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

I was super excited for this one!

21769618_10156661620493266_177795733_n

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!*

21751419_1434822889940629_4586353743838136968_n

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!

21586020_10213920042698103_1232215496_n

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.

21905702_10159409981995644_1053738499_n21935707_10159409981920644_580124802_n

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!

21903480_10155850153493478_938272979_n

…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!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

Advertisements

Fraserbugh Half Marathon – Mooreigs take the win!

First of all…WOW. Thank you SO SO much for your kind messages re my last post! I am so grateful that you have followed my journey thus far and I can only hope that I haven’t let you down. I love that I can rant and moan to you guys!

Speaking of moaning, Carol Massie (who was organiser of the race I did on Sunday), told me to pull up my big girl pants and gave me a giant safety pin at race registration to stop me moaning! She is now employed as my therapist and I am now allowed to complain or be negative any more!

So yeah, I did a race on Sunday.

14963366_1586888028003481_6489842786973206976_n

(article before the race…my top looks camouflaged)

pj-071116

(and afterwards! yay!)

It wasn’t the Brodie Castle 10k that I was also entered for (I originally entered that one in desperation to break the 37minute barrier, but decided that wasn’t happening after infection and ankle injury. So I tried to transfer the entry to a friend, the race organiser didn’t allow for transfers despite weeks of notice (ridiculous if you ask me), and begged Carol for an entry to the Broch instead!), but the Fraserburgh Half Marathon, purely for the immense spread of cakes at the end fun and enjoying running again.

If I had raced Brodie, I would be disappointed for not hitting a time, but Fraserburgh had no pressure. I hadn’t done anything over 90mins in a year, and my last half marathon was at Club La Santa in 2014 (where I forgot to change the clock on my phone and we literally woke up and headed to the start line with toothpaste on our (ok, my) face)!! I had managed a tempo 10 miler a few weeks ago before the ankle injury happened and managed a high 64 in the Alford hills, so I was hoping I could just hold on to that sort of pace.

We arrived in plenty of time and boy was it windy!! Kyle said it was windy last year (when he won it in 1.10) but this year was worse! I was actually looking forward to a decent effort in the hills and wind (normally I hate anything but perfect conditions). I wore cushioned training shoes to protect my ankle, turned off the autolap function on my Garmin (and didn’t look at it ONCE!), and managed a couple miles super easy warm up to try and get blood flowing to the niggly areas in my legs.

Before we knew it, the gun went off and a lot of the guys went off like a rocket! I had a 5.55 1st mile and was pretty far behind! Usually I go out with the fastest guys and die a death. I later found out, coming back the same way, that there was a strong tail wind going out because the final 3 miles were killer!! My 12th mile, for example, was 6.57 – nowhere near marathon pace and over a minute slower! And I wasn’t even that broken!

 14939375_1099658810146769_1817540373977853748_o(thanks to Broch Photo House for the pic!)

It was hilly with a few twisy bits, and the field spread out pretty quickly, but I just focussed on whoever was in front of me. I kind of tuned out, refusing to check my watch, and just going by feel. The wind did take it out of you, but when there was a bad tailwind I just thought about something else instead – like cadence. I had a smile on my face the whole way round!

14991258_1099696326809684_1771549775601365551_o

hfghj

(this was around mile 9. again, thanks to Broch Photo House!)

There was a couple of miles where we were on a trail straight into a massive headwind, where I thought it might break me, but as soon as we hit the tarmac again I felt a lot better! I actually forgot to take my gel to the start line (I planned on taking one at mile 9) but Callum (the mental case who smashed the Glen Ogle 33miler the previous day, then went 1.32 at the Broch!) gave me a couple shot blocs that I put in my sports bra. Yeah, they totally melted by mile 9 so I just relied on a couple sips of water with 5km to go! I didn’t really need it; it just would have been nice!

14917060_932078900270553_6569131065722880088_o.jpg

(going around one of the bends – Carol shouts “go catch Kyle” and I respond with some ridiculous “no problem I have this pacing down to a tee”-type chat)

With a mile to go, I pushed up the hill, round the park, then on entering the park I managed to sprint uphill to the finish (something I hardly ever manage to do!). When I saw the clock still read 1.25, I was pleasantly surprised, as I felt the effort was around 1.27 (I didn’t want to push too hard given it was unknown territory!). It was nice to be allowed able to do a half marathon again, even if it was on a niggle and probably shouldn’t have done it. It boosted the morale I have been lacking lately after the triathlon squad news.

(my “sprint” up to the finish)

gjhjdfg

(yay I survived!)

And as an extra boost, Kyle secured yet another win! This also meant he won an additional trophy for being first Metro home, winning the Neil Jaffrey memorial trophy (his friend who was unfortunately killed on his bike by a car a couple of years ago). It was very special to him that he won that. He, too, should probably have withdrawn as he had been ill all week with an abscess in his gums from a root canal that went wrong (think worst pain ever), but he really wanted to do it for Jaffers! He was 5 minutes slower than last year and still took the title, so I was so proud that he pushed through his illness and the conditions to win for his friend!

Now most people say they do the race as the last half of the year and secure some last minute club standard times BUT we all know it is because of the spread of food they put on afterwards!!

14947473_10157668540195693_706074782778224105_n

(they EVEN gave away takeout boxes at the end!! I have a week’s worth of treats now!)

14962857_10154618669927158_886727741_n14962255_10154618669892158_578394456_n15007548_10154618669887158_1329788223_o14971712_10154618669957158_1515140308_o

 

It was such a fun day that ended with the Alford fireworks display (yes, I know it was on the 6th!) which was just as fun as last year!

To those who got those standards, HUGE congrats – the weather was brutal out there! And extra thanks to Carol for putting on such an amazing event! I couldn’t believe how friendly and supportive everyone was!!

14900597_10209480539742949_3634160378576110840_n14900367_10209480539982955_2183633265214372638_n

(spot Carol’s safety pin present!) 

Here’s to getting some more races in the diary and aiming for some PBs…!



What will your final race of the year be?

Goals for next year?

Favourite post-race treat?

Alford Fireworks are Amazeballs, Kyle wins again, and Beer post workout is perfect recovery food.

Hi folks!

Apologies for not being on this too much…new house plus work plus a new commute (50ish miles a day!) has left me with less time to talk to you guys! Fear not, I shall continue blogging all my stories whether you like it or not, albeit a little less than before…

Ok so last weekend marked our new local fireworks display. The Alford Scouts put on a spectacular performance and their fireworks/bonfire display was arguably better than the Ironman ones, and might even be as long as the Disney ones (but one can never compare to Disney fireworks!)! Muuuuch better than last year in Kemnay 🙂

12244019_10156257666660644_758256019_n

12244099_10156257666695644_1112623638_n

Ooo it ALSO marked completing my 1st running session since the lung issues!! Wheezing and lack of fitness has caused me to stop half way through sets (if I even get there) but I have an inhaler for a trial period and managed 8x1km with a minute recovery on the old railway line in Alford. Note that is the flattest part we have found in the area and it certainly was not flat 😦

To celebrate, she didn’t even have a shower before opening her prize:

12272984_10156257666725644_976134057_n

(a nice ale to warm me up after a cold, dark run!)

Oh and this:

12233061_10156257666775644_1986486984_n

…although I can’t seem to find them anywhere now. Was it for Autumn time only?!

I have been doing more cycling at the weekends now that I never see daylight during the week…on the odd weeknight (if I man up and embrace the freezing garage) you will find me here:

12243721_10156257666760644_875451108_n

(yep…THAT cold)

But usually after an early rise, long commute, and lunchtime workout, baking usually takes priority. These were UNBELIEVABLE if I do say so myself:

12248621_10156257666570644_1717618262_n

(Apple fritter glazed donuts: recipe here)

One cycle I did I had a “screw it let’s see what the fuss is about moment” about 30minutes in: A 10 minute climb up the Suie.

  1. This moment occured while on a TT bike
  2. I chose to go up the hill on the steepest side
  3. Going into a headwind

12270582_10156257666480644_213519733_n

(a nice wee 12 percenter to start the day!)

12243732_10156257666435644_2113356825_n

(this photo doesn’t do it justice!)

I can’t believe all this is right on our doorstep! I felt like I was on holiday!

I ALSO felt like I was back in Switzerland with the steepness of the climb! Glad it was only 10 minutes and not 5 hours like in Davos!

Speaking of Switzerland, I noticed Daniela Fyf (Ironman World Champion!) found it hard too when she attempted the Fluela!

12242095_10156257667185644_1927952767_n

On the non-sporting side, we have had a lot of help with the house! Between both sides of the family, we are getting there! We do appreciate the help, but sometimes we have to stand back and laugh:

12243685_10156257666615644_759715031_n

(half of Keith in the utility room)

We have been SOOO fortunate to have family & friends helping us!

Ok and THIS weekend KYLE WON ANOTHER RACE!! Fraserburgh Half Marathon champ in a time of 70.19!! A couple minutes off of his PB but he annihilated the field, winning by 7 minutes! My hero!

12238504_862794340499885_2954700022701316654_o

 (Kyle with the lead bike)

Not only that, but in a team effort (Callum you are a dreamboat!), they snuck me some cakes from the MASSIVE spread at the finish line!

 Capterwerure

12242354_10156257666380644_439882741_n

(PLEASE don’t tell the Broch running club 😉 … Thanks boys! Ignore the pjs)

Kyle’s parents slept over (our FIRST sleepover!) and went with him on Sunday, while I had a pre-arranged shopping/eating trip with Mummy!

12270297_10156257669450644_694236620_n

(man, Starbucks is dark)

12244199_10156257666410644_151479320_n

(preparing for my sugar overload later!)

That being said, Christmas shopping has commenced! I bought more stuff for me than anyone else (has anyone SEEN the Lancome counter recently!?) but it’s a start.

Ooo before I forget, I may have forgot to mention that you need to enter the Balmoral Races soon! I am only going to do it if bubblewrapped (2 years ago I ended up in A&E and on crutches, last year I was hit by a car…who knows what could happen next year!) but Kyle and I were kindly invited to the launch party!

Run Balmoral Launch
Run Balmoral Launch

You can enter here!

Ok that’s enough from me for now! Hope you’ve had a fun week and I’ll try not to be too long next time! 🙂

Day 1: the Half Asleep Half Marathon

After we arrived in the evening, we unpacked and did a quick run around the lagoon (or at least, that’s what I was told. It was pitch black). We then hit the salad bar and watched some of the entertainment, while getting slightly carried away on the local wine we were recommended:

10859525_10154938516670644_1371337748_n

Their local wine is made completely differently to other countries in that it is all made by hand and the grape grows in the volcanic ash. It leaves a zingy kind of bubbly taste in your mouth – we were addicted and must have gone through 5 or 6 bottles throughout the week (#realathletes). It was around 8 Euro in the local market, but was nearly 20 Euro in Duty Free, but I have paid more for less – it was delicious! The white was our favourite but they did red and rose too!

We got to sleep around midnight and our alarms were set for 7am to get ready for their half marathon (the run course of Lanzarote’s Half Ironman) which started at 7.45. Unfortunately, my phone – much like myself – was confused and didn’t know where it was or what time zone it was in, so my alarm went off at 6am. Kyle double checked, called me a douchebag, and we fell back asleep only to wake up about 90 minutes later – uh oh!

No time for breakfast, forgetting about water, and toothpaste still on my face, we got changed and headed to the track. Luckily, they were still handing out chips! I couldn’t believe what I had just signed up for – I was sooooo tired! I was a mess (Kyle can confirm this) and people there were all in the race gear warming up on the track, and we were standing like zombies!

The race is 3 laps, running to the town of La Santa and back. Pretty monotonous route, but I like mentally ticking distances off so it didn’t bother me too much!

The gun went off, and Kyle and I just laughed at how ridiculously tired we were, ran together for about a mile (barely getting under 7 minutes), then he decided he should probably go a bit faster, and I tried to follow suit. He went flying ahead and by the 3rd mile was in the lead. I was just happy to be alive, and anyone I passed was a bonus.

My first lap of 3 was my slowest, but then I woke up a bit, started to have fun (some of the runners were cheering and we were high fiving as we passed them on the out and back route), and thought I would try for my FIRST EVER NEGATIVE SPLIT RACE. The rest of the miles were under 6.30 so I’ll take that.

Kyle opted to stop after 2 laps (he didn’t want to push himself too hard on the first day considering his recent injuries) so he played spectator (after beasting a 5.47 per mile average!). I didn’t really pay attention to my splits, so thought anything around the 90 minute mark would be good. That meant I had plenty time to stop for water, run over to Kyle and throw it in his face before continuing on to the final lap. Maybe I should have pushed it a bit harder, huh?

Little did I know I would finish with an 85 minute half (I was trying to catch up with the 1st female on the last lap who was flying in 83 minutes!) – Average of 6.33 per mile.

10850792_10154938516520644_1667887239_n

(Proof of my first ever negative split!)

Afterwards, we had breakfast, went for a wee swim then chilled by the pool until about 5pm! We went for an easy cycle in the evening, uphill all the way to Tinajo, taking a backpack so we could stop at a supermarket on the way home (the on site market was nearly double the price!). We totalled about 20km with quite a fast average speed (Kyle nailed the uphill – and beat me – so I nailed him on the descent until we got to the market!)

First day complete!