Friday, 27 September 2013

Just over a week to go

My hamstring has slowly recovered after the massage. I have only run 16 miles so far this week but that's probably OK. The important thing is to be on the start line.
I did a speed session last night and ran 2.3 miles hard and it was OK. My run today was painfully laboured though. My energy levels just haven't recovered from my cold but I have 9 days yet so let's hope.

Monday, 23 September 2013

2 weeks to go

Things have gone a bit downhill since the last post.
I had a rubbish week off with a cold and poor weather and managed 40 miles in 2 weeks. However last week in spite of feeling below par still I did 44 miles including a 15 and a 13.
Plan is to try and keep things on course this week then taper. I have picked up a tight hamstring but had a massage last night which should help.

Thursday, 5 September 2013


Another highly successful day at Comrie. I ended up running leg 4 again after some last minute changes. In admittedly ideal conditions I recoreded my best time for this leg of 49.28 beating my best in 2006 of 49.38. The weather ewas breezy but the ground bone dry. I set off with a Carnegie guy a few secs behind in 6th place. By the shakey bridge I had caught a Carnethy runner and after hammering down the Maam Rd I passed a Corstophine runner going up the monument road. I ran out of steam coming through the woods and the Carnegie runner went past me and away finishing 20 secs in front. Still, a good run, probably my best since March. On Tuesday I did an 18 mile road run so I have 2 18 milers on the road and 2 20 mile TDSs. Chester is 4 weeks on Sunday and I am feeling quite good about it. The 18 miler was a hilly one and an average of 7.50 pace seems OK

Thursday, 29 August 2013

A couple of 10Ks

Have had a busy August.
The Forfar 10K went pretty well. It was an undulating course with a strong headwind for the 2nd half.
I finished 9th out of over 300 runners in 39.57. I also got 3rd MV40.
Last Sunday the Perth 10K took place. Unfortunately the course was short due to some marshalling errors and I got it to be 6miles. I ran 37.35 and came 30th out of 600 so not bad.
I have done 2 TDSs this month and an 18 mile road run. Feeling tired but OK.
Yesterday I drove up to Braemar and did Carn Fidhler and Am Sgorsach. Luckily I was able to cycle 7 miles in but that still left over 12 miles to jog/walk.
It's the swchr this Sunday.

Sunday, 28 July 2013


For the 5th year we did this intra club event. I had leg 3 again which is a smidge over 6 miles and a climb of over 1000 feet. It was warm and v humid and I lost pints in sweat on my way.
I felt good in the 1st mile or so but that evaporated with my sweat as I took a bad route choice after the hole in the wall and plunged into a forest of thick bracken. I must have lost 1-2 minutes and the next  2 miles were a struggle. I did recover my enthusiasm after hitting the water board road and quite enjoyed the run to Loch Turret.
Time was 53.16 which is slow and then I ran down to Crieff.
The whole race was a success in that most seemed to enjoy it.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Right 1st time

I had an ultrasound on my heel last week. It showed quite clearly that I have plantar fascitis.
I have the option of a steroid injection on Wed and not sure whether to have it or not.
Today I did 15 miles in the GO33 route north from Lochearnhead. The heel was a bit sore in the last 3 miles and sore now.
On the plus side that's 40+ miles in a week for the 2nd week.

Monday, 15 July 2013

A new running injury

Turns out it wasn't P.F. after all but something called fat pad atrophy. This happens when the fat pad under your heel thins and feels like you are running on bone, nice! Think it heals eventually but what to  do meantime?
I ended up with 32 munros in May. Some good days, some terrible and some great.
Since then I have been building things back up slowly and for the last 2 weeks have been wearing a hard plastic heel cup on the sore heel. Amazingly it helps. I did 42 miles last week and that included a 13 mile run. I still look like I've been shot in the foot when I get up but I'll take the current situation.
Probably foolishly I have entered the GO33. It only costs £17 and gives me something to aim for. I f it doesn't work out, so what.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Winter in spring

In the last week I have managed 7 new Munros but it's not been easy.
Last Saturday on the back of a decent forecast I decided to make an early start and headed north to Glen Shiel with the intention of staying north for 2 days and practice camping with my new tent.
It's a 3 hour drive and once the correct starting point had been found I emerged. TBH I had been hoping that the white stuff wasn't going to be too bad and had been dismayed to see the S Clunie ridge plastered. The day I had planned was the Saddle and Sgurr nan Sgine which includes the Forcan ridge which has a grade 2 scramble. Feeling I might be biting off more than I could chew I set off up the excellent stalkers path which takes you to the base of the Forcan ridge, so called because once seen you might exclaim Forcan hell!!
I had spotted a group of 4 climbers, caught them up and atached myself to them. They were v v careful and slow which suited me and we slowly made our way along the airy, exposed ridge covered in soft snow. We spent the next hour crawling over the stunning rock until a point was reached where a down climb was needed and we headed down before that point , came back up at which point I bade them farewell and headed down to walk below the difficulty. A hard march through  deep snow to the top of the Saddle followed and I sumitted at last. Not sure how this bear got in my bag!

Then is was back down through the snow to the bealach, up to the 2nd summit, where a strong wind had picked up. My heel was now hurting and I spent a long time working my way off. Finally over 8 hours after leaving the car I was back. It was late, raining and I decided I was going home. I finally made it home at 11pm, 15 hours after leaving.

On Tuesday I drove north again. A good forecast lured me a day earlier than planned. The day's targets were Meall na Teanga nad Sron a  choire ghairbh. A 2 mile drive down a decent track from Laggan locks to Kilfinan and I was on the bike for 2 miles then up the great route to the bealach at 600m. Two unremarkable hills later and a cycle back and the day was over in 5.5 hrs. I headed to a campsite at Roy bridge called Bunroy. On a lovely evening my tent was at last erected in anger.
After a fairly wet night I headed off to meet John King at Spean bridge. Burnt porridge is OK btw. Then we had a v wet drive north to Torridon and found the lovely hostel. We changed plans as the day was now looking good and headed for Beinn Eighe.

 At 1pm we set off for Coire mic fearcher. What an amazing spot!
We took a v direct route up to Ruadh stac mor and were rewarded with stunning views.

Then it was a lovely traverse of the ridge to Spidean coire nan clach.
Now the descent it has to be said was dodgy. For the 1st time we encountered ice and had to dig the heels in hard to get down as we had left the crampons in the car!
The off was down to the right of the ridge on the below photo and then a scree run and eventually back to the car. It was a stunning late evening and we got back to the hostel at 9pm. A truly stunning day, I cant remember a better one.

The next day the weather was very different. Snow was forecast. We headed up Ben Alligan but it was thick clag by 300m and haevy snow by 600m. The crampons went on at 700m and we did make the 1st munro before a sensible decision to go down was made. The weather just got worse after that. So  will have to return to Ben Alligan but we had a full on winter experience in May!

Friday, 26 April 2013

5 weeks and no work

As of today I am off work until the beginning of June.
My heel is still sore but I am hopeful I will be able to do the walking I have planned. No Balfron for me so it's off to Glen Shiel tomorrow to do the saddle then 2 hills next to Loch Lochy on Sunday. I am camping tomorrow night to see how the new tent is so that will be an experience of some sort.
An orthopaedic friend reckons it's not PF but a traumatised heel fat pad. Dont know whether to be pleased or not but I guess the treatment is the same ie no running. I have ordered some heel gel pads.
Check in after the walking

Sunday, 14 April 2013

You can go now PF

This sore heel has stubbornly hung around. I am doing all the right things apart from complete rest.
Here's the equation. I think I am in good shape and the balfrom 10K is 2 weeks today which has been my target race this year. If I do nothing then I will probably blow a decent 10K but the PF might get better, the  again it might not.
Also the day after the 10K is the start of my 5 week walking odyssey. Dont want to be incapacitated for that.
So I have done 3 treadmill sessions totalling 10 miles this week but all quality speedwork. I reckon if I can keep the speed up all will be well and hopefully the PF will be rested enough to get better.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Tom Scott Memorial 10 miler


The Tuesday before this, so a week ago I felt some pain in my right heel. I thought it had largely settled and did 3 miles on the treadmill on the Saturday
Anyway, I went over to Strathclyde Park and felt OK.
It was a top quality field and the pace was  v fast at the front. I settled OK and felt average.
The 1st 5 miles went by in 31 mins so fast for me. 10k was 39 min.
By 6 miles I could feel my heel and it didn't settle after that.
The last 3 miles were a bit of a struggle and I was pleased with the time.
Now, I just need to sort this PF out

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Deuchary Hill Canter

No canter for me.
Here is what I put on FB after the race
"Just back from Dunkeld after doing the Deuchary hill canter.

The route was changed due to there being much snow on the north side of Deuchary hill. However the route we did was a stiff test.

62 runners started. Andy, Rhian and I were representing the Harriers.

The run was about 11miles with 700m of ascent and run on mostly good trails.

To be honest I found it a tough day. I went wrong twice the 2nd wrong turning costing me a good 5 minutes. After following a trail for a while under Deuchary Hill I became suspicious that I might have gone wrong because of the virgin snow I was running in. When i looked around there was a nice line of 5 runners in my wake.

On my way up Deuchary Hill Andy and then Rhian passed me on their way down. Once off the hill we had quite a nice fast track to run down for about 3 miles. Within 100m of the finish I was stricken with cramp and most of the people who I had worked hard to catch passed me as I stood there waiting for the cramp to subside!

All in all though a good day out. Andy seemed a bit disappointed with his run but seemed to be going well whenever I saw him and Rhian had a stormer after her efforts the day before. I kept hoping to see her on the way back but it didn't happen!"

Friday, 22 March 2013

Alloa half marathon

It went really well.
I ran 84.17 which is my fastest for a long time.
As usual, I could tell within half a mile what kind of a day it was going to be and I felt OK.
The start was pretty packed and as it turned out it took me 18secs to cross the line.
The 1st mile was spent getting comfortable and passing people.
After that I fell into a comfortable lope and had no problems.
Normally the long straight between Tillicoultry and Menstrie is against the wind but it was behind and that helped. The mile markers were well short which is annoying but the reassuring chirrups of the garmins around me reassred me that my watch was right.
The hill between 10 and 11 came and went without any problems. I was keen not to eat at all and see if I could cope with the distance. The last 2 miles were hard but OK and I managed a 6.30 pace at the end which was OK as quite a bit is uphill.
The last mile was long of course but I saw the finishing line and crossed in 84,35 and the chip was 84.17.
What pleased me most was how strong I felt. I really had the feeling that with more distance training there was quite a bit more to come. However this could turn out to be my peak this season, you just never know.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Why am I doing this?

Tomorrow it is the Alloa half which I have entered. I have not trained for it but have done a fair bit which would be better for a 10K.
I have no real expectations for tomorrow which is always a good way to do a race. I don't know what sort of shape I am in but suspect I can do a decent 8-10 miles but might struggle after that.
Last year I did 86 but with the start of an achilles prob and the year before 84 which was a nice surprise. If I can run comfortably and enjoy it tomorrow that will do for me.
3 weeks ago I did our club 5k in just under 19mins but felt horrible the whole way round.

Monday, 25 February 2013

National Cross country champs

Perfect conditions and my 5th run at this race in 5 years.
Did the 12k course in 50.39 which is 49secs off my best but at last I have reversed a steady decline in times.
I found the ups tough for some reason. Every time I had to run uphill I felt I was grinding to a halt and people were overtaking me. Once recovered I would then retake the same people. I guess I am just lacking some stamina.
I was thinking of doing a 5 miler of 10K next weekend but have decided to do neither as am feeling pretty tired generally the last 10 days and would like to put in a decent performance at Gartmorn in 2 weeks

Friday, 22 February 2013

From the carribean to wintry strathearn

Bit of an update necessary as I haven't been idle.
Liz and I went on our 1st cruise in the carribean from jan 25th to Feb 6th. From a running point of view it was uneventful. I ran every day bar 1 but all on the treadmill except for  v hot 7miles on St Kitts. However most of what I did was good quality. Loved the cruise. It was totally relaxing.
3 days afte getting abck it was the Devils Burdens. I did the new leg3 and did OK. Was tired going up and down and came about 20th for my leg in 29.18 (approx 5K). Our team came 10th which was great and the women did equaly well in 5th. A good day.
The following Sunday I organised a 5K run around Lady Marys for the club. 21 seniors and 9 juniors did it. I did 19.02 but felt shattered and below par. I had started to feel tired the day before and have done so all week. Kiz has had full blown 'flu and I suspect that I have a mild dose having had the vaccine which she didn't.
Tomorrow the the national X country champs which I was hoping to do well in but now will just have to settle for whatever I get.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

going well

Heading off on 1st ever cruise tomorrow (Caribbean) so running oportunities will be limited to treadmill and running round the ship!
It has been cold and snowy last 2 weeks or so but I have done some quality speedwork in the gym and outside.
I am not running far so it will be interesting to see if 5-6 mile runs are adequate training, especially when the Alloa half comes around. I did 27miles last week and 23 miles the week before.
Best session was on Tue when I did 6x 3mins on the treadmill doing between 16kph and 17.5kpm, v happy with that.
Will aim to get some sl longer runs on return but in the meantime ship ahoy!!

Monday, 7 January 2013

A decent start to 2013

It's always nice to get a good start to the year. It's no guarentee that it will be a good year but it helps.
Last week I ran 29 miles including 2 speed sessions both of which went well.
I did a recce of leg3 of the devils burdens relay which I have not run before. This was 8  miles there and back inc 2 x 250m ascents. I felt good most of the way and came back in 39mins which is decent.
The weather has largely dried up and running has been quite nice outside with temperatures of 10deg, amazing for early Jan.
I am trying not to worry about distance and concentrating on quality as much as possible.