Thursday 31 July 2008

Going clubbing

I would say I finally made it back to club training tonight, but that's technically not true. I kinda made it back to club training, in the sense that I turned up at Garscube and ran the six-mile route that was on the cards for tonight...but I skulked out ten minutes early and ran by myself. It's not that I was being anti-social, I just wanted to take it easy. It was a quite a hilly course and I have done quite a bit this week. Given that my oxygen supply is not what it used to be, I wanted to make sure I'd behave and walk if need be. Plus, I didn't want to patronise people by dropping groups as I have to run really, really slow now. In the end I was quite happy to run myself and just meet up with everyone at the finish.

I had a really great run. Nice and easy. But the best thing about it was it was raining and windy. I never thought I'd say this, but it was absolute bliss. It really kept my new-found central heating system in control. Roll on the winter!

The first three miles were a gently uphill - someone shoot the route master - and then it was pretty good from there. The toughest thing is resisting the urge to pick up the pace on the down hills. In fact I really have to slow it down, as everything seems to be a bit bouncy ;-)

Drymen - Stockiemuir - Milngavie - Canniesburn - home. 6 miles in 58 minutes.

Wednesday 30 July 2008

A bit of everything. Just slower.

Despite a late night and long drive back from the wedding, I was still up with the larks and keen to go to the gym. Usually I have to blackmail Sonic into coming with me, but today I had the silent guilt trip. I think he felt obliged to after helping him with his training yesterday and then subjecting me to the drunken wedding frenzy. I swore I wasn't going to be one of those "I am pregnant you know" moaners, but I'll take it while I can. The good thing about pregnancy, is that hangovers can't get in the way of training. So off I went to the gym for a 30 minutes session on the elliptical trainer (on a low level) and then some gentle swimming. I think Sonic half-heatedly did some cycling and dabbled with some weights before resigning to the spa pool.

When I got home I went for a four-mile jog at 9.30 minute mile pace and then cycled round with Sonic on his seven-miler.

Sonic's alternative blog report: He finally lost the big toe nail than been threatening to fall off since the WHW. After getting up at 6am with a mild hangover, kicking the door nearly sent him over. Despite the trauma he was a brave soldier and didn't even whine too much on the way to the gym &-) Tonight, he went for a seven-mile tempo. Like most boys, he tends to go out and blast round as fast as he can. I'm trying to get him to structure the runs: easy two (PE* 7); interval for three (PE 8); easy for one (PE 6); and fast finish (PE 8 and then 9). We went over the seven mile route through Dumbarton. It's quite hilly at the start, so good for keeping steady. We must have been getting some strange looks - especially when I was cycling next to him shouting: "that doesn't look like a 7 from here!". Splits after the two mile warm-up were 6:30, 6:48, 6:48, 7:55 and 6:50

* PE - perceived effort.

Tuesday 29 July 2008

Jogging, coach, wedding..ooh and driving :-(

We're off to a wedding today - I know, on a TUESDAY - so I went for an early morning five-miler round Balloch. It was raining, so much fresher than is has been for days. It will come as no surprise that I took it easy. Back for 8.30am - time to boot Sonic's a*s out the door. Well, if I can't run, then he's going to have to do it for. And he's not going to blog, then I'll do that for him. What a team. Unfortunately he's got the joy of having me as a coach for the foreseeable future.

Sonic's alternative blog report: He ran and I cycled along beside him. I've talked him into focusing on effort levels rather pace. So an easy four-miler at 7/10 effort and then some reps round the circuit in Christie Park. 6 x (approx) 400 metres. 1.17, 1.16, 1.17, 1.17, 1.22 (told him to steady up and save energy for the last one) and 1.15.

Here's a pic of us in our wedding gear...

Sunday 27 July 2008

Team Debs

We gathered all the troops for a thank you Italian feast at Primo in Milngavie. Pizza, pasta, vino, beer, (soft drinks for me) good chat and reminiscing. Sonic spent the evening talking the chaps into doing the Highland Fling. And the girls talked about everyone who was unfortunate enough not to be there. Just kidding.

Finally got a picture of (the recovered) Team Debs.

Sharon thought she was auditioning for the News of the World ;-)

Saturday 26 July 2008

Hot hills

Sonic and I had another fabulous weekend of walking. We left the caravan (in a random lay-by) near Invergarry on Wednesday and went to collect it last night. Thankfully all was OK. Sonic did harbour thoughts of theft, burn-outs or being trashed by neds. I, of course, have more (sometimes unjustified) faith in humanity.

It was another fabulous night. Warm and sunny. Unfortunately where we stopped for the night was a midge hell-hole. Any ventures outside the caravan were like a scene from Killer Bees.

There was a downpour of rain in the wee small hours, but the sun was out in a vengeance by the time we started out. Since my core temperature seems to have gone through the roof of late, I was like a mobile furnace all day. Although I'm sure Sonic would have likened me to a Gremlin.

The plan for the day was to do Gleouraich and Spidean Mialach - two Munros that lie between Loch Quioch and Loch Cluanie.

It was fairly easy, but steep, ascent. Great stalkers path with solid steps - my favourite. Unfortunately the beasties were out on force. Horseflies seems to take a liking to me. My bites have bites.

The views from the summit were amazing. It was so warm and still that even the midges had made their way up. Oh joy. There was a long walk, with a height drop of 300m over to the second Munro.

We finished the route in just over five hours. As it was early afternoon and a glorious day, we decided to squeeze in another Munro. As you do. Auch, it was just down the road after all. But sssh, don't tell my Mum.

The ascent of Sgurr a Mhaoraich was again pretty straightforward. A nice steady stalker's path leading us up to the summit. Sonic informed me that trusty ol' Cameron McNeish said the route should take five hours. I don't think that prediction was based on doing a full day walking before starting. Or taking into account the blistering (OK, blistering for the Highlands) heat. I had cut back on clothing and weight in my rucksack, so this hill felt much more comfortable. I think I've got a few months of playing damsel ahead of me. Sorry, Sonic. I did point out that there was two couples on the first hill of the morning and the women were carrying absolutely nothing. Pah! cheaters!

Surprisingly I felt better on the third Munro. Maybe that's the endurance runner in me. Take 10 miles to warm up ;-) Half-way through the descent I which pretty much over it though. My feet and knees ached, I'd been eaten alive and my neck was burnt to a crisp. You can tell I'm Scottish when I've got the cheek to complain about a sunny day on the hills.

Friday 25 July 2008

Club five-mile race

It's a well-attended and sociable annual event, so I went along for a giggle. No pressure just a steady run round the reservoir in Milngavie. The bonus was it was a gorgeous summer's night. And the double-bonus was that I wasn't last :-) My aim was to run 9m/m...or how I felt. But no faster. Guess what? I finished in 45:03. How's that for pacing? I felt pretty good all the way round. The only negative was that five-miles is along way without a pee-stop ;-)

It was great to see all the troops again. It's only been a month, but it seems like forever. Sonic even donned his trainers for the second time since the race. Considering injury and distinct lack of training he finished in a fabulous time of 32:something. Well done to my brother-in-law, Paul who finally got round to whipping Sonic's ass. They try to disguise their competitiveness by claiming they focus on different disciplines - Paul being a very good track runner - but everyone knows what drives the Brothers Consani. Congratulations, Paul on taking two minutes off last year's time. And I'm very impressed you didn't milk the victory a little more. I cast up my Devil's trophy at least twice a week ;-)

No running this weekend, as Sonic and I are off on another hillwalking adventure.

There's a humorous debate on the WHWR forum about what we should call the bambino. Click here to read the latest suggestions. NB: Before you start reading, please bare in mind these people are nuts!

Wednesday 23 July 2008

Jogging, gyming and bagging some hills

Big thanks to all the kind and encouraging comments. 20 has to be a record. Even if the last one was JK commenting on the fact the entry had attracted 19 comments.

Last week was a whirlwind of excitement and (for others) shock. Despite receiving numerous ignorant comments along the lines of "you'll have given up running then?" - which were generally reciprocated with "sorry, I said pregnant. Not disabled" - OK, I appreciate people are concerned, but I'm big and ugly enough to know my own body. And, more importantly, know my own limits. I have been keeping generally quite active. I know there hasn't been much blogging, but I haven't resigned myself to slippers, soaps and giant bars of Cadbury...YET! So twos-up to the clueless and here's to a fit and healthy pregnancy.

My running - which is now jogging - has been confined within the barriers of 4-7 miles at 9-10 m/m pace. Last week I did 2 x 5 miles and 7 miler at an average of 9m/m. I've spoken to my gym fitness instructor and he's happy for me to continue with pilates and yoga for the time being. I'll be given alternatives for anything that he deems inappropriate. I've also been using the elliptical trainer for 30 mins a few times a week. And last Friday - despite being adverse to most water-based sports - did a bit of swimming and aqua jogging.

This is the book that I've been avidly reading. In summary: I can run as long as it doesn't hurt and I don't get too breathless. What an education ;-) I think I'll write my own version at the end of this adventure. Joking aside it was comforting to read other runner's stories and generally get a little bit more information.

So, that's the boring updates out of the way.

Sonic and I decided to escape on a caravan trip to do a spot of hillwalking for a few days. We headed up to Ullapool on Saturday. The day was spent travelling, so we took our time. Stopping frequently for tea breaks, shopping stops and view appreciation. And off course I needed to pee every 15 minutes. Hey, it's all part of the course.

Setting up for the night, the weather didn't look too promising. Howling winds and bouts of torrential rain. And on Sunday morning, it was pretty much the same. As we had travelled so far we could hardly bow out, so we braved the elements and headed on the course for the day - the ascent of Beinn Dearg, Cona Mheall and Meall nan Caepraichean. Surprisingly enough the weather wasn't actually that bad. OK, it rained a lot and the view was non-existent at most times, but I have experienced much worse. Back at the caravan with we celebrated a successful trip with tomato soap and spaghetti hoops on toast. Gawd we know how to live.

Monday was morning was a whole different story. Blue skies and sunshine. Surprising considering Sunday was supposed to be the best day. Thus confirming my opinion on never believing a weather forecast. Due to the long walk-in we only managed one Munro - Eididh nan Clach Geala. Sonic wanted to push on for another, but that would have involved finishing about 10pm. I managed to talk him out of it with the promise of fish 'n' chips. The way to Sonic's heart. We went to the Seaforth in Ullapool, which is billed as the UK's best fish pub restaurant. I think we were the only people in the town with English as a first language, but I think it's a lovely wee place. And the food was definitely worth missing another Munro for. The fish was more like a whale in batter. Despite my crazy appetite, I barely made a dent in it. I was more interested in the chips and mushy peas. Sacrilege, I know.

Tuesday was another cracking day. We couldn't believe out luck. Probably just a well, as the route to An Foachagach involved crossing two rivers. We had spoken to a walker on Sunday, who told us he ended chest-deep. I think Sonic has been watching too many Bear Grylis programmes, as he was looking forward to a spot of skinny-dipping. Thankfully the countryside was spared, as we made it over thigh-deep with shoes and socks in hand. The steep grassy slopes were pretty relentless. As lame as it is, I'm a big fan of a nice trail or path. The views from the top were breathtaking. Views for miles. We even managed to have lunch at the summit - without risk of exposure or being blown off. We were less cautious on the descent and wadded through the rivers fully clothed. I think my boots might have drained by next month.

All in all, a fabulous trip with limited drama. Only a few stumbles and bruises. We only tipped the caravan once. However, we did manage to lose one of the sunroof shutters though, as we forgot to close it. It flew off on the A9 and hit an American tourist's car - which they informed us they had borrowed from the minister. Oops. And last night Sonic drove off with the wheel lock on though. RIP the wheel lock. One day we'll grasp this caravan malarkey. In the meantime, it keeps us highly amused.

Thursday 17 July 2008

Running with baby on board

Oh well, I best explain myself then. I hope you've all got over the initial shock. Sonic and I are still working it. Firstly, I would like to point out that I was totally and utterly blissfully oblivious to the fact that I was 10 weeks pregnant when I was hauling my ass (and the prawn-like Bambino) along 96 miles of the West Highland Way. I had no symptoms or reason to believe I was pregnant. No morning sickness or nausea. I was a little more tired than usual, but I put that down to long training runs and then the taper.

Without being to personal or graphic, my cycle is a little erratic to say the least. Anything from 30 days to five months, is considered normal for me. In a vain attempt to get my cycle is working order (did I say I wasn't getting personal?), we opted for a more natural form a birth control...and invested $500 on the the biggest pile of f-ing junk known to mankind. A contraption called the LadyComp, which measures your fertility levels. It claims to be 99% accurate. I could probably count on the one hand how many "green lights" we what were the chances?

Anyways, after the WHWR I decided to do a home test. Get this - to reassure myself that I wasn't pregnant. You can imagine the scene when the blue cross appeared. And it wasn't a faint (mibbees aye, mibbees no) cross. It was so bright and prominent, you could have used it to land helicopters. Sonic nearly fell of the chair and I sobbed something along the lines of "I'm going to have to be in your support team next year". A memorable one-liner that will probably come back to haunt me. So there you go, Bambino Consani is in the making.

We kept it quiet until the scan, mainly because I wasn't convinced there was a baby in there. Still no symptoms. well, apart from the fact that I look like I've jetted off to LA for breast implants. I felt like a proper grown-up having to buy 34B bra....I digress...Not only was I concerned about the damage I may have caused, but terrified about being laughed out of the maternity ward if there wasn't anything there. But as you can see by (the very clear) picture, there's no denying it. And the little wriggler has perfect limbs and digits. Albeit a slightly large head ;-)

We let the cat out the bag by firstly visiting our families on Tuesday night. In true Martin-clan style, the announcements were a riot. My Mum stared in bewilderment at the scan for a what seemed like eternity. Even when I said it's baby Consani, the penny didn't drop. After a while she shrieked: "What? YOU?". My wee Sis (who I class as my nearest and dearest) asked in all seriousness: "how long have you been trying for?". WTF? She gets blonder every day.

Looking back on previous blog reports, there were a few (if you looked really hard) tell-tale signs: Struggling with speed work, terrible breathing, me wibbering on about signs that I shouldn't be doing the race...As I've said, I'm a firm believer that things happen for a reason. So my knee unjury during the race, was my body's way of telling me to slow. Actually it was probably telling me the pull-out, but I'm slightly hard of hearing.

Anyway, I'm still planning on running throughout pregnancy - although on the smaller and slower scale. Actually the first book I bought was on running and pregnancy. I felt guilty a few days later and purchased a week-by-week guide. My obstetrican seems happy for me to continue. When I told him about the WHWR (which he was more than familiar with) and had a look that said "will someone get these nutters out of my office". As our house is a stone's throw away from the hospital, I'm sure he'll catch me waddling down the street over the coming months.

Oh I forgot to mention, Bambino Consani is due on January 19. Sonic is under the impression he's got a driver for the festivities. Dillusional I know.

Wednesday 16 July 2008

Oi, Dario! Where's my goblet?

We were more shocked than you are. Trust me.

Thursday 10 July 2008

And some more

Well so much for enjoying the whole bed to myself. A Sonic-free night resulted in me waking every 30 mins and then being as bright as a button at 5am. This time I didn't try to fight it, I just got up and went to the gym. Nothing to strenuous, just half an hour on the cross-trainer and a few bits 'n' bobs.

I'm glad I did left the house early though, as the weather was awful. Heavy rain during the night had caused severe flooding on the roads and I couldn't see a thing for the spray. My wee Aygo was getting thrown about every time I hit a puddle. I was really excited about the thought of travelling through to Edinburgh for a meeting later in the morning.

Thankfully the weather cleared by 9am. And, more importantly, I was back from Edinburgh in time to go to my yoga class at lunchtime. Boy did my muscles need a stretch.

I went for a seven-mile run (well, jog) round Dumbarton when I got home. Nothing much to report, just trying to get back into a regular training regime.

Regularly updates from Sonic seem to dispute his opinion on how he hates travelling for work. I told you about the sushi feast last night. I forgot to mention that he was flying business class, so missed the queues at the airport and had the whole cabin to himself. Then he stayed in a luxury hotel, before flying to Paris this morning. he texted me this afternoon - slightly squiffy - after a lunch of veal and red wine. He's back tonight, so the jolly's over. Not before he skives off tomorrow, by "working-from-home" so he can await the arrival of his new iphone 3G. Sounds like torture, doesn't it? Sometimes I don't know how he copes.

Wednesday 9 July 2008

I think I've found my lost mojo

Well, I bite the bullet and went out for my first run since the WHW race. And what a glorious and enjoyable experience it was. The sun was shining and there was a light breeze keeping me cool. My legs felt as light as feather and I had to constantly slow myself down, as 7m/miles wasn't the plan for a easy recovery run. Little birds and deers followed me along my route, with joyful smiles of encouragement... Bah! Bet you thought you'd stumbled on John K's blog by accident. Te He. In reality my return to the pounding of the pavement was distinctly average.

Don't get me wrong I haven't been completely idol for the last few weeks (a la Sonic style). I've been going to the gym most days. Working on the elliptical cross-training contraption, silly stepper thingy and randomly picking up some weights. Oh and there's been pilates and yoga too, but I know that doesn't count. The bones in my feet have been a bit of mess, so it's only over the last few days that I've considered running. Plus there was the drama of finding my lost mojo.

Sonic and I even did a bit of hillwalking on Saturday. I ticked off Munro number 86, by bagging Beinn Chabhair behind Beinglas Farm. I thought my legs were going to buckle at the sight of the West Highland Way, but they held up until the initial steep ascent. The weather as glorious and we managed to get up and down before the downpours started. After a fabulous day on the hills we went to the cinema to see Hancock and then went to Wagamamas for a noodle feast. How's that for a perfect day out?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch... I've pretty goosed most of today. Sonic was up at 3.30am for the red-eye flight to Amsterdam. Which basically means I've been up since 3.30am. Can't complain though, as at least this time he remembered his wedding ring! But don't get me started on that. I tried everything to get back to sleep. Counting sheep, reading, talking myself back to sleep. I even tried mentally reliving the WHW route. I gave up at 5.30 and decided to go to the gym. Bit more cross-training, but I was still adamant I was going for a run tonight. And I did. Just an easy 4.5-miler round Balloch. I wore my Garmin- just to log the miles - but didn't look at the pace. I'm going to have a week of pace-pressure free running. I generally felt OK, but my knees are still really weak.

I even bumped into Jim Robertson (now a 12 time WHWR finisher) when I was heading back home, so it was nice to catch up with another ejit. Especially someone who's 12 times the ejit I am.

So, I've got an empty and sole power over the remote control. Sonic's presently OD-ing on sushi in the Dam. I not used to having room to sleep. Sonic likes to sleep in the middle of the bed - diagonally. It's not annoying at all ;-)

Wednesday 2 July 2008

Petition to get Sonic to blog his WHW race report

He obviously needs some encouragement. Please sign up here.

Tuesday 1 July 2008

Race times

JK kindly put together a plan for me. Unfortunately it went a bit wrong on the day. I'll be back for the sub:24 though.