Garioch 5k win, Kyle’s ridiculous win, and the rest of my birthday

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Let’s start with mid-week, shall we? This was not how I had anticipated feeling for my birthday 😦

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It has been lingering for a while, and still(!) won’t go away! And Kyle was off work yesterday so wish him well too, ‘kay?

I had totally forgotten about St Patrick’s Day, thus forgetting my Guinness! Callum must hate me! However, I DID remember to dig out my Victoria’s Secret panties that my own MOTHER gifted me last year:

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(Anyone else think this a tad inappropriate to give your daughter?! Or for the blog….)

Ok on to birthday weekend. After a tough training week, including my 1st commute(!), I was ready for Friday afternoon off and a trip down to Dalgety Bay to visit Sisterister Emma for dinner and drinks, then shopping on Saturday morning.

Delicious food, some prosecco and easter eggs for dessert meant for such a fun evening! (Emma’s 26th birthday was yesterday! 2 years and 2 days apart!)

The following morning, I had a short n sweet 3x2min @ 10k pace run to do, so where better to do it than the Bay itself…the photos don’t do it justice – the sun was just rising and it was stunning!!

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Then we hit the outlets and Mum dropped me off back at work (where my bike was) so I could cycle home (fitting training around an action packed weekend was tough!). Unfortunately, the wind and my bad timing of how  much over the speed limit fast a car was going, meant an emergency stop and me skidding and landing on my wrist. Not cool. Look away now if you don’t like blood blisters, swelling (and my mutant toe thumbs).

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(This was the following morning…I wore a support and a big glove for the races in case clumsy me fell again)

It is actually still pretty sore and I had to do kick in the pool on Monday, and turbo instead of cycling outside, so I hope the swelling and pain goes down soon. Can someone teach me how to fall with less pain, please?

When I got in, Kyle had already left to pick up our friend Gary who came up from Edinburgh to do the Garioch Half Marathon in training his sub 3.10 in a couple weeks! 😉 so I attempted to derobe and sat in the bath and cried in pain with a hot chocolate, as the entire cycle was a freezing hell and that whipped cream, marshmallows, and bubble bath was what kept me going that entire journey. #mentaltoughness

When they arrived, I had a bag of peas on me, so I was feeling better, and Kyle cooked quesadillas while we all had some beers and caught up, so all in all it was a really fun day!

Sunday morning, I woke up to a quick breakfast in bed (cheers, Babez!) and got ready to be at the Run Garioch event for 8.30am-ish, as Kyle and I were asked if we could do a couple of the kid’s races!

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(that’s me in the pink! that was so much fun – those kids are gutsy!)

I was running with 5 year old John, who was crying because there were so many people and he was scared. I promised I wouldn’t let anything happen to him and we would run faster than the tractors he plays with at home. He stopped crying, held me hand, and we waited for the gun. Approximately 0.3seconds after the gun went off, John shot away like a bullet and I never saw him again..!

I was faffing around, playing with the kids, chatting with Callum and Mum & Keith, who had come to watch, that I totally lost track of time! I got to the start line of my 5k race with maybe 30 seconds to spare (don’t worry – the kids’ races had warmed me up, and I managed some strides a little earlier). This really got the adrenaline pumping and I was ready to race this 5k!

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I was chatting to David Langan a couple days beforehand, who had eased my mind and told me the hill wasn’t as bad as I thought. Well, we are no longer friends! That hill just kept going and going right into the countryside, where you had nowhere to hide from the wind! One guy ahead of me dropped out after the hill…I hope he was ok!?

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Langan got 3rd place, by the way, and totally rocked it! But I may forgive him after he admitted he had underestimated said hill.

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My original plan was to try and stay close to the lead guys, so as to be protected from the wind, but they all went off like a rocket and I was left all alone. I managed to pick off one after about a mile, but he reeled me in in the final 500m (grrr!). It was a lonely race for me, but I was happy I could still see the guys in front. The revised plan was to stay within myself on the uphills, and really push the downhills.

Unfortunately, Callum caught me at the worst ever moment and I look like Voldemort. I have aged a lot this birthday…

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With about a kilometer to go, I regained my strength and powered down the hill to the finish. When my watch flashed 5km and I was nowhere near the line, I was confused, and annoyed! I tried to keep pushing (for another 30+ seconds) for 3.19 miles in 19.07 (actually  my chip time read 42 minutes, so they had to use gun time!).

Everyone else read it as super long (was it measured in the car and we were only  allowed on pavements, perhaps?), but it was never going to be a PB course with >200ft elevation gain!

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(look for orange legs and you’ll find me!)

No photos of the finish (Emma actually called my Mum while Keith was filming, which apparently loses all video history on iphones?), but I can confirm I won by just under a minute, and was 7th overall out of around 400 runners.

Kyle had a phenomenal day!!! His coach had asked him to do 7 steady paced miles right before his half started, so he could make 20 miles for the day. He average sub-6 minute miles for these, then did the half only 4 seconds over his own course record in 1.10.41!! Again, a pretty hilly course, so he is getting super confident for London now! If you missed his last update on how training is going, you will find it here!

Gary managed a 1.28 (I told him to go that time since I was 28 that day), executed to perfection, and Callum and I watched the finish line from the car park for an hour – while I was on the turbo!!! I was meant to do a recovery ride but my hand was too swollen.

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After prize-giving and a couple of beers in the VIP area, we headed back to Alford for some grub and birthday drinks!

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(a nice wee surprise post-fish n chips! poor club-hand)

Then Gary and Callum left, I opened some presents, then hit the hay (stoopid school night!).

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(no it’s my birthday, and I swim, cycle and run anyway!)

HUGE congrats to Fiona RudBri, who represented Scotland and the Home Countries International cross country champs at the weekend! And also to Jeremy Kibble who FINALLY smashed his half mara PB in Alloa!!


Who all ran Garioch? 

Did you find it hilly?

Do you prefer undulating courses or flat and fast courses?

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My birthday week, riding outside & another trip to Stirling

On Sunday I turn the big 2-8!! So naturally, I shall be celebrating all week to mark this (lack of) milestone!

Unfortunately, when you and your partner are big runNerds, since my birthday falls on the same day as Run Garioch, I had no choice but to enter (Kyle was in for the half marathon already). Convo went a little like this:

“Since my b-day falls on a weekend again, fancy going away?”

“Babez….Run Garioch is on.”

“Uh huh?”

“Prize money, babez”

“I have no choice, do I?”

“Nope”

“Fine, I’ll enter the 5k…”

And there you have it. Although we do go to Thailand soon so I’ll happily wait until then to celebrate!

Last year, we went to Lake of Menteith and watched the solar eclipse, which kinda stole my thunder, by falling on the 20th too.

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Stunning place!

So yeah…this year is Garioch and Kyle would like to win in a PB (after the RIDICULOUS speedy sessions he’s been doing, he is going to do uh-mazing in London and deserves a PB at Garioch!) but isn’t tapering, and I have a pretty mental training week and I hear the new 5k course is super hilly, but it would be nice to win also 🙂

The abovementioned mental training week so far has included my FIRST EVER COMMUTE to and from work from Alford! I went the safest roads so added on a bit, but it made for a near 90km hilly cycle for the day!

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The weather could have been better, but it was a far cry from last weekend when Oatey and I were planning a cycle up Cairn O’Mount:

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(2.5 hours on the turbo that morning sucked!)

Last week I was also in Stirling again for more Girls for Gold Coast training. We did another time trial around the loch. Last time I did it in 8.39 (although forgot my inhaler and it was freeezing!!) which is about 5.50/mile (not bad in ice and a muddy path, but then again it was only 1.5 miles!) but this time I managed an 8.19, so a pretty decent improvement! Strava evidence here. I believe the record is 7.45 by a pro triathlete, so I have a lonnngggg way to go!

This was also after a time trial in the pool, where I have improved since last time but really need to work on my arm strength! It’s all about learning and improving, though!

After the run, I asked if I could run back to our hostel as our cool down, as it was a stunning evening! The rest of the guys were dead so drove back, which allowed me to just act like a tourist and explore!

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Such a pretty place!

Oo oo ALSO, Freyja was top Brit at the test event in Rio at the weekend!! I was tracking her during any off time I had in Stirling like the total stalker I am, and was so proud to find out her final result! Considering she dislocated her shoulder at Christmas so wasn’t been able to swim/shoot/run/ride/fence (oh wait, that’s them all?), she has done awesome!!!

To those of you who did D33 at the weekend, massive kudos to you! The times were really fast and it seems like such a mentally brutal course up and down that railway line, so I admire everyone who finished!!


 

Who has races coming up?

Where is your favourite place in Scotland?

Ever raced on your birthday??

 

 

A Cancelled Race but the Redeeming Hot Tub

First of all, I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas, that Santa was great to you and that you gained at least half a stone from totally-worth-it food!

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On Christmas Eve, Emma stayed over and we baked (a lot!) and had some wine, watching films by the fire.

(obviously we didn’t bake the popcorn, but it was too yummy not to post about it)

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(while the cinnabons, buckeye brownies, and cake batter krispy treats were baking, Emma lit her first fire!)

Christmas morning was spent at Mum’s, then I drove up north to Kyle’s family’s in the afternoon so I could get two dinners to see them!

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(We met up with Matty after dinner for a walk and a festive pub visit. Yes I got strange looks for my jumper and hat. I am not a local.)

On Boxing Day, Kyle and I headed down the road towards Clitheroe for the Ribble Valley 10km. After about 3 hours driving in a storm in the car, we were discussing the race and wanted to check the start time, so I went on their Facebook page:

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And we had had no idea! We were psyched to run it! And the forecast looked better and better every day. We were pretty annoyed we hadn’t received any prior warning that it might be cancelled (I’m guessing they would have known it was a possibility when the flooding started?) BUT safety comes first and we can’t go complaining about a 7/8 hour round trip and missing the race when people have lost their homes. Wishing everyone down there a safe and healthy 2016.

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(after we found out the news)

(pitstop at House of Bruar to cheer us up!)

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We had both been quietly confident we could get PBs, but we can use that aggression for our next race! I was also meant to have a retul bike fit at Planet X, however, after more Googling we made the call that it may have been too dangerous, so we decided to postpone it. Thank you for being so understanding PX!

The good news was that because I am an amazing planner on our return to the house, Keith had already snuck in to set up Kyle’s 30th birthday present…a HOT TUB!! This was meant to be a surprise on our return from Prague, but there were delivery issues so Mum kindly stayed in to receive the order, and Keith agreed to set it up while we were away! They are awesome.

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(I think he was excited!)

Speaking of Mum and Keith, they are off to New York this morning to GET MARRIED!!!!!! Many congrats to them and I wish them all the happiness in the world!! ❤


Favourite thing you ate at Christmas?

Best gift you gave/received?

Ever had a race cancelled on you?

Good News All Round!

Remember I mentioned that I was in Stirling on Sunday?

Well, following the last time I was down for training, they asked if I would join in on an Assessment day for their “Girls for Gold Coast” team; a squad with the main objective of going to the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

It consisted of a swim test (4x50m max on 60) and some buoy work in the pool, then a run test around the lake at Stirling University, as well as participating in some team builds, interviews, assessments, and watching presentations. I found out I can’t stand on one leg with my eyes closed. I think my time was 0.42seconds in that assessment.

I was happy with the swim – I had about the 3rd fastest average time for the 50s, and was with a couple of awesome swimmers! – and I won the run by a good margin (although I forgot my inhaler so was wheezing in the final few minutes!).

I managed the 1.5mile run in about 8 and a half mins, which I was happy with considering the ice and dog walkers. Oh, and swans in the way!

Anyhoo, yesterday I was asked to join the team! My response:

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So this is exciting! A new journey to embark on!

IN OTHER NEWS…

…KYLE IS 30 ON SATURDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

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He has annoyed me for like a third of his life, but each day he annoys me less so that’s progress 😉 Love you, Kylie Babez! ❤

Here’s to 30,000,000 more!!

To celebrate, we are off to Prague!! Remember Budapest last year? I hope it’s just as magical, if not more so!


What are you doing to make yourself feel festive?

Any winter holidays planned?

Favourite thing to do in winter?

 

Clowning Around and Proof I Couldn’t Ride a TT Bike before Stirling….!

How I spent my birthday last week (yes I am 27 now):

How HE spent my birthday last week (he is THIRTY this year):

Me running up a hill as fast as my legs can carry me, realising Kylie Babez has been at the top for ages and had time to whack out his camera and film me!

And last, but certainly not least, I give you sponsored athlete Debbie Moore’s pro TT riding skillz:

…notice at 34 seconds I “can’t stop!”


How has everyone’s week been?

Anyone got big races coming up?

My Birthday Weekend!

So I have hit the big 2-7 and had SUCH a good weekend to celebrate! Be prepared for even more pictures than my last post!!

Thursday after work Kyle picked me up at 4 and then we had to spend another hour trying to get the bike rack on the car as well as the bikes we hit the road! All I knew at this point was that we were going south. We made a couple of turns off the motorway but I had no idea where we were headed because by that time it was getting dark…!

At around 7.30 we pull up outside this gorgeous log cabin!

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It was overlooking Lake of Menteith (Scotland’s only inland natural body of water apparently!) and it was so isolated and peaceful…Kylie Babez did well!

We had some lovely wine and posh nachos, and chilled in the cabin that night:

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The following day, we woke up early to attempt to go for a run before the solar eclipse (it kinda stole my birthday’s thunder) so the plan was to drive to Loch Katrine to run up Ben Venue and watch it from the top of the mountain.

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(Loch Katrine – breathtaking!)

Unfortunately, after running for approximately 70 seconds, a MASSIVE cloud decided to cover the sun and we knew we would never see an eclipse from there. So down the hill we went and back in the car for what was going to be over an hour’s driving to avoid the cloud! All was not lost, though. Kyle made a friend in the car park:

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(Rob the Robin. Don’t ask – just humour him)

We found a sign for a nature reserve and decided to try catch the eclipse there. 2.5 miles into the run, we discover an observation deck calling our name. Noone was around so we had the whole reserve and deck to ourself and we watched as the sky went dark (although I preferred the rainbow on the other side!)

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After our wee 5 miler, we headed back to the chalet and had a lovely breakfast and I opened some presents!

We then tried to get the bikes ready for a cycle but Kyle couldn’t change the pedals on his bike, so he did a run and I did a wee cycle instead! He managed 9 fast miles but I just pottered around trying to practice skills…I can now indicate and go in the TT position (in a straight line only) – woop woop!

The day flew by too quickly and soon enough it was time for the sunset, right in our back garden!

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We watched a movie while Kyle made us salmon, then the original plan of going to the nearby pub changed when we saw how  clear the night sky was…I wish I took a picture because I have NEVER seen so many stars in my life! We were outside watching them for ages!

Oh, and it wouldn’t be us if there wasn’t some immaturity, so we also played in the games room (I kicked his butt at air hockey! I’d say we drew at table tennis 😉  )

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Last but not least, he pulled THIS bad boy out:

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Knowing I’m not a huge fan of cake (hard to believe, right?), he got me a cookie cake! Isn’t he a keeper?!

It was amazing!

The next day, I woke up early and headed outside to have my smoothie overlooking the lake, and chatted to Larry until Kyle woke up:

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(FYI, he was a HUGE fan of pretzels, if you are ever in the area)

Once we got packed up, we headed to Aberfoyle for a hill run (and we hadn’t had coffee in two days, so that was also on the agenda).

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(What a view!!)

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(Note to self: learn yoga)

Coming down the hill, we ran past some pretty cool sights!

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(can you spot the  dude on the zipline, and the red squirrel?)

After our run, we walked around the town and popped to a couple of shops, then headed to Callendar for a swim (mainly to shower though!) and had the most amazing lunch in Doune at a place called the Buttercup Cafe (go there if you’re ever near Stirling! They have won Scottish homebakes awards and a sandwich of theirs was the British sandwich of the year finalist…I had it and it was DELICIOUS!) We had sandwiches, coffee and a couple of cakes and were in HEAVEN!

A looonnnnngggggg journey back (the check engine light was on so we were being careful!), and we were ready to crash! Kylie Babez had the Garioch Half Marathon the following day so we were happy to chill!

And…

HE WON!!! He got the course record by FOUR MINUTES (1.10 on a hilly course!)!!! And won £350!!! George ALSO beat his own course record so well done to him too!

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(Being interviewed by the one and only Fraser Clyne himself!)

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Marie also got a course record in the women’s race (she looked AMAZING and is absolutely FLYING at the moment!!) so it was awesome watching her receive her prize too!

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I didn’t race, but instead did 18 miles (with 8 @ average 6.39 pace) along the beach in the morning, then thought it would be a good idea to cycle 26.5 miles (carrying a heavy bike lock, trainers and dry clothes on my back 😦  ) to Inverurie to catch Kyle finishing – I got DRENCHED!

JOHN WAS ALSO RACING!! He WON the 10km, I haven’t seen him since we met at camp together in Massachusetts in 2008 (where, by the way, I didn’t realise he was an amazing runner!) He will make Kona this year – I can feel it!! John well done again and let’s meet for a training weekend soon!

Andy was also watching Kyle so the 3 of us went for coffee and cake afterwards, which was good fun, then Kyle and I headed for a quick swim before Mum & Keith came over for a beer and we all headed to Maggie’s Grill for dinner with Emma and her boyfriend, Barry as it was Emma’s birthday!! Happy quarter century, sister!

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The food definitely filled a hole!! And I suppose the company was good too!

Afterwards, we met Andy again and headed for a couple of drinks before hitting the hay…I had to get up at 5.10am for swimming the next morning!

WOW if you are still reading congratulations for not falling asleep or getting bored and quitting on me!

I had such a fun weekend and am so thankful for family and friends for spoiling me so much!!

Oh, and WELL DONE AGAIN COMEBACK KYLIE!! Let’s just hope this injury is away for good now!