Stonehaven Beer Festival Sportive


What an amazing weekend!!!! The idea of putting on a long cycle so you earn your beer really makes it taste so much better!

First let’s rewind to last week. After Kyle SMASHED the Westhill 10k (he won by FOUR minutes and managed a 32.47 on a hilly course and lack of training!), my chest was tight that evening ūüė¶ Monday through Wednesday I was having similar symptoms to when I had my lung issue diagnosed (I fainted coming out of the shower and had been struggling for breath) so I went to the doctor on Wednesday (this was super difficult as the receptionist kept telling me to get off the emergency line when I took it as an emergency) and she was worried so wanted me in again on the Friday. On the Friday I had a different doctor who told me to go straight to hospital.

Sound familiar?? This is exactly what happened last year. Anyhoo, 5 hours and multiple tests later, it was confirmed there are no (more) blood clots and I will be ok. Still not too convinced but I was glad to have all the tests done just in case. I took a couple days off last week but weirdly I feel better when I’m exercising…


Ok so that was Friday, this is Saturday…


(Beer entry + hospital band = typical Debster stylin’)

Our cycle crew were myself, Kyle, Tom & Jeremy (those boys are amazing cyclists despite being predominantly runners so I was scared they’d have to wait for me) and we ended up staying within a couple minutes of each other the whole time and, apart from the death that is Cairn O Mount BOTH times, we were chatting for pretty much 3 hours solid!!

It was an early start (we were logistically challenged so the POA was to leave our car at Mum’s, Keith was driving us (he has a fancy bike rack that we need to look into) as he was doing it too albeit in a different wave (his lesson learned was if you have never done Cairn O Mount and haven’t done >1 hour cycling in 2016, you probably shouldn’t enter a 70 mile¬†CoM double), then he takes our bikes back afterwards and we train to Aberdeen and stay at Tom’s) so we were up at 6am.Registration was a little frustrating but the volunteers were non-stop and had probably only had a couple of hours sleep from the previous night’s beer fest, so we didn’t mind the long wait too much. Those in an earlier wave, however, were a little apprehensive. We got off on time and we made our way up the hill out of Stoney towards Banchory.

All you have to know is that Cairn O Mount is one of the UK’s toughest climbs! And we were doing it from each side within a 70 miler! It wasn’t too warm at the start but the sun really came out after the first climb so the only difficulty was the wind! There was a small section after going over CoM the first time where it was so windy we were all just taking our turn at the front and no one was talking. At that point (about half way) I wondered if the wall was coming. I was fully expecting to bonk given I haven’t done any long cycles, bar a 3 hour turbo, since the start of the year. Luckily, none of the guys had either so you can imagine the banter between us!

The jokes as we were approaching CoM the 2nd time (going up the steeper side this time) kept me going. If I had been alone at this point, the hill along with the headwind could have meant I got off and walked up the stupid thing. Note: you could have walked past me at certain sections on that bad boy. Kyle’s chain came off and walked past us all at one point.

I kept picking people from the earlier waves off as I made my way up the final climb. Jeremy caught me (grrr!) before the last hair pin but I had ran out of gears and at that point was going side to side to stop me falling off!


(at the top – the 2nd time!!)

The refreshments stops came at the perfect times and were filled with sandwiches, sausage rolls, homebakes…you name it they had it! I deffo ate more than I burned that morning!

The final climb was the Slug Road before decending down into Stonehaven again. At this point JK made a huge surge and smashed us all, so he will forever more be known as the Slug Champ. From that point, the 4 of us regrouped and smashed it back down to Stoney! We were pleasantly surprised at the strength we had for 4 hours of cycling!

Coming in, the goodie bags we received were amazing (Tshirts you could actually look cool in, waterbottles filled with fuel samples and a beer token with free glass) so we picked them up then went straight for beer! They were gone in an instant!



…Then 6 hours later we were still standing!


We got changed in minutes using the swimming pool next door and there were fish and chips and burgers right there, so we hardly had to move (our legs thanked them for this).


(Slug Champ’s bike was the last one to go!)

Tom actually had to go into WORK!!! He also ended up CYCLING there!!! What a trooper! He met us for dinner that evening back in Aberdeen but he hadn’t eaten AT ALL post cycle and still managed to function. Major kudos to him.

Speaking of kudos, can I brag that I now hold the QOM for the CoM, AND that my time is faster than Noodles’!?!?!?!?!?!?!?



We also think I came in 1st lady but a) a lot of people entered the long route but did the shorter one so that screwed up the results, b) I don’t care because it was a fun long ride with beer!

The train to Aberdeen was fine, but Kyle and I were now homeless as Tom was away, so Slug Champ kindly offered us his entire flat and he stayed at Ginie’s (her legs are too long, svelte and¬†beautiful¬†to do the cycle, plus she is on FORM right now running-wise, so joined us for the sensible option of just beer and is keeping herself for Lairig Ghru this weekend!)

We all went for Thai food and were in bed at around midnight – it was the perfect day!

The following day, our hangover cure of choice was a long trail run up Hill of Fayre. I dragged Freyja along and what the 2 of us had agreed as a 10k easy run, turned into a 12 miler! The boys were showing off at the front but us girls were fine taking it easy (if you can say that going up a steep gradient for 10-15mins at a time) at the back!


(them views though)

This was followed by copious amounts of Dominoes pizza and chicken fillets. I was HANGRY!!!

On Monday it was the summer solstice, so what better way to celebrate than with a late (way past my bedtime since Game of Thrones already had me up longer than anticipated!) walk to pick elderflower and make gin! Ok I lied, Kyle did everything and I stood there in my snowman pjs with a bucket. I look forward to tasting his recipe in a week!


(Although the commute sucks, Alford is gorgeous!)


A Great Weekend without the Bonk this Time!


Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Mine was great!


After work, Kyle and I headed to 6o North (we go here all the time I would like commission please if you’re reading) and had this:


(it was the

BEER AND CHEESE SOUP!! In a bread bowl!

Just like when I had a clam chowder in a bread bowl in San Fran:

401116_10151138288190644_460392156_n (it was so cold that day!)

…Except it was BEER and CHEESE!

We also had the platter that we had last time and a few too many beers


(platter, soup and peach beer!)

We then thought it would be a great idea to do a pub crawl home. This happened:


(2 more rounds were to follow…)¬†


(We sent this to his MUM. #realathletesdrinktequila)


After getting in around 1am, I had a bike fitting at Holburn Cycles at 7.30am. Yep, you read that right. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am dedicated and committed to rocking triathlons and this Ironman, but I was not feeling this bike fitting. Especially since I had to act like I was on form and ready for a long training weekend ahead of me.

Plus THIS was the weather:


(soaking and windy)

And this was me after running there in the pouring rain and gale force winds:


(dedicated runner after 5 hours sleep)

I was told it would take an hour. I was there until 11. THREE¬†AND A HALF HOURS. Actually, he was amazing! We spoke for ages about what we’ve both done sport-wise, he gave me LOADS of tips, and I was fitted in a way that should allow my running muscles to conserve energy in the cycle phase. He even gave me a temporary saddle to use until I am “ready” for my Adamo one:


(I love the colour!)

When I got home, I did a little run, met Lucy for Sushi, then spent the rest of the day chilling with Kyle (who had just come back from a 10k he had WON in his hungover state! Free lunch vouchers in Ballater woop woop!)


Sunday I woke up feeling fresh and ready for our 100k cycle again. I know my prep hadn’t been great since I was out on Friday, but I ate better than I normally would on a hangover, and I drank loads of water and went to bed early. The plan was 3 loops of a route mapped by Ian, then he, Andy and Doug would leave and I would do 2 more laps with Keith. Because it was laps, I was happy that if I were to bonk again I wouldn’t be too far from someone to come rescue me home, and also if they went out too fast I could hold back and just tick off each lap myself, hopefully with less chance of getting lost!

This was the route:

Capturesdf ( x 5! )

The last 2 we picked up a bit and finished 105km with an average pace of 27.2km/h


(I forgot to stop the Garmin when going upstairs…oops)

I’m happy I’m working on base cycling fitness and I was focussed on maintaining my new technique on the bike, so the speed didn’t matter too much to me. But boy do I need to work on drinking whilst cycling and nutrition. Bonking is a big deal people!


I was nothing like the state I was in last week, so the rest of the day included lunch at Fifi’s (have the waffles there immediately!) and a beautiful walk around the cliffs near Collieston!


(Fifi’s weekly quote: Be the rainbow in someone’d cloud!)


(Kyle’s red velvet cake)


(yes, we had cake after our waffles…must replenish those energy levels)


(how the sun hit the cliffs)


(Aberdeenshire can be stunning!)


(we even saw a deer come up from the beach!)10728935_10154766963805644_1302290354_n

(can you tell it was really windy?)

Questions for you:

How much training did you do this weekend?

Have you ever felt great racing/training on a hangover?

Favourite place(s) to walk?

An Ugly 100km….

Spoiler: I bonked. Big time.

I haven’t been racing much because I want to focus my weekends on building my cycling base. Sunday’s plan was 100km with Andy, Doug and Keith which I thought would be a breeze after rocking the 100 miler¬†a couple of weeks ago…!

Despite Friday being a bit too enthusiastic over alcohol (it was a long week!), I still ate enough and drank enough water. Perhaps on Saturday I didn’t drink as much as normal, but I didn’t think it was enough to make me die the slow painful torcherous death I suffered (can you tell I’m an exaggerator?).

I woke up at 7am, had some granola and coffee, and headed to Andy’s for 8. We left right on time and I felt great! For about 15 minutes. I hadn’t dressed appropriately for starters. In running (the sport I was most focussed on before summer), I always dressed as if it were around 10 degrees warmer because I warm up VERY quickly and sweat loads. I keep forgetting that cycling is totally different; you are going at such speeds that make you feel colder than it actually is. Cue Debster showing up in short sleeves, shorts and normal riding gloves. I wasn’t that cold riding to Andy’s as I guess the city is a bit warmer, and I figured I would only warm up. Boy, was I wrong.

Half an hour into the ride, we hadn’t even reached Echt yet and I was shivering. My head hurt, I felt nauseous, I had wind burn and I couldn’t move my fingers. I pulled up at the side of the road, thinking I was about to be sick, tried to drink but just couldn’t face it and actually got tears in my eyes. I am NOT a crier! I like to think I’m a hardcore chick who loves a challenge. That girl must have still been in bed.

After acting like a massive Diva/Princess as Noodles likes to call it, Keith let me borrow his¬†jacket and warm gloves and I forced myself to keep going. Around 10 minutes later I was feeling much better and was even doing standing hill climbs (BIG deal for me!!) – I was able to stop to eat and drink too (another big achievement since I can’t seem to stomach anything when I cycle.)

Any other time I’m pretty much a competitive eater (Tower Burger Challenge Champion 2014):


…but that’s for another time.

Back to the cycle. About 50km into the ride, I bonked. It hurt. All I wanted to do was go home and put a duvet over my head. I wanted the ground to swallow me whole. Scott, before you lay into me, I had my Snickers bar about 90 mins in with a whole bottle of water, and we weren’t going that fast at all for me to justify this horrific crash in energy levels! I had to stop every 15 mins and the boys must have been getting so annoyed! I was sweating and shivering at the same time. My speed was dropping significantly and my legs just wouldn’t move. In that time, my average speed went from about 29km/h and ended with 25.5km/h for 107km total. That’s how much I died in the last hour or so.

On the plus side, we made friends with some gorgeous white horses! They cheered me up! It was as if they knew I was in pain as they were nudging me for cuddles!

1690700_10152511658423661_8588068825077826416_n (wishing we could swap mints for fur)

20141012_092806 20141012_092802

I am forever grateful for the borrowing of the jacket and gloves, and for the boys stopping with me to make sure I was ok. No idea what could have happened. As soon as I got home, I had the.longest.shower.ever, had a tin of soup with 2xbagels and napped for an hour. I then woke up and DEVOURED my kitchen. Remember I said I exagerated? That isn’t an exagerration. We had to go to Sainsburys for more food! I craved/had to have everything: meat, salad, popcorn, pretzels, chocolate, mango (weird craving?), sparking water, crisps, more chocolate. I was a mess.

Early to bed and I got up early to go swimming. I had DOMS quite bad and knew a recovery swim would help more than hinder, so I took a lane to myself and did 4.5km easy while the rest of the COASTies did speed work (I was jealous watching them). I was too much of a broken woman to partake in sprints.

Questions for you?

Have you ever hit the wall? 

How did you overcome it?

Any tips to avoid this?