Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Santababy One- Santa Express Nil

I blogged recently about the Santa Express not only nearly running me down but wooshed on past me and left me sadly trailing. Well not today it didn't, i got onto Princes street and saw it just ahead and decided i was going to catch it. So i did, then i ran alongside it with kids waving at me and parents laughing at me til i passed it and waved to driver, lol

Then i spotted some Reindeer, no kidding. Right in middle of Princes street so i stopped to take a pic, broke my heart actually. Look at them, they should be Dancing & Prancing, not lolling around looking bored out their minds :(
Anyway, off i went back in pursuit  of Santa Express, which was powered by Petrol i presume because the reindeer are locked up on Princes st. I caught it again and had the kids saying *there's that lady again*  Not often i get called a lady ;) So i waved  regal stylee again and took off into distance.

This morning i was out running and i passed a guy who was on his way to his car,  stopped in middle of road and stared at me.I said "Good Morning" and he said "i cant believe you're out at this time running" When i said I'd already done nearly 3 miles by then and still had 4 to go (think it was about 6am) he looked at me like I'd escaped from somewhere secure. Then he said "in this weather too, dressed like that!" (it was raining, i had shorts n Tshirt on) It's funny how something so normal to us is alien to others. I guess I'd have thought exact same before i started running.

Been very busy past few weeks with Christmas Lunches on at work, present shopping, present delivering, present wrapping and Jemima having her 30th Birthday in between all that. Had lovely meal with J & Thel last week who's birthday is day before, so we had lots of pressies to swap. Great to catch up with both as ever, we're all so busy it's difficult to try and get a date we can all meet.

It would seem everywhere recently got a dumping of snow except Edinburgh, we got a smattering but nothing to write home about, or play in for that matter. This time last yr we were knee deep in it and i loved it. Been pretty icy here instead which makes for treacherous/dangerous running of a morning.
Ive avoided the canal on those morning and tried to stick to well lit areas where it will be meltier (real word) but still get some scare black ice/comedy/heart stopping moments when you think you're going to see your feet fly past your head!
Ive somehow managed to avoid falling just yet *touches head*

On Sunday it was a beautiful winters day, crisp cold and clear so we decided to head up Craiglockheart hill to catch amazing views in the winter sunshine, just 4 miles done which was enough for Ian to stay in Marcothon.

Righto, must get organised, Carol Concert tonight where we get to sing along to every 2nd one with Choir aka Christmas karaoke ;)

Happy Running Folks, stay safe.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Going Clubbing

not that kind, the dance round you're handbag, wave your hands in the air kind or even the bash a poor baby seal over the head kind.

No, I'm talking about running club of course.

Norma is club secretary and then some. This year she's done 2 Marathons and 3 Ultra's, she has 2 jobs and does an awful lot of work for the club.
She turned 60 yesterday and although we all danced night away at her party on Saturday, last night we (we, as in the club) all got together to run Norma's 60th Hill of the year in the Pentlands.  Goodness knows what made her count them all but count them she did, maybe she's been taking tips off Ian? He counts a lot, in fact he counted everyone in pub tonight, just because.

Anyway, we turned up at meeting point to find around 40 Lycra clad, headtorch, fluorescent runners all waiting to run, shows how popular Norma is i reckon. Quick warning about the ice and off we went. Route was Harlaw to bottom of Harbour hill and back, when we were about half there the fireworks burst in the sky. Iain M had ran on ahead and hid in hills waiting on the snake of lights coming towards him. Almost went over on bum watching it light up sky, pathway was very icy and very precarious and need careful footing. Once we arrived and last fireworks were off we all had quick toast to Norma of either sloe gin or whisky, some flapjacks & brownies and off we went back down to Harlaw car park into the icy wind.

Quick drink back at pub where Norma for even more Birthday cake then back for late dinner. Think might've persuaded her to enter WHW next yr ;)

It was teeny celebration for me too as that particular run took me to 2001 miles for the year. Crazy drookit windy run today tops it to 2006. Been bit of crazy day watching Scotland slowly close down due to bit of wind and rain to be honest. Funnily enough i didn't see anyone else when out running this morning, by time i got to work it looked like i'd been for a swim much to the amusement of my staff.

Who says us runners are daft?

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Santa mown down by train shocker

Ok, I'm being melodramatic here by it might well have been the headlines tomorrow

Running home along a closed off Princes street minding my own business and i suddenly heard odd noise behind me. Looked round to find Santa Express closing in and kids waving a rather manic fashion, clearly wanting to see me mown down in my prime. (Yes, i am in my prime actually)
So i stepped aside and let it fly past me. Ok it might well have chucked along slowly and i might've tried and failed to keep up with it. What can i say, I've never claimed to be Paula.

Been avoiding the canal path this week due to icy conditions and sticking to roads where at least it's a bit meltier, therefore a tad safer. Seems Edinburgh has escaped fairly lightly and we were  about minus one about 5.30am when i left to run.
 And I've slightly redeemed by 4 days of slothlike behaviour by doing 18 miles in last days, go me etc.

Seeing as the Christmas tree is up, and Amazon have started delivering parcels to me(courtesy of the old man obviously) >>

I think it's time to pop some pressies under the tree, hurrah.

Monday, 5 December 2011

It's been a while....

I seem to have lost it. My blogging mojo that is, maybe i should go back to rambling on about nothing on a daily basis like i used to. Quite often i'm running to/from work and i think "oh i must blog about that" then totally forget all about it.
So i started a blog to then i deleted it as i was boring myself. So i've shortened it a bit.

We've been to Gran Canaria for a week
- Superb holiday. I'd go as far as saying near perfect.

ran 144miles in Nov, not too bad considering i didn't do more than 5k day on holiday

Been to Sunday Mail Sports Award, brilliant night.If you looked closely enough you'd have spotted us at table in front of stage ;)

Went to see We will rock you, superb.

Went down to Newcastle game at weekend to see them lose 3-0, score flattered Chelski i reckon.

On windiest day of year so far, Ian decided it would be good idea to run up Craiglockheart, Braid & Blackford Hills, i actually got blown over,  twice.

I started the anti Marcothon purely by mistake by running 6 miles on 1st then nothing at all for 4 days due to life getting in the way and a big load of lazyitis,but i'm cool with that. 8miles this morning to work blew off the cobwebs.

And that's about it.
 I've actually been really super busy and been enjoying life an awful lot, maybe that's why i dont have time to blog so much.

S'all Good :o)

Oh, how could i forget. I got a place in WHW race for next year

Monday, 7 November 2011

End of School Party

That's what the general feel of Glen Ogle Ultra had about it.  I had no clue of what to expect from this race at all, except for the fact that we ran across that big Viaduct and followed a few cycle paths. Must be flat route then i thought. hmmm

After arriving through the fog we soon found a gaggle of Ultra runners, all the usual suspects were there, some in kilts. It really was a bit of a party mood. We picked up our numbers from the ever smiley Julie, who seems omnipresent at Ultras these days.
Although the forecast was for weather to be pretty damn perfect at 8am it was pretty damn cold so i decided to start off in my jacket, buff and gloves. Here's me sandwiched between Chris & Ian, i appear to the the incredibly shrinking girl and look like i belong in Gulliver's Travels, never mind Glen Ogle.

Again at the start i look like a Lilliput reject.....

Wasn't too long before I'd stripped down to my vest though, it's ok, i kept my shorts on too. Not knowing the course and with it being an *odd* distance i had no real expectations of time, i was just out to enjoy the scenery and savour the last ultra of the year. And wow, what scenery.

I ran for a bit with Mark Keddie who was chatting to another bloke. Mark took off wee while later and i was left with other bloke. Turns out he is new race Director of Highland Fling. Hello John if your reading this. The climb up to where this pic was taken was brutal, didn't stop Yakhunter running past us walking up it though.

We ended up running the entire race together, yakking pretty much the whole way.He did make me laugh a few times when asking (when crossing viaduct) if this had been an old railway. That was joke of day after that.  The miles just ticked along nicely and i adored the forest section even though it was bit slippy in parts. I'd worn road shoes instead of trail ones and for most of it that was fine, just couple wee bits in forest that i nearly ended up on bum.  The sun had been on our backs as we headed out and as we descended down the Glen into the fog the temperature took bit of dip, we were soon climbing again though and back up towards the sunshine.  We came back down towards road from forrest quicker than expected, clearly neither of us are good at maths or our brains werent functioning when trying to work out how far we had left to run.  As we crossed the viaduct again we were slowly passing random people here and there. Passed Colin Knox and told him off for going off too fast again but i think he'd hurt his foot somewhere along way.

Route was great as were the Marshall's, only one point where we got bit confused was the upside down arrow, neither me not John wanted to make the decision that may or not get us lost so we waited til more runners came along. Soon enough another 5 or so came along, no one else had clue either, lol. Map out, still clueless. Decision made to go right and off we went. Met Kerry from Strathearn Harriers here, her words were "it better be bloody right way or I'll cry"   We ran together for bit and i found out it was her first Ultra, she had a determined head on and was doing great, determined not to stop. Another guy was with us around here who'd ran whole way, impressive. I walked as soon as i saw a hill. Don't tell Ian though, he told me to run whole way :o/
About 3 miles from the end Lorna caught us up, she said she'd been chasing us for miles and was happy to eventually catch us. We all stayed together til the end. As we saw the the last arrow pointing up a hill the general consensus was *fuck* but it was only a teeny hill which led to a lovely downhill where we saw 2 Marshall's pointing us across a bridge and warning us it was slippy. It wasn't just slippy, it was shooogly too. Love this pic where I'm holding on for dear life but it actually looks like I'm stopping Lorna & John from going past me!
Nice wee downhill sprint and we made it finish. 5hr 4mins. I guess if i hadn't faffed around taking pics and we hadn't waited on other runners we'd have got under 5 but i wasn't too bothered tbh.

Pub was jumping when we arrived for soup & drinks, and it was nice to chat properly to Kerry and congratulate her on her first Ultra, she was a bit cheerier by then ;)  Great to catch up with everyone in pub, everyone seemed to be of same view, great race, great scenery, and i reckon most will be back for more next year.

Superb Race, a must do. Well done Bill & Mike and all the marshalls.

Oh, and it wasn't flat....nope

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Too busy to blog?

I could use that excuse. I mean, I'm up at 5am run to work which has been pretty damn busy of late. But if truth be told I'm just too lazy. Yesterday i had to hot foot it to meeting in Linlithgow,checked with Ops Manager if i could come in running gear and he said yes. So all the other managers turn up in suits and theres me in hot pink vest and shorts. We were provided with usual tea/coffee/water etc and the most enormous pieces of cake ever. When i commented to chef who brought it through he told me i clearly needed feeding! cheeky bugger.

I somehow managed to clock up 207miles in October. I guess starting on the 1st with a 30mile run on WHW was good footing, if you'll excuse the pun. That was meant to be last long run before Glen Ogle but i ended up doing to Linlithgow to Edinburgh run to, just because. Looking back on training log that's 4th time this year I've gone over 200miles so i reckon I'll at least equal last years mileage but after Glen Ogle there are no plans at all really.

Weekends have been super hectic of late, Richie & Helen's wedding last weekend was just superb. Everything from the lovely service to the food and the ceilidh band were just superb.Honeymoon was kept a big secret, i do hope Helen hasn't left it to Richie or she'll be sleeping in some bothy in the wilderness somewhere. I think you'll agree they look supremely happy.

Managed to find myself a fabulous pair of shoes to go with my dress, most people were dubious I'd be able to walk in them little less dance. Oh ye have little faith.

With them being brand new though i decided i should pack a
comfortable pair to wear should i need them later.  I managed from 9am til about 8ish i think, had about 3 ceilidh dances in them then decided that if i wanted to run in morning then I'd best go for more sensible option so i nipped upstairs to and changed.

It wasn't my shoes that caused the problems though, it was Ian's, we danced so much that his soles fell off! lol He took them to the concierge who went into his little room and glued them together again, but no luck. Luckily Ian had shoes upstairs he could change into, no not my red ones, just a plain black pair. Although if we followed the priest's advice during the service he'd have came back wearing the red ones...

Many many dances later and many drinks later plans were made, goodbyes were said and we all headed off to bed. Most of the gang were meeting at 11am to run but because Ian was heading off to see the boys we decided to run at 9am before heading back for breakfast. It was an stunning morning and we had a glorious 5 miles along St Andrews beach before heading back for breakfast.

This was the view from breakfast room, pretty amazing.

Pretty Amazing weekend in fact. Many Congratulations Mr&Mrs Cunningham and thank you for letting us share your special day.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Karma Chameleon

Last Thursday as i sat in my office with it's big windows, gazing out into St Andrew's Square i thought. Wow, what a beautiful day. Yes it was a bit baltic but it was a beautiful winters day, sun shining in the bluest sky. Lovely. In fact in was a lovely day for a run, a long run. I'd already ran to work but kept it at a short 4.5miles because i'd been lured along to club run by a Gav on Wednesday night with the promise of Intervals and *around8miles* in total.

8 miles in total turned into 10.8 miles, with 3xmile intervals. Was great run though, but meant we didn't get home til 9.30, and still had to eat. Late for school night.

So thats why i only did 4 miles. And it was dark, pitch black dark. As it is every morning of course. Hence my longing for blue skies and sunshine. So i pushed my luck a little and mailed my Ops Manager to see if any chance of Friday off. Luckily my luck didn't need pushed  too far and i secured Friday off. Bonza.  Plan formed in my head to get train to Linlithgow on Friday then run back, in the glorious winter sunshine.

Had worked a bit late so took staff out for couple drinks then met Ian for dinner and few more drinks. Well i was off next day after all!  No lie in for me, holiday or not/ Up in morning and opened curtains expecting my glorious sunshiny winters day to find the trees swaying erratically and rain battering window.  Best Laid plans and all that.

Oh well, i'm no fair weather runner lets face it. Ian was being lazy and taking car in so i got lift into town then headed to train station for my wee  train trip to Linlithgow. 20mins later i was at canal, buffed up , gloved up and jacketed up. Half a mile later i was down to my vest. Obviously not *just* my vest, i had shorts on too.

Typical Scottish weather gave me, drizzles, wind and sunshine. But it was altogether quite pleasant weatherwise that is. I'd forgotten how tough a flat long run is.  Flat canal runs just start to do your head in after a while. It was fairly muddy and wet right up til i escaped West Lothian then the paths become dry and easy to run on. Not that i'm  prejudiced towards Edinburgh oh no.

Ian called me as i was approaching Ratho to find out where i was, his plan was to run out and surprise me but i spoiled it by asking if he was free for lunch. Was good to see him when he appeared though as i was starting to struggle a bit. Thank goodness we canned any ideas of running Marathons this year, i think i'd find them a real struggle right now.

I thought run would be around 23miles but turned out to be 20.5. Finished in 3.06 and was happy to get to house as i started to feel sick. Wasn't til i was in house that it occurred to me i hadn't eaten. i don't normally eat before i run in morning so i just completely forgot. No wonder i was running out of energy, all I'd had was bottle of lucozade. When i said to Ian i was going to stop at shop for drink he told me * i only had 1/2mile to go and to keep going*  He's all heart, really.

Took my total to 59 miles for week which is most i've done for ages.

So i vegged out for rest of day, so much so that when Ian got home i was still horizontal on sofa and he announced we had 1/2 hour to get ready. :-O Luckily I'm low maintenance  and i was indeed ready in 1/2hour and ready for night on town with some friends.

Saturday Ian was heading down to Newcastle for footy and picking his boy up at station, I'd  offered to come along and pick up his boys bag so they didn't have the schlep all way to the Toon and back with it. So at 11am we were standing in station waiting. I spotted a wee old man with a beret and some medals on collecting for something so i went over to give him some money. He was very sweet to me and I'm glad i did.I even got a sticker :-) Ian's boy arrived and they headed off for supplies for train and i headed off to Burger King for a kids meal after getting the munchies. Ate that then headed off for my bus. Waited about 2 yrs for bus (slight exaggeration perhaps) and was happy once on and heading home to chill. Got 3/4 way home and decided to get my keys out my bag and put in pocket. One problem. I had no bag :-O fuck, fuckity fuck. After scurrying around floor on bus the sinking feeling in my stomach confirmed it must still be sitting in burger king. That'll teach me for sitting colouring in instead of looking after my bag :( ( that was the toy in kids meal)

I panicked then got off bus planning on jumping on anther back down to Waverly Station. One problem there. No money, of course you've no money you dipstick, it's in your bag ffs. Which is in the station. Well at least you'd better hope so. Panicked call to Ian to see if he was on train yet so he could go check. He was. Panic a bit more and go on Internet to find out station number. 3 calls later and not only is my phone about to die, I'm in minor state of panicdom. Relief as i speak to person in BK who said they'd found my bag and it was now safe in lost property. Phew. Now only problem i had was getting back there with my big fuck off heels on.

Lightbulb moment made me realise i close to Natalia's house so quick call to her and she saved my life (or my feet at least)with £1.30 Got to station to find my bag intact. Didn't have much money in it anyway but house keys and cards would've been major hassle as would not getting back into house til Ian got back from Newcastle. I popped in M&S and bought box of chocolates and handed them in to BK to show my gratitude.

So there it takes me back to title of blog. Maybe if i hadn't given money to that wee man, maybe i wouldn't have got my bag back. Who knows. Karma.

On way home from lunch yesterday we stopped off at shops for few supplies, quick decision was made for Ian to go in alone as it would be quicker. So i sat in car playing with phone.
This is what climbed back in car.
Vice Chair of Sports Scotland. Race director of WHW. Still a big kid at heart.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Rules for some...

I love running really early in the morning, but why oh why do car drivers/bike users etc seem to think it gives them the right to choose thier own rules when it comes to the highway code just because it's dark and before 6am?

This morning i had to grind to a halt twice when a car going along road suddenly decided to turn into road i was crossing without indicating. Happened last week with a bloody wee smart car who almost knocked me down too.

Thank goodness most of run was along canal where there were no unlit scary people were this morning.

Weather is better though, chilly but dry. Tshirt, shorts and gloves. And Headtorch of course...

Tuesday, 18 October 2011


I think I've actually started a blog before with same title but hey ho, i can do that, it's my blog and I'll do what i want, do what i want to..... (showing my age here) I blame Hendo, many moons ago on Fetch he blogged about same thing and never a truer word was said. I remember reading it and thinking crikey, yes you are spot on. Telling you all this is pointless because you cant see his blog, but basically it was about bringing people back down to earth. To remember we all had humble beginnings and to not shrug off a run/race and let people shrug it off and say "oh that'll be easy for you"

Too many people are doing things that are out of the ordinary, this doesn't make it normal however. It's not normal to run the crazy distances we see everyday, not everyone can and more to the point, not everyone wants to.

Hendo's original point was borne out of alarm i think, due to the amount of people he saw who suddenly all wanted to do Ultra's, i had the same sense of alarm after blogging about supporting Jen during WHW race few years back. Maybe when we blogged about it we made it sound sugar and light and fun and games. It Wasn't, and isn't. From either side of the coin.

Everyday now we read about people doing "inspirational" things. I say inspirational in inverted comma's as it's a personal thing whether you find it inspirational or not. Personally I'm not inspired by someone for instance running 100marathons in 100days,or someone who is a marathon/Ultra *bagger*
Probably because i feel i could do it too and I'm far from inspiring. I'm far more impressed by the ones who are out there giving it there all after putting in some bloody good training and getting the results.
I'm inspired by my friend Susan who has just ran a bloody good time in Abingdon after working damn hard for it despite the world throwing crap at her, this is the same Susan who I've dragged round training runs and tried to make her believe in herself.   I'm inspired by Debs, who when she first started doing Ultra's was doing same times as me and is now a record breaker, she is amazing.

There are of course many more but i could go on and then upset someone by not mentioning them so i'll stop there.

We all have people who inspire us for different reasons of course, and I'm certainly not going to tell anyone who they should or shouldn't be inspired by. I guess it's a bit like the word Hero, its bandied around far too easily these days.

In other news, i have new shoes.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Hello again

Yes i'm still alive, I've just lost my blogging mojo at mo. It's funny because i have all these thoughts going round in my head like a washing machine when I'm running, and i think, oh i must blog about that. Then of course i forget all about it, it's a bit like a dream i guess. You wake up from vivid dream, angry that it got spoilt by the alarm then you cant recall a damn thing about it!

Ever tried to go back to sleep to finish off a dream? i have. Tip- it doesn't work.

So what have i been up to i hear you ask? Or maybe you dont actually give a flying fig. I'm going to tell you anyway, cause you here aren't you, and i'd hate to think i was wasting anyone's precious time by reading my blog, getting to end and thinking, well that was a bloody waste of 31.3 seconds of my life that i'll never get back.

Hmm, i had to go look at my last blog to actually see what i'd been up to, and when. After looking at my training log I've come to the conclusion that I've turned into a bit of a lazy cow. factoid. Now i did 180miles in Aug and a paltry 135 in Sept due the tonsillitis wiping me out rendering me useless. But looking at those miles there's barely anything over 6 miles. I'm running to and from work and i just go into automode. So I've shook it up a little, stopped taking the easy canal route every day and running my *old* route but backwards. Well not backwards, that would be silly, and I'd probably fall over. Maybe I'd make it into some silly world record though and get in paper...

I mean i ran it from my old house which is a further 5 miles away, up the hill to be precise. So when i do this route the first 2 miles are uphill, which tbh isn't easy at 5.30am trust me. But it's shaking my training up a bit and when i do that route which is pretty much undulating most of way then i clock up 8 +miles before work. So by running home (the easy way) i can do 12miles and still be home before 4pm. That's the kind of thing i used to do regularly, I've just got lazy since living in city centre.

For some reason i find it difficult to add in miles, where i used to live it was 5 miles direct, 6 if i went down another road and 7 if i took longer hillier route, but none of these routes had me going back on myself, they were all direct routes to work.Maybe I'm a bit mental, or maybe i need to move further away from City centre.

So, on the back of all these massive 6 milers we decided to take ourselves off to the Fabulous Oak Tree Inn for a couple of days and run from Balamha to Inversnaid and back, as you do. It was the week of glorious weather, BBQ's and tropical temperatures. Everywhere except Scotland that is. We arrived on a dark and very very wet and windy Friday night, and awoke to a dark and very very wet Saturday.  Hey ho, anyone who heads to WHW isn't going for the weather, unless of course it's Highland Fling day. on that day you're guaranteed to get fry for 53 glorious miles, chaffing is least of your worries if you've forgotten the 8 hour suncream.

So off we went, within about 1/4 of mile we were supermuddy and very wet. I still stuck to my vest though as it wasn't cold, just wet. We didn't see any other runners for the 30miles and only saw about 4 walkers altogether. I guess most people looked at the weather and thought, hmmm, maybe not. We ran out to Inversnaid, stopped for quick cup tea then back out again. I felt like it was a hard slog on way back and thought i was much slower but looking at last time we did that run (feb) it wasn't far off same times.

Ian loved it, he has bouncing along happily whilst i moaned for last mile asking if we could cut out that last hill, you can guess the answer i got! I don't know if i was still suffering aftereffects of tonsillitis or if I've just turned into a whiny lazy boot. Was still on antibiotics so not sure if they've had any effect on how i felt.
I was actually caked in mud and had to scrape it off back at room, trying to not get it on the lovely cream carpet. My bright pink adidas socks have never quite recovered, they had 3 washes and still look dirty. It was most definitely a day for my trusty sealkins methinks. Meanwhile my lovely friend Nick who lives South of border whom I'd txt Happy Birthday to, txt back to say he was having a fabulous day at the beach!  Global warming needs to remember that we are also destroying the earth's atmosphere. *stocks up on old lightbulbs and aerosols*

Had rest on Sunday and recovery run to work on Monday (easy route lol) but by Tuesday i could barely move with DOMS. It was worse than I've had after ANY Ultra I've done, in fact i rarely get it. Thought i might after the devil having done bugger all for months but i was fine. It was Thursday before i felt normal again. Not entirely sure why i got it so bad, Ian was fine which was very annoying. I kicked him when was asleep so he would feel my pain a little.

Last weekend i managed to get a great deal on Hotel for 2 nights up in Morayshire.this one  We left straight from work on Thursday and after longest drive on the world with endless "are we there yet?" from me we arrived around 8ish to a wonderful sight in room
It was quickly opened and i had 2 glasses very quickly i can tell you. Then we headed off for a fabulous and much needed dinner.

We had made no plans really deciding just  to go with flow and do what we felt like. So we got up in morning and did short run out to Forres and back before breakfast then headed off to Inverness for day. We are planning on returning sometime though and checking out the Dava Way which looks like a great route and exploring bit more round the area which is just stunning.

Today on the bus there was a woman who looked like a witchywoo with a a big hat and mac, she kept staring at me, perhaps because i was in vest and shorts having ran to shops, or perhaps she was putting a spell on me.

This morning i nearly had a heart attack when some complete knobber nearly ran right into me on the canal (easy route i know, but i ran uphill first ok) He had NO headtorch on and no hi vis, he was in fact invisible, or might as well have been ffs. Idiot. It was pitch black. I took a picture of how dark it was, but for two reasons i cant show you it. First one is that stupid Backberry still havent fixed the network or whatever the hell it is they have to do, i've been Facebook and twitterless on my phone all week, very bloody annoying. Secondly it would be pointless, it is in fact just a pic of a black space of nothingness.

That's all folks.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Life is a rollercoaster

According to Ronan Keaton.

This week has been just that. Started off on Sunday with Stirling 10k. It's funny i never see Sunday as the start of the week but it is, isn't it? Anyway, having not a run a 10k for 2 full years i was feeling less than hopeful of a PB but thought I'd give it my best shot.

And i did. PB, and give it my best shot that is. Only by one second mind you but hey, a PB is indeed a PB right? You'd think. I was very down on myself and couldn't figure out why i couldn't/cant run faster.I guess i just need to try harder is the hard answer.
Got home in time for the football though, cracking game.  Felt completely wiped out after dinner and was in bed by 9pm. Got up at usually time and ran to work but decided to give gym miss as felt really tired. By end of day i was feeling rubbish, throat was on fire and i ached all over, tried to call docs but it was closed for Sept Holiday. Damnation. Came home and went slept from 6.30 til 5 next morning.

Couldn't take day off as we had the assessors in for this award I've been working on. Staff were all nervous as i was. But it was all fine, the assessor was great and put everyone at ease. He said he was impressed by my staff and by everything he'd seen. Phew, all that hard work seemed to have paid off!

I left not long after he did and went home to bed again after failing to get Doctors appointment again. I thought self medicating on paracetamol etc would be way forward, I'd probably get told it was virus anyway. By Thursday morning i got up and nearly fainted, not that surprising consider I'd barely eaten since Monday Lunchtime. I went back to bed until doctors opened then when asked if it was an emergency i said yes, it is. So i have tonsillitis, got penicillin and the doctor told me that best thing i could do was not to talk. My friends thought this was hilarious when i posted it on FB/Twitter. Unfortunately had to go back to work Friday as i was short staffed. Wasn't best day ever except to get Email from MD to say we'd got official confirmation that we passed and have now been accredited! We think we also got highest score the company has had but have to wait for official report to come in. Hurrah.

Left work feeling rather sorry for myself. I felt dreadful, and completely washed out. And i was upset by plans for weekend for shot down in dust. I was meant to be in Glasgow for dinner Friday. Saturday had been planned for months. Chris had emigrated to Canada yrs ago and was back in town, plan was for bunch of us to go visit Museum (where we all worked together) then dinner, then drinks.
So my plans for dinner through in Glasgow were scuppered. No point going for dinner when you cant eat. Ian went off on his own, he's done a grand job looking after a poorly me this week, trying to get me to eat half a cupasoup when he could.
 Have to say as the evening progressed i felt better and better though and by time Ian was home i was almost perky. It helped getting the updates from the 24hr race in Wales, thanks to JohnK. Was very exciting watching it unfold.

Woke up this morning feeling 80% better, penicillin really is like a miracle drug for me. First thing we did was check up on Team Scotland's progress and been doing that entire morning.
So i'm not going to miss out after all. I'll go along and meet everyone as promised, doubt i'll be able to stomach much food or drink but i'll give it a shot. I've lost 6lbs since Tuesday, ironic how i've been moaning about losing a bit of weight and that happens!

24hr race not long finished. Amazing performance from Debs, she has inspired something in me and i have a strange desire to dip toe in water of 24hr racing now....I might change my mind when i read her blog though. Her words at he end of the Perth100k were "never again, cant wait for WHW race for a rest"  lol Nails. Go Team Scotland!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Time we cant get back

My Uncle died 3 years ago. He was fairly old and hadn't been too well so wasn't too much of a shock. At his funeral we met up with some long lost family. My Auntie Anne & Uncle Alec emigrated to America 44 years ago, not that thry has been away for all that time though.

They actually kept a house here which they've still got and still visit every year. My cousin Tracy is around my age and yet i didn't know her. Now i blame my Dad for this, and I'm quite angry with him about it. If they were over here every year he should've taken us to visit them. I recall when i was very young meeting Tracy and have vague memories of it but other than that i don't think we met again. It's bloody ridiculous. It's funny how it seems to be that it's always the Mum's family we end up spending more time with, from the families i know its that way anyway. I guess my Mum could've also made more of an effort but it was my Dad's sister so i think the ball was in his court so to speak.

Anyway, water under bridge now i guess, no point looking back and having regrets it's all about making most of what we have now. My Uncle Alec died in April, they had a big funeral over there for him and had him cremated. Plan was always to bring him back to Scotland though. So last week that's exactly what they did.Anne, Tracy, Dick and their 2 young boys arrived last week. We arranged to meet them for a family dinner on Friday night. Turned into a pretty late night and didn't get to bed til around 2am. These pics were taken 3 years ago, it's safe to say Alec was a funny guy, all the pics of us I'm laughing my head off.

 His burial took place at  Penicuik Cemetery with an incredible outlook over the Pentland Hills. The service was kept short and sweet due to torrential rain which stopped as soon as it was over and made us all laugh.  At the service afterwards there were pictures of the family dotted all over place, big blown up ones. It's probably a very American thing to do but it was truly lovely. We had a lovely time celebrating a wonderful mans life, i just wish i'd known him that bit longer. RIP Uncle Alec.

My Big brother and his family went over to LA to visit them last year and had an amazing time. Tracy & Dick live in Hermosa Beach and Auntie Anne is just outside Beverely Hills. After much talk and not really that much persuasion it's been decided that we shall visit them next year. So now it's down to the running world out there to tell us the must do races in California! We are open as to what time of year we go so if anyone has ran or heard of any great races then please let me know.

After the funeral i headed back to Auntie Anne's so i could get changed for wedding reception of Kim & Ian, I'd not met them before and was wondering if we'd know any other runners.  Ian arrived with my dress, quick change and i was ready to go. Bent down to pick up and bag and my zip burst! Thank god I'd got Ian to bring 2 dresses with him.Lol, at least it happened before we left house too, small mercies and all that. Arrived at Barony Castle and got told wedding was running bit late so we got drink and settled down, it turns out i knew one the bridesmaids and her hubby, crikey it's such a small world. Pretty Sure we spotted Lucy C not long after we arrived but she seemed to disappear rather like Cinderella. Table we got was great, we had Ian's (groom) dragon boat pals and they were great laugh. We were up dancing pretty much from first dance and managed to persuade Debs who'd never Ceilidh danced in her life she should give it a go, she loved every minute of course.

Another late night and pretty full on day. Up on Sunday earlyish as plan was to head to Cumbrae to run the round Cumbrae 10miler. I duly got into my Lycra and strapped on my garmin but inside i was screaming no. After breakfast we set off from a windy but dry Edinburgh towards an even windier, wet and cold west coast.

Arrived in Largs and got cup of tea from cafe which was packed full of runners. Ian was stopped every 2 mins, does everyone in world know him or what? So off we went to the ferry, and get this, it was my first ever time on a Ferry. I'd been on boats on holiday, and done Hovercraft once but never been on a ferry before! So it was sadly quite exciting for me. Yes, sad i know. I decided on the Ferry that i wasn't running. Not only was i shattered after 2 full on days, i realised that i hadn't eaten a proper meal all day Saturday. All i had was buffet food at funeral then same again at wedding. Not the best fuelling strategy for a 10mile race.I So i decided to be the dutiful supporter instead.
Yes, it was bloody freezing, i didn't envy the runners at all. Once they set off i set off for the cafe to keep warm and dry and have a lovely bowl of soup and read the Sunday papers, bliss. Time passed pretty quickly and i was soon seeing the front runners go flying past window so i set off for finish line. Ian came in looking bedraggled but quickly announced he'd loved every minute. Loony.

Check out the guy on the left,not a fisherman but a race official....

To be honest i was glad to get back to work on Monday for a rest. It really is pitch dark in morning now but i am rewarded with lovely sunrises with lovely coloured skies which usually disappear by time rest of world wakes up and asks me where the sun I've just posted pic of has gone!

Talking of work, it's pretty damn good at the moment. I've had surprise visits from MD and Training Director of late and they were both delighted with everything. It's so good to be back in control of my own place. Oh, and i got a 10% pay rise :o)

Last night we set off to do a club run. Gavin had organised an intervals session and after missing out last week we decided to head along. We met at balerno High school then a ran uphill for 2.5miles. Then Gav marked out the 600m we were to run and gave us instructions. Ie- run fast back and forth 5 times then we'll run back down the hill.

One thing I've never done in my life is speed work, let alone a structured one.And surprisingly i loved it. I hope it's a regular thing. I was glad I'd made a pot of soup before we left as we went for quick drink with Gav & Norma after and didn't get home til 9.30

Crikey this is a long rambly blog, i should blog bit more so i dont bore you all to death, if anyone is still awake that is...

Monday, 5 September 2011

On a wing and a prayer

We entered Glasgow Half Marathon waaay back in April or something, it wasn't too long after Inverness half where i'd ran 1.42 and i felt fairly confident of dipping under 1.40, i mean it was 5 months away, easy peasy right?


Thing is, I'd done little or no training for it. Now some may scoff at that suggestion. I run most days dont i? I recently ran the Devil, that's 42 miles. Surely a half is a "walk in the park"  " just wee dawdle" "phffff, easy" 

Just some of the comments i got when i said i was running it. And to some extent i believed it myself. But only to some extent. I knew from the previous weeks race in Melrose that it was going to be tough. OK, i run to and from work a lot. I'm averaging around 40miles a week at mo (44 last week, 46 week before to be precise) but, and it's a big but. I am not doing the distance.

Luckily i have the tools to analyse and boy does it analyse for you. I'm talking about  After having a quick look today at how many long runs I'd done recently it took me months of scrolling back. Yes I've ran the Devil, WHW race, training runs across there etc etc. But my last long run on road was way back in April. APRIL! And although it was 7 hills of Edinburgh I'm counting it as there is fair bit of road running in middle of the hills. Other than that I'm looking back to March. Crazy. Every other run has been less than 6 miles, how on earth can i expect to run a fast half on the back of that?

Some people say that running in trails and hills means you'll get faster on road. Perhaps it does for some but for me i think it make me a bit lazy. In fact i know it does.

Look at this girl's training,she is an inspiration to me  , if there is anyone who can prove that specific training works it's her. She really does inspire me to get out there, if i can achieve a fraction of what she has I'll be a happy girl.

So yesterday i ran as hard as i felt i could and got round in 1.45.16   Not a bad time at all perhaps, but i should be doing better i reckon.  I'm carrying about 7lbs extra which i managed to put on after getting injured and still haven't managed to shift but that's just another excuse really. It's down to training and if i want to do any kind of decent Marathon this yr, which i do then i need to get off my lazy bum and get out and do the training for it.

Loch Ness has now been kicked into touch, i could get round and i could probably get sub 4 but i dont want to go to a Marathon, or any other race for that matter just to "get round" I want to give it my best shot. I've got my GFA for London next year but i know i can do better than that, so with a little bit (or perhaps a lot) of training and plenty kicking up bum from Ian I'm sure i can give my next race some justice.

Hmm look at that, a whole blog about running, and being serious.

I hope I've not made it sound like i hated it, because i didn't. It's actually my favourite Half Marathon, the organisation is top notch, the crowds are fab and the route although tough is great too. I love it. And we had a great day out, picking up Kate on way,meeting Debs soon as we arrived and bumping into many friends throughout the day.
 Just great. All finished off with drinks in wee brewery place up from Glasgow Green then back home for a takeaway before heading back out to trek  to top of Craiglockheart Hill to watch the fireworks. The festival really is truly over now.

Let Autumn commence. And the hard work begin.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Gerrof my land

So the Edinburgh Festival is over, well the fringe is and that's what brings most of the people to town. As i ran to gym on Monday morning around 5.30am, i saw hoardes of people making their way home. Bruntsfield links was awash with people clearly squeezing every last drop out of the late drinking hours. Nearly every bench had people on them, i had to check my watch to see if I'd inadvertently slept til lunchtime. Tuesday night Phil returned from Chamonix with a nasty cough, He was having a stop over in Edinburgh so we caught up over a drink or five and talked running and stuff, and talked and talked (and he coughed)

Yesterday i got the bus home as i wasn't feeling too great(Phil's bigs?) now those of you who are my facebook friends will have seen my many bus rants over past few weeks. I was therefore stunned to get on bus, go upstairs and find this.  > > > >

It's like someone has got a big human dyson and sucked everyone out the city in one day. Or maybe aliens have taken them all away. Whichever it is it's almost eeerily quiet compared to craziness of past few weeks.

When i run home i usually run by the Canal, it's lovely and quiet so no one around to bother me. Because bother me they do.

Today i ran my old route as Natalia called me at work as i was about to leave and said she'd left her house keys, so i kindly said I'd run her way home and deliver them, save the day and all that. Old route is St Andrews Square-Princes St- Lothian Road- Bruntsfield- Morningside. All very busy roads, made worse by schools finishing and narrow pavements last 2 miles which are scattered with signs for cafes etc.

So, i was prepared for a bit of a bun fight. Off i went along Princes st, wow. There was space to run, i only had to stop once when a bus came along and everyone moved and blocked pavement. Things got a bit different as i headed up Lothian Road, pavements still fairly quiet but no one wanted to move. Didn't matter that they could see me, they clearly though they had far more right to be on that pavement than me, and that i should jump on road onto oncoming traffic to get out their way. Tossers.

Why is that? Why as runners do we get scowled at by non runners? we're not bloody inconveniencing them are we? I'd understand if i was on a bike on a pavement, or a skateboard, but no, I'm only running and if I'm running then i must therefore be scowled at. Pavements are for walking you know. Of course not everyone is like that, plenty people so move. Some grudgingly, some with a smile. It's mostly middle ages woman that don't move for some reason. Most odd.

Cant believe it's September tomorrow. Where's the year gone? This month i've managed to get my mileage back up to a fairly respectable mileage of 170miles. And i've gone to gym 10times, only one more Ultra penned in (Glen Ogle/Ben Fogle) & perhaps 2 Marathons. This scare me a bit. Havent done a Marathon since last November, not entirely sure how i'll do. I suppose i'll have to go fit in a long run somewhere too? hmmm

 Oh and it's really dark when i get up in the mornings now. Not sure what that has to do with anything but it just popped into my head.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Up and downs of a weekend

I'm back to doing a lot more double runs again. This makes me feel far more normal. This week i ran 8 times in total so i decided to have nice lazy day on Saturday  spending the day watching for updates on UTMB  When i heard Karen had been timed out i felt sick and almost cried, i was proper gutted for her. Sent her txt to see if she was ok and she said she was, gutted but ok nonetheless. Never have i wanted someone to finish a race so much, after all the dispapointment of the previous year :(

Rest of day was spent endlessly checking facebook and twitter watching people progress, exciting stuff. Phil txt me to say he was having breathing problems and was pulling out as he reckoned he'd be timed out at next Cp, i txt him back to see if he was ok and he said he was in back f a landrover and apparently in Italy, lol. He seemed pretty cool though, i was just releived he was ok. Next one we lost was George who was also having breathing problems. Not the news i wanted to hear at all.But again, once i checked with Karen we knew he was safe and ok it was relief. UTMB is damn hard race taking no prisoners. I take my hat off to all who even attempt it. Think we awoke to news that Ritchie had aced it and was finished, woohoo.

Sunday morning we were up early to head down to Melrose for a race.

Chris & Caroline organised same race last year but i was up doing Speyside so i missed it.It's not an official race at the moment, it was pretty much just fetchies and a few locals. But it had everything an official race should ie- registration, a race director, Marshall's, routes, disclaimers...
 I knew there was hills involved and that was about it. After leaving a rather dreich and windy Edinburgh we set off for the Borders and drove towards the  sunshine. Although still breezy (the car was shaking) at least it would be sunny for the race.. We arrived and registered soon enough the hall was awash with people who were either marshalling, running or just arriving with a plethora of cakes!

Race was meant to start at 11am but someone was late, bit unusual for Sophie to be late ;) but she got there in the end.... Chris asked me to quieten everyone down by shouting so he could do his pre race briefing. I listened intently for a change as i had no clue of route and wasn't sure if there would be anyone to follow. One tip he said was to make sure we had the Eildon hills on our right, and if they weren't then turn back because we were lost. lol

We all followed Chris up to Railway station and after waving my garmin in air, putting it on my head and lying it next to road it refused to grab a signal, as everyone was watching and waiting on me i told them i wouldn't bother with it and would wait on it kicking in as i ran. And it did.  So off we went, the local boy took his place at the front and it wasn't too long til he was in the distance with Ian on his heels. I was behind Ian with Al, IanS and Soph.

Al said he was taking it easy as he'd been doing time trials and hills the day before and was chatting away, clearly running at a leisurely pace. I was working hard and gasping answers out occasionally to him lol  I could hear Soph yap yap yapping away behind me to Ian lol As we came to a second gate and a hill Al mustve got fed up with my heavy breathing and took off into the distance. My aim was to keep him in my sights.

I soon lost the dulcet tones of Sophster so was on my lonesome but keeping sight of young Al. The hills were relentless, there didn't seem to many downhills at all to make up for what seemed like endless drags. My lungs and my legs were working hard. I last saw Al as i approached the village of Bowden, he was just leaving, it was still going uphill. Through the village and a small down followed by more ups and dodging some Combine harvesters & tractors as i took in the climb ahead. I'd completely lost sight of Al by now and had to keep wits about me to make sure i didn't take wrong turns. Thank god i listened to breifing. Chris was out on the course around mile 3 i think, right at top of a hill where i gasped and said *fuck, this is hard work*

I realised at this point that i was 1st lady, wow, me, 1st lady in a race. This must be how Lucy Colquoun feels all the time! woohooo Ok there weren't that many girls in the race but you can only race who's there right?I kept close eye for the arrows and there were few Marshall's out pointing us in right direction too.
  On and on the the climb went and windier and windier it got making it even more tougher. My legs were screaming stooooooooooop, I'm an Ultra runner, i walk up hills not bloody run up them. I did relent and took few walking breaks, walk 10 paces, run 20. Did that til got to top whilst vowing never to come back and eventually there was a downhill.

And wow what a downhill, finally! Mile and bit of downhill where i just let myself go with flow, i was finally loving this race haha. Then i got to the bottom and a fork in the road, with no arrow or no Marshall's. I stood there and racked my brains, left or right, left or right? aaaargh. I look at the hills and made decision to go right. Damn, more climbing. fuck, i thought the climbs were over? I'm sure he said the last bit was down then flat. Light bulb moment.
 I'd gone the wrong way.

I turned myself around and ran back cursing my stupid self. As soon as i turned the corner i saw Sai in the distance marshaling and waving at me. She pointed across the road to a pathway and shouted encouragement at me. As soon i saw entered the path i saw Soph and Ian ahead at end of path. Fuck, there goes my lead, i ran like a loon and busted my lungs trying to catch them but they disappeared. 

Out the pathway and i could see the train station and i gave it all i could. Soph ran back towards me with a perplexed look on her face wondering what the hell had happened to me lol. I crossed line just a minute behind her & Ian having done and extra half mile! ffs, Muppet. total time was 1.14.02 Race was officially 13.1k or 8.14 miles. Or  if you're me 8.55 miles and 13.8k  ;)

I was handed a medal and a goody bag and got huge hugs by the gorgeous triplets who were doing a damn fine job on finishing line. :o)  Ian had a cracking run and came in under the hour. We saw a few folk in then headed down to the hall to get changed as it was more than a bit windy and cold by then.

Quick change and back into hall where we were met with a tremendous buffet. Sandwiches, cakes, crisps, sausage rolls, you name it. Let me just point out that this race was free, all Chris had asked for was a donation to his charity.We got a medal, a goody bag and fed! Incredible that all his friends and family had pulled together not only to Marshall, time keep, but also to go to all this trouble too. Nothing short of fabulous.

I had about 4 cups of tea and enjoyed sarnies and cakes whilst catching up with everyone. We all agreed it was bloody tough race but also that is was lovely route and superbly organised. I was only numpty who took wrong turn and i blame myself for not listening properly. Ian is always telling me i have 2 ears and one mouth lol

Chris did bit of prize giving and gave out few spot prizes. . He picked Ian's brains a bit about what else he needed to do and i have to say, put this one in your diaries for next year folks. Yes its tough but its a lovely route and worth it for the crazy downhill at the end, and for those of you who like your cakes then you certainly wont be disappointed.

Massive well done to Chris, Caroline and their small army of helpers. Top work.

Got home and settled down to watch one of best football games i've ever witnessed,i had to drink a bottle of bubble to celbrate. Happy days.

Rest of night was spent constantly checking on rest of random scottish punters doing UTMB, it was exciting typing in the race numbers and watching the wee red line progress across those mountains, cracking website they've got and superbly organised. John K had spreadsheets and a dedicated site updating everyone too, top work as usual John!

Yikes, just noticed time and meant to meeting random Scottish punters in town who've been evicted from Chamonix.......

Monday, 22 August 2011

Space Invaders

Not talking about the iconic  80's electronic game, nope. I'm talking about the Tourists that descend on our City during Festival time.

I probably sound like a broken record at this time of year but jeez, it never gets easier. It's bad when you're trying to get from A to B, bad enough walking. Try running, i reckon it must be like being in the boxing ring, ducking and diving and dodging from side to side, don't even get me started on the brollies.  God knows how I've managed to avoid the buses and lorries that trundle towards me at speed when I'm forced out onto road at various times.

And then there's the buses. We  are very lucky to have a superb bus service in Edinburgh. Buses are regular, drivers happy,they're pretty much on time and we have wee monitors to tell us when they're expected. All good. Until you find 5 buses turning up at once cause the traffic has come to a standstill, that's after waiting 30mins for the buses that are every ten minutes. Normally.

So the bus arrives and six million people pile off, you climb on to find another six million still there, all standing at the bottom of the stairs. I peer back the bus and see free seats, i enquire if there are seats upstairs. Yes, plenty I'm told. SO WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU ALL BLOCKING THE WAY!!!

I squeeze past the numpties and climb up the stair only to have to beat a hasty retreat because someone has either forgotten they wanted to get off here, or are trying to get down stairs for next stop. "deep breathes" Up i go again, to find an almost empty top deck. *sigh*

Hey, at least I've got a seat. I'm on my way home. It might take longer than normal (about twice as long) but sometimes there is no option (hurt my toe during Devil) But why oh why is every crazy person on same bus as me? I'm sure i have radar, a crazies radar. When I'm on the bus i look down on the streets and it's like ants crawling over the pavement. Every square inch is taken. There are queues everywhere. There are venues everywhere, there are tents, marquees, upside down cows and bars everywhere.

If you walk down the royal Mile and hear a blood curling scream, don't worry, there's not been a MURDUR,  it's just the thespians giving us a little taster of their show. I'm sure we'll all be rushing along to that one.

It's actually the only time i ever feel a bit threatened running at 5am in morning. Most of the clubs are granted late licenses and take full advantage, which is fair enough, there are certainly enough people in town to fill them all! Apparently the population doubles at this time of year.The strangest venue i've seen this year so far is in a carpet shop in brunts field, i kid you not.
 Back to the running, i go to the gym Mon/wed/fri and my gym is at Quartermile, right next to the meadows, which is right next to lots of said venues. In past 2 weeks I've passed several crowds of rather drunk people.

I've seen a guy getting a blowjob in middles of meadows, I've seen girls on walk of shame and I've seen huge crowds of drunk people making their way home. I get the occasional one attempt to run alongside, i get the occasional comment but no one has actually been threatening, i just feel that way.

Apart from all that i love the Festival. No really i do.

I love the vibe it gives to the city, i love the way that it's no one turns a blind eye to a punk nun in suspenders, and that's just the men. It also obviously brings a shed load of money in too and I'm happy that people get to see just how beautiful this place is.

Last weekend i was was supposed to be heading up to Torridon. For the last 3 years now Andy (3rd Male at Devil dontcha know) has been taking us fetchies on trips up the mountains. He is an experienced Munro bagger and is also a Duke of Edinburgh Assessor. The first year we all headed up to Mar Lodge and spent a glorious few days in the Cairngorms and climbed up Ben Mcdhui (thats only one i remember lol) We ran some spectacular trails and it was truly fabulous. Last year we stayed in Ballaculish and although i arrived later after doing Clyde Stride the rest of crew had spent a fabulous day up Glencoe area (until Phil broke his foot again!) We arrived late in day and drank til small hours then headed back out next day to explore.

So Torridon was the place of choice this year. But it wasn't to be, for me anyway. We've been so busy every weekend and trying to fit everything we want to do and everyone we want to see that something had to give. I'd not done any Festival stuff with Ian, I'd not seen Jemima for months and the club Handicap race was on so i decided to can Torridon and see more of my loved ones instead.

So Ian took the opportunity and booked us tickets for the Tattoo, something I'd always wanted to see. Before that we had some people to see before they were heading off to Chamonix to play in the Mountains. Karen & George just happened to bump into Jane and her hubby and before you could say "mine's a Guinness" they were all holed up in the Hebrides, along with Keith, Norm and Ian King. We completed the set but had missed Ian King. Norm left citing "I'm 2hours late home" then returned much to our amusement! It was great to see them all, have maybe too many drinks then everyone went their separate ways around 8ish to go to various shows/eat/home.

Tattoo was great but cold, it hadnt rained all day of course, it just waited til we were sat in Castle Esplanade high up closer to the clouds! Actually I'm being a bit mean it didnt start til about halfway through and stopped before end.The castle looked spectaculour.  We were bloody cold though, and starving! A very late dinner was had around 11pm and after getting to out street and seeing our local open we though it rude not to go in (til it shut at 1am) Which of course meant we needed more wine when we got home right? hmmm

Next day Ian was off doing VIP stuff and i was doing same. I finally managed to organise time with Jemima. We'd been trying for 2 months to go an Spa day that I'd got a good deal on and couldnt get our diaries to match.  Finally we had a free day so off we got booked up and headed off to Norton House for a superbly relaxing day.Jemima surprised me with a beautiful engraved picture frame with West Highland Way Race, at top and my time at bottom,  she'd put a picture of me with my goblet in it too, incredibly thoughtful present.  We had such a superbly realxing time i fell asleep in relaxation room even with J yapping in my ear ;) We sat afterwards having our champagne (all part of the fab deal we got) and i was wiped out.

Ian came and picked us and after trying to decide where to eat he dropped us in city centre whilst he popped hometo drop car off and rejoin us. Cue us traipsing from restaurant to restaurant trying to get a table. we were in at least 12 different places and it was like Jesus & Mary, there was no room at the Inn. Anywhere. We contempleted grabbing a tourist and eating one of their arms at certain points, neither of us had eaten since breakfast and it was now gone 8pm. Eventually we headed to Tempus thinking it would do for a drink at least but managed to procure a table, with menus!

Ian arrvied back and we had long wait on food, i occasionally nibbled the table and sipped my wine and got tireder and tireder. I am either turning into a super lightweight or the Spa just wiped me out totally. Once we'd eaten Jemima's OH arrvied and we headed off for another drink before heading home. Was in bed by stroke of midnight, just before i turned into a pumpkin.

Up with the lark on Sunday to head to Balerno for our club Handicap Race. It's billed as a 10k but is actually 6.5miles, nearly 11k. Great race and tough on legs as it was my first 10k in about a year or so. Great to see everyone though and it was superbly organised by Norma and her crew.

I ran back home aftwerwards and Ian ran back way we came to get car, then we headed out for for well earned brunch after. Followed by a donder into town to have a wander through the Festival crowds , have wee drink and watch world go by.

Was almost glad to get back to work for a rest.

I said almost.....


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...