Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Review > July

July was full of thrlls n spills hot weather and downpours. I carried on doing my long runs, staying marathon fit. Had Susan up to stay when she was at t in park got bit derunk.Saw my idols Duran Duran in Concert@ Edinburgh castle,got a bit derunk, got to spend time with thelovely Paula who was up from Londontown in engerlundshire to see them too :) got a bit derunk.

Oscar died :( he was our goldfish and we had him for 10yrs, he is now buried in back garden with a wee fish shaped plaque made by my big bro Alan.

Then i had a crazy crazy 7 days. ......

It all started on Saturday night, i waited on Flip arriving before even sipping on any alcohol. He arrived about half 8, wine was opened (and beer) and chinese ordered, we clearly had to carb load for the next few days...

at 3.15am Flip said to me, so what time is the Fetch Mile tomorrow, 1pm? I said no, it's at 11am. He said errm, maybe we should think about going to bed then.So we did.

UP at 8.30, bag packed, kit on, ready to rock n roll. Arrived at track to find a posse of Fetchies mucho hugs and smiles and mostly cluthing various cakes n stuff. I was told by CT to take it easy on Mile as i'd few calf issues during week and had been resting since tuesday. So i did, and i got shouted at for chatting on way round, Soph said i clearly wasn't working hard enough if i could yak yak on mile race Got halfway round 2nd lap and my shoelace came undone, had to stop and re-tie it, muppet. Eventually crossed line in 7.13, i'd probably have PB'd if i'd not stopped to tie lace.

But i wasnt too bothered, there were grand things ahead on a grand scale, and no i don't mean drinking.

Although we did all head to pub once everyone was fully caked up. Quick drink in beer garden then it was off to supermarket for supplies.All Flip cared about was buying coffee, i thought it would be wise to also buy some food, so we did. Accosted a random at till who was wearing a tri t shirt, found out she knew Jules and we demanded she join fetch. I suspect she ran to the hills fast and will never be seen again...

Then we headed off on our scenic Journey to Braemar, and to check into my first ever stay in a Youth Hostel. Arrived to find Llamadance and the artist formally known as ribenaface (more on that later) already there, quickly followed by Soph then Karen.Andy was last to arrive and the Braemar bunch was 3/4 complete.....

We checked into our rooms, one for the boys, one for the girls. Laughed at Soph when she unpacked then headed into *town* to explore. It took us about 5 mins to discover there was one pub, one chippy, one shop etc etc. I made grand plans to move there and open up a pub, watch this space.

So after much discussion (ie-2 secs or so) we went to pub. Had several drinks and laughs before deciding we were all hank marvin.We'd passed a chippy on way down, the smells were incredible, people were sitting outside eating and it looked so so good. We were all excitedly looking forward to tucking into a massive portion of fish n chips...
Part 2. 8pmgate

I was lagging behind and didn't make it inside the chippy before Andy came storming out saying it was closed. Eh? closed? it was 8 pm ffs, cant possible be closing at 8pm. Oh, yes it can it would seem! Actually, it wasn't even 8pm, it was 7.55, so even though they *said* it closed at 8pm, they decided they werent serving us, the excuse being *we've served thousands of people today!*

8pm ffs.

Andy, the schoolteacher rebel that he is stormed back up to the blackboard and wiped off the time. lol. Well, no problem, we'll just go back to the pub and order a bar supper. ha ha, guess what, they finish serving at 8pm, and it actually *was* 8 pm by then.That's ok, we passed a wee bistro cafe type, we'll go there. Oh no we wont, guess what....

After asking just where the fuck we *could*eat, we were directed up a hill so off we schlepped. It took us past the famous Braemar highland games ground, you know the one where you always see pics of the Queen and Billy Connolly? I'll bet the queen wouldnt get friggin turned away for fish n chips at FIVE to eight...Anyway, i digress, we got the said place and although they were clearly the rebls of braemar, daring to serve food after 8pm, we decided to was too posh for us smelly lot who's been in running clothes all day.

Back to YH for a quick dinner thrown together with funny looks from other residents. Wasn't long before we managed to clear every room we went into, the other residents were unwedging the doors and keeping them firmly shut, and it wasn't because we smelt.

Part 3- Scabby Queen conquers all

After the Braemar bastards witheld all food stuff from us, we pulled together a gourmet meal in kitchen then headed through to Lounge to see all the fetch mile photies which had kindly been uploaded by Lorraine we had bit of laugh there and after not making nearly enough noise to move everyone we went back to dinning room to play cards. Soph was squealing everyitme someone bent the cards and talking to them as if they were kids (they had pics of birds on them) She cheated at every game we played, except cheat. Scabby queen was so funny i actually thought that Soph was going to spit up her lungs, she cheated the entire game and still got it wrong.

She wasn't however scabby queen, that accolade goes to Ribenaface, who we've demanded that he change his name to scabbyqueenribenafacedloser

Snap was suggested as next game, but Andy had a *better* game, called snap, crackle and pop. OMG i was glad when i got booted out of game before my head went snapcrackipopsickle (it's ony 3 words you know) Llama is apparently going to teach his kids it today, i'm sure they'll all be in tears by days end...

So, the lightweights ie- everyone except me & Karen went off to bed and we headed back to lounge where we managed to decant a lone person quietly reading. We headed up to bed about 1am, and noticed said guy sitting in hallway with headtorch on readin his book! lollers. Got into room only to be confronted by searchlight in our faces, aaaaargh, oh it's only Soph with her davylamp on the top bunk! dont ask..

It was like sleepovers all over again as me , Karen and Soph giggled and talked until i crashed, and Lintie snored.

Morning was toast, lots of tea and kitted up as Gav & Ian arrived to complete the Braemar Bunch....

Part 4 - The Big One

Andy gathered us all together and gave us a talking to. Told us our route, how far, what do do if we get lost (panic) etc ,there were no sharp intakes of breath so he seemed happy that we were happy and off we went. (oh, i was wearing my kilt,when in Braemar and all that...)

The first 4 miles were fairly flat trails towards an incredible old lodge which is sadly boarded up, maybe i'll buy it and open that pub i talked about.... then the hills started. Unfortunately i cant remember any of the names except the *big one*, you'll need to read Lintie's blog for details, all i know is that i thought i'd been on a hill run before and clearly i was deluded.

I thought i'd climbed quite high and loved to show off my elevation charts to show how high i'd climbed, i was deluded. lol We had everything thrown at us, moss, heather, trails, stony paths, tree roots,rivers(somehow i managed to stay dry ) tracks, and big fuck off massive rocks. We also had every weather front thrown at us, sunshine to start the day, rainshowers, gale force winds quickly followed by sunshine again. Marvellous. srsly.

We saw an array of Wildlife. ok, we saw a frog and a dog. But hey, maybe we scared the others off, wouldn't you be?I actually found the climb up and over the *big one* -Ben MacDhui 2nd highest mountain in Britain ) bizarrely easier than the first not so high one! couldve helped with me & Gav singing sclub7 songs on way up....

As we descended Ben MacDhui we came across huge expanses of snow and i sore cheeks and sore belly from laughing so much, it wasn't just the girls screaming out with glee. What fun we had, Me & Karen did snow Angels and flip took pictures up my kilt. We had snowball fights and skied without skies and snowboarded without snowboards, proper srs fun.

The rest of the descent down was great, i really rather enjoyed it, was so funny as you always knew when someone stepped into a *secret* bog Flip was amazing on this part and flew down that mountain like a bat out of hell! Once we were back on undulating ground, there *were* no flats. My ankle started to niggle, i'd got stuck between 2 rocks and pulled it out with great force clearly pulling something, At last stop i took couple painkillers and before long i was flying.

Literally. I'd stopped to tie my lace (recurring them here?) and everyone carried on as usual, next thing i'm face down in the heather, bashing my knees big time, i was yelping and shouting heyeeelp, come back, dont leave me. But mouthfulls of heather prevented anyone hearing me, just as i picked myself off ground my phone bloody rang! no reception all weekend and it an unknwn number who hung up when i answered ffs.

I ran on round corner to find Gav waiting on me, he'd noticed it had gone quiet! hahaha , i whimpered,showed him my knee , got some sympathy and we ran on.

Caught up with Karen, told her about my fall, and she said to me *oh there's lots of those tree route parts on WHW, you just need to..* whack! down she went

hmm, not do *that* i presume

The last 3 miles i got a huge burst of energy and was at the front for most of it, maybe it was knowing we were near end or just the whole experiance was uplifting me, i dunno, but running through the foresty bit with Lintie hot on my heels was brilliant, just brilliant.

We got to the carpark and Flip soon had the boot open offering round the ridiculously freakily chilled beers as we all toasted a truly magical day of Mountain running, fetchy style.

Part5 > Lodgers

We were staying the Second night at Mar Lodge Estate, what a beautiful place.
It was huge, loads rooms, massive kitchen with massive table, separate dining room, drying room for shoes bikes etc, lounge, 2 bathrooms. fabulous. And outside tables for us to drink champagne and beer at, how kind.

Talking of which, we got back to find JulesR patiently waiting on us we gave him sweaty hugs then went off to have showers. Geroge and Jane arrived clutching bottles of champers & gin! Huge squashy hug from LD and he nearly broke my ickleribs and my feet were dangling like rag doll We drank pink champagne in the glorious sunshine and laughed and talked over our amazing day.

Give conflab was had re- food and we decided to give the braemar bastards a chance to redeem themselves. Flip got on phone and ordered 10 portions fish n chips and Jules tore off with Soph & RFSQL to collect them, he managed to find the one and only chippy for miles and miles and even found his way back with a massive box of food which we all dived in gratefully to.We were all sat round this massive table and it was probably only quiet time for whole weekend!

Then we all went through and vegged out on sofa drinking some more,chilling out to music and laughing a lot. We were all quite predictably pooped and in bed for around midnight quite sensibly.

Tuesday brought more sunshine and blue skies, and the Braemar Bunch had 2 new runners in form of Jules & Jane.Karen was first up as LD was back to work, i was up not long after at 7am and we sat and did some homework about bremar (bastard) and Mar Lodge in partiicular. Lintie clearly did'nt listen as i was reading the book out as she said it has flooded twice.I beg to differ, it's been burnt down twice and flooded once, pay attention missy, 100 lines if you please....

This was a more sedate day with *only* around 2000ft of climbs and various mileage for people wanting to do less.As he struggled through the high heather on the first hill someone spotted a deer, we all turned round and before we knew it, were all in full forces of *doe, a deer, a female deeer, ray a drop of golden sun* how apt, srsly,it was boiling hot. Me, a name i call myself, far, a long long way to run. The song was made for us. totally. It's now the Braemar bunch theme tune.

Jane and Karen headed off after about 3 miles to head back for what was meant to be a 6 mile loop but ended up doing 8. I said i wanted to do no more than 10 as i only have 5 days til my first Ultra so Jules said he'd go back with me at my cut off and the rest who are hardcore headed off for more bogs, hills n heather with plans of a 15miler.

I *still* managed to stay dry when everyone else seemed to get wet, silly people.

So off me & Jules went with instructions from the master as to where we were heading. "follow the trail, once you come off the hill turn right and follow the road, then turn left, bingo, 10 miles"

off we went. Got to bottom of hill, "This way" says Jules "you sure" i say? "yes, yes i'm sure, c'mon lazy" or something...

So i followed Jules, cause he's a man, and men know it all, dont they? We ran along in the glorious sunshine, wonderingwhy we'd*lost* the river, then it reappeared again, then we lost it again, then i started to.(lose it) I looked at my garmin and was alarmed to see 12 miles. errrm, we should be home, i should have a cold glass of wine in my hand by now, surely?

But we weren't, and i didn't

Suddenly my phone bursts into life! txt after txt, one asking how the mile went, eh? the mile? that was weeks ago wasnt it? oh,ok maybe it was only 2 days ago. I t felt like weeks ago already. A few days without phone or net access and you lose all sense of time & reality. Seeing my phone now had life, we decided to try and call Andy, or Flip, or Gav, or anyone, just anyone who'd get a bloody signal! nope, not a chance.

So after i stamped my feet and refused to go *any further up that damn hill* we turned round back the way we came.Then, all of a sudden... wooohoooo people, real life people were approaching on bikes! We contemplated stopping them, bashing them over the head and stealing the bikes. But we decided against that and asked them if we were on right track. Yes we were he assured us kindly.

Off we ran, me stopping every so often to whinge, Jules pulling my pigtails to get me going again and singing to me. Before too long we found the bridge, we found the cottages, we found all the landmarks the nice bike man told us about and we knew were nearly home.

We got back 10 mins before the others, doing a total of 14.9 miles. lol.

The End-

Got back to find a *dear John* note from Karen & Jane, they had left us *sob* and gone home. It was then that i realised it was coming to an end and i was a little sad. Jules kindly made me a cup of tea and a schlepped off for a much needed shower.

As i was in the shower i kept hearing strange noises coming from our bedroom, as i approached it i thought perhaps a wild bear had been caught and tied up under the bed. But it was only Soph. lol

I lay on bed for about 10 mins then got my act together and went out to join the boys, who were sitting in the sunshine drinking beer, a recurring theme for the weekend. I had wine. Then we decided we needed food and before you know it pizza and garlic bread was whipped up and we were sitting round table, drinking copious amounts of tea and eating. Ribenafacedscabbyqueenloser is as much a tea jenny as me

I remember IanS saying to me one time that he'd never do over half marathn distance, well he proved himself wrong this weekend for sure, he was brilliant, well done Ian! Pics are marvellous too.

As usual Gav& Jules made me smile with thier funny ways, both sang songs with me and made me smile. Steve was his usual self and we had loads of laughs. Soph, well, lost for words...Ribenafacedscabbyqueenloser is a lovely lovely guy and great runner, i somehow kept catching up with him and ran bits n bobs with him.Jane, your a wee star, champagne fulled and hitting those hills you say you hate so much! Karen, i know this was an emotional journey for you, your such an inspiration to me, thanks for being you. Flip, your rock, big time. We had so much fun and your (literally) carried me many times over the weekend.Hope i've not forgotten anyone, i know this sound like an oscar speech but i feel we bonded up those Mountains!

Then it was time to go,Steve and IanS went off, then Gav, then me & Flip leaving Andy and RFSQL with Mar lodge to themselves.

Andy, your a complete and utter star, thank you so much for
1. not telling anything about what we were about to embark on
2. taking time to plan it all
3. being you.

A mere 6 days later...

make me an Ultra runner......

It all started back in January, i'd came down to London for Debs 21st birthday party and inbetween i made special effort to finally go meet Jen, at long last! 10 mins in her (much battered) company and i'd agreed to running an Ultra. 10 whole mins. well done Jen.

So there it was, the gaunlet thrown down, but back then i'd never ran on a trail before, ever, nor a hill, well yes, plenty hills in Edinburgh, tarmaccy ones,not *real* hills. How my life had changed so much in 7 short months.....

Saturday morning i was up and off to airport with spring in my step and instructions in my bag, i somehow managed to get myself safely to SW19 and quickly found Jen and Pot.Straight to the pub behind us, good call i reckon! I was starving and so were they luckily. I'd deliberately booked BA because they feed you, i'd paid £20 extra over sleazyjet, all i got was a friggin cereal bar. not.happy.

Anyhow, forget BA, its all about me dontachknow. Waggamammas was suggested for lunch and i delighted, we dont have onein Edinburgh although i believe there is one in the weej. Had really lovely lunch and sufficiently carb loaded on noodles i reckon , and wine, of course...

We didn't have any plans and Jen was keen to show me some sights, i was less keen. Much as i want to see lots of london, and i do. It had been a terribly tiring week, see previous blogs if you dont know why! By time we left waga's and got home it wasn't really an option anyway. We decided to veg out, Jen tried to show me the dodgy Wii box she'd just sold me and i annoyed the cats and laughed at the hamsters.

Roasted prawn and mushroom jus (sorry, in joke, very clique us lot) was soon off menu and italian round corner which i'd commented on looking rather nice was chosen for dinner destination. More carb loading, more wine, and off home we went. Jen kept taking me different routes home to confuzzle my brain. We stopped off for ice cream, for 2 nd time that day i might add, and had some when we got home.

It's most icecream i've eaten all yr, srsly. oh, i had another bottle of wine too. We (they) faffed around getting everything ready so they could spend an extra 5 mins in bed,and i settled down on my custom built santasofa. Woke up feeling really hot to find cat on head, gently took it off head (Jen will read this remember) and fell asleep, woke up feeling hot again, 2nd cat on head, hmm. Rest of night they just lay beside me purring and digging thier sharp claws into me, lovely cats. honest.

wakey wakey! i was up and drinking tea by time the pot & Jen ventured downstairs moaning about the time, before long we were on train and heading towards errm, actually, ive no idea! fuck. somewhere on the south downs! there

We arrived and headed off for trek towards start......


So, i got across to the line to many cheers from many lovely people with lots of hugs and i felt really quite emotional, i felt even more emotional when i was handed a bag, for my messages (scots talk..) no tshirt, no medal (yeah, i knew that already, i know!) just a bag, and a cup of water. meh.

Sloped off to get blood cleaned up as it looked pretty awful, and Ruth mothered me and got me plasters, she's in practise remember.. Then i had my vodka, which i hadnt had halfway round as planned lol, Ruth provided the apple juice, mothering again...

We cheered in everyone and everyone started to disperse to pub, i promised i'd join them once Joopsy and Jen were in.When team Flinky got in they said they'd seen Max out on the course, i said *max71?* yes they said, lol, of all the downs, in all the world....
Lovely to see Joopsy come round corner and his boys run in with him, he was having time of his life, well done Joopers. Big hug to him and he said *i've got something for you* and disapears to his car.

He reappears and ickle Joopsy had something behind his back, suddenly he produced a big shiny home made medal! just for me! how special did i feel? What a wonderfully thoughtful thing to do , thank you so much Joospy and your lovely boys.

Now it was time to wait on Jen, once i spotted her i took off to join her for last lap (well half of it at least) she came in strong as ever with big smile on face. Quick change then it was off to pub for drinks, chips, hugs , laughs and Max71! If you could've seen her face when she walked in and saw me! She expected Jen, Kinky, Flanks etc, all the usual ultragods but no me, & not Siouxsie, lol it was funny, and great to see her too. We've roped her & Team Flinky into a plan we have for some peaks..

Goobyes were said, hugs again and before long were were heading back to SW19, Jen calld me Ultrasanta for the rest of my stay i still dont feel like an ultrarunner, i dont feel worthy really, not when i know how far *real* ultra runners run..

Huge thanks to the mini fetchpoint, Ruth,Sioux,Hendo, Macc, what a joy to see you, what a boost at 27miles, you've no idea how much of a boost! Tpot and Lizzie, you were stars

Huge thanks to Jen & Tpot for thier hospitality for providing a santasized sofa, and making sure i had teabags

These last few paragraphs are dedicated to the girl who got it all started, who one day i hope to run even half as far as she can.


  1. That was 2 coffees worth of reading!! Happy memories you ultra runner you.X

  2. That is possibley the longest blog I have ever sat still long enough to read and i loved every bit of it, you are a fantastic little lady xxxx



This could be a long blog, but 100 miles is a long way. I've always had a pull to this race for various reasons. I've heard many g...