Kilmacolm Half Marathon 14 Sept 2014

So, you know how you have those AWFUL races – cough Paisley 10k cough – and those races where everything just sorta comes together….well on Sunday 14th September…. It just sort of worked…

I ran the Kilmacolm 10k last year, when I was just getting into running, and I did feel a bit awed by those doing the half, it was lovely to return a year later and take on the challenge. Me and my friend drove out early – probably too early, and picked up our race numbers, and waited for the race to begin.

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They were also setting up the BBQ …complete with veggie sausages for the Viking Runner ūüôā

The race started promptly and off we went. The first mile takes you through the streets of Kilmacolm and is also the home stretch of this out and back race. Mile 2 is an incline along a country road then through another residential section. I worried I was taking this stretch too quickly but my legs felt strong so on I ploughed. My friend was a bit ahead of me (as I expected!) but settled into a place 100 or so yards in front with a group of other runners. Something went ‘ping’ in my right knee at the mile 2 marker but I did the sensible thing and ignored this completely.

By mile 3 we were on the cycle path which is the main section of the out and back for the Half marathon route, I felt a bit too hot in my tech tee and shorts but none the less I kept up my pace as I seemed to have plenty in my legs. It was overcast for once, after all the ‘hot’ races I’ve done over the summer so I felt comfortable. And overtook runners steadily.

Miles 4-6 were a blur along the cycle route, I could see the guy in first place streaming back towards me like a cat with his tail on fire, there was a HUGGGGE gap between him and the two guys in 2-3 place who were running together.

I had decided to experiment with gels during this race, and took one at mile 6. Immediately felt sick. I think it was SIS pink grapefruit, and had 2 jelly babies to get rid of the taste. Soon I could see the turning point for the course and runners turning around towards me, the gap between me and my pal lessened and she shouted GO ON GIRL as she passed me on the turn back point.

They had a water station here and for some reason I decided to take lucozade sport. Never EVER again. It was like some sort of citric acid bomb going off in my stomach. Right under my ribs pretty much exploded in a heartburn like pain but I felt a surge in my legs so pressed on. Overtook a lovely lady who told me I looked great for 7 miles in. I said thanks so much to her but in my head I was wishing a painful death on the guy who invented lucozade sport. A SAW like death in fact.

Miles 7-10 I felt great but then it started to fall a bit, I felt my pace slow, and my pal and the pack she was running with seemed to get further and further in front. I was still overtaking runners, but there was a girl in purple I simply could not pass. The mile markers were written on the cycle path, but I think the path had been used for a few different events as there seemed to be two mile 11’s?!

By mile 12, or what I assume was 12 due to the ground markings I was pretty much done. Legs gone, only willpower kept me going, purple girl seemed to zoom off into the distance and the run back into Kilmalcolm seemed to take forever. Suddenly I could hear the finish so forced myself to speed up a bit, the roads seemed to keep coming though. Then suddenly I saw the finish, got a burst of everything and SPRIIINTED!! Then immediately felt so so sick. First thought was ‘Loch ness marathon in two weeks – how can I do THAT for twice the distance?!’ Hobbled to the finishers area and got my chip removed, and saw my pal. A sweaty runner in pretty much a vest and pants accosted me (in a nice way!) asking my time, saying he had started and finished right behind me, I said sorry I don’t wear a watch. My friend said she had finished in 1.46 and I was about 90 seconds behind her. I had knocked loads off my PB. YAAAAY!

Due to a mechanical fault with the chip system, we didn’t get out results till the next day. I have to admit I was a bit ill waiting to hear if I had got 1.47 or 1.48…I actually made a deal with God saying I’d take the day off running and the gym classes I love if only he would give me a 1.47. In the end I got 1.47.57 which I am more than pleased with, as I do feel I could have run a bit harder between 2-6 miles., but didn’t want to go all out so early as my knee was sore.

All in all, it is a GREAT wee event and due to a half price offer – one I am definitely doing again in 2015!!!

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Paisley 10k 2014 Race Report. Home Town LOLZ

Last Sunday marked my return to the first ever race I actually enjoyed, it’s my ‘local’ 10k and takes place just over a mile from my house. It’s also cheap as chips. And it’s chipped. Winning.

Decided to be good this time and not drink at all the weekend of the race after dying on my backside during miles 8-13.1 of the Dublin half at the start of August. Because skipping alcohol is just no big deal. Didn’t bother me in the slightest. Tee total Judester. Yeah…so I found the not drinking thing a bit tough.

The Paisley 10k begins at 10am on a Sunday morning. I woke early and fueled up with 500 ml water, cup of tea and Nutella spread on a banana. And a Starbucks caramel waffle. Don’t judge me.

Then I was ready to go

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Left the house and walked into Paisley. The town was buzzing for the race.

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Headed towards the start area and ran into my friend and her hubby, who was also doing the 10k. Chatted to them for a while then saw Jay, with about ten minutes till the start of the race. Started to feel nervous, but not nervous enough to forget the pre race selfie. Sorry Jay.

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With a few minutes to go the nerves reeeeeaaaallly kicked in. I had done my longest marathon training run (20 miles) only a few days previously. Legs felt heavy. I felt fatigued and stiff. I also wanted a PB and I had a few top secret goals for the race. Jay enquired as to my race strategy. Think my response was pretty much, f*** it – just run as fast as I can. Cool beans says Jay, I’ll do that too. (I may be paraphrasing a bit here.)

So the race begins, wee loop round paisley town centre, back UP the high street (who knew it was so steep?!) with Jay on my tail then out past the Sheriff Court towards Feeeegeeeee Park. It’s roasting hot and I become paranoid every time a tall chap passes me. Onwards we plough, through the wilds of Feeegeeee towards Asda in Linwood. It’s hot, exposed and no wind in the air, just like last year. Check once again that the guy passing me isn’t Jay.

Because I’ve decided I really can’t cope with CUPS of water during I race I bring my own bottle, think it slowed me down and the jarring movement of something in my hand meant my back was sore for days after. Won’t do that again. Ran past the water station, under the dual carriageway and back up the other side. Look back over at the runners at the other side – man it’s Jay!! He’s only like a minute behind me!!! Argh!!!!!

Onwards I plough in the relentless heat with stuff legs. Past the 6k marker. All energy seems to have left me by this point. Head towards the cycle track part of the race course. Noooooo energy. None. Convinced I won’t get my PB by this point. Legs feel like they are wading through jelly.

On and on down the cycle path. My god it goes on forever. I settle in behind a pair of Bella Road Runners. I try to concentrate on my music and keep going. I can’t believe I’m running so slowly. Definitely no PB today for Jude. After about ten years, the 8k marker appears. Realising the end is near I speed up a bit. 9k. Speed up a bit more. It’s really hot and sunny, I’m not sure if I mentioned this.

A burning stitch develops in my diaphragm, right between my ribs as I run up Paisley high street. Come ooooooonnnnnn finish line. I hear someone shout ‘GO JUDE!’ which helps slightly. After another month, the finish line appears.

Chip time 49.17, and with it a new PB but maaaaannnnn it hurt. Emotionally as well to know that in three months I have improved by…..18 seconds?! Ach well, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Paisley 10k…I’ll be back.

I RUN MARATHONS FOR LOLZ. Dundee Running Adventure Marathon – DRAM 2014

I’ve been having a splendid time recently with my running. Speed training going well. Enjoying the wee loop I do (7.2 miles) round my house, and have enjoyed some long runs, including one travelling round every subway station in Glasgow, with some fine people. But there was one thing. I still hadn’t put the ghost of the Manchester Marathon to rest. It’s the one time I felt I lost my shizzle a bit and wasn’t in control. I wanted to finish a marathon happy. Well happy as you can be after running 26.2 miles…

I decided randomly a few weeks ago to enter the DRAM, the Dundee Runnning Adventure Marathon. There are few marathons in Scotland and I wanted to take full advantage. I’d heard via someone on twitter that the course was nice, trails off road etc; the polar opposite of Manchester. Why not, eh?

Stayed overnight at a lovely hotel in Dundee, slept reasonably well till 5.30 ish, got up to make my porridge and realised the room had no kettle :-/ went to phone reception to find the phone was disconnected too. Ah well, electrolyte tablet in water and a soluble paracetamol for brekkie it is, then!

Went down for hotel breakfast at 7am, which felt very near the start for me. Saw another dude in running gear (who finished the marathon just ahead of me in the end!) happily loading up his plate with ALLTHECARBS. Tried not to feel envious as I ate a bowl of porridge and sipped at black coffee.

Leaving the hotel soon after brekkie, I had decided to follow the rule all runners should obey – WEAR NEW SHIZ ON RACE DAY ! I had a new pink vest top on (which matched my new Brooks running shoes perfectly!) aaaaaand a pair of new shorts. Oh the shorts. More on the shorts later.

Made it to the start at Camperdown Park without too much fuss bearing in mind I had no idea where I was going and picked up my race number. After muchos fumbling a very nice girl helped me put my number on the back of my top (thank you btw) I then saw a lady who’s blog I love, but was too shy to say hello. I thought I would be standing on my own forever, but managed to spot a rather cool dude and very inspirational runner I follow on twitter.

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Anyhoo, the race started at 9.30 after some slight confusion over starting times, predicted finishing times and pens. Crikey let’s get this show on the road, I just want to FINISH. Set off chatting away to the cool dudes I had encountered, until the serious athlete zoomed off at mile 1, and the rest of us settled into our pace. The first three miles were mostly uphill. Through a steep muddy trail path. My trainers are quite new. And gloriously, spotlessly pink. Or at least they were. Never mind, after the first three miles of muddy trail the race course turned into a steep downward stretch that would continue for sometime. Yaldi.

I started off with this notion that I wanted around 4 hours – the time I ‘should’ have got for Manchester. However as the race progressed it became apparent to me that if you sign up for an event two weeks before and your Marathon training consists of an 18 mile run then perhaps 4 hours was slightly ambitious, nevertheless, I ploughed on.

For the first 10 miles I settled in behind two seasoned runners, one wearing a Loch Ness marathon tech tee, the other was wearing the logo of an English marathon I forget the name of. I wasn’t listening to music, just chilling and soaking up the atmosphere. I was going great guns, I sailed ahead of the two elites I had been shadowing. It got hotter. It was 24 degrees (felt like 40!!) and not a cloud in the sky by mile 12. The sun was bearing down. I felt sick. I decided to take it easier on the pace. My shorts were chafing. This was very annoying indeed.

At mile 19 it all sort of went to pot, but I kept jogging. When I think of my time at mile 19 I am gutted I let my head take over but it was a hot day and it was perhaps wise to start taking it easy. I loved the course, especially the bouncy bridge and along the sea front.

It got hotter. I walked through the next water station. I started hallucinating a bit, and I felt quite sick to my stomach. Felt so dehydrated but my stomach was so upset I couldn’t drink any more. I had put my les mills music on to try and refocus and every time I shut my eyes in the sun I thought I was in a Body Pump class. The run turned into a slow crawling jog. In my mind I was running, but snails, tortoises and sea slugs were blazing past me. A lovely runner from Wee County Harriers told me I was doing well as I passed her at mile 23, I probably appeared a bit ignorant, I smiled (grimaced) and mumbled thanks but felt too out of it to talk. Sweat was pouring from every part of my body and I felt as if my brain was going to go on strike, declare that it was fed up of my insanity and float off somewhere.

Last few miles of the race were uphill back to Camperdown, at mile 24 I ran into a lovely lady I had met at the start and we kept each other going until she finally sped off for the last mile, finishing a minute or two in front of me. That last mile seemed to go on forever. Back to the lovely country park trails, but felt too exhausted to enjoy the scenery. When will this be over?!???

Finally turned a corner and the last lovely Marshall who told me 100 metres to go!! Thank goodness!!! What a lovely welcome for a smaller race, plenty of cheering and clapping from spectators and other runners who had already finished. Was so relieved to have finished in one piece, the sun was relentlessly hot!! Drank my 500ml bottle of water in a one-er, collected my goody bag then headed back to Glasgow where I proceeded to drink 2 litres of water. One day post race and I’m still feeling dehydrated tbh!!

Nevertheless it was a good experience, lovely interesting course, encouraging marshals and I shall definitely be back to Dundee next year if I can, no PB for me with a time of 4.33, but watch this space!!

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I Runz.

It has been suggested by someone far greater than my humble self that I begin this thang by explaining exactly why I love to run. ¬†Trouble is, I’m not sure exactly how, or why…I just do.¬†

My fitness adventure began in 2011 when I decided, after a few years hiatus to re join the gym. Because when you are in your mid (ho hum!) twenties and your life is going nowhere you might at least be fit while you fuck it up, right?! ¬†So anyways, joined the gym, spent a few months faffing around on the cross trainer and rowing machine, discovered fitness classes (Les Mills in particular) and every so often (usually when a friend would drag me to some godforsaken waste of time class like Zumba, I would go for a jog on the treadmill, just to feel as though I’d had a good workout.¬†

Anyhoooo, I had always been inspired by my friend R. ¬†She had fallen in love with running and could often be seen posting pictures and statues on Facebook detailing her running achievements. ¬†I was in awe of her. ¬†She looked awesome. ¬†She had kept mentioning the Glasgow Bupa Women’s 10k, an event she had done for a few years. ¬†A seed was sown…

I entered the Women’s 10k in 2013, along with a few friends, who didn’t really run but were doing it for charity. ¬†Race day arrived. ¬†I began by drinking water. ¬†Loads of water. ¬†A shit ton of water. Can you tell where this is going?! ¬†I finished my very first race in 1.03.51 after a painful stitch, and having to wait ages in a queue for the portaloos at 6k (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!). ¬†It poured with freezing cold rain the entire time. ¬†I remember tacking the infamous hill in Pollok park at 8k thinking ‘THIS IS NOT FOR ME!!! ¬†NEVER AGAIN!!!)

So anyway, that was it. I injured my ankle pretty badly a few weeks after the 10k and decided no more running. ¬†Started to get back on my feet (haha!) in July and got back to my beloved Body Attack and Body Pump classes. ¬†A friend of mine had tweeted that he was doing the Paisley 10k at the end of August, hmmmmm…that 10k in May wasn’t THAT bad, was it?! ¬†

Entered the race. Had the lowest expectations EVER after my experience in May. ¬†Decided I would actually train for this race. Winging it as per usual. ¬†Race day came and my experience was a complete turnaround. The day was gorgeous, bright blue sky, blazing sun. With my Body Attack music blaring in my ears I blazed (cough – trotted – cough) my way round feeling amazing. Crossing the finish line was just out of this world. I couldn’t believe that I had done it. I ¬†RAN A 10K EVERYONE!!! I was so unbelievably happy, shocked and delighted with myself.¬†

My time was 58.08 and I was on top of the world.

A few few days later I was chatting to my runner friends N and J, both of whom have been running for years. I was lamenting at large, with gigantuan hand movements and facial expressions how much I enjoyed the race day and experience as a whole. 

N asked if I was going to do the Great Scottish Run in October.  Another 10k in October? Cool beans man, why not?!  N replied, not the 10k, the half marathon!  Ummm. Half marathon?! Me Рthe gym bunny chubby jogger?!

N replied – if you can run 10k in under an hour then you can do a half marathon no bother. ¬†N is smart. ¬†I trust her. ¬†I asked J what she thought, J who in addition to being a runner is also a badass gym instructor, replied, ach you’ll get round no bother! ¬†I trust J too. She is similarly awesome.¬†

Half marathon in 6 weeks?! ¬†What?! ¬†Me?! ¬†No way man!!! ¬†I mean, maybe…hmm…