'd at 5k & half marathon distance this year so far, hoping that a bit like wine, I'm getting better with age ;)

Although you don't need crew for this race as there are plenty well stocked aid stations, when I told Susan & Nick I was doing the race they immediately said they were coming too. I was quite happy to go down on my own but they both want to go back there (Nick did that same 1st Ultra as me that day)


Quite often I get asked if I'm running for charity and I always joke that if I did that every year I'd have no friends & people would run other way when they see me coming. But its been 7 years since I last fundraised. (for my first fling) so I think it's time to do it again. I've sponsored many of my friend over the years and still do.

I have chosen two charities very close to my heart.

First one is Marie Curie - 

My mum was looked after in our local Marie Curie hospice in her final weeks. They do a marvellous & tough job, they even sent 2 nurses with my mum so she could spend a few hours at home with me on my 21st Birthday. I'll never forget that and treasure those memories. I'll be ever thankful to them. £20 pays for one nurse for one hour -

Me & mum




Second one is SAMH -
Ian is actually Vice chair of SAMH. Both our families have had to deal mental health issues but my main reason is in memory of my sons best friend- Jordan Lane. He took his own life at the young age of 22 - he was a beautiful, bright smiley boy who's been sadly missed these past few years. Suicide is a massive problem with young males as they feel they cant speak to anyone about it.This weekend I've ran with several friends, every one of them has been closely touched by suicide
If raising money can save even one more person then it'll be money well spent. £20 provides one hour of help to someone in need.
here is pic of me & Jordan at my boys 21st


Having made it this far- please click on this link and help me help people who need it.


Click here to donate, thank you! x


Planning another blog shortly to talk abut training this weekend. watch this space!

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

If ever there was time for time for a blog....

Oh Dear, I haven't blogged since December. I apologise. Guessing no one actually cares, we have facebook, twitter etc these days, everyone kinda knows what I'm up to.

It's almost killed blogs which I think is a bit of a shame. I came back from West Highland Way weekend vowing I would blog about it, being such a rollercoaster ride towards it, an exciting build up and indeed an exciting finish. I will endeavor to do so but in meantime, while my head is in right place and I'm inspired to blog, I shall.

Everyone (who knows me, I mean, who else reads this) knows how much I love Ian, how proud I am of him. in everything he does. Sub3 marathon runner, sub 1.18 half, so many others that I wont bore you with, over 100 marathons, blah blah... he's been running a long time. I've still to beat his WHW race time but I am working on it (be prepared Susan & Nick)  

There is no doubt I will never beat his shorter races, but I will continue to work on the longer stuff.

So, why would James Stewart and crewing for Hal Keorner not chuck me back into blogoshpire. Well once again because of social media. Everyone knew James ran an amazing race, coached by record holder Paul, who needs no surname.

So, since then. Weekend after *that* race we were down in Birmingham for UK championships and Olympic trails. Big hopes for  Scotland to get place for the Olypmics. I wish I could explain to you how emotional feels. especially when the pressure is on!

What a great weekend we had with all 8 Scottish Athletes perfoming when it counts. Its  always been Ian's motto and it certainly was that day.  Although tbh when i'm standing at start of race sometimes I really just don't want to hear it!

Last night over dinner we chatted about the Olympics and Ian told me the Team was being announced today (Wed 13th) Exciting times!  There I was sitting at work trying to catch up on paperwork (how do people do desk jobs) when I get a txt from him saying fifteen Scots in TeamGB

fifteen- that's the most Scottish ever.  EVER

I read it was but was busy doing paperwork (yay) so took wee while to congratulate him. He is like a proud person in proud person land.  Anyway, now that he is home (via the 2 mile race at the Meadows obviously) And now we're watching golf. Ian loves EVERY sport.
 if tiddlywinks was on tv as a sport, hed watch it

Why am I congratulating him though.  Well, maybe my friends & family know. Maybe they dont, because he doesn't make any issues of what people say and he has always said " I try to let results speak for themselves"

And he does. And he has.

I have two articles that were written in 2012 and 2014 -by Doug Gillon, who has been Athletics Correspondent of The Herald for mant years,   I have had to copy and paste given no links available now. this will make my blog very long I guess but persevere please.


---- this is the article - 2012


IF Frank Dick, Scotland and Great Britain's former national coach, could not drive through the changes required to revitalise scottishathletics, it was suggested that perhaps nobody could.

Dick stepped down as chair of the governing body more than two months ago, because "he could not commit enough time given other interests" as the body put it this week.

Dick stated that he had spent three to four hours a day, seven days a week, on the role, yet in an exclusive first interview yesterday, his successor confirmed: "I won't be spending anything like four hours a day."

Ian Beattie, a 46-year-old ultra distance runner with 86 marathons on his competitive cv, has a background in banking and the investment management sector, but is currently chief operating officer of one of Scotland's most respected legal firms. He stood down after six years on sportscotland's management board, four as vice chair, to take on a sports post which it's hard not to perceive a poisoned chalice.

He follows some heavyweight incumbents – Dick, newspaper chairman Mark Hollinshead (another club standard marathon runner), and former world champion Liz McColgan.

Beattie's designation, however, has changed from that of his predecessors. He is non-executive chair. This may not be Mission Impossible, but is certainly Mission Very Difficult, with no more than four Scots in the Olympic team, and a squad of modest prospects for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Beattie met this observation with typical management speak: "It's challenging and exciting – a good opportunity. I'm looking forward to it."

Dick believed the sport needs sweeping cultural change, but failed to achieve that, and it's clear that frustration over inability to take the sport forward was at the root of his departure which coincided with the announcement of a GB World Indoor Championships team without a single Scot.

"I can't really comment on what Frank did," said Glasgow University graduate Beattie, "though I see some of the structures he started putting in place are fine, and look very positive".

Beattie spent yesterday with scottishathletics chief executive, Nigel Holl, and Stephen Maguire, the new director of coaching, who will start after the Paralympics.

They visited the new national indoor stadium, then crossed the road to Celtic Park, meeting all the sport's headquarters team. "After that, I'm even more enthusiastic about the prospects for athletics," he said. "It's going to take time to get the structures right, and everything in place, but there's a very solid base."

He sees his job as very different from Dick's hands-on style, and said Maguire's role would be very different from that of Steve Rippon and Laurier Primeau, the last two top coaching incumbents.

"My job, and I am very clear on it, is to make sure sport stays focused on what it should be doing, and let the team in place manage that while providing what advice I can. We have a great chance to do things in Scotland and the new director of coaching, whom I met for the first time, is really excited by that opportunity."The director of coaching will be overseeing. He is not going to be coaching individual athletes himself. He will be working with coaches, helping them develop. That's been clearly spelled out to him."

There has been friction in the past between athletes' coaches and the national coach, because some of the former perceived the head coach as a threat, poaching the best talent.

Beattie said he would model his style on his interim chairmanship at sportscotland. "I provided support. I caught up with them once a week, sent emails. I provided guidance, but that was it. And I kept in touch. What I have made clear is that I will do this job in a non-executive way. I'll guide the board. I don't have the time to spend four hours a day. I don't have Frank's coaching background, or anything like that, but I do have probably more of an ability to chair something, to guide and let the team get on with it, set the structure."
He will be phoning Dick, "to thank him, and to pick his brains, but I am keen on look ahead, and get the things in place that we need to do. It's going to be challenging, going to be exciting

---------------------
Hmm

looks like he doesn't have much confidence.

Second article 2014
- makes a bit of a recognition





WHEN Ian Beattie took over from former UK coaching director Frank Dick as chair of scottishathletics, I suggested it might prove to be a poisoned chalice.


Less than 27 months out from the Commonwealth Games, the omens were bleak, with a new director of coaching - the third in under two years - yet to take up office. Yet the four medals harvested from Glasgow 2014 confirm that club marathon and ultra-runner Beattie has succeeded where others with a stronger athletics background fell short. A glimmer of hope or false dawn? Beattie has no doubt it's the former.


Incontrovertible statistics we presented earlier this week showed a disturbing lack of Scots in the upper echelons of UK rankings. I suggested four medals should not blind us to concerns about the sport's overall health. This provoked a flood of data from the governing body, still smarting from an accusation by Dick that scottishathletics had "insufficient performance mindset".

Beattie was "discouraged competely" by that. "There's an absolute drive for perform, and a lack of acceptance we are going to be mediocre," he countered yesterday.

He professes no more than "satisfaction" at the Hampden medal haul: "I sat through all the athletics events and could not relax until Lynsey Sharp got that fourth medal . . . we needed to get that.Sportscotland are very supportive, and there's a good relationship but ultimately we don't want to be going in there trying to explain why we have not delivered on our target."

Funding negotiations and a full review in October could have meant funding cuts. "Sportscotland expect us to deliver, focused on medals, performances in finals, and so on."

Much is linked to participation numbers, which are not necessarily consistent with driving elite performance. Beattie spent six years on sportscotland's management board, four as vice chair, and insists the quango is far less driven by that compared to England, where heads have rolled in governing bodies perceived to have failed.

"I don't think sportscotland have moved as far down the participation line as England, where it's become the be-all and end-all," he adds.

Dick's resignation coincided with the failure of a single Scot to gain inclusion in Britain's World Indoor Championship team. That tide has turned. There are seven Scots at the current European Championship in Zurich, the same as last year's World event and one more than the 2012 Europeans where Lynsey Sharp won gold. "We knew it would be tough for Glasgow," says Beattie, "so I was very keen not to make excuses.

"We knew Glasgow was coming, and we had to focus on our target of more than two medals. We had to try to deliver on that. The fact that we did was satisfying, but we'd like to use that as a launch pad for more. There are some encouraging signs. There were a lot of younger athletes in that squad, with 29 of them 23 or less. The big challenge now is to develop them further. "

Two previous home Games were followed by inferior performances: 1970 (eight medals) with one in 1974; 1986 (six medals) with five in 1990. Beattie acknowledges the challenge is now to avert a repetition. Nothing less than four medals is likely to be acceptable in 2018.

The non-executive chair sings the praises of his full-time staff. Time was when there was a them-and-us attitude to the governing body. Demonstrably Club Together, an initiative launched in early 2012 is changing the face of the sport. Only adopted as yet by a minority of clubs, the effects are dramatic.

"******* there it is.******
 So, make up you're own mind. Ian didn't run those trials, Nigel didn't jump those hurdles and Mark didn't throw the hammer but make no mistake, Scottish Athletics are in avery good place, and that's in part to my husband.


If ever there was a time blog....

Oh Dear, I haven't blogged since December. I apologise. Guessing no one actually cares, we have facebook, twitter etc these days, everyone kinda knows what I'm up to.

It's almost killed blogs which I think is a bit of a shame. I came back from West Highland Way weekend vowing I would blog about it, being such a rollercoaster ride towards it, an exciting build up and indeed an exciting finish. I will endeavor to do so but in meantime, while my head is in right place and I'm inspired to blog, I shall.

Everyone (who knows me, I mean, who else reads this) knows how much I love Ian, how proud I am of him. in everything he does. Sub3 marathon runner, sub 1.18 half, so many others that I wont bore you with, over 100 marathons, blah blah... he's been running a long time. I've still to beat his WHW race time but I am working on it (be prepared Susan & Nick)  

There is no doubt I will never beat his shorter races, but I will continue to work on the longer stuff.

So, why would James Stewart and crewing for Hal Keorner not chuck me back into blogoshpire. Well once again because of social media. Everyone knew James ran an amazing race, coached by record holder Paul, who needs no surname.

So, since then. Weekend after *that* race we were down in Birmingham for UK championships and Olympic trails. Big hopes for  Scotland to get place for the Olypmics. I wish I could explain to you how emotional feels. especially when the pressure is on!

What a great weekend we had with all 8 Scottish Athletes perfoming when it counts. Its  always been Ian's motto and it certainly was that day.  Although tbh when i'm standing at start of race sometimes I really just don't want to hear it!

Last night over dinner we chatted about the Olympics and Ian told me the Team was being announced today (Wed 13th) Exciting times!  There I was sitting at work trying to catch up on paperwork (how do people do desk jobs) when I get a txt from him saying fifteen Scots in TeamGB

fifteen- that's the most Scottish ever.  EVER

I read it was but was busy doing paperwork (yay) so took wee while to congratulate him. He is like a proud person in proud person land.  Anyway, now that he is home (via the 2 mile race at the Meadows obviously) And now we're watching golf. Ian loves EVERY sport.
 if tiddlywinks was on tv as a sport, hed watch it

Why am I congratulating him though.  Well, maybe my friends & family know. Maybe they dont, because he doesn't make any issues of what people say and he has always said " I try to let results speak for themselves"

And he does. And he has.

I have two articles that were written in 2012 and 2014 -by Doug Gillon, who has been Athletics Correspondent of The Herald for mant years,   I have had to copy and paste given no links available now. this will make my blog very long I guess but persevere please.


---- this is the article - 2012


IF Frank Dick, Scotland and Great Britain's former national coach, could not drive through the changes required to revitalise scottishathletics, it was suggested that perhaps nobody could.

Dick stepped down as chair of the governing body more than two months ago, because "he could not commit enough time given other interests" as the body put it this week.

Dick stated that he had spent three to four hours a day, seven days a week, on the role, yet in an exclusive first interview yesterday, his successor confirmed: "I won't be spending anything like four hours a day."

Ian Beattie, a 46-year-old ultra distance runner with 86 marathons on his competitive cv, has a background in banking and the investment management sector, but is currently chief operating officer of one of Scotland's most respected legal firms. He stood down after six years on sportscotland's management board, four as vice chair, to take on a sports post which it's hard not to perceive a poisoned chalice.

He follows some heavyweight incumbents – Dick, newspaper chairman Mark Hollinshead (another club standard marathon runner), and former world champion Liz McColgan.

Beattie's designation, however, has changed from that of his predecessors. He is non-executive chair. This may not be Mission Impossible, but is certainly Mission Very Difficult, with no more than four Scots in the Olympic team, and a squad of modest prospects for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Beattie met this observation with typical management speak: "It's challenging and exciting – a good opportunity. I'm looking forward to it."

Dick believed the sport needs sweeping cultural change, but failed to achieve that, and it's clear that frustration over inability to take the sport forward was at the root of his departure which coincided with the announcement of a GB World Indoor Championships team without a single Scot.

"I can't really comment on what Frank did," said Glasgow University graduate Beattie, "though I see some of the structures he started putting in place are fine, and look very positive".

Beattie spent yesterday with scottishathletics chief executive, Nigel Holl, and Stephen Maguire, the new director of coaching, who will start after the Paralympics.

They visited the new national indoor stadium, then crossed the road to Celtic Park, meeting all the sport's headquarters team. "After that, I'm even more enthusiastic about the prospects for athletics," he said. "It's going to take time to get the structures right, and everything in place, but there's a very solid base."

He sees his job as very different from Dick's hands-on style, and said Maguire's role would be very different from that of Steve Rippon and Laurier Primeau, the last two top coaching incumbents.

"My job, and I am very clear on it, is to make sure sport stays focused on what it should be doing, and let the team in place manage that while providing what advice I can. We have a great chance to do things in Scotland and the new director of coaching, whom I met for the first time, is really excited by that opportunity."The director of coaching will be overseeing. He is not going to be coaching individual athletes himself. He will be working with coaches, helping them develop. That's been clearly spelled out to him."

There has been friction in the past between athletes' coaches and the national coach, because some of the former perceived the head coach as a threat, poaching the best talent.

Beattie said he would model his style on his interim chairmanship at sportscotland. "I provided support. I caught up with them once a week, sent emails. I provided guidance, but that was it. And I kept in touch. What I have made clear is that I will do this job in a non-executive way. I'll guide the board. I don't have the time to spend four hours a day. I don't have Frank's coaching background, or anything like that, but I do have probably more of an ability to chair something, to guide and let the team get on with it, set the structure."
He will be phoning Dick, "to thank him, and to pick his brains, but I am keen on look ahead, and get the things in place that we need to do. It's going to be challenging, going to be exciting

---------------------
Hmm

looks like he doesn't have much confidence.

Second article 2014
- makes a bit of a recognition





WHEN Ian Beattie took over from former UK coaching director Frank Dick as chair of scottishathletics, I suggested it might prove to be a poisoned chalice.

Less than 27 months out from the Commonwealth Games, the omens were bleak, with a new director of coaching - the third in under two years - yet to take up office. Yet the four medals harvested from Glasgow 2014 confirm that club marathon and ultra-runner Beattie has succeeded where others with a stronger athletics background fell short. A glimmer of hope or false dawn? Beattie has no doubt it's the former.

Incontrovertible statistics we presented earlier this week showed a disturbing lack of Scots in the upper echelons of UK rankings. I suggested four medals should not blind us to concerns about the sport's overall health. This provoked a flood of data from the governing body, still smarting from an accusation by Dick that scottishathletics had "insufficient performance mindset".

Beattie was "discouraged competely" by that. "There's an absolute drive for perform, and a lack of acceptance we are going to be mediocre," he countered yesterday.

He professes no more than "satisfaction" at the Hampden medal haul: "I sat through all the athletics events and could not relax until Lynsey Sharp got that fourth medal . . . we needed to get that.Sportscotland are very supportive, and there's a good relationship but ultimately we don't want to be going in there trying to explain why we have not delivered on our target."

Funding negotiations and a full review in October could have meant funding cuts. "Sportscotland expect us to deliver, focused on medals, performances in finals, and so on."

Much is linked to participation numbers, which are not necessarily consistent with driving elite performance. Beattie spent six years on sportscotland's management board, four as vice chair, and insists the quango is far less driven by that compared to England, where heads have rolled in governing bodies perceived to have failed.

"I don't think sportscotland have moved as far down the participation line as England, where it's become the be-all and end-all," he adds.

Dick's resignation coincided with the failure of a single Scot to gain inclusion in Britain's World Indoor Championship team. That tide has turned. There are seven Scots at the current European Championship in Zurich, the same as last year's World event and one more than the 2012 Europeans where Lynsey Sharp won gold. "We knew it would be tough for Glasgow," says Beattie, "so I was very keen not to make excuses.

"We knew Glasgow was coming, and we had to focus on our target of more than two medals. We had to try to deliver on that. The fact that we did was satisfying, but we'd like to use that as a launch pad for more. There are some encouraging signs. There were a lot of younger athletes in that squad, with 29 of them 23 or less. The big challenge now is to develop them further. "

Two previous home Games were followed by inferior performances: 1970 (eight medals) with one in 1974; 1986 (six medals) with five in 1990. Beattie acknowledges the challenge is now to avert a repetition. Nothing less than four medals is likely to be acceptable in 2018.

The non-executive chair sings the praises of his full-time staff. Time was when there was a them-and-us attitude to the governing body. Demonstrably Club Together, an initiative launched in early 2012 is changing the face of the sport. Only adopted as yet by a minority of clubs, the effects are dramatic.

"******* there it is.******
 So, make up you're own mind Ian. Ian didn't run those trials, Nigel didn't jump those hurdles and Mark didn't throw the hammer but make no mistake, Scottish Athletics are in avery good place, and that's in part to my husband.


Sunday, 20 December 2015

What Sandra did next

After the disappointment of the Devil I had to re focus and get race head back on.

Ian spotted a new race through by Castle Semple, Hessilhead 10k. It's pretty close to his hometown of Kilbarchan and he knew guy who was organising. So off we went on a beautiful Wednesday night to run a 10k I was pretty unprepared for.

Actually it turned out not too badly and I finished 45.41, a mere 40secs off my PB,  I was pretty happy with that given my lack of speedwork. And it gave me bit of test for Edinburgh Half which was looming large.

Sorry, not Edinburgh Half, its called Scottish half Marathon starts in Wallyford and finishes Musselburgh racecourse. We got a fabulous day for it and its a proper lovely course. Can recommend it highly. I scraped a 3 second PB there, ok its not much but hey, a PB is a PB, I'll take it. although a flat fast tarmac surface is not great training for a trail Marathon. Medal was blingtastic!


2 weeks later & we were heading to Keildor water. Not sure how I got roped into this, sometimes Ian will be tapping away on laptop and suddenly I'll get an email thanking me for entering a race. I think I did agree to this one though. Pretty sure Ian told me it was flatt (ish)  I can tell you that this race is in no way flat. I can barely recall a flat bit of it. I was SO not into it. All week I moaned to Ian saying I wasn't up for a Marathon, so much so that he tried to get me switched to the half to no avail.

However- I loved it! I seemed to get stronger as the race went on. This never happens to me in Marathons, I always fade. I finished in 3.48, no PB but I was 3rd FV & 8th Lady! Been told its about 20 mins slower than a regular Marathon so very happy indeed with that time. I think it's first marathon I've paced well, I ran last 3 miles around same pace as first 3. Tough but beautiful route. Got over finish line and Ian was standing chatting to Steve Cram so I got congratulated from him, told him it was great race and that I'd be back.

Another 2 weeks on & we are enroute to Kinloch Rannoch. Now this race really was a surprise. Ian had spotted it had been resurrected and entered marathon immediately. I didn't and wasn't even planning on going up tbh. As it happens we were in the local pub having dinner on Friday evening chatting about it and I said I'd probably go & support him after all. It was then that he mentioned there was also a half marathon that day. Cue us on phone entering me into the half, well it beats hanging around for hours doing nothing.

Drive up there was lovely. And my goodness, I now understand why Ian has raved about this race. The Marathon started first then we were bussed to halfway point. Was chatting to Gail Murdoch at start & thought that would last time I saw her. To my surprise I kept getting up a hill & seeing her not too far in distance. I knew one girl had shot off and Gail was right behind her. I'd yo yo'd with a girl who kept overtaking me on flat who I'd get back on hills, I ended up getting annoyed with that & pushing on. Didn't see her again but made me aware I was 3rd lady. eek. Now time to push on & make sure I wasn't overtaken and keep Gail in my sights! I did until the last 2mile when she told me she caught sight of a pink vest and took off! lol :)

I finished 3rd lady with another PB. 2015, the year of the PB for me. Not often I'm on podium, loved it. Ian loved being back in full race and also enjoyed it. Stunning route, think this race will be a lot busier next year. Maybe I shouldn't shout about it too much. Sometimes the smaller key races are better, but for it to a success they need more folk.

Wee bit more rest till next race. 3 whole weeks till Jedburgh Ultra. My last race as Sandra McDougall (or so I thought) I'd told Noanie (think I was drunk) that I'd run it in hen gear. Then they announce its being filmed for the Adventure show. wonderful. Noanie & Angela had asked Ian aka Sumsie Squirrel to be official starter & warm up person. He took it a bit more seriously than perhaps normal.

I just wanted to go out & enjoy this race. Having never done it but always wanted to, I had enjoyed an organised (thanks Angela) recce run of 18 miles of it. Only 20 to tag on, should be easy enough. I was running for fun in my hen gear & with my maid of (dis) honour, Susan. Crew extraordinaire. I was interviewed beforehand & asked why I was marrying a chipmunk. lol. we'll see if that makes the cut...

So off we go, Susan as ever apologising for slowing me down. I was really enjoying it, taking in the scenery, what a fabulous time of year to be running a route like that. Bursting full of autumnal magic. Just perfect. Susans hip was bothering her and she admitted to me she was told by docs not to run! so 1st CP she said to me " don't shout at me but I'm stopping" I thought she meant just to pick up stuff then I saw her face. She was in pain. And the right thing for her to do was stop. Damn, I nearly dropped out too. This was meant to a jolly! It was great to have so many friends out on course marshalling, I got lots of hugs and bagfuls of encouragement from random people who loved my outfit and kept asking when big day was.

Oh well, time to push on. For rest of race I just picked people off one by one. I guess taking it easy at start really does pay off, I felt great. Got near to top of first hill and was more than a bit surprised to see Sumsie Squirell up there. Got to top of second hill and had chat with Desiree from adventure show, she asked where my fiancé was. I pointed to hill behind me and said, "on top of that hill dressed as a squirrel"
And off I went. I felt great.
 Until I got to about mile 31. This is where the mind started fighting with the legs. It was at this point I realised it I hadn't ran over 26 miles since WHWrace! not best training really. So on I ran still picking people off with each mile. Finished in 7.28, fairly pleased and still felt good. I'd have happily ran the half next day but we needed to get back to Edinburgh. I was surprised of how good my legs felt given serious lack of training.

 Fast forward a week and its hen party time! I had no idea what we were doing, susan arrived Friday night and only thing I got told was that I was doing parkrun in the morning. So Jedburgh hadn't been last race before wedding after all!

Got down there to find lots of my lovely friends in Santa hats. I managed another PB to end a great year of racing for me, cant complain about that. Jemima had even been secretly training! we all headed to café for tea & scones before heading back hme to get all glammed up for party.

And oh what fun we had! Champagne, cocktails, singing & dancing. Everyone was dressed to the 9's and we partied hard till 4am. Huge thanks to Susan & Gillian for organising and to everyone who came. Brilliant night.

So there it is, I'm pretty pleased how my year went. The goal was sub22 WHW race, the other PB's were just picked up on the way. I think the wedding needs a blog of its own.....

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

When things dont go to plan.

To counteract the last blog title!




Devil of the highlands race. I probably wouldn't have bothered entering had John not taken the race over but I did as soon as he announced it. To be perfectly honest I didn't have my race head on the same as I have for all the races I've done & PB'd at year. And I thought, not unreasonably IMO that it would be an easy PB. Now when I say easy, I know these things never are. It's 42 miles of tough terrain that are damn hard on the feet and legs.


Still, as much as I didn't have *race head* on I was still excited about it. I wanted to go out and enjoy it, despite the weather predictions which were anticipating apocalyptic weather. Ian and I had last ran the route in March and had the most horrendous weather imaginable. Couldn't be any worse than I that so it was game on, weather schmeather.


Ian picked me up straight from work and off we went to Airport to pick up Giacomo, turns out you don't pronounce it jeeeahkomo but as Jackamo! everyday a school day and all that. And off we went to Fort William, the weather was sunny when leaving Edinburgh and got steadily worse the further North we got. Ah well, it was predicted.


We quickly dumped our cases in room and headed down for dinner, sharing a nice bottle of red then getting to bed early in preparation for a 2.50am alarm call. We both slept well which is always a bonus night before a race. I was asked by John to be in charge of the bus to check off names and to make sure we left on time (4am sharp) so we got to station about 4.45 but no bus. He did arrive soon enough and I checked everyone on, at 4am I jumped out to check if anyone else was coming and indeed we had someone sprinting along road who got on just in time.


It was lovely drive down, seeing the light change the landscape.


Arrived at Tyndrum to find lots of excited folk and lots of friends handing out hugs. It didn't feel like 5am in morning. Collected number, did drop bag stuff then John did his briefing. He said there might be weather. Quick kiss to Ian to wish him luck and we were off.  Couple of miles in I caught up with Stuart Chalmers and ran all way to Bridge of Orchy with him. time passes so quickly when you're chatting away, we didn't notice the miles go by.  I know I delighted him with my singing and that probably spurred him onto his PB ;)


He shot up the hill, cant think why. I soon caught up with Ian who was chatting to David Greig up and over JBH. Coming down into Inveronan I started feeling twinges in front of my ankle. Slight panic thinking it was stupid ankle injury coming back but I ploughed on towards Rannoch moor anyway in hot pursuit of Ian. By time I was on Rannoch ankle was ok, mile or so later the ball of my left foot started hurting. I ignored it. This was the same problem  had back at start of year. Every time I upped my mileage or tried long runs I got same problem. The week before Donnies training camp in Spain in March I was ready to pull out thinking I couldn't run at all. It slowed me down a bit but not hugely, I was still making good progress and on target for 3 hrs at Glencoe which was all part of plan. Unfortunately it was also hurting more the minute. abut mile and half out of glencoe I started to walk to see if it would help, it didn't. It just meant I was hobbling. So I took off running again, getting passed by few folk whom I'd passed earlier. I kept swapping places with Alan Doig & Col Barber nearly all way over Rannoch.  I thought my race was over and decided to just pull out at Glencoe.


Of course I get into *that* Checkpoint to be first of met by Sharon Law, Then Lucy C,then Debs M-C. Oh and of course Paul G. How can I pull out at a checkpoint manned by the top Ultra runners in Scotland/UK? I got a hug off Paul took 2 paracetamol and zipped up my man suit. Whether it was a placebo effect or I just wanted to get away from them so they didn't see me hobble I motored it out of there. Lorna & Noanie were at road crossing and I told them of my woes, they told me Ian was just ahead and I could go catch him. So off I went, not feeling so confident. Caught up with Mel Sinclair on road to Kingshouse , she'd be having breathing issues and had nearly pulled out too. So on we went trying to man up. I could see Ian's red t-shirt in distance and kept focusing on that instead of the pain I was feeling. I'd gone ahead of Mel when she was walking a bit at Kingshouse to eat something but she caught me with about a mile to go till bottom of Devils staircase. I was hobbling a bit and in fair bit of pain and she gave me stronger painkiller to see if it would help. tbh by that point I had decided I was quitting. Too much pain to do another 21 miles over highest point of course.


I hobbled towards Altnafaed to be met with shouts of encouragement from Ruth Howie. I told her I was pulling out and bless her she tried to persuade me otherwise. When she realised my mind was made up she put me in her car and gave me jacket to keep warm. Then she ran me to Fort William even though she was heading to Kinlochleven to support Angela. What a star.


I called John & Lorna to let them know I was out and safely rescued and headed up to hotel for a bath.


The it was off to finish line to cheer everyone in. I actually felt ok about my decision up until about Sunday night/Monday morning. 2 things. I had DOMS like I'd ran the whole damn thing, and my foot felt like it was improving.  Does that mean I didn't just tough it out? I don't know.


I  walked about 8miles altogether on Monday and ball of foot was still sore.  I was running by Tuesday & it was still tender but better. I now wonder if it's down to lack of trail running since WHWrace. Working where I am now (Heriot Watt)it's 8 miles exactly from house, quickest route is along canal. Maybe my feet have got less tough? I wasn't prepared to go through another couple months trying to fix it like I did January/Feb. so maybe I did do right thing. Now that I'm seeing all the pics & blogs it does make it hurt bit more. Hey ho, I need to slap a smile back on and get on with things.


It goes to show that you just never know how a race will go, I've been very lucky this year and I need to focus on the positives. In meant time I guess we have a wedding to plan, maybe I'll go all bridezilla with all this time on my hands ;)

Things are sent to test you

Well I ended my last blog with - London's Calling And calling it was. My first London Marathon, THE Marathon,  the only one that matt...