After SDW race i was more than a bit broken. Luckily i hadn't entered any races for rest of year as you just don't know how these things will pan out. Wise decision on my part. I had issues with hip and huge piriformis pain, which is quite literally a pain in the bum. Nothing seemed to be fixing it. Rest, i did the whole no running at all thing. Physio. More Rest. Nothing changed so i just started running again but decided to cut back on mileage & do gym work to help strengthen things up again. Didn't work.
Frustrating times but hey, i was still running, cant complain too much. And Ian was having huge problems and was in such pain with his back i felt like i was lucky to not be in that kind of pain. Mine was manageable and i didnt need drugs. I did limp quite a lot especially if i'd been at my desk for more than half an hour. Was fine when got moving again though hence i carried on my run commute.
I did end up doing few races. Couple Half Marathons - Dumfries (much improved but still bloody tough course) and Loch Rannoch - again tough course, stunning though. was good 11 mins slower than previously there when i got 2nd F place. Hey ho, its where i was and i was sill running, still racing, albeit a lot slower. We also went and did Jedburgh 10k - ooft. another toughie. short distances are so not my forte. Hopefully looking to change that as this year progresses, more on that later.
We had few changes at work, the company i worked for lost contract & the Dean of Business School begged me to stay telling me it was opportunity to do the 4 day wk i had been asking for, so i switched companies and secured my 4 day week i'd been long asking for - happy days.
As so many race open online entries at least 6 months ahead and being aware of still carrying niggles i was unwilling to enter any Ultras on the off chance i may or not be able to run so i made to decision to take a year off. I've done this before and enjoyed doing lots of Half Marathons & races i'd had eye on but never managed cause i was Ultra training, tapering, recovering - the whole cycle.
And of course it gives the body a break. I see so many people bang out Ultra after Ultra then moan about not getting times they were after. Hey, wake up. Listen to your body. Have an A race, if that doesn't go to plan then go to plan B. or C nothing in life is guaranteed, look after your body, it will thank you.
I went off for weeks proper break with my friend Jemima. She's currently working a full time job managing a team and studying for BSc and we both just needed a week of chilling , reading lots of books and lying by the pool drinking lots of cava. I do love all inclusive and properly love Cava much more than prosecco. Its made exactly same as my beloved Champagne, just not trademarked like the clever people of Reims did. Only did one run that week. Perfect.
December was massive cut back month of just doing weights and short runs. Like i said earlier it didnt make much of difference so by mid January i was back to *normal* ie- running the full 8 miles to work instead of bussing halfway . January also incorporates WHW training weekend. I wasn't sure if i was up to running the full 30 miles, and why did i need to..So because of my 4 day wk i took the Friday off and decided to get train to Milngavie & run to Oak tree. I had a glorious day, so lucky.
I felt like a long distance runner again that day,even though it was only 19 miles. But the WHW just gives you "that feeling. And boy was i lucky to have weather like that in January. Stunning.
Next day i just did to Rowardennan and back,weather wasn't quite as kind but it was just fabulous to be out there again & doing back to back runs. Great weekend as ever. I was in lot less pain, only getting random pain and feeling much more like a runner again.
February was building back mileage although still very slow but building the base levels back. March threw up a surprise
My clubmate Lucy put out a call to say she was ill so couldn't take her place in John Muir Relay (17m)so was looking for stand in, race transfer all approved by Race Director obviously. . I was first to put hand up & volunteer as i know route fairly well - Edinburgh to North Berwick is one of my go to long runs. I was teamed up with fast runner Phil, i was doing first leg. Weather was nothing short of atrocious. I took bit of tumble with about miles to go and was damn pleased i wasn't doing whole Ultra at that point.
Was so cold when i finished but thankfully John & Helen were marshaling a wee bit down the beach & had camper van. They put kettle & heater on & i got changed & warmed up,once last runners trough we headed down to finish -was astounded to find out we had won 2nd mixed team! My goodness. Mainly due to Phil but hey, i will take a podium place due to any circumstances.
Again, it made me feel a bit more like a runner again, trails, bad weather,blood, sweat but no tears.
We had wee break in Majorca early April, we knew next holiday would be proper full on and not so much of break. We ran most days, just social short runs and found some lovely trails & hidden gems
April .well wow.
We spent nearly all of April in Australia. We went for Commonwealth games. What an amazing experience. Although the 10 days of the Athletics was actually quite stressful. We were in official Team Scotland Hotel and it was also base to BBC & many other journalists. This in itself put Ian under bit of pressure as everyday we had Scottish Athletes competing the pressure was right there.fabulous.
Scottish Athletics had a medal target to hit & it was pressure all way to last day which was an utterly mad day full of mixed emotions. Callum Hawkins leading that Marathon all the way to collapse in last 1.5 miles, the concern we had for Callum, the crushing feeling of that gold medal being almost in his hand, it was almost like we were in a horrible dream. Then suddenly Robbie Simpson appears over the last (only) hill to claim a Bronze medal.
Hugely emotional day. Mark (Scottish Athletics CEO) went off to hospital to check on Callum & we went back to hotel to deal with all the press. Great to see Robbie come in with his medal later on. Phew, we were put through wringer and back that day. It was such an honour to meet the Medalists.feel privileged to be in that position, they were all just wonderful.
It was bit of relief to fly up to Cairns next day & spend week up there with Alastair, Ian's middle boy who lives there. We did Great barrier Reef, Rain forest tours, helicopter rides and much more. Just brilliant. Oh and we did Parkrun, as usual they asked if anyone was visiting, we of course put hands up. Girl next to us told us she lived in Aberdeen! We asked why she was there. " oh my boyfriend was competing in CWG" she said. Only happened to be Robbie Simpson! haha small world
I adored Australia. We ran every day bar one. we were out between 6am & 7 every morning, now even a bit later than i normally run but my goodness it was like Piccadilly circus every morning. Runners, power walkers, surfers, skateboards, cyclists, you name it, very young through to very old. Loved it.
Came back enthused, energized and pining for Australia. I totally adapted to Australian way of life, the heat, everything. Mileage started going up, pace coming down a bit. All good. We packed the sunshine so you can thank us for the run of good weather since we got back. You're welcome.
June- WHW month. Always a busy one for Ian (and me) We managed to bag a couple of places for Killearn trail 10k, what a great race, beautiful trails & views and a proper local community feel to it. Great to catch up with my lovely friends too. Will go back for sure,
Also did Corstorphine 5, i was bit disappointed not to beat my previous time (about secs off) but hey, no speed training will do that! We also did"roon the toon" 10k. Ian had been asked to be official starter which was nice. Again i was nowhere near PB but feeling good to be racing again. another great race totally supported by local community. Another one i'd return to,hopefully in better shape as i reckon its a PB course.
WHW weekend. Well as per usual it clashed with my Graduations. I had 700 people attending our first day, champagne & Canapes. It didn't start till 5.30 so it was long day on feet, next day was *only* 200 and i was leaving straight from work to go and set up Whwrace registration. Phew. Not much sleep was had over entire weekend but it was as ever, exhausting, exhilarating, inspirational and utterly fabulous
We topped off that weekend with a run up & down Ben Nevis in the most glorious weather.
How lucky we are.
Ian's race started 9am and mine 12 so George & Karen, his fabulous crew (both fellow race directors and great friends) picked him up around 7am and i stayed until Susan ( half of team santababy) arrived for me. We arrived & Ian was doing great, it was as predicted super sunny and super hot. My race was going grwat for first 3 hrs them i started to feel awful. Id never normally stop during race but i had to go into K & G's camper van to get bit of respite, felt so nauseous and was weaving all place. Karen gave me salt tablets & ginger beer & off i went. Nothing changed. i felt worse as day went on and got slower & slower.
Mileage targets were soon forgotten and i concentrated on just finishing. Ive got friends going through some tough times right now & that was forefront of my mind. I CAN be out there running, i choose to, i knew it was something that would fix itself once i stopped, and it did.Nothing was stopping me completing it though, i had to get Susan to join me for last lap as i was all over place but i made it. I ended up winning race surprisingly (not huge field but you can only race who there i guess!)
I nipped back to house for baath & to pick up more home made chicken soup for Ian & we headed back down. Ian was in 2 nd place by then and kept that placing right till end. I managed to grab hour & half sleep in Karen & Georges van and did 2 laps with Ian as sun rose, he did penultimate one on his own and i ran last lap wit him before he went on to smaller laps for last half hour.
So proud of him given what hes been through with back problems and how busy he is generally.
Great event from folks at Breaking Strain who also do run the blades. Next year will be significantly busier i am certain.
So there is catch up. Next blog will be about cook school!
watch this space