Kilmacolm half marathon 2016

HOLLA peeps.  Been slack on the blogging front but I’ll be back soon. Life (MYSTERIOUS AS FUCK, EH?!) is getting in the way and I just can’t be arsed to have any more opinions right now. Anyway, I got a long awaited personal best at the weekend and I just want to share HOW BLOODY DELIGHTED I AM with you all. 

I’ve ran Kilmacolm a few times over the years, it’s a straight out and back from the village of Kilmacolm to the cycle path which runs along to Bridge of Weir.  Plenty of speedy club runners usually, perhaps lacking this year because the Stirling 10k was the same day but hey ho. Gets Jude the hobby jogger up the field so all good. 

I prepared in true Jude fashion the day before by running ZOOOOOMMMGG  5 miles, drinking three bottles of beer and a few cocktails. Ate some nachos too but not many as ROOM NEEDED FOR THE DRINK OBVS.  Breakfast was a mini cereal bar and a chomp bar. I drank some water and had a mug of tea. We drove out to Kilmacolm.  The race started a few minutes after 10am, still not sure what the reason was for the delay. 

First mile takes you up out of Kilmacolm, with a pretty unpleasant uphill on towards the first bit of cycle path. I’ve only recently started wearing a timing watch (Fitbit surge) when I run and I really hate looking at it when I race. I usually cover it with masking tape but forgot this time. Had a few sneaky looks and saw 7.09 and 7.20 both of which were fine with me. All I wanted was a sub 1.40. I have dreamed of it and have wanted it for so long. Every half I ran last year was plagued with injury, unpleasant memories and the inability to crack 1.40…. My PB was standing at 1.40.22.

On and on we trekked down the cycle path, I started to wonder if this route would be boring after a while (newsflash – it was) I overtook a few people and felt strong. I bypassed a few drinks stations along to 10k route as my stomach gets dodgy when I’m running and sometimes a bit of dehydration is the lesser of two evils for me. Few fellow runners said stuff to me but I wasn’t feeling chatty. Weather conditions were pretty good, sunny and breezy. I get hot when I run so I like a breeze. 

I took a gel, one of two I brought, at mile 4, I decided mile 4 and 8 would be my gel points. I do quite like 4 and 8. By mile 5 I was feeling the lack of fluids and decided I’d take a drink at the next station…which didn’t appear until the out and back at mile 6 and a bit.  I have to say I found the relentless straight cycle path a struggle with no music and no one to talk to. I tried to think of body atrack and combat tracks I like. And thought of lunch too. But a few WHY THE FUCK AM I CHOOSING TO DO THIS, IT FUCKING HURTS thoughts were creeping in. 

The turning point came at 6 and a bit miles as well as a drinks station.  We now had to run back the entire way we had just come.  The drinks station was either dinky CUPS of water or LUCOZADE. At this point this seemed to me as a choice between the torture method where they pour water over a cloth covered mouth and nose, or drinking synthetic orange flavoured battery acid. 

I chose the battery acid as I saw the lime one I like. I glugged away at this bad boy trying desperately to save myself.  I really should have had a drink earlier in the race and I regret my choice there.  I drank maybe 2/3 of the bottle then chucked it at mile 7. Took my second gel at mile 8. Not sure if it was the out of date gel or the battery acid but my Jesus God my guts hated me by mile 9.  Really thought I was going to crap myself by mile 10 but I was stuck on the cycle path to hell with no escape. 

It was really awful by this point. Has to slow down a bit to try to regain control over my bowels which had gone completely rogue.  Well I had wanted to know what would happen if I ate a gel dated 2014 and I found out. This part of the race was horrendous and seemed to last forever. It was like running full pelt on a treadmill engulfed in flames while staring endlessly down a kitchen roll tube after eating the hottest Indian of your life and NEEDING A SHIT RIGHT NOW.  

Mile 11 lasted a week I think, maybe 10 days. I overtook one poor guy who also seemed to be struggling, I offered words of encouragement and told him to catch me but he was riding his own pain train.  On and on this fucking cycle path just never ended. A straight cycle path with trees at either side so you can’t even see fuck all. At one point I spotted sheep through the leaves and it felt like heaven.  A few sneaky glances at my watch read 7.55 and 8.00 and I tried to stop my heart sinking. God knows I didn’t need any more pressure down there. 

Honestly I just thought it would never stop. Have never known a mile this long. I started to found maybe I’d missed the turn off back into Kilmacolm.  Finally though I saw the marshals and I got off this fucking cycle path. A glorious downhill.  Yay.  The ‘needing to crap’ feeling dissipated somewhat too, which was handy. I really had nothing left in my legs, and just tried to make it to the end. Mile 12 didn’t last nearly as long as mile 11. Thank goodness. Finally the finish loomed into view and I managed to speed up a bit. 

Delighted to be over. So over the moon in fact, I forgot to turn my watch off. When I finally did, it read 1.37.09. Was even more delighted to find out my chip time was 1.36.58. Not so delighted with the fact I seem to have lost the ability to walk properly. A bit worried I may never walk properly again. But I am just happy that my work is paying off and I am finally making progress. 

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You’re so vain…

…you probably think this blog is about you. Well it isn’t. I like (most) of you. It’s about people who review free shit on their shitty blogs. Not putting myself on any high and mighty soap boxes here. My blog is pretty much half hearted dear diary.  And my blog is shitty too. There, I said it first. HOLLA!

Why do people accept free shit to review? Do they honestly think their opinion is any more valid than people who pay for their shit?!  If you run a few slow runs a week (not jizzing on speed here, that’s for another blog) I really don’t care what you think about trainers.  Or base layers. Or capris. Or headlamps or gels or who will win the premier league (United, obvs!).  I like blogs for HONESTY. Struggles. PBs. Race reviews, real life experiences. Nearly shitting yourself at mile 6 of an ultra. Not “the lovely people at XX very kindly sent me free shit to review, all opinions my own”.  Still slight LOLZ at the lovely runner who unfollowed me because I said I hated the Hackney half. I paid for my entry and I hated it and I still hate it so get it up you hen. 

I’m sure the ‘opinions are your own’, I’m sure you are very happy with your free shit.  I’m not bitter btw, I am a big girl and I can buy my own running gear. I have exceptions, I suppose. I can sort of respect a decent runner who gets sent free relevant shizz, whether ultra or road. But an average runner who just jogs the bare minimum but has their mug ALL OVER social media?! Getting free shiz worth £££ then telling us all how it is?  Erm, noooooo thanks. 

I’ve been described as ‘slightly better than average’ (45 min 10k, used to be 43 min before my injury, YES BITTER MUCH ABOUT MY SPEED!) and I don’t think I have the authority to review running gear. Running magazines, websites and forums all feature reviews. Forums actually have opinions from people who paid for the stuff too. Which helps with the honesty part.  It just feels like selling out to me. And not what having a blog should really be all about. 

Btw Brooks and Nike, I’m a UK 6 1/2 or 7 in trainers. Come HOLLA at me bro. 😉 I’ve been told I’m pretty too. It just all goes to shit when I open my mouth…..or tap my fingers. 😜

They were clouds in my coffee…

…so I’m racing again. The Runner Viking has ran two 10ks in 4 days.  I have also had FUNTIMES. The key for me is balancing the two. 

Wednesday Night – Irvine 10k. Spent the day terrified to eat Incase I shat myself. Ate ten tonnes of ice cream and chocolate on the sunny steps of the concert hall with my funny work ones as it was WARM in glasgow. Horrendous stitch during race. Great company. Horrendous stitch. 46.04.

Sunday Morning – Paisley 10k. An old favourite. Spent Saturday night spanking the arse off an incredible steak and rocket pizza. And a few cheeky Hendricks. Woke up nervous as anything. Decided to forgo breakfast incase food was causing stitch times. It wasn’t. Walked into Paisley full of the nerves. Said hello to some good ones. Started running. Decided I hate the running. Need a new hobby. Maybe knitting. Horrendous stitch. 45.52.  I do love running. 

Onwards and upwards. 

I’m racing another 10k next Sunday. 

Grief

It hits like a wave. It crashes over my shoulders and smashes me full force in the face. Over and over.  It buries and engulfs me. I am powerless to stop it.  It suffocates me to the point I cannot breathe. I open my mouth and it floods in. Into my mind, and rushes through my body. 

Why did you leave me? I feel like a scared child looking up with wide eyes and a wet face and clenched fists. I loved you and you left me. You said I was your whole wide world and you left me. I am nothing without your unwavering stoic belief in me and you left this empty shell here, hollow and empty, washed up on the rocks. 

Why did you leave me? The pain in my nose and in my chest and in the back of my throat when I consider the reality that you aren’t alive any more. That you really are gone. That you exist nowhere but in my mind.  I bury it always. No one is allowed to see this part of me. This part that belongs to you and only you. I can’t be me without you. I don’t know how.  You left me so long ago and I can’t let go. I can’t move on. I still exist where I can be with you. 

I don’t want to leave you. I don’t think I am ever going to be ok. I don’t know how to be ok. I am not me, I am a sad defeated carcass of what is left. You left and took the best of me away with you. 

You were the best Dad in the whole wide world. 



Body Attack 91 – Review

So, it’s a new year and a new set of Les Mills releases.  How glad was I to see the back of BA90….lets just say I associate Attack releases with people…nuff said. 

Warmup – Track 1 – this is totally MY song, gets us in the mood to start, maybe a bit too much bouncing about though? And all the tricep push ups AGAIN…but still pretty good, probably my favourite warm up since BA87 which was a YEAR ago. 

  • Track 2 – I bloody hate the song. Which is a shame as the moves are pretty good, I love anything which loads up the legs.  I really hate the song btw
  • Track 3 – much about such…typical track 3, supermans, jacks, it doesn’t offend me.
  • Track 4 – this is a decent song, sets the scene, but it feels like something we have fine a million times before with the squat jumps and burpees. Trying to fit three burpees in is challenging and I’m seeing stars by the end. 
  • Track 5 – I love the lunges. My god what a lot of tricep push ups. The superman planks are a strange addition. 
  • Track 6 – I like the song but the moves are a tad tricky, everyone ends up doing the side skips at the wrong beat/time/direction. 
  • Track 7 – agility is always my favourite. I like the moves for this but it’s very quick. Need a few more weeks to properly get the hang of it
  • Track 8 – interval, now I’m glad that they are finally taking track 8’s in a different direction music wise, usually it’s some epic bland screechy wail about needing a miracle or mourning lost love or finding a way.  Now we get funky music. It’s DOPE. I like it. 
  • Track 9 – feels like a real proper track 9 again, the last few releases have been so MEH. but I LOVE this. Apart from the jacks with your arms by your side…..erm, why?!
  • Track 10 – again, this one does not offend me. Does the job.  

Overall 8 1/2 out of 10. 

Edinburgh Half Marathon and some changes…

2015 was meant to be the year I did ALL THE RUNNING. I have had some great times, the Balloch to Clydebank half marathon, the Polaroid 10k series and the Paris marathon have been particular highlights.  I have always loved my les mills classes and giving them up while I recovered from fracturing my ribs was hard, but not as hard as I thought as I had my running.  

Way back in January I signed up for loads of races. Edinburgh Marathon, Liverpool marathon and then the Clyde Stride 40 mile ultra in July. I wanted to be an ultra runner before my ‘big’ birthday and everything I did for 2015 was leading up to that point. 

I decided a few weeks before Edinburgh to drop down to the half – I just felt too drained to put myself through a marathon – then another two weeks later in Liverpool. Better save it all for Liverpool.  I did want a fair crack at 13.1 and with Edinburgh’s flat course I had slight hopes I might do well. 

Let’s just say if the man upstairs had stood in front of me banging cymbals, waving red flags and shouting STAAAAAP I still wouldn’t have listened. I was determined to run, despite getting a 10k PB only two days previously and having a slight niggle in my hamstring which had been bothering me for weeks.  

There were also weather warnings for the day in edinburgh too – which came to nothing – tbh it was perfect race weather for me, cloudy and over cast. Set off from Regents Road with a slight feeling of déjà vu having ran the same race last year. I was late to the start and got to baggage as they were closing the trucks. I got changed in a Portaloo and ended up losing my pyjamas and my yurbud headphones…it’s a funny story – I promise.  I had to start from the back too as I was so late. If I had been clenching my jaws any tighter I would have broken my teeth. 

The start was uber congested and it took ages for me to get going. I knew deep down that a PB would be impossible after the first few miles as I would have to make up too much time but nevertheless I ploughed on. Once we got to the beach section at Portabello I cheered up a bit. It wasn’t too crowded which meant I could overtake more easily. I knew from the playlist I was using roughly what time i was at for 10k and tried to make peace with the fact that this wouldn’t be a PB…. Then my hamstring just went. Complete and utter searing pain. I started panicking as the pain just took my breath away – but I kept going and tried to calm myself.  I knew that stopping would be the sensible thing to do but also – I was at PORTABELLO FREAKING BEACH – I’d still need to get 7 miles to the end to get my baggage. 

I decided to plough on and see how it went. It was 7 miles of torture. At one point i couldn’t bend my right leg and had to sort of drag it along. Then the pain spread all around my knee which was just delightful.  It just kept getting worse and worse. Then came the out and back section. My god I felt like I ran for hours for those few miles. Mentally it is appalling. My knee and hamstring were screaming at me and I was no longer over taking anyone. A girl in a ducking novelty t shirt overtook me. I looked at all the great runners coming back towards me. Running properly. Un injured. And I’m kidding myself on limping like a possessed maniac.  FINALLY we turned and headed back towards the finish. FINALLY I saw the 12 mile marker and this hell was going to end.  This guy who was breathing like an athsmatic donkey overtook me. I wasn’t even out of breath – I could barely move my knee by this point. Finally the end came. I actually smiled as I crossed the finish line.  It felt like the longest race ever.   1.46.41. 

 I hobbled forward to get my medal, water, goody bag etc and the feeling of complete and utter devastation just washed over me.  Went to baggage and managed after a LOT of hassle to get my bag.  Got the £1 bus into Edinburgh. Fabulous service by First! No one should ever pay a tenner for the official shuttle bus which was nowhere to be seen. Tweeted a bit while on the bus.  Managed to actually laugh at a funny txt message. 

Realised on the train home that I need to get the fuck over myself. I’m lucky to be able to run. I’m lucky that I’m getting faster at all. Not every race will be a PB, or even a great experience. 

People ran that day for loved ones who are no longer with them, to raise money for fantastic charities and people who have overcome serious illnesses themselves. Running is important to me but I do need to get a grip and see the bigger picture. 

So I’ve torn my hamstring and damaged the tendons at the back of my knee.  I need ultra sound treatment and muscle therapy and time off from running.  It’s all character building and part of the journey.  I’ve also been told to take up something called ‘Pie and Lattes’ classes which sound great. 

The second I got back to Glasgow I got really drunk.  Some things never change. 

Paris Marathon 2015 – the big one

It seems that everyone has been hard at work training for their Spring marathon this year; Brighton, London, Paris, Rotterdam etc. I chose Paris as my poison of choice; it is my favourite city, what could possibly be more fun than running 26.2 miles round the most beautiful city in the world?!  

Training for Paris began in January and this time I adopted a completely different approach. I ran 4 marathons last year and I am just DONE with feeling like I’m just about to die by mile 20 then the death plod to the end. Despite being proud of my 3.53 at Loch Ness last autumn I decided to train completely differently this time round. 

 I have to say as a naturally (or perhaps unnaturally!) competitive person, mentally it was quite difficult seeing people on social media posting ‘ZOMGGGG just ran an EASY 17 miles!!!’ on a Sunday morning way back in January when at that point my longest run was 9 miles.  I totally understand this night work for some people. Different strokes and all. But there was no point battering hell out of myself doing endless long runs that were going to drain me mentally and physically and then being too tired to get my quality sessions in during the week.  Speed. Intervals. Hills. That’s all I’m saying folks. 

Anyhow, Paris was amazing. The city was gorgeous as ever, I had the best company and the best time. Had a great pre race dinner at the hotly recommended Pizza Momo and then onto a Scottish pub. Yes it had to be done. I only had a few beers and a mojito. I take my racing very seriously.  

 

Actually managed to get some sleep and then up for 7am to down 500 ml electrolyte drink and a cereal bar. And chocolate. 

  

The hotel was 0.8 miles from Arc de Triomphe – wee walk down, wait in the longest portaloo queue ever and then time to get into my start pen.  Had initially stated 4.00 time but wanted to get into the 3.45 pen, they were having none of it and I was turned away. Being a true Scot I jumped the fence at the last second. I got into the pen with my rightful people. MON THEN. 

  

And we were off down the Champs Ellyses! And onto Rue de Rivoli! Amazing. Have to say I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Paris crowd support but it was fab. Bands, cheers, the works. I fell and cracked my ribs the week before the race, so my initial goal pace was out the window. Revised goal pace was 8.27-8.36. I tried hard not to go too quickly which wasn’t difficult as it was so congested. I enjoyed the sunny morning and race  atmosphere and tried to ignore the jolting pain in my ribcage. I ran up hills in Barshaw park through sheet ice for this. I’m damned if I’m letting go now!! MTFU Jude!!!

I had decided to start having gels at 5k and then every 5k after…have to say I felt a bit daft taking them so early on but it works quite well, until 15k when I decided to try the sugar cubes and raisins that the food stations had in offer. Felt like a sugar bomb had gone off in my stomach. Not sure if it helped my energy levels but it did result in a portaloo stop at 20k…and 25k :/

At 16 miles I had the overwhelming need to cough … Fair enough but since dingying my ribs in the only way I’ve been able to cough is crossing my arms over my chest and bracing against something. No way was I stopping so I just ignored it. At 17 miles I had this overwhelming euphoric feeling. I WAS OK. MY PACE FELT GREAT. I HAD LOADS OF ENERGY. IT WAS GOING TO BE OK. 

Have to say I enjoyed the tunnels at this point, they were a welcome respite from the heat. The few inclines were barely felt. I stormed up them while others slowed to a walk. Thank goodness for all those hill sprints!!

From about mile 20 I was close to the 3.45 pacer (I’d started right at the back of the 3.45 pen and he was at the front!)  and made it my silent mission that I’d overtake him by the end. He was a DUDE, blowing on his whistle and whooping and hollering. The heat started to affect me by this point, I was thirsty but worried that drinking would mean another portaloo stop and I want sure I could make up any lost time by this point.  Mile 21 brought us back to the Eiffel Tower on the left. I waved my hands in the air and cheered and air kissed. Mainly because I felt ok and wasn’t dying on my arse. I kept seeing WHERE THE FOCH IS THE FINISH t-shirts which made me giggle. 

The last few miles were just about concentrating enough to keep it all going. I was getting annoyed because everyone was going so slowly and it was so congested I couldn’t overtake. Between 25km and 42km I went from 14691th place to 9830th place. So I can’t complain too much.  Overtook Mr 3.45 pacer at mile 25 –  he stopped for a pee – to be fair I think he was a slightly fast and looking to come in on time! Turning back up into Avenue Foch and I saw the finish…SPRINT!

 Ho hum. Looking sexual!  

And it was over. 3.42.21!!!  Loved every second, although am picking holes in my performance already. Bring on Edinburgh marathon at the end of May!

Merci Beaucoup Paris!!!