Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Criffel Hill Race - the Muddiest Race in the World - FACT!



I didn't get to race my favourite hill race, but over 200 other runners did.  And I think it took a lot of runners by surprise.  It seems it is a bit of a marmite race - you either love the crazy mud, bogs and rocks or you really, really don't.  It's really quite a unique and deceptively difficult race. That's why I love it.  Southern Scotland often gets forgotten, but it has some special races and events. video

Friday, 17 March 2017


It's almost 2 weeks since my last training update and I figured I may as well post today rather than Sunday as nothing will change between now and then. Sunday is race day for my favourite local hill race - Criffel.  I entered the race when it first went online, and with it being part of the Scottish Hill Championships this year I watched as some amazing names started appearing on the entry list.  I felt torn: would I run my favourite little race or would I spectate - find one of my favourite gnarly bit and watch how the pros race? I no longer feel torn as that decision has been taken away from me and I will be spectating. I am not sure I ought to be climbing to the gnarly bits but I really don't want to miss out completely. It will be less than a mile each way so I am hoping no damage is done.

Given that I have no even been allowed to walk a mile for the past 2 weeks I am aiming to stay optimistic despite not really having a clue what's going on or what I can do about it.  Am I injured? Yes, but a diagnosis is still unclear.  Am I ill? Kind of.  I don't pretend to understand all the science behind everything that's going on, but I'm trying to stay upbeat despite the pain. I am not allowed ANY kind of exercise beyond what it takes to do my job and be a parent.

It's a strange place to be. Not being allowed to do ANYTHING. And it's definitely not good for my waistline. Surprisingly I'm not completely losing the plot. I'm not thinking about SDW100 at all.  Because if I do, well, it wouldn't be positive, so the door is closed on that for the time being. I don't know when/if I'll be able to run again.  I suspect that I will, but I don't really know. I'm completely in limbo. And if I can run, I am literally going to have a mountain to climb to find the runner that has disappeared deep down inside this broken body. And even then, 3 months until a 100miler - even for the pros that's a bit of an ask.

The spirit is still there. The spirit is willing, the spirit is able. The body on the other hand, well the body is somewhere else completely.  But that's ok.  This year so much has happened. Oftentimes things seem beyond your control, and I am slowly learning to not fight against that. We can't control everything in life, so  we have to learn to roll with the punches. It doesn't always work out how you expect. So take one day at a time and if life gives you a chance, then take it, because you don't always get a second one.

Weight - don't ask
Diet - appalling
Exercise - I think I've covered that - big fat zero
Mood - hey ho
Sleep - unsettled
Songs -

Tilted (Christine and the Queens)
Day Drinking (Little Big Town)
Elysium (Bear's Den)
Human (Rag'n'Bone Man)
Mountains (Biffy Clyro)
Tennessee Whiskey (Chris Stapleton)
It's like that (Run-DMC feat Jason Nevins)
One Dance (Drake)

The music is super varied just now, especially as I'm not using it for running.

A bit of inspiration: “A Shepherd's Hand” https://vimeo.com/190055040

Who knows where the path will lead.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Running Commentary

The running commentary for this week:

Weight - too much

Diet - again, too much birthday cake (but that's the celebrations done now so no more cake)

Exercise - 75% of sessions done but still the volume is not there. On a plus note I've re-started doing short yoga sessions to work on my immovable hips. Need to adjust my plan now to up the mileage.

Sleep - varied from 1 night of 7 unbroken hours to 1 night of 3 very disrupted hours - the challenge of parenting very small humans. Needless to say I've had some tough days.

Mood - post sleep deprivation = sh*tty, otherwise generally controlled by caffeine. Running is not making me especially happy just now as it feels like I'm not progressing enough or not fitting in the training I want = frustrating. Away from my shoddy running I'm generally 'Larry'.

Songs for the past 5 days (since last post)
Wednesday - Chvrches - Bury it
Thursday - Jack Savoretti - Home
Friday - Rachel Platten - Fight Song (after listening to a really awesome podcast with my new favourite inspirational ultra runner.
Saturday - Leftfield - A final hit
Sunday - Maroon 5: This summer

Three month countdown to SDW100. Hmm, could do with six...

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Starting again, again.

Tomorrow is the first of March (and the start of Lent for those of that persuasion) and I feel like I'm starting again. Training has been stop/start and the lack of consistency makes me feel like I'm still stuck on the starting blocks. Running has repeatedly had to take a backseat when more important 'life-stuff' has got in the way, and often as a result I find myself not running when really I should be, and could be. And that's where the guilt starts and I beat myself up for my lack of willpower, motivation or commitment.
So tomorrow I have a threshold session on my plan, and I need to make tomorrow day 1 of  the plan to get to the SDW. I only have 5 weeks to be ready for some major mileage runs planned so getting some quality and consistency is key right now.
Time to sort out my head and sort out my training.

Weight - too much.
Diet - too much birthday cake.
Exercise - not enough.
Mood - feeling the running guilt
Song of the day - Ed Sheeran - Castle on the hill.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Operation SDW100 has begun, or at least, I've written a blog post saying I'm starting it...

So I'm a bit rubbish at running at the moment. Ha, who am I kidding, I'm a LOT rubbish.  But it's only to be expected after 6 months of either no running at all or only a very sparse amount. Injury, other more important commitments, sky-high stress levels and the accompanying eating levels have all led me to this point.

With exactly 5 months till the SDW100 I am at my heaviest (pregnancies aside), most unfit and slowest I have been since I started running 10 years ago.  Heavily entrenched in the vicious cycle of comfort eating, eating numbness, tiredness, stress, lost fitness and the negative psychological associations with all that I find myself struggling to WANT to run (it's always forced) and struggling to keep going once I've started.  With all that life is throwing my way just now I miss being fit and feeling healthy. The road back is probably the toughest I have faced so far in my running journey but new years are about new starts and so I have to start somewhere.

So I have exactly 6 months to lose 20lbs in weight to get back to my old running (ie. pre-children) weight, and in that process I will hopefully find my old fitness. I know it's not really about the weight - that's a by-product of the finding fitness process - but that's the easiest way to verbalise and visualise the issue.

So even though my running is rubbish, I like to take a few photos while I'm out.  In general these are much better quality than my runs, but without the runs I wouldn't get the photos - silver linings and all that!


Our big wee star at the Junior Parkrun

Our wee star at the Junior Parkrun