Crathes Half Marathon – Course Record and FINAL RACE AS A MOORE!

I was super excited for this one!

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It was the final race as a single woman, and the last one you’ll see on the entry sheet as Moore. There was zero pressure because I don’t consider myself a true runner (BUT I secretly put a little bit on because a) I wanted a headline saying we were King and Queen of Crathes Castle, much like he and Fiona got in last year’s race!, and b) there were dolla dollas up for grabs and we are VERY poor right now!) and the last goal of my racing season was at the previous week’s Scottish Standard Tri Champs – which I won yippeeee!

The weekend was actually all about wedding, honeymoon and hen stuff ie CLEEEEAAAN the house for people staying, start packing for Bali because we wont have time nearer the big time (and we leave the following day!) and make sure we have everything sorted for the 30th September. BUT we love to do some form of activity every day so a local race fit in perfectly!

We woke up naturally around 7am (I say naturally, but Chewy tends to sit on our face at that time purring like a helicopter), grabbed coffee and started blitzing the place. Around 9am, we had our usual breakfast and another coffee, then at 11am we headed to Crathes.

We parked at the non-visitor side of the estate, on a country road near the race route. We jogged the 1km to registration (we were one of the last people to register – we knew there wasn’t much shelter and it was POURING!) and did a few strides, then changed into race gear.

Luckily, we only had to wait about 5 minutes until the race, so no time to get nervous (although myself AND Fraser got a bit antsy when we noticed Kyle still wasn’t at the front of the starters with the 2 minute to go call) and everyone seemed to be laughing at just how bad the rain was!

When the gun went off, Kyle was asking why I was still with him one minute in.

“Oh yeah, oops. I’ll say bye now. See you soon – have fun!”

…and then I backed off. Within the first kilometre (when we passed our car) I found myself in a group of maybe 5. There was a headwind so I tucked behind some tall guy from Dubai.

On the downhill I took the lead, but then I was left there until about 5km. I turned around to try and get some help in this constant headwind but no one overtook, so I then just chose to run my own race.

At the 1st significant hill, a couple guys pulled away. I reeled one back in but the other went off. Then I noticed 2 guys had fell off the back, so I was running in a group of 3.

We hit the 1st trail section which was SUPER MUDDY!!!!! My trainers got soaked immediately but I tried as best I could to avoid major puddles. When my watched flashed the 1st mile in that trail as a 6.11 I was a bit concerned I was trying too hard to avoid mud and that might catch up with me. It was a flat mile but so technical and slippy that I should have been about 10seconds slower.

The trail lasted about 2km and hitting solid road again was amazing! There were a few spectators and dog walkers out but I wasn’t expected any given the weather, so was sure to wave at them to say thanks for coming out!

I hit 10km in about 38.30 – 30 seconds faster than my time in the Great Aberdeen Run…oops! That’s an oops to the GAR by the way, because at this point I still felt pretty good!

A couple of miles later, the rain was just turning to spray and the sun was starting to come out, so that cheered me up and kept me on pace.

Then there was a pretty big hill where those 2 guys I was with managed to get a gap on me. Grrr. I tried (and managed) to catch up, but then there was a HUGE downhill where my little legs couldn’t match their long ones and 1 dude got away and finished about a minute ahead of me.

Onto the second trail I began to lag. I think pushing it on that downhill to try and not get dropped, along with that speedy trail mile earlier, made me a bit tired. I was lagging and could have used a gel (I decided against one that morning just because it was a cool day and didn’t think I’d need one…wrong again). I was dropped by the 2nd dude and so was in no man’s land for those final 5kms.

In my head I was thinking what the worst possible pace I could go before finishing would be. Then I realised even if I did 7 minute miles for the next 3 miles I would still get a sub1.25.

So then my mindset changed after my 11th mile was a 6.34. Hmm I could get a decent PB here (I know I should be a bit faster but I haven’t done a proper half in years and my last half was hilly Fraserburgh last year!). Ideally on a course with no trails, or mud, or hills, or wind, and with specific training and a taper, I feel I should be able to break 80 quite comfortably.

Then I realised mile 12 was up a never ending hill, where you could see the full mile in front of you. Pretty demoralising! I managed that one in 6.42 but it felt a lot worse than that. When that mile beeped, I knew the last km w05as downhill (again, back to where I parked!) so a couple more calculations later I though Fiona’s record from last year was on! I just had to run a 4minute km down to the finish.

I saw Kyle with 800m to go. He was on his cool down and did here 1st lady wasn’t too far away.

“What the hell are you doing here? That course was mental!”

“Sorry, can’t talk – think I might break Fi’s record”

“Sprint then!!”

“This is me sprinting!”

…and off I waddled to cross the line in 1.22.27 and a new CR.

Kyle was 6 minutes faster than anyone else, going 1.11 – just a couple seconds shy of Robbie’s record (if only he’d known what it was !) – so he was elated too! It gave him the confidence he needed for the Loch Ness marathon on Sunday!

What was best was at presentation when Fraser announced that the race of the day was not Kyle’s, but mine! *cue evil laugh here!*

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He then announced that it was an even more significant race for us given we were getting married 2 weeks later! The entire crowd just went “awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwh” so we laughed a lot at that!

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What made it even better was that Carolyn was there and SMASHED her PB!! She started running in January (only 3kms) and managed a 2.06 on THAT course! She is such an inspiration to working mothers out there who let exercise take a back seat for a while.

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Afterwards, Mum and Keith came over to help us sort the house out (any excuse for an Alford Tandoori 😉 !) and we had a lovely Sunday catching up on life and wedding admin!

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…Then I was headed to Paris the following day for meetings so no rest for the wicked! There were far more croissants and wine consumed so here’s hoping the dress fits ONE WEEK TODAY!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

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WIAW and No Chocolate November

WIAW = What I Ate Wednesday

A reader asked me a couple of weeks ago to share what I eat on a daily basis. To be honest, my diet is nowhere near perfect and cleaning it up is something I should probably look into soon!

This is general – I do switch up dinners in particular quite a lot, but here goes:

So usually I do some form of exercise before sitting down to my desk. At about 8am, I have a white coffee, then about an hour later I have a big bowl of porridge from the canteen, and add a mushed up banana, some peanut butter (or nutella!), chia seeds and wheatgerm. I also usually add walnuts, coconut and pumpkin seeds if they’re offering them in the canteen!

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(it might not sound or look pretty but it’s delicious!)

As a mid morning snack, I have some fruit (grapes, satsumas and maybe another banana if I’m more ravenous than usual!), and another white coffee at around 11am.

At lunch, I usually got for a wee run, so by 1.30pm I am ready for another big meal! This sometimes gets out of hand depending on how hungry I am! I always get a sandwich from the deli with turkey, cheese, a wee bit of coleslaw, and some salad, and we get snacks with that. The snacks are my downfall!

(I may or may not eat all those chocolates before the end of the working day)

Oo and there always happens to be nibbles brought in from fellow sugar addicts. Usually Costco, but recently it has been American style treats:

(Jelly Beans and too many M&Ms to choose from)

If I have swimming after work, I may have another small coffee, otherwise when I get home I maybe have a handful of pretzels or a bowl of cereal (I am REALLY into granola just now!), or a handful of nuts after swimming.

For dinner, this tends to be meat, veg and more carbs! This is what we had last night:

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(Grilled tilapia and chorizo with lots of stir fried rice and veg!)

I absolutely always have dessert! I always start with a cut up apple (sometimes with peanut butter…delish!), then see what I have room for! Last night was a bad night:

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(Why did Kyle have to buy another tin!?)

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(Oops.)

I either end the night with a hot chocolate or a glass of red (Kyle has Asti while I have wine. He is classy like that.) and throughout the whole day I drink maybe 3-4 litres of diluting juice (I carry a water bottle around with me EVERYWHERE. Ask my peeps. Everywhere.).

There you have it – I KNOW I eat too much sugar. It’s something I need to work on! Let’s not mention the cakes that visitors bring round (ahem CAROLYN, ahem TAMMY, ahem CALLUM…). If anyone would like to analyse my general diet and give me tips PLEASE DO! Although looking back at what I’ve written I would say I should swap the snacks for nuts and dried fruit, and stop at the apple after dinner…good (or bad depending on how you look at it) is that as of next month, my company no longer give out free lunches, so my goal will be to have healthier lunches!

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(The ridiculously speedy Carolyn cycled to our house with cake last week! It melted in my mouth! Living close to her will be very dangerous, I can tell!)

No Chocolate November Outcome:

What I will say is after only a couple of weeks, I didn’t miss it anymore! It was something I thought only people who are desperate to believe they don’t crave it say. But no, it’s true. And although I am back to eating it daily, I could take or leave it.

I still had junk food, I couldn’t give that up! I actually ended up upping the crisps and biscuits as a replacement (bad Debbie). Oo and cereal which is actually awesome!

BUT – and I am borderline dairy intolerant (got tested a couple years ago) – I always went to bed and woke up feeling better, and after about 3 weeks I did feel leaner (I used to eat FAR TOO MUCH of the stuff).

I’m glad I challenged myself and I have learned from it. My mood was better and I found alternatives. The scales never went down, however, and I am still about 3-4kgs more than I was this time last year. Grrr.


Have you ever been on a diet or set yourself a food challenge?

Best thing you have eaten this week?

Any tips for eating healthy?

3 words per picture…

I don’t have much time to write because things are busy over here! Kyle has told me we are going to an undisclosed location (it is my BIRTHDAY TOMORROW!!!!) and I have no idea what to pack for, therefore I am packing my bedroom!

So instead, I give you my life for the past few days in 3 words and picture form…!

Birthday nails done:

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3D at Mum’s:

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New recovery drink:

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Falling while….walking?:

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iPlayer in bath:

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Mother’s Day pancakes:

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More homemade pie:

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Homemade learner’s plate?

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Peanut butter tiffin:

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I can’t nap:

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Pretzel chocolate bars:

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Lanzarote rum finished:

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And lastly…

Disney on Ice!:

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Sorry about the last pic…not very flattering (!) but I wanted to show you how underdressed we were compared to the kids…the girl pictured behind was belting her heart out to Frozen! I reckon 99.9% of kids under 12 were dressed up, and 97.3% of said kids knew the exact words to Let it Go – it was so much fun!

Oh, and I’ll have to post some of these recipes soon!

Ok, I have packing to do! Over ‘n’ out!

See you when I’m another year older… 😉

What I’ve Been Up to…

Well there has been some training in the cold:

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…some American deliveries from co-workers (how I wish Scotland had a Trader Joe’s, especially for their pb filled pretzels):

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…taking said Americans to “real Scottish pubs” to experience “real beer”:

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(This is the only pic I got in BrewDog but it was actually of their Swedish selection and I took it excitedly, thinking of August!)

…some beautiful walks on secluded beaches:

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(Newburgh beach)

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(Broughty Ferry)

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…although we did find a washed up dead seal, which kinda killed the romance:

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…lots and lots of yummy food!

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(Please note: not all this was consumed in one sitting)

…a charity car wash (not what I envisaged a fireman charity car wash to be, however. No nakedness.):

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…and some spectating of the last Proms 3k race of the series:

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…oh yeah, and the downsides to being an athlete:

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(just chillin’ at my desk with an ice pack)

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(a supplement called Race Day Boost I have been trying out…worst tasting product EVER!)

Oo oo, and I also won a duathlon series, but I’ll recap that one a little later…the official results haven’t come out yet! 🙂

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Questions for you:

What have you been up to? Any races this weekend?

Do you take supplements? If so, what and why?!

Most beautiful area around you?

What would you choose to order right now if you were in a restaurant?

Givin’ Some Lovin’ to hard gears and the U. S. of A!

Since this is a sporting blog, I shall post about sport first.

So after my fun session on Monday, I woke up relatively DOMS-free on Tuesday…result! I decided that I would tackle a turbo session Scott sent me after I finished work. We all know how much I love the turbo trainer! Ian Milne (the amazing masters swimmer I have already told you about) let me borrow some Tour De France DVDs, so I put on one of them for inspiration and got to work.

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I thought I liked single leg drills, until I had to do TWENTY THREE MINUTES of them!! I was cursing Noodles by the end of it!

Wednesday was quite painful on the ol’ quads, so I opted for a recovery swim with COAST (while they did some 400-pace stuff and a max kick set), then an easy run in the snow. It was gorgeous!

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Ok, now look away all the “I read this for sporting/healthy living motivation” readers…

One of the directors from our Houston office (the company I work for is American-based) has been coming over every fortnight to help with our company strategies. I have befriended him because he has – unfortunately for him – been placed in my office (sorry, Jason…you must lose all manliness when in Scotland!) and told him how much I love American junk food (see 2 posts ago talking about my peanut butter M&M passion). Well, he has returned and surprised me with THIS:

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I wish I had compared these with a normal-sized pack of crisps or something for scale….these are the SUPERBOWL-size bags!!!!!! God bless America!!

Cheetos (crunchy only. I am glad he remembered this.), peanut butter m&ms (x 2. Good man.), and pretzel m&ms (my 2nd favourite!!). Unfortunately, Kyle had never tried these (he has only been to America once and that was in Alaska for the world hill running champs…probably no junk food allowed), so we are now one pack of Cheetos down. They are so addictive!!

If I lived in America I would have to exercise some MAJOR self-control.

Ok next point:

THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH for supporting me and this wee blog of mine!! I’m so close (like 15 people close) to having had 10,000 viewers so I am uber grateful for all you readers out there! It definitely helps keep me going!

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(my way of saying thanks!)


Questions for you:

Favourite flavour m&ms?

Do you run in the snow or hit the treadmill?

Ever tried cycling with one leg? Ouch!

Weekend Recap :)

I hope everyone had a great weekend! How mental was the wind!?

Friday night Lucy came round and we had home made chicken nuggets – recipe here:

http://www.annabelkarmel.com/recipes/chicken-nuggets

(amazing!)

We also played Trivial Pursuit, borrowed from Mum. It was from the 80s. There were a lot of questions relative to the 80s. That is my excuse for losing (I was the youngest by 3 years)! hmmph.

Saturday morning I was up early to go cycling with Ian Milne. He is a MACHINE! Scottish age group record holder for numerous events (I think 5?) and all round superstar on the bike! We had 70 miles on the agenda but the wind was MENTAL. We couldn’t chat to each other it was just too windy 😦 So 4 hours without too much chat didn’t bode well for me! How am I going to cope in the Ironman!?!? 140 miles with NO CHATTING!?!? Must work on this.

Anyway, long story short, the wind caused Ian to have a horrible early bonk – he said he hadn’t felt like that so early before! Our average speed wasn’t good but with the hills and the ridiculous wind (SO many times I nearly got blown off the bike…) I can’t complain. Plus we saw an otter. So that was nice.

71miles

71 miles in 4.25 – Average speed 26km/h

Oh, I forgot to mention I fell off my bike. Right at the end 😦 I left Ian and had a couple miles myself to get back to mine, which includes a stop at a pedestrian crossing at a busy roundabout. There were too many cars passing so I stopped, clipped out, but was so shaky and tired I fell the other way. In front of SO MANY cars. I cut my knee and my hand swelled up really bad. AND I had a ring on the worst finger, so that still can’t come off and is cutting off the circulation. If it’s still like this on Wed I will have to get the ring cut off (note it is a Tiffany’s ring I got from my girlfriends for my 21st – I don’t want to lose it!)

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(my swollen finger)

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(a blood blister – ewwwwww)

I cleaned myself up really quickly, changed into shorts and trainers, and dragged Kyle out to do a 2 mile loop with me. WOW did I feel like an octopus! You’da thought I was running 5 min miles with my breathing, and my rhythm was all off. Surprisingly, I looked at my watch at the 1st mile and was bang on 7.30. Let’s now try and keep this up for 26.2 miles AFTER doing 112 miles instead of 71, AND a 3.9km swim okay body? You have until August.

BUT, being referred to as “Superwoman” sure helped:

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(yay! Scott would never call me superwoman…!)

After a long shower, and a couple of Man V Food episodes, we popped into town to grab some food and coffee. I was craving some sushi so I dragged Kyle to Yo Sushi (salmon and avocado handroll = dabomb.com), then immediately afterwards demanded a Starbucks (those pumpkin spice lattes are awesome!). Wow maybe I’m needy?

With food still on the brain, we went to Marks in Spencer to find the dessert the papers have been talking about: “Britain’s sexiest pud”, the Belgian Chocolate Jaffa Sphere.

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(we got the last one!)

Perhaps the article bigged it up too much, but I just thought it was “oh, that tastes pretty good” as opposed to “OH EMM GEE I NEED ANOTHER ONE IMMEDIATELY”.

When we got back, we caught up with Game of Thrones (finally got to the last episode!), Gotham, and American Horror Story and I was falling asleep. We were meant to have a birthday night out, but we were so tired we thought we would be healthy (forget I mentioned the jaffa sphere, m’kay?) and save some money (sorry, Myles!)

Sunday was a day of rest for me (well, if you count 12 ridiculously windy miles along Aberdeen beach at 7.20 pace), which included a long bath, face mask and painting nails, while Kyle did the Monymusk Half Marathon. Not only did my rockstar WIN, he obliterated the course record by 2 minutes!!

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(how cute is that framed postcard?!)

He won some more running vouchers and another meal out! WOOHOOOO!  I was thinking about doing it but I’ve had a few niggles lately and didn’t want my overly competitive mindset to get myself injured, so I was sensible and did my own long run. It better pay off because it sounded like so much fun!

When he came home, we did a food shop (yes those are pumpkins in the background – we will be have a carving competition soon!) and made some nice food to celebrate!

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(antipasti, humous, bread, grapes, nachos with camembert and avocado, salad and wine!)


Questions for you:

How was your training over the weekend?

Any races on the schedule?