Sunday, 27 February 2011


After last weeks moany blog of woe is me, doubting myself and whatnot I've had a complete turnaround this week. I think we need to question ourselves every so often to give ourselves the wee extra push we may need.

Ran everyday this week, but not home everyday, just 3 doubles. Also hit gym twice, luckily it didn't hit me back... Had bit of busy weekend planned so we said we'd have a quiet/early night Friday.

Best laid plans kinda go to waste as it happens. Ian said he fancied a drink after work after long busy week so i went to meet him, bad idea. Too much wine and late night with alarm set for too early for a Saturday morning quite frankly. But, long run was planned so long run we did. When we set off it was overcast and had been raining but it was dry at least. My jacket was off within a mile and i was down to my vest( and shorts, obv)

There are no pictures of this run as i fear it may have broke my camera it was *that* dull. Out to Broxburn along busy roads and screaming noisy traffic, me having a fight with the pavement near the Airport and wind and rain in our faces.lovely. Turnaround at Broxburn and onto Canal, at least it was quiet, and it's pleasant, dull but pleasant!And the sun came out to greet us. Perfect running weather really. The journey back always seems to go so much quicker and thankfully the miles just flew by, we did same time out and back so perfect pacing really. Flat stuff is very hard, there's no escape is there, you just have to keep pushing on and slog it out.

I did struggle and have bit of wobble on last mile, I'd not taken any drink and had a few sips of Ian's water along with 3 cola bottles, it's no wonder i ran out of energy. Ian pushed me on though and our last mile was one of fastest, he's a cruel man you know. 24.3miles done.

Home, shower and into my dress & heels for late Birthday Lunch with the girlies. Got some lovely pressies, and we had a great lunch with lots of laughs and lots of bubbles.

We took a bit of a wander for more drinks after and it was that i kind of felt that wearing my highest heels was possibly a mistake after a 24mile steady run lol

Sunday we'd planned a run on opposite scale of previous days, heading up to the Pentlands for our regular 12 mile loop. We start at Flotterstone & head up Turnhouse, Carnethy, Scald Law then East & West Kip, down towards balerno then back out towards reservoirs before heading back to Flotterstone. Weather was prettydamn perfect on the lower ground at least, but the higher we got the
windier it got and i was nearly blown over a few times. Wind chill factor meant i kept my jacket on til got off hills, unheard off!
Again Ian pushed me for last couple miles and again last mile our fastest.I did actually feel a bit sick at end of it. This pleased Ian muchly. sicko.
So this week ended with my running 10 times in total and an almost record (but not quite) mileage of 73.78 miles. This had mix of hill runs, flat runs, trail runs and just plain old running to work.
Happy with that.

Thursday, 24 February 2011


I've been worrying a bit lately that I'm not doing enough training for WHW. I guess it's because my mileage from January dipped somewhat from the previous year(177 v's 238) that and reading the roll call of blogs with all sorts of super training going on, it kinda throws your head into a bit of turmoil and makes you question yourself.

Ian has had a word with me though and told me I'm exactly where i need to be and not to worry. So I'm not, because he sort of knows what he's talking about i suppose ;)

This is where the normalisation comes into it i guess, i remember reading a friends blog last year where he was alarmed at the number of runners jumping on the Ultra running bandwagon as he called it. He did wonder about people signing up to things too quickly, doing too much too soon.That running 50 miles was normal, and i do think that sometimes as Ultra runners we're easy to quip "oh its only 30miles" Normalisation.
I think on Fetch it can be easy to go into the forums and see all these crazy races and think, hey, i can do that! I used to look at people like George & Karen and tell them they were crazy, that you'd never find me doing stupid stuff like that....
I do beleive that what does happen is that people find what distance works for them. I'm most definitely a long distance girl,a good friend of mine Rachel really struggles with long runs but can kick my ass big time at shorter distances. Luckily we are all unique.

Anyway, back to my training. We have been making plans and sorting out when/how long our long runs will be and when we're starting the speed training (gulp, never ever done speed training!) Still gyming it but after realising I'd got a bit bored with set routine i was doing and upped my weights to highest i could carry i decided to get new direction. (anyone seen KarenD recently? there's surefire sign gymming it works!)

There is a PT who is in gym 3 times a week with a guy at 6am to put him through his paces, i decided to have wee chat to him and arrange a consult. So there i was at 6am this morning in his consulting room, after chatting to me and getting my objectives he told me I'd be easy to train cause i was clearly very fit :o) yaay He took me back into gym and ran through few things he'd put into my plan, quite lot of one legged squats, jumping and balancing onto bosu ball on one leg, and planks on gym ball etc. Going back next Thursday for my plan, really looking forward to it.

I'd love to have him as a personal trainer to push me that extra wee bit, he does great job and always varies routine with guy i see him with in gym. Unfortunately i cant afford it, i guess paying my mortgage is tad more important than a personal trainer. Luckily my gym is fairly cheap at only £17 month, and it's open 24hrs day so i can go at stupid o clock which suits me just fine. Oh, talking of said guy with said PT, i asked him who he was as i recognised his face, it's only Charlie from the Proclaimers!

How am i going to stop myself from singing da ra ra da, da ra ra da.......darum darum darum dara ra ra

Edinburgh is basking in sunshine today, even my dark morning run was warm, thankfully was in vest or i'd have been a little meltypot. Spring has sprung, hurrah!


Sunday, 20 February 2011

First Cross Country

So i took part in my first cross country yesterday.

I have to say it was kinda under duress, Ian made me enter & said it would be good training.

Woke up to news of weather warnings, rain, sleet & snow, oh the joy. Quick check on Facebook and i wasn't only one freaking about it at least.

I think i was halfway to persuading Ian's youngest that he could run in my place but that deal fell through at last minute! Arrived at Falkirk and went off to find our wee tent, spotted it fairly easy and got my number and generally told everyone who would listen that i was dreading it lol

2 laps of a fairly tough course, well i thought it was anyway.Not used to all the mud and slip sliding around like that but i did kinda enjoy it.Finished in 41.55, not so bad.

Don't Tell Ian though...
Was great watching the men's race, shows the talent that was there to see really good runners way down the field.The course mustve been even muddier by time they got on it too!
There were some brilliant sprint finishes, amazing stuff and great to watch.

Saturday, 19 February 2011


is the word for today.

Been a while since I've blogged, it's been busy time. Last weekend we were away for Valentines/My birthday up at Oak tree Inn in Balmaha - and it seemed a tad silly not to combine it with a long run. We headed up on Friday night and the closer we got the worse the weather got. Rain was torrential, we could barely see road, looked like our planned run would be muddy then! Got there around 8.30ish.Lovely meal as usual and few drinks were had, breakfast booked for 8am with plans to run at 9.30ish. Weather had changed from wet & windy to calm and settled, Just perfect.

Here i am just before we started, only time i had jacket on was at start of run and when we stopped after inversnaid, it soon off again!

We set off from Balmaha to run to Inversnaid and back, Ian reckoned it be around 7hrs which included quick stop at hotel for cup tea. He wasn't too far off with his calculations as we did it in 6.30, which included a stop off for cuppa in hotel and my usual faffing around stopping for pics much to Ian's' annoyance :p Had the most perfect weather and fantastic run, loved every minute of it, I'd forgotten how much i love this section. The sun even came out for us, perfect.

here we are at end of the fab 30miles

Got back to room to find a bottle of champagne and a rose. The deal was meant to include a 1/2 bottle sparkling wine but it's not what you know ;) (thanks Lucy@ Oak tree)We'd already bought a bottle of champers with us which was chilling nicely all day on on our balcony so we took the other one home to drink on my actual Birthday. Drank bottle bubbly whilst watching the rugby (poor show) before getting ready for dinner

Woke up next morning to torrential rain again so we couldn't have timed the run more perfectly. Legs were bit tired but fine otherwise, weird considering i suffered after stupid 13miles after Forfar Half week before!

On way home i txt Stephen to ask what he was up to, his reply was *gutting the house, i've hoovered, cleaned fish tank and cleaned all the cupboards!* lol, not many 19yrs olds who do that off thier own back, bless. His next job is decorating, srsly.His idea.

Monday was valentines day so i cooked and we had quiet night, Tue we were out for dinner and by Wednesday which was my actual Birthday i was knackered, more so by very busy day at work and no break, no food (again!) So after meeting Stephen and Thel for few drinks after my work i called Ian and got him to cancel table he had booked for dinner and opted for takeaway & quiet night in. Glad i booked Thu and Fri off work.

Thursday i got dragged out of bed and gently persuaded to run 3 of the 7 hills miles of Edinburgh.Actually really glad i did go, it was fantastic run, even though we didn't get the usual brilliant views as it was very foggy. We did just over 7 miles and came back muddy but happy.

Friday i decided on total rest day as was have my first XC race today (eeek) and wanted to go in fresh. Was down at my Big bro's for dinner and to give my nephew his birthday pressie which he just loved (starwars lego for anyone who cares) Right, i'd best go get ready for this damn race, wish me luck, think i'll need it.....

Monday, 7 February 2011

Forfar 4 - Sandra 0

Forfar Multi Terrain Half Marathon

Ian asked me in middle of week if i fancied doing this. His pitch was "it doesn't start til 11 so we'll get a lie in at least"

Ok, i said. The lie in was getting up at 7am. That's not a Sunday lie in, even for me who gets up in middle of night during week. Hey ho, i wont go on about it tooo much

I had quick look at website on before we were leaving and was alarmed to read things like *bogs can be waist deep* errmm i didn't sign up for this! I had visions of the Ochills race all over again (you've got to read that blog!) We got to Forfar which is actually bigger than we'd thought and drove round in circles for wee while before Ian gave in and asked for directions (just buy a sat nav ffs) Arrived to find lots of familiar faces. Quite a few from my club and quite few other WHW folk too, lovely to see everyone.

Wasn't too long before race briefing and here's where i started to freak out a bit. He first of all told us he'd sent a bloke round to smash up all the ice from the puddles so we could run through them, geee, thanks, icy puddles. He then went on to tell us just how muddy it was, how hilly it was, how we WOULD get wet, oh, and to enjoy it.

I stood there going lalalalalalalala trying to blank it all out. So off we went. I went out at a fairly decent pace and held it for most of way actually. It was all stuff I'd done before, trails, paths, bits of road. At first i was running round the puddles where i could (as was everyone in front of me) then after few times that i had no choice to run through i just thought fuck it, i might as well run through them all now. I was quite enjoying it actually.

I'd been warned of the Puddle. Hmm, cant be as bad as all the ones I've ran through already surely? Ran through a wee tunnel thing and straight into a puddle, a big one. Hmm, that wasn't so bad, what the flep are they all going on about i thought? Then i saw it, a puddle? a fucking puddle? who are they kidding. This was a river, make no mistake.An icy bloody cold one at that. One which had to be broken before we got near it ffs. I could've swam it. It was up to neck nearly (ok, i might be exaggerating slightly) it was certainly up to my thighs, I'm only 5 bloody feet tall. I tried to kinda skip through it to no avail, i kept finding deeper bits and feared I'd face plant anytime soon. Got near end after about half an hour (ok, more exagerrating) and saw we were getting bloody filmed! sadists. So i did what i do best, i smiled and made it look like i was actually enjoying it Bastards.

Ian's name was mud at this point, couldn't believe he'd made me do this. kept thinking, Wait til i get hold of him. Ran up muddy hill with frogs trying to cling onto my legs and several feet of reefs stuck into my trainers. i swear i could hear cracking, i looked down expecting to see icicles falling off my legs. I didn't feel my feet again for a good half hour or so. Seriously, if i'd wanted to do a bloody triathlon i'd have entered one! (i really dont want to!)

I also had to keep stopping to bloody tie my laces, kept getting head rushes every time i bent down, Mustve lost at least 10 places as i did this a total of 7 friggin times! aaaaargh. (yes Jules, i know you're not surprised)

So on i went, after looking at garmin i reckoned i could maybe manage to finish within about 5 mins of my PB. That was soon kicked into touch, silly me. Got to mile 9 and hit the hill. it started off not too steep so i kept running, then it got steeper, and showed no sign of abating, So i walked, ran few steps and walked. I did overtake few folk whilst walking though, I'm quite good at power walking thankfully. I went from doing 8.20mm to 11.35! I'm a wuss i know.

Went back to around 8.30mm for rest of race and i crawled through finish line disappointed with my time of 1.58.16. i was actually proper gutted. 13mins outside my PB, yes i know its not a PB course (unless you're Richie bloody Cunningham, who told me he did!)After posting it on facebook though i got told off a lot. Most people were about 15mins outside their PB times so i guess it's all relative. I feel a wee bit better about it (i suppose) I was 82nd out of 122, so at least i wasnt last!

Maybe I'm too hard on myself sometimes. I've had roughest week I've had in long time (see previous blog) and it was my first race of year. It was a damn good training run, I'll take that from it at least.

It's a great wee race though, well organised and a damn good spread put on for the cold & hungry runners. Well done Forfar Road runners. (still moaning about not getting a medal tho, i do like my medals!)

Got up this morning to torrential rain. Decided on shorts and my good rain jacket,even wore a cap, unheard for me really but it was really raining. By time i got to the gym i was wetter than I'd after running through that damn river yesterday!i half expected Noah to sail past me on his ark.
I was leaving puddles wherever i went lol!

I decided on just doing shorter route down to work after as putting on my soaked jacket again made me shiver me timbers. Rain continued for while then the snow started ffs. For a pleasant change the skies turned blue and the sun came out just as i set off for my run home. Bonza!

So 2 recovery runs and gym done today. And work was pretty good too. S'all good

Right, I'd best get dinner on.....

wonder if it'll fit me? :P

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Yin & Yang

I always thought it was ying and yang....

Not having the best of times at work at mo, this week has been especially tough. I feel constantly drained and tired out. I know i get up ridiculously early but i have done for past 7 years now and it's never made me feel this tired before.

The company i work for prides itself on quality apparently, one of the quotes i first read was
"we care passionately about our food, our people and our clients"
Great ethos, i was impressed when i read that, impressed by their pitch, their website. I understood why they kept winning contracts. Maybe it's my own fault. I'm a hard worker, i put 100% in at all times. I care passionately about what i do. But it takes a team to make that work.

Always hate it when people say "they'll give it 110%" it's not possible is it? Stupid thing to say really. But i genuinely feel I'm putting in 150% at the mo and getting no appreciation for it whatsoever. I left work on Friday afternoon after being on my feet all day with no break, no food, nothing. I gave up any thoughts of running home and stood at bus stop with tears rolling down my face. Went home, ate 2 slices of toast, had couple of drinks then went to bed at 7.30.

Not good.

Anyway, yin, Yang etc. At least rest of my life is good, better than good. I'm happy, i'm healthy, i have a wonderful son and a great relationship. Things to be thankful for.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Weathering the Storm

Yes, another blog regarding the weather.

I've never been a fair weather runner it has to be said. Running to/from work is just the norm for me really and if it's raining, snowing or whatever then i guess i have to deal with it.And i do.

Another reason is that i just don't get people who don't run when it's foul outside. Fair play if you're only running to keep fit, but if you're training for a race? What happens if the weather isn't quite so perfect on race day?

Today was one of those horrendous days. As i stepped outside in the darkness there big fat snowflakes being blown around by horrid wind. Mile and half into run this turned into blizzards, another mile and it turned to sleet, sleety blizzards. This was fine running through the meadows, but on my run back it was in my face big time, i actually couldn't see a bloody thing and feared I'd run into a tree.

The sleet was cutting into my legs like daggers, yes i know i you'll say i could've wore tights instead of shorts , but my reckoning is that the tights would've been soaked through and would make me feel colder. Had my uberwaterproof jacket on though so at least my top half was dry!

By time i got mile away from work it was only raining :o)

Later on the sky turned blue and the sun came out, go figure! I did wonder if it would hold enough for my rum home but no, the storm clouds were gathering once more. I stepped outside work just as rain started. I battled the gale force winds and actually came to a standstill twice on one particular hill! Made it home though, albeit a tad drookit and tad out of breath.

It was rather amusing seeing people doing their best Mary Poppins impressions though at least!

Good things about bad weather
1. It clears the streets, we can run without constant people dodging
2. What doesn't kill you etc.....
3. you feel supersmug to have run in it
4. errmm that's all i can think of, sorry

Bad things about bad weather.
1. Its cold and horrid quite frankly
2. the people that do venture out try and spear you with umbrellas
3. Its cold and horrid quite frankly

I Have nothing else interesting to say. Not even sure that was interesting but I'm saying it anyway.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Sandra in "no running" shocker

Ok it was only 3 days but it was probably longest break I've had in while.

I didn't run on Thursday because of funeral, i guess i could've got up early and ran beforehand but i rarely get chance to lie in til 7.30 so i took it.

Friday i was heading through to Glasgow with Jemima for a Spa break. We'd bought it for each other for combined Christmas/Birthday pressies. Did same last year and went to Norton House it was just fabulous. This year we thought we'd venture West, not often in go to to the Weej voluntarily :p We went to here

So instead of getting up early and doing my usual run/gym i decided to wait til i was at Hotel. Major fail. Arrived to find out they had no gym. Oh well, relaxation time it was then! We headed down to spa and took full advantage of all the facilities. We had treatments booked for early afternoon and after that it was up to room to chill out and crack open bottle bubbly which J had brought with her.

We were shown to room and provided with ice bucket and glasses and told nothing was too much trouble.

Room was lovely, service great, spa fabulous. Really cant fault it at all.

We decided to drink the bubbles then head out for bite to eat, investigate bars etc then come back and get changed for night out. By time we'd finished bottle and faffed around it was getting near 5 and neither of us had eaten since breakfast so we decided to just get into glad rags and head off for early dinner instead.

after asking a girl outside the directions to Bath street, we headed off down a VERY steep street. This wasn't entirely easy in the heels i was wearing, i was hanging onto Jemima for dear life thinking i was about to topple over. After getting to bottom of hill and not finding bath st we checked Map kindly situated on street corner ,only to find the stupid bint had sent us wrong way ffs. Quick decision made to head to bar halfway back up hill to break it up a bit, going uphill is much easier in big heels thankfully.

So we Bar hopped until we found someplace to eat, had cocktails, wine, vodka and Jagermeisters. Saw some dodgy bars and dodgy people, danced, laughed and generally had bloody good night out. We stopped off for Kebab on way home (chicken for me, athlete i am lol) and arriving back at hotel found the cocktail bar open. Sensible thing to do would be to head to room with said Kebabs, pity me & J aren't sensible though eh.

So there we were in 5 star hotel cocktail Bar with carrier bag at our feet being served french Martinis & Mojitos. We know this because we have pictures.

Woke up in morning to find carnage on duvet cover. Eating Kebabs in bed & superwhite duvet covers do not mix, do not try this at home folks.

Breakfast was served til 10 and checkout at a civilised 11 (12 on a Sunday for those interested!)So we headed downstairs around 9.45. Up we go to buffet table to get cereal, juice etc only to find a bottle of belvedere Vodka! it was next to Juices and had bottle of tabasco next to it clearly intended for Bloody Mary's. I was so shocked to find it there i knocked it over lol. I headed back to table and J followed, she thought I'd poured one (i hadn't) so she had poured a Vodka & OJ hahaha. We shared it. Then waitress came to take our hot food order, after asking us about our night out, she directed us to said vodka,we told her it was nearly finished (true) so she replaced it with a full bottle. oh dear. We actually only had one more, even we know when not to push our luck.

Anyway, that's my review of Blythswood Square Hotel, go there if you get chance!

Ian was out running on WHW on Saturday so kindly came and picked us up in the Weej , i was bloody exhasuted by time got home and was falling asleep by 9. I am seriously turning into a

Sunday i decided that 3 days of drinking and no running would turn me into a crazy/weeble so i decided to head out for wee run in case my legs had forgotten how to. After quick thought about route i decided to go out and put flowers on my Mum's grave for her Birthday. First 2 miles were uphill, rest of route was undulating or hilly. Quick stop off at sainsbury's to buy flowers, carefully packed into backpack i had another mile til Graveyard with flowers sticking out top of bag, i must've got few strange looks.

By time got home i'd done 13.5 hilly miles, got good av pace going overall with few 7.30mm kicking in which was great going. Clearly i hadn't forgotten how to run at least.

Or so i thought. Up at 4.30am Monday for run to gym. I stupidly decided to head up the hill I'd beasted the day before. The hill chewed me up and spat me back out in disgust. By time i got to gym i was knackered. I usually throw myself into my gym session but i had nothing. Everything was a massive effort and i was sweating buckets. I half heartedley went through routine and left there thinking run to work would be better, cant be worse. hmmm. Ok, it wasn't worse, it wasn't too much better either, i did manage 8mm for last mile but i was just desperate to get to friggin work by then!

So after a particularly bus day at work. I got the bus home. I guess we have to have those bad runs to remember all the good ones.

And if we're patient, the good ones come along pretty damn soon. Cue Today's run, stonking it was. 6 to work, 3 home. And even though the run home was wet & windy at least it cleared the streets of annoying people getting in my way, gotta to be thankful for small mercies!

After Karen mentioned on FB yesterday that she'd hit 200miles for the month i had a look back at my Month compared to last yr. Vast Difference. This time last yr i did 238miles, this year i did 177. That's 61 miles of a difference for anyone out there who isn't an accountant or doesn't have a calculator to hand ;) 61! that's a lot. I looked at where the differences where at i actually did the same amount of runs. The difference was in my morning runs to work, sometimes i was doing 10miles before getting to work. But..... i am now cross training. A lot. Time will tell if it makes a difference but although i groan a bit about going to gym i do enjoy it once I'm there. And going before work is working better for me as it's easy to have a hard day and say i CBA.

GeorgeR is a wise man, he said it's all about quality, not quantity and he is of course right. So i quickly stopped berating the "lost" miles and took comfort in the good work I've actually put in so far.

Forfar Multi Terrain Half on Sunday to look forward to. Forfar reminds me of 2 things
1. Bridies
2. East Five 4 Forfar 5

Onwards & upwards!


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...