(picture: All runners. Although I look like a junior, I ran with the grown-ups)
Sunday, 30 December 2007
Saturday, 29 December 2007
Finished the 16 mile route in 2:16:42, which was 1:30 faster than last month's run. Horseshoe in 1:16:48. Average pace was 8.33. My goal marathon race pace is 8.20 and that's breaking my PB by 10 minutes, so (fingers crossed) I'm on track for my target time. Last mile from the sweet shop in 6:21.
Thursday, 27 December 2007
Or not so clever as the case may be. After a whole day of over-indulgence, I felt more stuffed than the turkey. The only solution was to meet up with my fellow Garscubians for a 12-mile trail run. I probably had enough calories in me to fuel me on the full West Highland Way, but we opted for a small section starting at Kirkhouse Inn in Strathblane.
(picture The Consani Brothers)
Captain Athole shouted "Everyone know the route? Yeap. Yeap. Good" before heading off and leaving a few startled faces behind. Thankfully I was more than familiar with this killer course.
Tuesday, 25 December 2007
I had a very restless sleep last night. Despite being 32, I still get very excited about Christmas. Marco opened his eyes at 5am to have me glaring and shouting: "Can we get up yet? Can we? Can we get up YET?". He finally succumb at 5.30am saying: "Maybe we should have kids, so we can have a lie in on Christmas morning". Santa brought me lots of great goodies including a digital SLR camera, a Garmin 50, a lightweight headtorch, ipod radio connection and lots of pamper stuff. I feel positively spoiled.
I headed out for my run at 10am - full of Christmas joy and high on Liquorice Allsorts. Nothing too tough. It is Christmas after all. 4.5miles of one minute intervals. Finished my Balloch - Bonhill Bridge route in 33.57. That's 18 seconds faster than a few weeks ago and almost three minutes faster than October. Surely that deserves a chocolate or two?
Monday, 24 December 2007
Sunday, 23 December 2007
Out of the town and through Mugdock the grit trail was OK, but it was like dancing on ice from there on in. I was running on my own for most of the first section. Not because I lack social skills, but because the fast group were too fast and the slower group were, well, too slow. I think Marco felt bad about my no-friends situation, so hung back to run with me. Actually he ran off and then stopped to let me catch up. I found it really hard to run on the ice. It was like running on a treadmill. My legs were doing to revolutions, but I wasn't actually going anywhere. Now I know what a hamster on a wheel is like ;-) The slow pace meant that I couldn't heat up. I've got really bad circulation, so my hands and feet were like blocks of ice.
I sent Marco packing before Drymen. I was planning on getting there and turning straight back. The thought of sitting about in wet clothes in the freezing cold was less than appealing. By this point I was so blue, I looked like a smurf. John Kennedy (winner of this year's Devil o the Highlands race) passed and warned me about the bridge at Drymen, as the ice had made it quite treacherous. He also commented that he'd seen my My Race feature on the Devil's race. Oooh I felt like a minor celebrity. When I got to the bridge - as I'm slightly accident prone - I decided to make that my turning point.
The road from Drymen back on to the trail was my lowest point. The roads were a nightmare. I passed another three WHW runners on their way to Drymen. Looked like some of the group dropped off en route, as there was definitely more that set out. I could have easily thrown in the towel, but I had motivated myself with an incentive: to burn enough energy to enjoy guilt-free pizza and chips that night. Yes, I'm that shallow.
After the most boring part of the WHW, I was relieved to reach the steps back on to the trail. I met an elderly rambling group at the Way marker. I warned then about the ice on steps and the extremely slippy duckboards. As I ran off, I heard the distant sound of shrieks and whooping.
Heading towards the Killearn turn off the sun was trying to come up. Thankfully I was thawing out and feeling less murderous. The fast (er) boys past me shortly before Dumgoyach. Ian Beattie told me that he was: "keeping Marco at the back to slow him down". That made me giggle, as Marco is usually like a Labrador that's just been let out of a car.
My encounter with them was short-lived. I was on my own until after the Carbeth Huts, when I ran with Tim for a while. We parted when I had to stop for a comfort break. The fourth of the day. That's frosty weather for you.
On through Mugdock Park, there was a few hairy moments with unleashed dogs. Back on through Milngavie town centre and it was all over. 24 miles bang on. It's amazing how you can programme you brain to tell you body what you need. If you're out to do a 24 mile run, it's mind over matter. Tell yourself you're only doing five miles and your body will give you the energy for five miles, but not a step further. Don't know how my legs will react when I have to tell them 96 miles is on the cards.
Wednesday, 19 December 2007
Got a PB though. Even with the ice. Finished in 55.57. That's 23 seconds faster than two weeks ago. I finished the last mile hard, but not as hard as I could have. I knew I was on for a PB so I was a little more relaxed.
Before I started with Lesley's training plan, I usually averaged about 1:01 on this route. Pretty pleased that I've shaved off about five minutes. My aim is to get it under 55mins by end of January.
Not that I'm getting better, I'm off to do what I do best. Shopping, eating and drinking wine. It's the Daily Mail Christmas party in London tomorrow night, so I'm hanging up my trainers for two days. Perfect taper for Saturday's WHW training run. I'm sure there will be lots of carb loading too ;-)
Tuesday, 18 December 2007
Yes, you've guessed it, it was fartlek tonight.
I generally view this as the fairy of rep sessions. Verging on the not-to-bad side of tough. Unfortunately tonight, I was teamed up with three packs above me. Therefore I was the goose breathing out my ears at the back of the group. Managed to keep up for bursts, varying from 100m, two minutes, 800m, 200m, 1000m, more random sprints and hungry hill to finish. It was only on the longer reps that I noticed a gap. Jill (coach for the evening) said that "it was a better session, as the runners were closer together. No waiting about". I'll take that as a compliment. Cheers, FB ;-)
Monday, 17 December 2007
I also presented Garscube: The Oscars. This is the club's alternative awards. More of a p*ss take. Verging on the offensive.
Anyway, after waking up feeling slightly delicate...and confused as to why I was wearing Marco's Santa suit as PJs...I was surprised that I was still looking forward to Kelvingrove step reps after work. Any other suggestion would have been thrown out, but this is my favourite session just now. I took most of the day to convince Marco into joining me. And it took us about 20 minutes to get out of the car. As the cars around us were freezing over, the great outdoors was less that inviting.
After a short warm up, we headed to the steps with a view to completing a set of 12. My muscles were cold and tight, but running made me feel so much better. Good start to the detox. Only three more sleeps to the next party ;-)
Times were 0.37, 0.37, 0.37, 0.37, 0.37, 0.36, 0.36, 0.36, 0.36, 0.36, 0.36 and 0.35.
The race was hilarious. Running down the switchback to the sound of honking horns and cheering pedestrians. Took the focus off my red wine hangover and aching legs. Finished in 24.55...without spewing.
It's the club's Christmas party tonight, so we booked a hotel for the night. I don't know what was funnier, going round Asda for the post-race munchies or checking in to the hotel. Dressed as Santa and an elf definitely raised a few eyebrows. It could be the new festive fetish.
Saturday, 15 December 2007
Struggled for the first few miles until I warmed up. Didn't take long as, even though it's mid-December, it's still really mild. I took a pip-stop at three miles to remove some clothes. After that I felt like I'd been reborn. I've never been a fan of hot-weathered running. Give me 12 degrees with slight drizzle any day. I won't drivel on, but if you want to hear me hiss, just mention the 30 degrees of this year's Paris Marathon. Sssss.
Feeling cooler I started to pick up the pace. One thing I've noticed about running that wee bit faster is that there's been an increase in the number of "emergency stops" I've made. I'll spare you the details, but I'm sure any runner reading this will be nodding knowingly. At mile five I had to make an emergency sprint into the grounds of a country estate. Just when I thought I was at my lowest ebb, the postman decided to drive through %-) We've become quite familiar, as our routes pass frequently on a Saturday morning. It was the quickest I'd moved all day. Deeply embarrassed when he beeped and waved. Die. Hope there's another post strike soon.
Anyway with a redder than normal face (and I usually look like a Halloween cake) I pushed on. Feeling great, I was making up for time lost in the first few miles.
Finished the horseshoe in1:15:54. Home in 1:24:20. Average pace 8.32. Two weeks ago my times were 1:17:47, 1:26:03 and 8.43.
Thursday, 13 December 2007
So it was off to training for me...we did the Bearsden (ski centre - Stockiemuir) route in reverse. Didn't arrive in time for a proper warm up, so the uphill route through Bearsden was a bit of a struggle. Picked up the pace from the ski centre, down Stockiemuir, through the park and on to Milngavie Road. I was really keeping an eye on pace, but new we were under 8m/m from the ski centre onwards. New bloke, Davie, ran with wee Ann and I. Think we were a bit slow for him, as he was far more chatty. Finished the 5.6mile route on an average pace of 8.29.
Home feeling quite self-righteous. I'm sure there will be a few sore heads in the office tomorrow morning. I'm presently celebrating my abstinence with a lovely glass of red wine ;-)
Wednesday, 12 December 2007
When I left the Garscube Estate there was another running club in front of me. They kept slowing and looking round at me, as if they had left someone behind. Thankfully they turned down another street, and I followed on to Anniesland. Managed to keep marathon pace up to Knightswood and then picked up the pace to Lincoln, down to Danes, past Victoria Park and up to Anniesland. The last mile up to the Garscube Estate is our equivalent of Boston's Hungry Hill. A lot of our routes finish here. Just when your legs are tired, it's up and up. Nice fast finish down to the end though.
Covered 6.07 miles in my 10K PB time (0.6m faster than last Wednesday's tempo). Finished route in 50:21 (last week 55:43, although we did more of a recovery up last mile). Pace was 7.58 (last week 8.43). First time I've broken the eight minute barrier.
Tuesday, 11 December 2007
I teamed up with new boy David. He hasn't done any races for a while, but I think we were about the same. Although I'm sure he was slacking off towards the end, as I seemed to be covering more of the circuit. Even on the recovery. Hey ho, I didn't have my Garmin with me, so don't know what the distance was.
Monday, 10 December 2007
Not really much to report. Did three reps in 6.45, 6.43 and 6.42 (two weeks ago is was 6.54, 6.43 and 6.43).
Saturday, 8 December 2007
This is a quote that I'll keep in the back of my mind, as I've spent most the this year just getting the miles in my legs.
I've really focused on speed and pacing over the past few months, so for today's 15-mile run I wanted to concentrate on hills and running form.
I chose a route from Hardgate through Bearsden, over the Langbank hill and then back through Milngavie. It's very undulating to say the very least.
I've been researching running form, so tried to put some theories into practice.
Running uphill: Increase forward lean (but not from the waist). Shorten stride. Increase arm, foot and knee drive. Switch to ball-heel foot action. Maintain breathing. By shortening stride and maintaining strike rate, it should be easier to keep moving at pace when you've reached the crest. Since the rate it there, you only have to extend stride length to regain speed.
Running downhill: Take the breaks off and roll. Lean forward from the pelvis. "develop a feel for downhill running so you flow smoothly with the hill like a mountain stream". The key is quicker turnover. Decrease stride at the start of hill. On steep declines, land on the ball of your foot. Push off from the heel. Strike lightly. Arms not needed for power - just balance. Stay relaxed.
The main aim was to try and keep a consistent strike rate - regardless of the gradient.
It was pretty windy out there and the hills really emptied my legs. The course takes in a few stonking hills. The last one nearly had me on my knees. Even the last two miles downhill was a struggle.
Finished in the 15 miles (drenched, frozen and cross-eyed) in 2:16:58. Pace 9.08. Pretty gutted, as I wanted to keep long run pace under 8.45, but the hills really slowed me down. On a more positive note, according to McMillian my long run pace (for my target 3.40 marathon) is 8.54-9.54. Check me out, trying to stay upbeat. Now I just need to get some life in my legs for my office Christmas party. After ceilidh dancing in heels, today's adventure will seem horseplay.
Thursday, 6 December 2007
Six mile tempo was on the cards for tonight. Or at least it was six miles until I took the troops on a wee detour and added on an extra half mile. Another oops. Route though Knightwood and back up Crow Road. We picked up the pace down Lincoln Drive (which is the road we shouldn't have been on) to 7.45 or 10k pace.
I couldn't help but notice that Knightswood must be the international culture capital of the world. There was so many different nationalities kicking about, it was hard to believe we were in Scotland. The girls were reminded of their location when a random runner sprinted through the middle of us, forcing me to collide with some tree branches. The harsh vulgarities I spat, were definitely apt for a Glasgow scheme. Little did we know that we were running in the path of Victoria Park's club race and were soon to be stampeded by superfast six-year-olds.
Tempo continued up to Anniesland. Felt this pace was quite steady for me. Could have easily pushed it. Glad that I can "lead" quite comfortably without have to kill myself trying to keep up.
Wednesday, 5 December 2007
Started out OK. Didn't really hit the head wind until mile three. Being that little bit faster these days, I didn't find the wind as bad as usual. It was pretty full on most of the way home - with mile 3-5 being the worse. I was actually looking forward the dark, dingy bit, as I would at least be sheltered by the trees. The traffic at that bit was busier than usual, so I spent a fair bit of time hopping on and off the pot-holed footpath.
I covered 6.01 miles in my 10K PB time, so fingers-crossed I should be on for a smasher next time I brave the distance. I always been quite vocal about my hate for this distance, but now I'm really looking forward to it. Jack Crawford on Jan 12 is my goal.
Finished in 56.20 - that's 45 seconds faster than last week. Considering the blustery conditions, I was absolutely delighted. Last mile from the sweet shop in 6:21.
Tuesday, 4 December 2007
Anyway the group were split in three. Our pack was moved up to the intermediate gang. I knew it was going to be tough, because some of the faster boys had dropped back for an "easy session". There was me and three of my E pack that were pulled along.
The circular route is about 450m. A few sharp bends, but no hills. The wind picked up, so the last stretch was a struggle.
We did 10 reps - with a 3.5minute turnaround. Just for the record (the boring bit) my times were 1.41, 1.40, 1.39, 1.39, 1.39, 1.38, 1.41, 1.40, 1.41, 1.39.
Monday, 3 December 2007
Marco's a wee bit tired after his PB in the East Kilbride 10K yesterday came in 14th in 35:45. Funniest thing was that was the time I predicted for him. I'd even worked out the splits for him for that time. I'd even given him a lucky penny I found yesterday morning. Therefore, I'm taking full responsibility ;-)
Anyway, enough about him and more about me. Used his weak state to try and close the gap during the step reps. Hey now I'm a Consani I better state getting a bit more competitive.
We went for 12 x up and down. Times were 40, 39, 38, 38, 38, 38, 38, 38, 37, 37, 36, 35. Marco's average was 34 seconds. Close but no cigar :-(
Sunday, 2 December 2007
Now I'm off to the land of the roundabouts. Oh the glamour.
Saturday, 1 December 2007
I forgot to tell you about the cracker her came out with this week...
Apparently when he does his Wednesday morning run round the west end, there's a girl he passes on Crow Road. And apparently she's my double. So much so, that he's convinced it's me. At first I thought she was out running at this time, but he duly informed me that "she looks like she's never ran a step in her life". So, how can she look like me, Marco? Eh? He did try to retract the comment by saying: "I was just saying that she looks like you from behind". It's a good job I'm thick skinned.
Friday, 30 November 2007
15 minutes of rowing (3070m), 10 minutes on the bike (3.6), some core work and leg weights. Nothing too crazy, as today's a "rest" day. Think the tank was a bit on the empty side though. My stomach was making ridiculous sounds and I could feel the acid rising. Lovely. Now I'm struggling to drink coffee, as it's burning me apart. How am I supposed to cope with this afternoon? Right, I'm off for some Rennies.
Thursday, 29 November 2007
At the finish, a pack interloper offered me some "constructive criticism" about stopping runners hopping on to the road to overtake. I was practically chewing off my cheek, as it went in one ear and out the other. I mean, we're all adults. If I started acting like a dictator instead of a guider, I'd be huckled off the nearest bridge. Mmm now that gives me an idea... ;-)
Wednesday, 28 November 2007
OK, praises over...let's talk about running. I'm very excited to write that I did my seven-mile tempo in 57.05 - that's 1.5 minutes faster than a few weeks ago. Average pace 8.07 - which is faster than my half-marathon pace. Last mile from the sweet shop in 6.31
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Don't know what my times were, as the circuits were continuous. Whole session covered about 4.5 miles. Felt really good and light on my feet. Especially on the shorter hill.
Hi Stephen. Hope the blog's going well. Sorry about the wee breather award. You're now going to the big bad fire.
Monday, 26 November 2007
So the best way to counteract a weekend on the sauce is to get straight back into training. OK, it's also the best way to secure heart failure.
I was keen to do some reps. Possibly something between 200-600 metres, but somehow Marco managed to convince me to do mile reps. So after work we headed to Knightswood Park to do the mile route round the parameter. This is a route that Marco and the fast boys used to do on their special invite-only training nights. He wibbered all the way up about this being a rough session, but it was the best session to help with my race times. I don't know whether he was preparing me for the worst or simply limiting the moan factor.
Anyway, it was tough. But I really enjoyed it. Well, apart from going over on my ankle on the first leg and the pesky dog owners who let their horse-like hounds chase you down the street. At least the geese were well behaved.
Planned on three milers, with 2/3 minute recoveries. Times were 6.54, 6.43 and 6.43. Going to try for four next time, with a view to getting up to six. Aim to get reps under 6.30 by end of January.
Friday, 23 November 2007
As I'm off to London for the weekend, I thought it would be a good idea to squeeze in a long (ish) run before work. OK, it was only 11 miles, but I thought it was better than nothing. I thought wrong. As my dear old friend Kas would say, I ran like a bag of spanners. Now, in my defence there were various factors against me: I was pretty gubbed after three hard training sessions on a trot, I had to get up just after 5am, I didn't have much for dinner last night and completely avoided breakfast. Excuses, excuses. But the main reason was it was BALTIC this morning. -4 when I started. I just could not heat up. My muscles felt really cold and stringy the whole time. The pavements were sheets of ice, so I spent most of my time tinkering round them. Even the rabbits were looking at my funny.
I would have thrown in the towel, but I decided than a tough run on empty would be good training for the WHW. I even managed to convince myself of this when I passed the tube station.
By the time I got to the office, my eyeballs were frozen, I had icicles hanging from my nose and my skin felt sunburned.
The route from Bowling to the office is exactly 11 miles. I'm not even looking at the time or pace. The salty tears might sting my weather-beaten face. Next time, I'm taking a recovery day. Aye, right.
Thursday, 22 November 2007
Took out pack E, but met a stranded Pack C-er on the way out. She taggled behind us for a couple of miles. Stopping and looping back on Rannoch Drive really slowed down my average pace (I know, I'm an a*se now). Made the decision to leave her after Boclair. Thankfully her friend, who runs in our pack, stayed back with her. Ran the rest of the route with Dave Heppell. I still don't know who was trying to kill who, but we kept up a ready good pace. Up Kilmadinny, along Manse, down to Station Road and then up the dreaded Pendicle %-) The fast boys started to overtake us at that point. Ali Mo looking like a gazelle - with his wheezing disciples on tow. Marco was getting slagged for upping the pace when he saw me ahead. And there was me thinking he had given up trying to impress me ;-) Up last the hill past the Porsche garage, Dave and I were still pushing each other. I gave him the big spiel about Lesley saying I should finish hard, which I don't think he was delighted with.
6.2 miles. After initial stop and start, my average pace was only 8.48. Pants really.
Wednesday, 21 November 2007
Headed out to Kelvingrove with Marco, with a view to do some hillreps. It was supposed to be a steady run out, but managed to get caught up to my 10K pace. In the park, I introduced him to the cheeky wee number that Sara, Ali and I used to run. Approx 100m with a tough steep bit at the top. My description of hills are legendary. Marco chose Kenyan hills, whereas I went for the straight forward up-round the monument-and back down as fast as possible. Managed five averaging 1:47.
Then it was over to the steps at Park Circus. A set of three continuous flights, to get the fast twitch muscles into gear. I've finally found a session that I keep up with Marco. Actually, I think he was trying to humour me, but hey ho. I like being humoured. Six sets - with 0:38 being my best time.
Back to the office looking like drowned-rats.
Tuesday, 20 November 2007
Despite my morning trauma of my morning tooth extraction, I was really looking forward to the time trial. More because I wanted to gauge what improvement my new training plan had made.
Anyway, it wasn't to be. Timed efforts it was. The packs were broken up differently tonight. Usually I do Tuesday sessions with packs slower than me. But tonight I was out with the three packs above me. It was very tough, but very worthwhile. It gave me more confidence to know that I could hang on behind them.
5.5 miles. Reps 1min, 2mins, 3mins, 3mins, 2mins, 3mins, 3mins, hill up to the top gate, recovery.
Had a long chat with coach Lesley regarding next step in the training plan. We discussed key races, club runs, speed training, tempos, training pace and WHW training runs. She going to compile a plan based on this. My main focus is a January 10k, Balloch half, London Marathon and WHW.
Saturday, 17 November 2007
I woke up at 4.30am this morning and couldn't get back to sleep. Tossed and turned before giving in to BBC 24 viewing. When I set out for the Balloch Horseshoe at 8am, I was a little on the tired side. My legs were fine, but my heart was racing and my chest was really tight. After a few miles I was right as rain. Started to pick up the pace, even though the route is fairly hilly and I was cursed with the runner's wind. No, not the too many brussel sprouts wind. The runner's wind is the wind that's in your face no matter what direction you're running in. Considering I always run circuits, I always find this phenomenon hard to explain.
Route - home - Balloch - horseshoe - bonhill - Dumbarton - Renton - home. 16 miles. Total time 2:18:14. Pace 8.39. Weather wet and windy.
Even finished my last mile with a hard run. From the sweet shop home in 6.31. That's 20 seconds faster than last week.
Don't think my post-run bagel and apple lined my stomach enough for a day on the sauce. I was gubbed before the football had even started. Obviously the kebab-shop demolition on the way home was a fabulous idea. A feast for athletes.
Thursday, 15 November 2007
Had a really good run. Legs were totally fine from yesterday. The route was 5.5miles round the west end. A few cheeky wee hills to slow you down though.
I realise and understand that there are varying degrees of ability within our club, but let me tell you about something that really annoys me :-x The faster runners who wants to join our pack because they "feel rubbish/sh*te/unwell". As if that's not patronising enough, when they out with you they start skipping along beside you. Feeling charitable if they slow down and wait for you. Bugg*r off, we're not taking any strays anymore. Rant over.
Wednesday, 14 November 2007
Off to Tiso tonight to hear Simone Moro talk about his adventures on the seven peaks. If I detect a glint in Marco's eye, I'm out of there.
Tuesday, 13 November 2007
Monday, 12 November 2007
You have to think of your run schedule to remember what day of the week it is
You can name at least 3 writers of running blogs
The family holiday just happens to coincide with a race in Paris, or New York, or Rome ...
You actually think "It''s only 26.2 miles"
You wake up thinking about today's run and go to sleep thinking about tomorrow's run
You drive your route after your runs to find out how far you went
You even dream about running
Giving directions, you give the distances to the nearest metre
You use the words "easy" and "long run" in the same sentence
You continue running despite the fact that your eyelashes are stuck together with ice and snow
You cross the finish line of a marathon and you start considering when the next one will be
You can say "fartlek" without a single hint of a laugh
You spend your free time reading nutrition labels and race results
You are running a race and your calves are cramping and your knees are aching and your lungs are burning but you still find yourself thinking, "This is fun!"
You'd rather run than have s*x
You notice that the only footsteps in the snow are yours and they are from yesterday
You leave the New Year's Eve party at 11pm because you have a race in the morning
You have to drive for 20 miles before you find a road you haven't run on
You have your race schedule set out for 5 years in advance but can’t remember your work schedule for tomorrow
You pee in public when you aren't drunk
Your partner suggests that you give up running for Lent
Saturday, 10 November 2007
The run was great - albeit wet and windy. It was nice to share nerves with WHW virgins and gain some knowledge from the more experienced.
I chat mostly with Ellen. She's off to do the Everest marathon next week, so we gibbered about running, trekking and altitude.
When we got to Tyndrum the lead group had been there for sometime. Davy was contemplating which way to reject the Cullen Skink that he had consumed. Not an obvious choice, but I'm sure there was reasoning. I didn't hang about for long, as I had to get back to Drover's toute Suite. Marco and I had a wedding reception (Tom and Caroline's) to go to in Aberdeen. I ran the whole route back by myself. The rain had stopped, but the wind was still pretty strong. The Way backwards is actually much tougher going south in this section. There are some nose-bleed hills. Anyway, made it back in one piece. No aches, no detours, no dramas. I must thank Sharon for the en-route text entertainment though.
By the time we got to the hotel, the wedding party were mulling about. We were trying to disguise ourselves at the check-in, whilst the reception stared us up and down. We were slightly mucky with crazy hair.
Once we were cleaned and spruced up, we un-did all the good we had done by drinking copious amounts of Corona. Our legs were a little heavy, but we managed to dance all night. OK, it might have been more of a upper-body shuffle. By 10pm the energy burning run had taken it toll and Marco took out woman and children to get to the buffet. Watching him devour stovies and macaroni pies (only in Aberdeen) was not the romantic break I had in mind ;-) I won't even begin to list what he demolished for breakfast. Or explain his theory behind his "extra stomach when the food is free". Again, thus confirming his status as the fattest skinniest man I know.
Thursday, 8 November 2007
My lord, it was windy. leaves, litter, cars flying round about us. My legs felt a bit tired, so battling against the wind and dodgy the suits on the way through Park Circus was not pleasant.
Opted for five reps. Marco, on the other hand, opted for nine - for reasons which escape me. He set his Garmin for one minute recoveries. My session was much less structured. I ran. And then ran again when I felt like it.
2.23, 2.18, 2.17, 2.18, 2.15. Now before you laugh, there's a belter of a hill in the middle. Well, that's my excuse.
Now I'm off to a curry comedy night. My life is just oh so glamourous.
Wednesday, 7 November 2007
Anyhoo...back to the run. Felt really good and light on my feet. Really thought I was on for a good time, but was gutted to notice that I'd messed the timer on my Garmin with the stopping and starting for heargear rearranging. Did the last stretch (from the sweet shop) hard run in 6.49. Last time I timed it, I was 7.22.
Tuesday, 6 November 2007
It was a bit of a drama, as there was a big split in ability. Even the warm up down to Great Western Road took some maneuvering.
I managed to fit in my reps - at 4.30m - around looking after the gang.
There was even more of a drama when a random refugee decided to swipe Ailsa's jacket - which she'd tied to a fence. She found him in a bus shelter trying to stuff it up his jacket and gave him a colourful mouthfull of Glasgow hospitality. Girl Power!
By the time we'd finished with the reps and I got everyone back to Garscube it was after 8.30.
Sunday, 4 November 2007
Decided I wanted to finish in a reasonable time (average for me) rather than going for a PB.
Started out very steady, as there's a gentle incline for the first few miles. Paced the race pretty well and finished in 1.47.17. I wish I had gone faster in the middle, because I practically sprinted the last few miles. Loads left in me. Suppose it's better to finish strong. Definitely gives me more confidence for the next race.
Mr Debs put in a dazzling performance. Finished in 5th place with 1.17.
Got home in time to watch the end of the New York marathon coverage. Paula the great outsprinted her nearest rival to take first place. It was very intense viewing. I was screaming and jumping so much, I'm surprised I haven't got an ASBO.
Thursday, 1 November 2007
Bloody boiling tonight. 16 degrees. In November. At night. Who said global warming is over-rated?
Marco kept up with Alasdair Morrison - huge milestone in our household - so he could barely turn the key in the ignition. Somehow I think I'm going to be hearing about this for the next couple of days ;-)
Wednesday, 31 October 2007
I popped out to post a package this morning, and came back with new gear and new trainers. Don't know how I do it, but I love it. New Saucony trainers. Shunning my usual Brooks Adrenaline for another specimen. And no, I didn't choose them because they were pink.
Well, they didn't make me go faster, but they definitely put a spring in my step. Went out for a 4-5 miles steady. No Wednesday tempo, as I'm "racing" on Sunday. Got a bit bored and started on 1min reps. I have been known to do sporadic non-effective things.
(Balloch-Park-Bonhill Bridge-home 36:40. Target sub 35 before Xmas).
Hilarious watching the "kids" out trick or treating. Overweight teenage girls in fairy outfits - complete with over-spilling midriffs - out feeding their sugar addiction.
Tuesday, 30 October 2007
This is the second night in a row I've trained with Marco. We did the 7-mile Bonhill Bridge route last night - with a personal worse for me. Don't get me wrong, I love spending QT with my husband, but I simply can't run with him. He practically trots beside me whistling away and giving advice, whilst I'm verging losing a lung. Needless to say we've usually fallen out by mile one.
Anyhoo, he decided to put up with my dummy-throwing-tantrums one more time..
Easy run over to Squinty Bridge and 10 x reps. One day I'll work out the exact distance, but reps were 46, 42, 45, 41, 44, 40, 42, 40, 43, 38. Finally broke 40 seconds. Actually I'm too scared to work out the distance in case it's only like 100m.
Saturday, 27 October 2007
Anyway, needs must, still went out for my run. It was supposed to be fartlek, but I opted for tempo. Took old route from work through the west end. Even managed a PB. Not bad for a gal who had her head down the toilet at 7am.
Thursday, 25 October 2007
New boy in our pack tonight. He's out though, as he nearly ran the troops in to the ground. We were obviously a bit too slow for him.
My run was OK. Feeling Wednesday's tempo run though. Felt good until the last mile. The hill from Scaethorn up to Maryhill was a nightmare.
No stats as I messed up my Garmin. How did people cope without Garmins anyway?
Ps: Hi Paul. Get out for a run. There are only 170 days until London. Minus three weeks taper and there's only 159 training days ;-)
Wednesday, 24 October 2007
Don't think I'll be able to do that route at night anymore. I had to rely on passing cars to guide the way when I was on the back roads. I had enough reflectors to light up Manhattan, but drivers still insisted on blinding me with full beam. Running down the middle of empty roads (to avoid pavement potholes) defintely put a spring in my step.
So glad Autumn's here. Not a big fan of running in hot (ter) climates.
Tuesday, 23 October 2007
Marco had to pick up his car from the garage, so we didn't make it to club training. Opted for steady run out to the bridge, reps and then on to the garage. Of course Marco's steady run (well, recovery) was my tempo pace. When we got there, he was warmed up, whilst I was gubbed.
10 x reps (approx 200m over the bridge). Times 41-43 seconds. Entertainment and abuse from passing Rangers supporters. Choosing a night that Rangers were playing at home wasn't the best idea.
Another 2.5miles on to the Honda Garage. The waiting room had a fridge full of Calypo Cups. You can tell I'm now a Consani, as I tanked four of them.
Sunday, 21 October 2007
Saturday, 20 October 2007
One purchase of brand new bright yellow spikes - complete with black laces - I lined up for the Dunbartonshire relays looking like a bumble bee.
One lap round the Garscube estate. I think I was broken in gently, as it was more of a trail run. The only difficult bit was when the route crossed over roads. Not so easy with spike on.
Thursday, 18 October 2007
Five mile "hard" run with Garscube, was probably not as hard as I should have done. Legs feel better than they had done on Tuesday and Wednesday. Still feeling a bit bunged up, so snortered and spat my way round the course. Yep, you can't buy class.
Wednesday, 17 October 2007
Decided to go to the gym before work. Hey, got get back into it some time. Rowing was a bit of a chore. 5830 in 30 minutes. My PB run is over.
Went out for a 9-miler after work. It was intended as a 7-miler - even though my plan said 9 - but I thought I'd break myself in general. Anyhoo I ended up on a slight detour, as the river path was closed.
I don't know whether my legs were heavy or my shoes are dones, but I felt every strike of my foot. But hey, I put nine miles in my legs. And I even enjoyed it. Decided against trying for my usual Wednesday tempo, and opted for just getting round. And maybe even enjoy it.
Tuesday, 16 October 2007
Wednesday, 10 October 2007
Wednesday, 3 October 2007
Tuesday, 2 October 2007
Anyway, the route was a dull as the project. Out the main gate and along great western road. After 22.5 minutes, turn around and run back. There was a lot a sneaky wee inclines on the way back, so even though I thought I was upping the pace, I finished in 44.55. Five seconds ahead of schedule. Not bad, considering last time I was about two minutes ahead.
Sunday, 30 September 2007
I've been a keen Munro bagger, since my debut in May 2005. In over two years, I've notched up over 80. I could safely say, that my two great loves are now hillwalking and running. So, why have I never combined them both?
To set the scene: We drove up to Glen Shiel last night and camped near Cluanie Inn. It was four degrees, so it was a quick dinner and into the sleeping bags. Awaiting on a crisp and misty morning, we realised that the car battery was dead. Calling the AA we had to hang about freezing until 9am until the car was mobile again. So we didn't start until 10am - three hours later than planned.
The epic route started with a gentle jog for six miles along to the start. Most walkers take two cars to save this journey. It was most walking/stomping on the way up. But we were moving faster, due to footwear and light load. Up to the first cairn we ran down and over to Munro number two and then on to number three. Slight navigational error and we were on our way to number four. I started to slow and wilt with the exhausting gradient. Marco hit the nail on the head when he said: "It's like hillwalking, but with less clothes, less food and less grip". Trail shoes aren't really the best for rocky hills. And we packed extra light with just some biscuits and oatcakes for fuel. A few hours in and it was a game of peaks and troughs. And by Munro five it was mostly troughs and troughs. We were out there, practically naked, exposed to the elements. When the cold rain started, my mojo hitched a lift on the wind. Even the power of the oatcake (I should be an ambassador of oats) coudn't save the day. After the last Munro I had enough energy to run all the way off the hill and then down the four mile military road back to the car.
So, back to my original question. Why haven't I combined running with hillwalking? Because they don't bloody well belong together that's way. They are both glorious pastimes that deserve there own special attention. I missed my sack full of protective gear, nice lunches and comfy waterproof boots. So, will I do it again? Damn tooting. Seven Munros in nine hours is nae a bad day oot.
I came.I saw. I conquered. I'm broken.
Saturday, 29 September 2007
Bit of background: Course is 2.7miles. Teams of four males or three females.
Beth and I ate a serious amount of Haribo this morning, so I was practically in sugar shock when I go there.
Arrived at the church hall feeling slightly intimidated with the task ahead. I'd always associated these kind of races with the elite. Far too competitive and far too fast. Jill O'Neil put me at ease with "now you kind do your marathon pace round the course, one-speed". Followed by an impression of Ali Whinship "Every second counts you know". I apologised to my team mates(Ailsa and Kathryn) for being landed with me and sloped off to get ready.
Down to the starting line...I was a bit nervous and desperately scanned the crowd for participants I could beat.
Alisa came in at 17.50. And I was off. Course was a bit hilly, but really pleasants. Mix of town, rural, road, trail and hills. Managed to make up one place. AND NOBODY OVERTOOK ME!! A girl was catching me, but I left her on the hills. Boy I'm loving the hills these days. Up the last hill, I knew it was downhill to the finish. Met Alasdair Morrison on the way up, who I was convinced was shouting "Dig in big chap" when in fact it was "dig in there's a big gap". Rob and Marco were waiting at the top. Rob shouted at me about losing form, and Marco was his eternally supportive self. Over the finish line in 20.23. Not too impressive, but it has given me a real incentive to get faster for next year. I think these kind of races really make you want to run faster.
Friday, 28 September 2007
Thursday, 27 September 2007
Anyway, someone in the family has to stick to the plan...so armed with a few extra layers, I went along for the seven mile pack run. The route was the most unimaginative ever. Top gate to Anniesland, St Georges and back along Maryhill Road. Basically the reverse of what we did a few weeks ago, except we caught the long hills on the up instead of the down. We ran together at a really good steady pace. I was pleased, as I've struggled to keep up with the 'faster' gals over the past few weeks. The hill up from St George to Maryhill was challenging to say the least. Still feeling really good on the hills though. Finish in 58mins.
Wednesday, 26 September 2007
First thing I noticed was the fact that the temperature has dropped. Unfortunately I didn't notice until I was down the street in a vest and short breeks.
Did my usual route over Bonhill bridge down to Dumbarton and on to the back road to Renton. I always been a creature of habit. Plus it gives me something to gage my time against. First few miles steady, three at half-marathon pace, one steady and then flat for the last mile from the sweet shop. I never thought I'd see the day, that I'd dread seeing a sweet shop. Finished in 1:00:18. Still can't break that one hour. Maybe I need a friend to push me.
Tuesday, 25 September 2007
Funniest moment: Coming in to the final 1K, Dougie Smith (Marco's pal) was struggling a bit. He's a new member, so I thought I be nice. I slowed down after passing him and told him to run beside me along the final stretch. No problem...then the wee sh*te dashed off in the last sprint and beat me ;-) Note to self: Boys are far too competitive. Throw stones at them.