Thursday, 31 December 2009

Review of 2009

So I have managed to contribute fairly regularly to this blog for a year now.
Overall I do think it has been a worthwhile thing to do and it is nice to reflect.
I had 6 goals for 2009;

1. My aim for the WHW was < 24hrs which I didnt achieve. However with great support I did finish it in a PB of 25.40 which is a significant achievement. Sadly it would appear that I am incapable of < 24hours but I feel quite able to live with that and wont be doing the WHW again in the forseeable future.
2. I aimed to do 4 ultras and did 3. I opted out of Hardmoors. I am sure i did the correct thing and have no regrets.
3. I did achieve a sub 40 10K at E Kilbride of 38.53
4. My best 1/2 m was at Inverness which was 1h 26.20. Not sub 85 but all things cobsidered not a bad time
5. I did achieve 2000miles
6. Did I enjoy all the above? No I didnt, the WHW was purgatory but I did enjoy the rest so thats a partial acvhievement.

So I give myself 2.5/6 which isnt great but I am pretty happy with 2009 so thats the main thing.

2000 miles

Managed to get a tough, hilly and snowy 11.3m in yesterday bringing me up to exactly 2000m for the year. i will leave it at that and reflect on what i consider a signifivant goal achieved.
I'm really chuffed !

Monday, 28 December 2009

Tough run

Did 16m from home on what has become hardpacked snow. Its abit like running on firm sand and I found it very tiring.
Obviously delighted to get the miles done and it was a stunning run with clear blue skies and lovely smowy landscape. I actually passed a couple of lady runners which was a surprise. The 1st one got a surprise as well. She was clearly not expecting to see anyone and screamed as I passed her. The same thing happened later when I happened upon a couple of lady walkers. Perhaps my WHW top intimidated them.
So 12m to go.

Saturday, 26 December 2009


I haved run 6m yest and 7 today. The plan is TDS tomorrow which is 20m. Will haved to be v slow but they all count.
Its v hard to know how well one is running when its snowy and icey. It all seems laboured and slow but the surroundings are beautiful.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

A run at last

Did a cracking run north of Comrie with Ian today. Great scenery and good conversation.
6m done.
Looks like Winter is here to stay for the forseeable future so the last 41m will be done with trail shoes on I suspect.
It was -10deg when I went to work this morning!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Cant get a run in

This will be the 3rd day in a row I havent run. I was going to run last night but in -8deg I just felt the risk og a slip was too great especially in the dark. Today I am on call and it will be the same this evening as yesterday.
So that will leave 8 days to do 47m. Not a prob usually but with cold weather to persist until the end of the year 2000m is touch and go now.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Bleak Midwinter

Tomorrow is the shortest day of the year in daylight terms and as a bit of a SADS sufferer I am always delighted to get it behind me. After that it starts getting lighter!
I have struggled a bit in the last week. The last few days have been pretty cold and icey and we had an inch or so of snow yesterday.
At the timetrial yesterday I recorded a pw of 34.40. My legs just felt heavy and I dont think I could have run it any faster. I was beginning to get a bit pessimistic about reaching 2000m for the year a few days ago but have rallied well in the last 4/7 helped by a great wintry run today.
I have run 34m this week and now have 47m to go with 11/7 left. Its a v cold outlook but I'm hopeful of reaching 2000m.
Today I did leg1 of the SWCHR and the Maam Rd, a total of just over 10m.It was -3deg when I set off but clear and bright. I really enjoyed the run. There's a great feeling to be had being out in conditions that most people wouldnt consider being out in never mind running and feeling in control. The Maam road was a surprise. It has been scraped flat and is like a well groomed piste today. Nice to run on.
So its a rest tomorrow and hopefully steady progress to 2000m after that.

Monday, 7 December 2009

A good week

I ran 41m last week and most of it was a reasonable standard
The speed session on Saturday was particularly good with 10 harriers doing a 1-4-1 pyramid
Yesterday Phil, Ian and I did an 11m road run in the gloom but is was v enjoyable and so much easier with company.
My right knee has been complaining a little over the last few days but hopefully that will settle and I can finish 2009 well.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

GlenAlmond run

We have an annual pre Christmas run and todays run was to recce a route.
4 of us and Lucy the dog went up to GlenAlmond on a lovely but cold and windy day.
The route was just under 9m and quite hilly. However it is all on landrover tracks after the 1st mile or so and I really liked the area. The last 3m or so are downhill and v enjoyable to run.
We did the route in 1h 37m but that was with quite a few stops.
I have 1842m under my belt with 32 days to go to the end of the year so 2000m is still on I think

East Kilbride 10K

Yesterday 5 Harriers went over for this low key race at the end of the road racing season.
It was an out and back course with a road bridge to cross and several underpasses to negotiate. It was flat otherwise and a good field.
I headed off quite fast and feeling good. The 1st 400m was on the track which was a great surface to run on. We also finished on the track. My 1st mile was 5.55 which was prob too fast. Then we had the road bridge to climb and cross which slows a runner dowm quite a bit. As I headed down to halfway Robert Gilroy was powering his way back up well in the lead and obviously in v good shape.
The 2nd half was a case of managing discomfort and pushing on. My aim was sub 40 with an eye on sub 39 if all went well. I probably wouldnt have made sub 39 if I hadnt had such a good nip and tuck finish with another runner.
I finished in 38.53 and 31st out of 131 finishers
I was v happy with that result and now its 6 weeks before the next race.
Well done to the other Harriers who made the trip.

Monday, 23 November 2009

A few runs remembered

I have just got back from a long weekend in Liverpool where my Mother recently moved back to.
Back in 1982 I trained for the Mersey Marathon with my father. Sadly I got glandular fever the day before (honest) and couldnt do it. However I did establish a few favourite routes and this weekend I retraced a few old footsteps.
Thursday evening I did 2 loops of Sefton Park, Sat am I did a bit of a tour of Aigburth taking in Otterspool Prom and Mossley Hill and yesterday I ran round Calderstones Park and took the Prom and Sefton Park in again.
Its certainly easy running being v flat. Also lots of runners out and about. I saw more runners this weekend than I would in a month up here.
Liverpool is on the up. Its generally smarter and the town centre is v impressive.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Glen Clove half marathon

1 Hour 29min 03 sec 20th place

Overall I am delighted with the run I did on Saturday.
The weather was pretty foul. V wet but not too cold.
About 250 runners assembled at mid-day none looking that keen and we were off
The course is v simple. Down the glen on the west side and back up the east. However there was a stiff wing coming up the glen and I am of the opinion that it is a tougher 1st half beacuse it undulates almost constantly.
I ran the 1st 5m pretty hard and went well until 9m when I ran out of steam quite significantly. I was alone for the last 3m and it was quite an effort to keep running up the last hill just before 12m.
I finished however feeling OK.
I have also recovered well with no apparent injuries.
I plan to run tomorrow and I think the rest will have done me good.
Thanks to Phil and Dom for the support and congratulations to all the harriers that braved the conditions.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Too much too soon

I c ouldnt believe how completely knackered i was after Thursday nights session. I did have both flu jags on Fri as well so prob a combination of a few things. I did struggle around a 7m run Fri evening but have a hamstring strain on the right. I also did the timetrial yesterday in a slow 34,20 and could feel tightness the whol eway in my hamstring. So I will rest a couple of days and ease up to the half next Saturday.
I fact I plan to do some turbotraining as I have the bike all set up.

Friday, 6 November 2009

New Boy

Last night I went along to the Central AC training session which is held in the grounds of Stirling Uni. I could have picked a better night as there were big queues going thro Bridge of Allan it being bonfire night.
It was strange going to a club where I didnt know what was happening or the characters involved.
I wanted to see how the training sessions are organised as there are no real opportunities for structured training at Strathearn and I suspect a weekly speed session might prove beneficial.
It was an odd start as we did some warm up exercises to begin with which felt more like football training. I did wonder what I had come to. Then we did the main session which was shuttle runs. We split into groups of 3 and simply ran about 150m to hand over to one of the 3 who ran back to hand over to the 3rd who ran back to me. A doddle I thought as i ran flat out for a few of these but I was soon struggling and blowing hard. By the end of the session I was knackered. Its so different to a tempo run. I did know a couple of the guys from WHW so that was good.
So will I go again. Yes, I think so. Anything that is that unpleasant must be good for me ???
We could easily do something similar at the Harriers but there doesnt seem to be the will amongst the membership at the moment. Maybe that will change.

Monday, 2 November 2009

A v wet King Kenneth's Cairn

Yesterday a good number of Harrierrs ascended the above hill in memory of Simon who sadly passed away a year ago. It was about as wet as it can get and prettty windy on top. Not a place to linger. We came down the sane way we went up making it 10m. My thoughts on runs like that are that they are always better done than the contrary but blimey it was wet!!
Today I did a fairly swift 7m down to Braco and back in 50.34. A sl niggle in the L calf but otherwise feeling pretty good.

Friday, 30 October 2009

What a wet run !

1st run post marathon. 5.2m in 38.01. A surprisingly decent run and felt good most of the run. Hamstring strain seems to be almost gone and no other injuries to report.
It was v v wet.
In the past I have almost always either had an injury or picked one up after a marathon so it will be interesting to see how things go. I will rest tomorrow and run Sunday.
I am now looking forward to the Glen Clova half 2/52 tomorrow.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Dublin Marathon

What a great race!!. Dublin is certainly the best marathon I have done. Not in terms of performance, I finished in 3h 14m 37sec but in terms of organisation and crowd suppport.
Liz and I made our way to Dublin on the Saturday. We stayed at the schoolhouse which turned out to an inspired choice as it was happily placed halfway between registration and the start.
We spent the Sunday doing touristy things such as visiting the Guinness storehouse and doing the open top bus ride. The bus ride is not as cheesey as it sounds and is a great way to see the city.
The race is always held on the October Monday bank holiday and this day is now known as Marathon Monday in Dublin. Large portions of the city are closed off for the race. There was a record 12500 doing the race. The start was at 9am so we got up at 6.30 for a 7am breakfast and left the hotel at 8.30. A complete result as we avoided the need to use the portaloos!!
The start was fantastic. A rousing rendition of the Irish national anthem followed by a few bars of Molly Malone and we were off.
Perfect conditions as well. No real wind and a high of 14degrees.
This was Liz's 1st Marathon and we had separarted to start in different parts of the field. I was more anxious for her than myself as she was doubtful of starting having picked up an injury a month before the race. However she was at the start dosed up with the contents of a chemist shop and ready to go.
I was determined to go off slowly and did so. In truth it wasnt difficult and I found 7.15 pace beyond me at a comfortable effort. I settled for running as I felt and passed 10m in 75min.
I was struggling in the 2nd quarter of the race and felt a finish of any sort would be OK. A niggle in my calf then a niggle in a hamstring kept me focussed on keeping things v steady.
By halfway I felt a new lease of life. I had had a gel at 10m and maybe that helped. However I determined to keep things safe and went through the 2nd 10m in exactly a second quicker than the 1st. The crowds were absolutely extraordinary. I have never seen or heard such loud enthusiasm and it makes such a difference.
After 20m as every marathon runner knows its just 10k to go. At this stage I had been passing people almost continuosly since halfway. Although I hadnt speeded up everyone around me was slowing down and what a boost that is. After 20m I really headed for home and got my pace below 7min/mile for the 1st time in the race. I was flying past my peers and it felt great.
The crowds got better and I kept passing people. Inevitably the last 2m were abit slower but the finish around Trinity college was something special with the crowds 4-5 people deep and all yelling their heads off.
I finished in 620th out of 10500 finishers.
After a quick trip back to our hotel I was able to locate Liz at 24m. I was also able to see her finish in 4h 49min. A great performance as she could only walk/jog the last 6m due to her injury recurring.
So all in all a great weekend and a race I would recommend to anyone.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Does jetlag counts as an excuse??

Just back from Toronto after a really nice 5 days spent with my sister, Alice and her family. I managed 4 5m runs with the mad hound ,Archie whilst there. He is the only dog I know that doesnt like going out for walks/runs. Hence I spent quite alot of time coming to sudden halts as Archie put the brakes on. Apparently this is quite normal behaviour for him.
So its 3 days to go and I am quite looking forward to the Marathon on Monday. I did the last run yesterday and apart from being paranoid about developing a virus after close contact with 2 coughing/snotty children,I feel fine.
My plan on Monday is to set out at 95min pace for the 1st half. That should feel reasonably comfortable. I am acutely aware that if I go off too fast I will suffer in the last 10m.
I would be OK with anything under 3.20, happy with sub 3.15 and delighted with anything under 3.10. Its a far cry from 3 years ago but I haved to be realistic bearing in mind the training I have not done.
So the aim is to enjoy the race as much as possible and hope a conservative 1st half pays off later.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Progress report

It is now 10 days to go to the marathon and I am off to Toronto to visit my sister Alice tomorrow. I return next Friday then head off the following morning to Dublin. So this is a really good place to be.
I ran 10m on Monday and had the best run of my year on Tuesday. It felt oh so easy. If only every run was like that. Wednesday was a wake up call of course.
Tonight I will do 7m and I plan 20m after that over the next week
Good luck to ian tomorrow in his 24 hr race. I reackon he will do well and may crack 120m. I hope so.

Monday, 5 October 2009

3 weeks to go

So its only 3 weeks to go to the Dublin marathon.
Since I last blogged we have had a lovely long weekend in France with our friends David and Laura. What a difference the heat makes. I felt great in the sun but was running like a limp lettuce. I love France and always enjoy going there. If we had been a week earlier there was a local 1/2 M which would have been good to do.
Since returning I think I have been getting quicker. This afternoon I did my 10.5m circuit in 75min which is the quickest this year. 3 days ago I did a 20 miler which was a big boost to the confidence to get done but slow. No problem though because its in the legs.
Ian did Lochness yest in 3h 24min in exactly even splits. Thats an attractive way to do a marathon because he was overtaking for the 2nd half. Can I be disciplined enough to go out conservatively and what pace is appropriate??
I have now done 1600m this year so all being well 2000m is on for the year.
I plan 13m on Friday then a taper of sorts. I havent really done enough running to have a meaningful taper but I can pretend.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Taking stock

It is 5 weeks tomorrow until the Dublin marathon which Liz and I are entered for.
I have been increasingly concerned about my lack of preparation. I am easily the worst prepared for any marathon I have done before and it is a worry.
Today I ran 16m and completed 47m for the week both of which are the best I have done since June.
Of course I cant do anything but look forward and do my best. I plan a 20m run in 2 weeks and then its hoping for the best.
The watch is proving useful and interesting.

Friday, 11 September 2009

A new toy

I have a brand new garmin 405. Does anyone know how to use it ??
I have had a couple of goes and I can get it to record distance and pace but not time!!
No doubt its just a matter of trying different things
I was a bit distressed to see yesterday how slow I was running. There's no doubt my chest infection has slowed me down but usually I wouldnt have the evidence staring at me from my wrist. I'm sure it will prove a valuable training aid.
The weather has perked up enourmously since Wednesday which is good as we have the annual Comrie hills relay tomorrow. We have a record 29 teams and I am race organiser/coordinator or whatever.It should be a great day.

Sunday, 6 September 2009


I got back from sunny Switzerland on Friday to discover Scotland has all but been submerged!
We had superb weather on the whole. A few grey days but lots of sunny ones as well.
The 1st week we were in the Bernese oberland. A place called Lauterbrunnen which looks up to several 4000m peaks. The Eiger is just around the corner as well. Its a truly lovely area.
We bought a 6 day pass for the area which meant we could go anywhere on the trains and cable cars in the area. We walked our legs off for 6 days and saw some stunnings places. A walk across the base of the north face of the Eiger was a highlight. Also a trip up through the Eiger to the Jungfraujoch (3500m) was another.
By the end of the week I had done no running bar a 4 miler and had been struggling with the old sore heel and a calf strain. On the saturday I was keen to do a run and did 6m alomg the cycle track to interlaken. Its a lovely run and I enjoyed it. Sunday was my Birthday and I ignored an embryonic cold and ran to Wilderswill rtn (14m). I developed a hamstring prob (what a crock) and then sank into the misery of a flu like illness. We were due a rest anyway so it could have been worse.
We did walk up the valley to the trummellbach falls which are extraordinary and were entertained by base jumpers flying over our heads as we walked along.
The day after we moved onto Neuchatel to stay with Phil. Sadly I couldnt really make the most of being there but we did a 3 hour gorge walk which was good.
I am just getting over what seems to have been a chest infection and hopefully will start running soon,
August really was a washout from a running point of view but we had a great holiday.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Thats more like it

Today I set off on a 10.6m hilly road run which I have done many, many times over the years at 8.30am.
All the injuries felt OK which is to say no loss of running form. I felt good for the 1st 3-4 m and OK for the rest with a good finish. It was also a stunning morning for a run and I really enjoyed it
The time was 76.02 which is about 6min off my pb for this run but 10min faster than i was running 3 months ago!!
The ankle is sore now but I seem to be managing it OK.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

This is why I am giving up ultra distance

I have a collection of niggles at the moment which I am sure is a result of doing 3 ultras this year.
I have a sore left heel(improving slowly but has been v v sore), a right sided hamstring strain( which is practically better) and 2 nights ago I acquired a mild left calf strain. I am documenting all this as a reminder to my future self that this is what I can expect if I do daft things like run 95m.
On the plus side I am running again and actually had a pretty good run last night in Perth (4.5m). I really do enjoy running well and freely which just isnt possible when ultra training.
I have no race planned now until Kilmacolm on the 20th Sept so I hope I can get some good training in whilst on hols in Switzerland.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009


I hate being injured but this one could have come at a worse time.
I had been nursing a hamstring niggle for a few days and foolishly entered the Comrie fortnight fun run. About a mile in I had to pull up with a hamstring strain. What a depressing walk back through the other runners. The next day my heel prob was alot worse so at least I was resting 2 injuries!!
I have rested it a week now and all is feeling alot better. Maybe I will try a short run tomorrow.

Monday, 3 August 2009

More wet runs

What a miserable spell of weather!
However I see the possible green shoots of recovery. I did a good 7.2m last Wed in 50min. Decent running at last.
On Sat I struggled 16m from home in truly miserable conditions, but hopefully it will bear fruit. 40m was achieved(in fact 43) so thats good. I do need to get my R hamstring sorted however.
So a light week with Helensburgh on Sunday. Sounds good. The target is under 90min.

Monday, 27 July 2009

A good wet run

Last week I ran 39m.
Yesterday I did 16m which is the furthest for a while. I met up with Phil and as the sole reps of the Harriers on a quite dismal day we ran the Glen Artney loop (11m) and I struggled an extra 5m around the fun run route. In fact is was a great run with Phil and we did it in good timed (93min).
The weather has been pretty miserable recently. I cant decide whether to be pleased as it makes running easier or otherwise because it is Summer after all.
I have no major probs at the moment although my left Achilles is sore again. The weight is down to 12 st.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

weight issues

This time last week I was weighing in at an enourmous 12st 6lb. Thats the heaviest I have been away from injury since I started running. We were away at the weekend and I felt I really had to try and do something about the weight. Clearly it is no longer the case that I can eat what I like so long as I am running regularly. I have done 3 30m+ weeks since the WHW and still gaining weight. So crisps and choc are out now and booze is out mon to thurs inc. I am delighted to report I was just over 12st 1lb today which will be fluid to some extent but still a big change.
So age is catching up in more ways than I thought. Next month I will be 45 so it is all about maximising what I can do now rather than doing what I want. I feel that I am starting to run a bit more freely now and am enjoying my running. I have hit 1300m for the year and would like to think I can move up to 40m/week for the rest of the summer. I have entered the Dublin marathon on Oct 26th so that is a good focus.

Monday, 13 July 2009


Last night Ian phoned me to tell me that Dario had died whilst out on a hill run on the Lochnagar Hills. I presume it was his heart but I guess the PM will confirm that.
It is the kind of news that you can never expect and can only come as a shock.
Dario must be known to hundreds of people just through the WHW. Then there are all the other people he must have known. I'm sure the place the funeral taked place will be bulging.
Personally I found it very hard to react to the news. I suppose I felt upset but it takes me days sometimes to react to bad news. That is one of the things I dislike about being a Doctor. It hardens you to tragedy. Well I think it has hardened me.
I have definitely felt upset today. I think it was Ian's reference to the whisky evenings we had with him. They were good evenings and even though I could go months without seeing him I will miss him.
Poor Dario. 46 years, its nothing!

The news came at the end of a good day as well. We had the Crieff 10K which went well inspite of drizzle and rain. 250 people ran and had a good time I think.
Then we had a nice evening at Abbis. And all the while a tragedy was taking place further north.
Of course these scenarios play out every day dozens if not hundreds of times. Its always different when you are involved in some sort of way though.
As for the WHW race. Well it wont be the same without Dario. Thats for sure. I hope it carries on though. I'm sure thats what Dario would have wanted and I suspect his team will regroup under a different leader or leaders.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Carn Chalmain

Last Sunday we had a harriers day out to Glen Tilt. I went up with Phil and Doug to do the above Munro.
I was feeling pretty ropey for the run up the glen but a gel perked me up and I was very happpy with run up the hill. It was my 1st Munro for about a year and brought the tally up to 200 !!
We summitted 1h 45m after starting. we took an unconventional run down but ended up just where we started going up and met the other harriers doing an out and back from the carpark.
We headed back on the west path of the river and After running the last 3m alone I ended up back at the car after 3h 51min of running and feeling pretty gubbed.
I was v happy with how it went overall and my achilles behaved well.
So 15m and 31m for the week.

So far this week I have run twice, On Tue I did 6m from home v v slow and yesterday I did my 7.2m from Comrie in 55.56 which is not far off a PW. So very slow at the moment but hopefully better things to come.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Slow progress

I have been troubled with left achilles tendinitis.
Its more of a problem when I am not running than running but still pain.
I have managed a 5.5m run on Wed and today did 5.5m around the Crieff 10k course which was my best run since the WHW. Todays run was with Daniel who has alot of talent. He does need to train however, like the rest of us. I hope he gets into it over the summer and carries it into his university years.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Back running again and future plans.

Yesterday I went out for my 1st run post WHW.
It was with Jim and Daniel( my 18yo nephew). We had a very enjoyable 3m run around Lady Mary's which was ideal for a 1st run. No problems with the legs yet.
Today I did just over 5m from home in 43.11. I did have a little discomfort under the right patella but hopefully that wil ease off. Its nice to be running with no big target on the horizon.

I have been thinking about the future and aims.
This year I would simply like to get back to what I would consider a good running standard. So I plan to do Helensburgh 1/2 m and sheriffmuir 11m and hopefully the Glasgow 1/2m.
Ideally I would like to do a late autumn marathon but not sure where.
Next year the plan is to get under 80min for a half. Is that possible? Yes. I have a pb of 81.12 and if I focus and dont get injured who knows. Its good to have a target anyway.
Finaly thanks for all the kind comments on this blog. I really appreciate them. Its strange to have a mindset that I didnt do well in the WHW when I finished in a pb but that is how I feel. Its a shame but there we are. I am happy to leave well alone for now but I may have another crack at sub24 in a few years time.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

WHW 2009

Well, I did it but boy was it hard. Incredibly hard.
Lets go back to Friday. I had decided to pick my sister, Elizabeth (Liz to harriers) up from Glasgow airport which meant a 4am rise. My logic was that I would have had some sleep and could pick her up, go shoping for last minute supplies then go back to bed for several more hours sleep. Sadly it didnt work out that well and I probably dosed 2hrs in the afternoon but spent several hours horizontal.
I tried for sleep again at 8pm but no chance, I was far too tense.
Phil arrived at 10.30 and we were on our way to Milngavie by 11 and there by 12.
The registration was straightforward and then I gave blood for some research that was being done. There were lots of cameras around as well. The adventure show were covering the race this year.
After Dario's preamble we were ready for the off.
I lined up next to Ian who seemed more than a little tense and off we went into the night.
Our first 100yds were along the High St and several worse for wear youths tried to get involved in the race but gave up fairly soon.
The 1st section to Drymen was OK. I ran most of it with Ian and chatting helped pass the time. I had a mild Achilles pain but it wasnt to prove to be a problem. I couldnt decide wether it was drizzling or not and after a while and a few bites it became obvious that the midges were out in force. They were to be constant companions for the 1st 50miles!
Drymen was reached in 2hrs and I jogged up through the forest to meet Phil at Garadhan carpark. Poor chap was trying to fend midges off and help me at he same time. I had something to eat and headed off again after a few mins.
The section over Conic Hill to Balmaha was a real low point for me. I just couldnt get going at all. I gave an interview to a media type whilst ascending Conic Hill. Surely a surreal moment at 4am. The views were very good at the top and I did stop to take it in. I knew I was going to struggle down. I had my usual slip and fell on my arse. I then realised I was very wet and it became clear the end of my water pipe had come off in my fall. If I lost that I didnt have a spare. So I spent several mins looking and did find it. The run off the hill was dire and slow and I got into Balmaha at 3hr 40min. Phil was there but I didnt stop.
Things did pick up after that. The section to Rowardennan went well. I stopped to have some soup and picked up some supplies. Phil was very good telling me I was doing fine but I just didn't feel it was going as it should.
After that I knew I had 18miles before I next saw my support.
At this stage I had given up worrying about the midges.My legs and arms were covered in bites. Phil had tried to scrape some out of my eyes but it was all rather futile.
Again, the next bit to Inversnaid Hotel was OK. I reached it in reasonable time and was probably 30min behind schedule.No big deal.
However the next bit was not good. It was with great relief that I got north of the worst 3m of the course. Going over to Glen Falloch there was another film crew. I had nothing very original for the camera and dare say I will end up on the cutting room floor.
Getting through Beinn Glas was good. I knew I was only 4m from the 2 Lizs. I really needed to see some friendly faces and was feeling very low. To be honest I was tearful which sounds pathetic now. I just felt so sorry for myself and I wasn't even halfway.
It's at these points in the race it all comes home just what a completely brutal race this is. I was covered in midge bites, sleep deprived, very tired and still had 50m to go. Not a good prospect.
Eventually I reached Carmyle cottage where there was a great welcome from the crowd and my long awaited support team.
I wasnt really eating much now and hadnt since I last saw Phil. I really tried to force some soup down but and I tried a sandwich but it just wasnt happening.
After 25min Liz (sis) chucked me out and I crawled over the hill to Glen Dochart. It was here I had the bad fall in the Fling so I was being v careful.
I ran into Auchtertyre pretty well probably because it was flat and a decent surface (a rare combination).
This was the 1st weigh in and I had lost over 4kg !! I was over what I was allowed to lose for the whole race so that was a real worry.
On to Tyndrum (hi Kaz and Al) then on to Bridge of Orchy. I quite enjoyed the approach to B.O.O. After that I was allowed a support runner which was fantastic. Liz(sis) accompanied me to Blackrock cottage. It was such a help having someone fresh and chatty to be with and I was very grateful. Rannoch Moor was largely unremarkable. We kept getting passed by the same chap who we never seemed to pass ourselves (strange).
At Blachrock Phil rejoined us and then ran with me to the end. Kaz and Al were there again which was great. Again I rejected all food offered. I was surviving on gels and toffees from memory.
It was good to run with Phil. He chatted about the Lions game and lots of other subjects to distract me.
We headed up the Devil's staircase with me feeling not too bad but then the biggest drop in energy hit me. I felt as if every ounce of glucose in my body had run out. I had had thoughts of not finishing several times already but this really felt serious. In the end I sat down and ate something and that seemed to get me up but very slowly. The down to Kinlochleven wasnt great but at least I was making progress.
At KLL the midges were a serious menace again. I hadnt lost anymore weight so would be allowed to carry on(mixed blessing). Kaz and Al were still there although Kaz seemed intimidated by the midges and had retreated under a hood (wish I had). I wanted to push on to get as much of the Lairig Mhor done in daylight as possible and it was starting to go.
We did the 1000foot climb up pretty well. I dont understand how energy levels can fluctuate so dramatically.
The Lairig Mhor was difficult and soul destroying. You can see where you've got to go for miles.
It went dark about half an hour before we reached Lundavra. Liz(wife) was joining the run here much to her surprise but it was great to have her company.
We pushed on through the woods. I actually fell off the path at one point which was a bad moment especially when my calf cramped.
At last we emerged into Glen Nevis. 2 girls who had just passed us ran back to give us a can of Red Bull( they were to regret that).
We were able to run down quite well which was the first running I had done for a couple of hours.
As we ran down it got easier. We must have run for at least 20min at a decent jog and then we emerged through Braveheart carpark onto the road and 1mile to go.
Now something very strange happened here. I hadnt been able to run at anything like a half decent pace since B.O.O. which was 34miles back and I suddenly discovered Icould run at what felt like a decent pace. And it just got better. I shot past the Red Bull girls and sprinted for Fort William. I would say I was running 7min mile pace which doesnt seem possible but it happened. My only regret is that we left Liz behind but she soon joined us in the leisure centre.
25 hrs and 40min!
I came 64th out of 122 finishers.
So despite the fact that I had a very tough and largely unhappy run I did OK.
At the end I just felt sheer relief that is was all over.
The leisure centre was v warm and I sat down. Gus made me some tea and toast and I chatted to Amanda who was doing massages.
Then I had a shower and went back to give blood and weigh in. I hadnt lost anymore weight but after giving blood lost most of my blood pressure. I retired to the toilet and discovered that I hadnt digested much in the last 12 hours, it was still in my stomach or at least it had been. It was now in the bin. Liz tended to me.She is a very nice person.
Then we headed off to the B&B were i became unconcious until breakfast.
To anyone that reads this I want to make it perfectly clear that my support team are the best there is. I couldnt have done the race without them and I am enourmously grateful for all they did for me.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Over the top

Well thats a bit dramatic but it has that sort of a feel to it.
I was up at 4am today to pick my sister up from Glasgow airport. The plan was to sleep in the afternoon. Well it was partialy successful. I did get a couple of hours and with 7 hrs to go I guess that is all the sleep I am going to get.
Everyone will be feeling i varying states of readiness and I know the best thing now is to be positive and forward looking until the end.
Phil will be picking me up at 10.30 and The 2 Lizs will take over at Carmyle cottage with Phil rejoining us at some point later on.
The weather looks pretty good. Maybe a few showers and a high of 17deg.
I am off to eat a pizza as a starter with the main course at 9pm.
I dont feel I could have done much more in terms of preparation so it is now down to luck and how things go on the day.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Last run done

I went to the Harrier's run last night and did 3m aroung Lady Mary's walk. No real probs although my Achilles is a bit sore today.
So, thats it now.
The weather forecast is favourable for the weekend and everything is in place re support etc.
I cant wait for Friday night now.

Monday, 15 June 2009

The final straight

Well, people say that just getting to the start is an achievement so I do feel that if I am standing at the start at 1am on saturday feeling OK then that will be an achievement.
Back at work today I literally feel as if I am breathing in all sorts of viruses as the infirm troop in. I would love to put a surgical mask on but that would be OTT. I reckon if someone came in with a broken leg I would be in danger of catching it!!
So, how is the body ?
I have a niggle in my left Achilles but apart from that I feel fine. I did 5m yesterday morning before leaving Arran which took me over 1100m for the year. I am in 2 minds about running tomorrow but I think on balance I should, just to keep in the groove. Lets face it, if I cant do 5m I cant run the WHW on the 20th.
Am I nervous ? Not really. I feel well prepared and in a state of anticipation. Its all on the day now and how hard I can push myself. I want to enjoy this few days of anticipation.
I have decided that this will be my last ultra for quite some time. I have enjoyed training for it but I would like to get some speed in my legs again and enjoy that. I feel no sadness at the prospect and can always come back to it.
So here's to a good week.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Arran adventures

Liz and I have been spending a few days on the lovely island of Arran. Its our 1st time here and what a great week we've had. Almost unbroken sunshine and a really beautiful place to explore.
Tue we decided we should get ourseves up Goat Fell just in case it was the one good day of the week. Its a nice enough hill but a bit of a dull walk. Great views at the top though.
Wed we went for our runs and I did 7m. A bit concerned at some discomfort in my left TA and also some in my left hamstring. Still it makes a change from having all my problems on the right!!
After that we did a 6m walk from Lamlash over the Clauchland hills.
Thursday we did an 8m circuit of the "cock of arran" (no sniggering). It has to be one of he best walks I've ever done in terms of variety and charm. Lochranza was also a delight.
Last night we went over to Brodick for a lovely meal and were taxied back. So today we both ran over the "string" to get the car. That was 11m and about 300m of ascent so we were both pleased. My TA is still sore but not too worrying.
This afternoon we strolled over to see the Machrie stones which are a collection of stone circles and standing stones. Well worth the effort.
So a great week so far and tomorrow will be spent taking it easy.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Thats better

This morning 4 of us did an 8mile run from Crieff.
I dont know whether it was running with some others or my body is getting its act together at last but I felt distinctly better. What a joy to be running something like normal.
It was also a lovely morning for a run. I had a chat with Phil about our WHW effort in 2005 when I pulled out at 75m. It was interesting to reflect on it all. It made me realise just how far we have both come since then.Phil of course finished it in 2005 and posted a remarkable time last year on significantly less mileage than most. He clocked less than 850m for the year prior to the race. Imagine what he could do on my mileage!! Am I jealous? Yes, a little but we are what we are and just to be able to complete the WHW is great. Sub 24 hrs would be even better!
Thats a 23m week and 1080m for the year.
I plan to run alternate days for the next week or so.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Limping on

I managed a 3m run on Tue and 5.5m on wed. Unfortunately I felt a hamstring pull on the right towards the end of the 2nd run. It feels v minor but is still a concern. I will try a few a run today and see how it goes but I obviously need to try and be sensible.
2 weeks from now I will hopefully be in a state of preparedness and asleep.

Friday, 29 May 2009


Well, probably being a bit dramatic here. However I do have a calf problem on the inside of my right calf. I ran 5.5m on Tue and was certainly aware of some tightness there which has persisted. I am being sensible for onec and have decided to give it a full weeks rest at least. I am also going to see Amanda again.
Its 3 weeks now so plenty of time to get it better and I may benefit more from rest than doing 30-40m/week in 7m runs which is what I would have done.
Its just hard not running and there's that nagging doubt that all the fitness is leaking away with the inactivity. Nonsense I know but I would rather be running fine at this stage than not.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Time to reflect

Today I intended to do a hilly 20m. I was also planning a 30m next weekend. On my run today I was considering the advisability of doing anything tough from here on in. After reading folks thoughts on tapering on the WHW forum my thoughts have changed to simply making sure I am at the start in as good a shape as poss. I only did 16m today and was feeling my right calf for the last few miles terrified it was going to "go" properly. It didnt but its not quite right either. This all needs careful planning. I have done the hard work so lets just take it easy.

Friday, 22 May 2009

The Cotswold Way

As part of my training for the WHW I wanted to do some long successive days. I also wanted to do something a bit different. All the training on the WHW can get a bit samey. As my Father(Jim) lives near the Cotswolds and its 102 miles with a similar profile to the WHW I thought it would fit the bill.

On Saturday I flew down to Birmingham and made my way to Banbury on the train. All v easy and by Saturday evening we were drinking some very nice Italian wine and planning the next 3 days.

The plan was to run North from Bath to Chipping Camden. This involved an early start.


The drive took about 2 hours and it started raining heavily as we approached Bath(a sign of things to come). After a couple of tours of Bath city looking for the Abbey which is where it all starts(or finishes) I was chucked out the car and told to find it on foot. The rain stopped at that point which was welcome. After a quick visit to Starbucks for the usual pre run ablutions(sorry ) I found the Abbey and immediately started running South. Not a good start. I made my way back to the start and reset my watch.

The run through Bath was lovely, its not a city I know so it was good to see a bit of it. I made my way out and headed north. After a couple of golf courses(there were many) I met Jim at Cold ashton. A lovely village. He seemed keen to restrict my calories but once I had made it clear I wasnt there to lose weight we were fine and off I went. The next section to Tormarton was pretty dire. Running across the M4 in torrential rain did make me wonder what I was doing there. The rain continued for the rest of the day more or less. I met Jim in Horton but only after getting horrendously lost in a country estate. I eventually found myself trapped behind some gates waiting for someone to set the dogs on me. I managed to escape through some undergrowth and made my way back to civilisation. Unfortunately I was heading the wrong way and was sent back the way I had come to Little Sodbury. Let me tell you I was very pleased to see the Cotswold way sign.

The last 10 miles or so went very well. I suddenly started feeling good and felt I was moving well. I finished in Wotton under edge and we made camp in an Inn for the night. 32m completed.


The Inn turned out to be the focus for all the local insomniacs with drink problems so probably wasnt the best choice but never mind. I headed out of Wotton feeling pretty good. It wasnt to last. This was easily the worst section. I had 14m to do and I got lost so many times I lost count. Stinchcombe Hill and Dursley were real low points and it rained and rained and rained. The kind of rain that you are instantly soaked.

It took me over 4 hours to do less than 14m. Not good. The next section to Painswick was better but I knew I wasnt going to do my 35m that I had planned. Painswick is lovely but I wasnt interested. I headed out as quickly as I could after being refuelled by Jim who was doing a great job keeping me fed and motivated.

The final section to Birdlip seemed to go on for ever. The day had seen me going through alot of thick mud in woodland and that is how it finished for the last few miles. I eventually finished after 8.5 hours running and covered 30M. Tomorrow was going to be tough.

Day 3

Started at 9am and things just seemed easier. The first 10m whizzed by and I was in Dowdeswell in good time and feeling good. This in spite of the fact that I had forgotten my ruc sac and guide book. The signs were good and I didnt get lost all day.

I met Jim at 21m just south of Winchcombe. Felt good and made good time to Stanton which was only 10m to go. It was at this point I felt a slight pull in my right calf. I decided to walk all hills as a precaution but wasnt really up to doing much more than that anyway. My right big toe was also giving me alot of pain due to a big blister under the nail but I wasnt stopping at that stage.

The last 2 hours were in lovely early evening sunshine and Broadway looked gourgeous. Jim met me evry 2m or so after that and I finished in Chipping Camden feeling quite pleased with myself.

The 40m that day took 8.5 hours so i was pleased with that.

Overall then, a soggy experience but not one I would have missed. The Cotswolds are very beautiful and I'm sure in normal conditions the trails would be a delight to run on. In fairness the last day was great running. Jim was great the whole way giving great support. Hopefully this will turn out to be a good launchpad for a good WHW

I have now done over 1000 miles this year so thats another milestone.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009


Since the weekend I have felt,well, shattered. I ran with the Harriers last night and could barely keep up. My knee was also sore again.
I'm not really worried about any of this, it goes with the territory.
I plan to rest today and do 2 7m runs before the weekend and hope I'm recovered for Sunday and my 1st day on the Cotswold way. At the moment Sunday is rainy but a nice temp so could be worse.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Some progress, I think.

My aim this week was to get running properly again and do two 20 milers at the weekend.
Well looks like I've done it.
Yesterday I set off at 5.20am for a Tour de Strathearn (as we call it round here). The idea was to get some experience of running early ie at the same time as the first stages of the WHW. I have always felt rotten at the beginning of the WHW so this was my attempt to do something about it.
Well guess what I felt pretty ropey when I set off. It was cold and windy. However I worked my way round and had some good spells. Not surprisingly I didnt see many folk about. This really is a tough course and I always seem to forget that until I am doing it again. I felt pretty tired at the end but OK. My time was slow at 3h 17m but thats OK. My knee was sore but again some voltarol took care of that and no harm done as far as I can tell.
Today I set off at 8am on the same run but the other way round. A much nicer morning and a good run. I was shattered in the last few miles and 3h 20m is about the slowest I've done this route in but again thats OK, its only training.
Both knees were playing up a bit at the end but I think all is well.
So thats 60m for the week.
This time next week I should be ending my 1st day on the Cotswold way. I aim to do the Bath to Chipping Camden trail over 3 days.Its 102m long and about 13000 up and down so a major challenge.

Monday, 4 May 2009


The last week has been a slow process of recovery.
I had a very sore knee all of last week. On Tue I has a massage. By Friday I felt a run was possible and did 5.4m flat. The knee did not like it at all and Sat am I took a voltarol. Bliss.
Sunday I did 7.2m slow but apart form some medial patella discomfort everything seemed OK.
It might turn out to be blessing in disguise making me rest. We will see.
Otherwise I have been fine and after 2 weeks of virtually no running (apart from the fling!) I feel ready for the challenges ahead.

Monday, 27 April 2009

After the fling

Saturday was up bright and early at 4am. Liz v kindly made breakfast for Ian and I. I had porrage, sausage, beans, eggs and toast.
We arived at Milngavie at 6.25 and after registering moched around for a bit.
At the start I made a point of watching Jez Bragg starting just to see the pace he set off at. It looked about my 10K pace !!
I had determined to give it a real go and set off at what felt like quite a fast pace. I wasnt too interested in chatting, just geting my stride right. I did run with Ian and Davie B and hit Beech tree inn in exactly an hour (7.5m). Clearly this was a bit fast. So I pushed on of course. I ran through Drymen in 1.43 which was far too fast.
A couple of miles up the track Liz was waiting at Garabdhan car park. I stopped @ 8min and cahnged into trail shoes and had a coffee, choc milkshake, rice pud and a creme caramel.
Ian had joined me and we headed off together and ran together until just before Conic Hill.
The descent off Conic was horrible. Really greasy and I tiptoed down to reach Balmaha in 3 hrs.
I still felt good and had been amused by a group of 3 lads up from London who seemed to suffer from gate dyslexia. It didnt seem to matter what they did, they couldnt cope with horsey gates.
I found Liz at Sallochy(24m) and the 3 lads headed straight off in the wrong direction before I could say anything. They did eventually return. I had 1/2 a litre of chicken soup, and a creme caramel before heading off. Ian came in just as I was leaving.
It was now definitely warm and the sweat had been pouring off me for some time.
I made Rowardennan in 4.31 which was bang on schedule. Just after that I came across Kaz who was looking fine and seemed to be enjoying herself. We chatted for a bit and then I pushed on.
I decided to run as much of the hill that takes you away from the loch as I could and passed several people.
I hit Inversnaid at 5.52. Still feeling good. Gav was there clearly struggling. I didnt expect to see him at all. Ellen was also there and enjoying herself.
The next section is definitely not my cup of tea. It really does break the spirit. Its like horizontal mountaineering with all the crags and trees and progress is so slow. I ended up with 5 people behind me but I couldnt entice any of them past me.
It was bliss to get to the head of loch lomond and do some running.
I had a message that Liz couldnt park at Beinn Glas so was prepared to psh thro to Derrydarroch.
The 3m that separates the 2 is always surprisingly hilly. I was walking all the ups now and beginning to struggle. It was 20m since I had seen Liz and I needed some support. Alison and Colin were there and it is always nice to see familiar faces.
I had some ginger beer and swapped my ruc sac for bumbag. This wasnt smart as I had been fine and hadnt tried this before with bottles in the main bit of it. They jump out normally if they are in the bottle pockets. Anyway i set off with the bumbag bouncing up and down and annoying me.
I was glad to take the left turn up the hill at Crianlarich corner. It feels like the beginning of the end. I was being passed by a few now and just working away as best I could. I hadnt really eaten for ages and wasnt hungry.
About 3/4m before the A82 i stumbled on one of the many rocks on a steep downhill bit and flew headfirst downhill. I landed on my right knee and totally had the stufing knocked out of me. My calf immediately cramped and I must have been yelling out in pain because a few people gathered around to watch my suffering. My first thought was what have I done ? My knee was giving me alot of pain and I didnt move for a few mins. Eventually after some kind person dressed my knee I got up and started hobbling downhill. I walked to the road and then got up to a half jog when saw the girls. Liz was clearly concerned about the state of my running kit and how she was ever going to get it clean. Quite rightly she simply asked me if I could carry on and when I affirmed she told me to get on with it.
I crossed the road and had horrendous cramp when getting over a stile. How do I get out of this I thought. Then I saw Al and Ali and decided I had better make a show of running.After that it was a case of running then walking a bit when the pain got too much. I was able to run into the finish and it felt great.
Liz was there with real enthusiasm for what I had done.
10 hours 43min.
Not much more to say.
Ian did well to overcome alot of cramp and come in a respectable 11.24 and Kaz did v well to do 12.11.
I am as always indebted to Liz for her support.
Lessons learnt:
1 Dont go off too fast
2. Garadbhan is a good pit stop
3. Coke is good
4. Stick with the ruc sac

Friday, 24 April 2009

Pre Fling thoughts

Tomorrow its the Highland Fling. I start at 7am and Liz will be supporting me.
I have run 13m this week over mon and Tue so should be well rested come tomorrow.
My plan is to try and run under 11hrs. I think that is achieveable but will be tough. I ran 12.25 2 yrs ago but am much fitter this year.
There will be alot of people on the course including a cohort starting at 6am. This means I should be passing people towards the end which should help.
The forecast is good so now its all down to me. Head down and push hard for the whole day.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Good run

Today I did my old 10.6m run from Comrie
I have been eeking this down from 86min over the last few weeks
Today i fely good for the 1st time in a long time and did 75.35 which is my best for a long time on this run. It was also a lovely morning. Its been a great spell of weather recently. April is the new May !!
I did do this run in just under 70 min a few years ago but I think those days are gone for good.


Things improved significantly after the last post
I did 6m the next morning then a TDS (20m) on Sun in 3h 3min which I was delighted with. I've never seen Auchingarroch so busy.
This week I have cut right down doing 14m over 2 runs. I did have a masage on Sun which helped and was advised to rest so I did.
I am starting to look forward to the fling now which means nervous tummy. Thats fine and I enjoy the anticipation of a challenge like this.
I need to decide how I am going to pace it. I want to get under 11hrs and I guess I need to be no slower then 3h 10m at Balmaha to do that so thats a start

Saturday, 11 April 2009

NIght time run

I planned to set off at 9pm and do 24M. In th event I ran an hour out and back so about 14m.
I felt quite nervous about this for 2 reasons. One Liz is away so if anything went wrong I could be stranded miles from home in the middle of the night. Two I was aware of a hamstring strain.
I found myself feeling pretty miserable the whole way out. Music didnt help and I felt pretty vulnerable.
My ham was achey on and off and for a while my knee joined in. After an hour I decided to turn around and knew instantly I had made the right decision. The run back was OK but when it started to drizzle I just wanted home.
The last 3M or so my ham was quite tight so Im not sure how that is going to work out. I felt tired the whole run and was v glad to get home.
Lessons learnt. If I am going to do this again I need back up.
Either start in the light or finish in the light otherwise its too depressing.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Struggling on

The time since my operation has been a bit of a struggle to be honest.
I felt great initially but that soon wore off. I am having to wear my cycling glasses to run to keep wind and debris out my eye. I am also wearing my buff to keep sweat out. I must look pretty strange and I feel odd.
I did runs on sat and sun last weekend and felt a familiar discomfort in my outer knee. Not good !! Is it ITBS ?
Well i carried on after a severe rub of the area and to my delight it seems to have gone.
This week I have run every day so far but have had calf and now right hamstring niggles. I dare say its all the miles catching up. I seem to be coping but perhaps a massage is in order.
I have done 30m so far this week and am hoping for a big mileage this weekend. Lets see if the body holds up.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Eye operation

Yesterday I had occassion to experience life on the other side of the medical divide. I had an eye operation in Ninewells, Dundee.
I must say it all went very smoothly. I was impressed with the professionalism and care shown. The drugs were particularly enjoyable !!
The only downside is a sore eye and a couple of days off running. So thats not too bad.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

WHW run and quarterly report

Last Sunday was the last single day organised training run this year. That feels strange with almost 3/12 to go but there is alot to come yet from other quarters.
On Sunday IB and I started from B.O.O. with a pack of wippets behind us starting from Tyndrum.
It was a superb day weatherwise with clear blue skies.
Much to my embarrasment we were caught by 3 just before Khouse. However everyone has their own goals and mine was to finish uninjured in @ 7.5 hrs.
I was feeling fine and took the devils staircase at a walk. The run down to KLL is tough with lots of broken paths and rocks to stub your toe on. Having got to Khouse in 2.05 we got to KLL in 4.05. After soup and coffe we walked up onto the larig mhor. This is another rough section and we picked the pace up i an effort to catch 2 in the distance. After awhile I gave up.
The last 5m were pretty tough and I was v happy to finish.We finished in 7.31.Debbie and Marco v kindly gave us a lift back to BOO and we had a v welcome supper in Tyndrum
70M for the week
Last night I ran with the harriers. I did a 3m warmup and then felt massively shakey and unwell. Half a pack of mints cured that and I did the pyramid session (1-4-1) and ran pretty well.

That takes me up to 247 for March and 647 for the year which is average of exactly 50M /week.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Steady stuff

Since the canal run I think I've recovered pretty well. Apart from some persistent but v mild lateral infrapatellar discomfort I've been fine. Fine but slow.
Last week I did 30M running 4 times inc 2x8m in Cumbria at the weekend
This week I've also run 30m but with the weekend to come.
So Sunday is BOO to FW which is 35M. After that I will have an easy week and aim for some decent mileage over the Easter weekend.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Glasgow to Edinburgh

54 miles
9 hours 17min

Up at 5am to get a good breakfast of beans and sausages (thanks Liz) then we picked IB up and got the 6.45 to Glasgow train. The journey was fine and definitely better than dragging Liz into Glasgow.At the station we met Davie and had a coffee then got a taxi to Ruchill Park
What an uninspiring place to start a race. A small group of bedraggled runners and support registered, got themselves ready and after a brief preamble set off. The vast majority there has some association with the WHW so I knew quite a few people.
We set off at 9am and headed straight onto the canal. Lucy went straight into the lead and stayed there until the end. I set off steadily near the back and chatted to Sharon who was worried @ some damaged ribs. I let her go after 4m as she was a bit faster than I wanted to go.
I hooked up with IB for a while until he stopped for a pit stop.
I was @ 2hrs at Auchinstarry (13.1m). We had a strong tailwind practically the whole way so progress was relatively fast.
At the Falkirk wheel i met AB and LT for the 1st time and gulped some excellent chicken soup down and headed on thro 2 tunnels. The section from FW to linlithgow (22.6-33m) was my best. I passed @ 6 people. I had also got my ipod on at this stage which helped alot.
After Linlithgow I was still fine and passed Neil which was where I was to stay in the race.
I met the girls again at Winchburgh (39m) and has a wee stop and sat down for the 1st time( big mistake !). It tok me about 20min to iron the aches and pains out of my pelvis/upper legs. After that we turned into the wind. This was tough. Thank goodness it wasnt run E-W.
It was a bit of a struggle to Ratho which was 7M to go. I felt pretty nauseated at this stage and had pretty well given up on the idea of eating or drinking much.
From there on it was a struggle until 2-3m to go when I picked up and ran pretty well (or at least it felt that way) into the end at Harrison Park.
Sadly there was only a couple of marshals there as the girls had had trouble finding it. I curled up in the marquee and waited for them. IB came in soon after and we headed off back home.
So what have I learned ?
Well I was delighted to feel so good up to 40m. I felt really competitive.
After that I struggled with nausea. I dont know what to do @ that as I had eaten pretty well. Hopefully this race will simply give me more stamina which will help.
I could have done with some coca cola in the latter stages.
The soup was great.
Thanks to LT and AB for all their support.
I wont do this one again as it is pretty dull in the 1st 20m especially and expensive at 50GBP. However I am pleased to have it under my belt.

Friday, 13 March 2009

The day before

Tomorrow is the Glasgow to Edinburgh race.
Apart from a residual sore area on my right thigh I feel fine.
My hopes for tomorrow are to finish injury free and under 10 hours.
Thats not over optomistic in my view but this is a long way and just finishing is always a challenge.
I will aim to go off at 6mph for the 1st 20M and take it from there. Its all in the last 20m that matters so nice and easy for the 1st bit.
The forecast is for a NW wind (not too bad), rain in the morning and clearing and 10deg. So if thats what we get it'll be OK.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Inverness 1/2M

Last Sunday was the 25th running of this race and my 1st.
LT,IB,AB and I travelled up the day before and stayed in a geat B&B. It was a bit difficult getting a meal as the whole of Northern Scotland seemed to be eating out that night but we eventually secured a table and had a good meal.
I slept poorly but thats quite normal in a strange place.
We awoke to a windy, snowy day and after registering made our way to the cafe where we met my sister and PM up with the Crieff junior rugby club.
The race started at 1pm i very cold windy conditions.
I had briefly seen Beth form our club who was looking pensive.
I headed off smartly feeling pretty good. The 1st mile was 6.15 but thats as fast as i was to go.
The 2-4 miles are run into the wind and then uphill. My race was punctuated by energy surges then lows. At 4M i upped the effort but couldnt maintain any real speed.
The weather got worse if anything. I think I was OK until 11m then the last 2m into the wing were a real struggle.
The finish in the stadium was v welcome. I came home in 86.21 and 69th. Overall I am happy with that. I am sure the long run last Sunday slowed me. IB got under 90min which he was OK with.
The journey home was complicated by news of a 20 car pile up and heavy snow at Drummochter.
IB made the call to go home via Aberdeen. I was very focussed on my very chafed thighs having forgot @ vaseline before the race. It was a long drive back but not unpleasant as we stopped ar Fochabers for massive pancakes.
My thighs are recovering now after 3/7 and I did a 6m run today which will be my only run this week before Saturday.

Saturday, 7 March 2009


Normally when I increase my mileage I lose weight fairly steadily. I reckon 35M is worth 1 lb of fat so if I maintain the same calorie intake and do 70m as i did last week I should lose 2lb.
At the moment I weigh 12st 2lb which is 2lb more than 6/52 ago when I returned from La Gomera.
So either I am eating too much or my metabolism has changed. I dont want to reduce my intake so maybe I will have to settle for being 1/2 stone heavier than I would expect to be.
This week I have run 3x doing 26m. Yest I did an 8m run up Glenlednock which was great. Lovely day and great scenery.
We are travelling up to Inverness soon with IB and AB to do the 1/2M tomorow. Its a new one to me and a chance to see how I'm doing. I hope I'm in sub 85min shape but there's been a virus going around and will those extra pounds be a factor ??

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Recovery run


A return to winter today. I had a day off and did my reg run from Auchingarrich.
Apart from a few twinges and general slowness I was pleased with the run.
I am still pretty shattered but looking forward to an easier 10/7 or so.

Monday, 2 March 2009

A big week

I managed 71 miles last week which is the furthest I've run for almost 2 years.
On saturday we has our biweekly time trial. I was a little slower at 32.22 but happy enough and most are improving.
Yesterday we has a big training run form Inverarnan to Kingshouse (31m). We had a v excited Kaz who did well in unpleasant conditions.
I ran conservatively with next w/ends 1/2 M in mind and was happy to chat to various people until Ochtertyre when it started raining heavily. The plus of the rain was that it helped wash off the vast amounts of cow dung we had already run thro. I felt it best given the conditions to push on and found myself alone after Tyndrum. That was until a Comrie family spotted me in the sleet.
I started feeling good at B.O.O and pushed on over Rannoch Moor. At the top I ran out of food and had to beg some choc from some kind walkers. After that I cantered dowm into KHouse with Jamie and finished feeling pretty good which was my intention at the beginning.
So V happy with that.
I did 218M in Feb making 410m for the year.
So now its time to taper for next weekend for the Glagow to Edin after that

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Review of the week

I have done 58m which brings my weekly ave up to almost 49m. I,m v happy with that.
Earlier this week I was struggling fairly singificantly with fatigue. I am sleeping v well but still feling shattered. From experience I know if I keep my head down things will improve and they have. All the same its worth noting.
Yesterday was the national X country champs at falkirk. 4 of us went over for this v prestigious event. There were 9 races. We saw the womens wonby the v impressive Freya Murray. She was well ahead of the rest of the field.
After a warm up we all assembled. 400 runners belting up a hill is quite a thing to be part of. I had overindulged the night before and feeling rather rough didnt expect too much. However I felt prettyy OK and after a slow start made my way past a few. There was a steep dip with a muddy bottom that sucked my shoe off. Luckily it went straight back on. After the 1st of 3 laps I started to feel pretty knackered and decided to settle down. IB passed me near the end of the 2nd lap obviously feeling alot sharper. I kept him in sight but couldnt close the gap. I finished in 49.50.
Today IB and I mey 6 harriers at auchingarrich. The plan was to do a TDS with PM joining us to Crieff. Instead of going down the road we ran to Drunnadarroch and along the river to Comrie. This was lovely but added 1.7m.
I felt alot better today and enjoyed the run. The weather was perfect. My mule bars are proving acceptable. Shame they cost 1.75gbp. We left PM in Crieff and probaly picked the pace up.20m was done in 3.05 and we finished in 3h 21.30. A great run.

Weekly total 58m

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Solo pipe run

I arrived on time in Crieff for the club run to fing myself without ant running companions.
I ran the Pipe run steadily in 59.37.
A pleasant run in welcome mild conditions. All the snow has gone overnight fro our house.
Later on I did an 8 mile walk with Liz in Glenlednock.
Week 48M

Saturday, 14 February 2009

7x4 and a speed session

This week has been one of recovery. I think on reflection the long run last Sunday was a bit quick. Consequently it has taken all week to recover with some pleasant but slow runs.
I have done 4 7 mile runs Tue to Fri and today we had the speed session in Crieff.
I had had a few drinks last night so wasnt expecting to much. However as soon as we set off I knew I was going to be OK today. I ran the 5m course on 32.15 which is a 25sec improvement. I also managed a negative split with 16.11 and 16.04 . Afterwards IB and I did a circuit of the 10K circuit to get some mileage. I felt pretty lousy for some of that but seemed to come out of it.
On one of my runs earlier in the week I also felt as if someone had pulled the plug on my energy levels.
Next week I'm hoping for a similar week prior to X country on Sat and maybe a long run on the sunday.Hopefully no more energy dips though.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Masters and a long run

Yesterday 4 Harriers went over to Irvine for the National X country masters.
I like the term masters , it sounds so much better than veteran.
It was a great day weatherwise,@ 5deg and bright. We arrived in plenty of time and watched the women.
Then it was our turn. We had 3 laps of 3300m. I set off steadily, tucking in behing IB for the first half of the race. I hadnt run one of these before and wasnt sure how to pace it. I found it harder than I expected. Its difficult to get a rhythm. However it was good fun. I ran each lap at very even pace finishing in 39.33. The prizegiving was great fun. Its a friendly event and v low key. liked the way the annoncer made it v clear the trophies were not for taking away. All v couthy.
All 4 of us did probably what we expected to do more or less.
I have another of these in 2/52 so looking forward to that.

Today IB and I drove to Linlithgow and got the train to Haymarket to run back to Linlithgow.
It was V V cold. This is in preparation for the Glasgow to Edin race in 5/52. We set off quite fast. Its all on the canal towpath so v flat. We ran 22m in 3h 7.30min. We did 7.5m in the 1st hour, 7m in the 2nd and 6.5 in the 3rd. So how did it feel ?
Well I found it OK. Its quite tough on the hams but otherwise its nice countryside and easy running. I think the race will be tough but hopefully doable.

56m for the week

Friday, 6 February 2009

Blimey its cold

We have been in the grip of some pretty cold weather this week. The track down to our house has been a fairly lethal stretch of ice all week. In spite of this I have managed some running
On Wed I did the club run which went well. I felt good the wole way and only slowed to accomodate the icey roads downhill
So that was 6m in 45.45
Yesterday I did a run from PRI which was twice round the inch. Again it felt good. I have mislaid my watch but I know I did about 6m again.
I am off today and plan a 7 miler then its cross country tomorrow in Irvine which will be a new experience for me never having done a X country or been to Irvine.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Run from home and club ceilidh

Saturday evening was our annual club bash.
This year was special for several reasons. The evening inevitably focussed out thoughts on Simon and Shelagh. Simon passed away 3/12 ago from pancreatic cancer and Shelagh very bravely came to the dinner. I had the privelage of awarding Simon the presidents trophy and I was very glad that Shelagh accepted it for him.
It is also our 25th year and Rob gave an excellent speech.
My speech went OK and some were kind enough to say they enjoyed it so that was good.
I was abit disappointed with my meal but otherwise it was a great evening.
That was the end of Jan in which I ran 192 miles.

Yesterday I ran 16 miles which is the shortest road circuit I can do from home. It took me 2h 6 min. I ran with my ipod which made a big difference as it dstracts me when i feel tired. Overall I felt the run went really well.
46 miles for the week.

Today I did an 8 mile run from Crieff that we call the pipe run. I did it in 65 min.It was punctuated by some blizzard like conditions but was fine underfoot apart from being v muddy. You expect that this time of year. At present I am injury free which is not a condition I am used to. As you would expect every run is done with baited breath awaiting the next twinge or pain. Well I will attempt to make the most of it while I can.
I note that JK has done a superb 232 miles so far which is 40 more than me. I am happy with my start to the year and hope to build steadily over the next couple of months.

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Good and bad

The last couple of days have provided contrasting running.
Yesterday I had a real dog of a run. It was my half day so I set off on my 10.6m run from Comrie feeling sluggish and had a truly horrible run (83.13).
It was rainy and windy and I felt well below par.
I almost never finish a run thinking I could have done without that but this was one of them. I also pulled my R ham a bit.
Today was the club handicap. There had been a time trial 3 weeks ago which I missed so I was set off at an arbitrary time. The course is 5 m. I managed to turn my right ankle in my warm up but thought I would give it a go.
In fact as is so often the case I ran far better than expected and thorouhly enjoyed it.
I came in in 32.41 which I was delighted with and felt strong for 3m and finished well.
W.M. ran a phenomenal 30.50 which was easily the best of the day. He will be unbeatable by me at X country next weekend.
My ham was fine in the event although my ankle is pretty sore.
Its the annual harriers dinner and ceilidh tonight which I am looking forward to.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Recovery runs

After Sundays wet epic I had Monday as a day of rest.
Tue I ran from PRI to the Inch and back.About 4.5 miles in 33.45. Felt good and ran quickly in the last mile after a bit of NED baiting.

Tonight I managed to forget my shoes so couldnt do the club run and ran from home. I ran down to Braco and on to the 2nd 40 mph sign which i reckon is 9 miles rtn in 71.11min. To be honest i did feel tired in the 2nd half but I think thats OK.

Monday, 26 January 2009

La Gomera and WHW run

Since I last posted I have been to and returned from the lovely Canarian island La Gomera.
We had a great time there and as well as some running we did 4 days walking. The island is v mountainous so it was all good hill training and in lovely weather.
I started the holiday on the Sunday by going 600m straight up hill on the road from our hotel. This seemed fine until I came down and I realised I was hammering my knees. I decided not to do that again.
I finished that week with 32 miles.
The 1st full week yielded 40 good miles over 5 days running.
The 2nd week i did 30 miles in La Gomera including a 15 miler on our only rainy morning on the tuesday. That was my longest run.
I felt overall that I really benefitted from the break in every way.

Yesterday after travelling back on the Sat I travelled over with IB and GMc to to the WHW training run for Jan.
Sadly JK couldnt join us but there were about 15 starters.
The run started in Balmaha and went out to Inversnaid and back. A total of 30 miles.
So thats 60miles for the week. V pleasing.
I found that i was feeling good and strong on the run. Its a hilly old section especially between Rowardenan and Inversnaid. It was also a miserable day so it was good to have the company.
I ran mainly with GMc and Jamie on the way out and GMc on the way back. I was v pleased with how I felt on the hills so all those La Gomera miles have done some good. It was v wet so slippy on the tricky sections.
I was fine until the last 5-6miles and the it was a struggle home.
I ate 2 energy bars. I am finding the Mule bars good. I also had 2 gels and2l of water.
It took 5 hours and 40min.
So a good day.
My right knee is a bit sore laterally but hopefully that will settle.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Harriers winter run

Approx 6 m
5 Harriers did the routine winter run on a fairly pleasant evening.
I did a couple of hill reps on Craigard.
Apart from feeling a bit slow I felt fine. My left TA discomfort is not getting any worse and maybe a bit better.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

@7 miles in 54.36

Today I did a rare lunchtime run from work. The rum was down to the river and 3 times round the north inch. I felt good in fact as good as I have felt in quite a long time. Hopefully a sign of things to come.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Pipe run

7.8 miles

Thats 37.4 m this week and 30.4 this year

10 Harriers met at 8.15 and 7 of us did the pipe run which is fairly hilly and mainly off road.
I certainly felt tired most of the run but was pleased not to have any new probs as a result of yesterdays run.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

NIgel barge 10K

Finished in 41.07 min

IB and I travelled over to Maryhill for this 66 yr old race. It was v well organised and set off at 2pm.
I had v low expectations and set off conservatively. The 1st 5k took 20.09 which I was delighted with and I slowed inevitably over the last 4k to finish in a time that I hadnt really expected @ 45secs behind IB.
The main bonus was no new injuries.
So a good day out and hopefully something to build on.

Friday, 2 January 2009

A good start

I ran yesterday and today.
Yesterday I greeted the new year which was a stunning though cold day with a 10.6 mile run on road.
It was -4deg when I set off. I am running v v slowly at the moment but I have had a series of urtis and hopefully things will improve soon.
I took 85.47 min which is pw for that route but an OK start to the year.
I have a persistent Achilles tendonitis at the moment which doesnt get worse with running but does bother me more on the road. KBO for now.

Today I did a simple out and back from home for 5+ miles in 38.54 min.
Felt a bit better.