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.


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...