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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A Great Weekend without the Bonk this Time!

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Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Mine was great!

Friday:

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:

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(it was the bomb.com)

BEER AND CHEESE SOUP!! In a bread bowl!

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

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…Except it was BEER and CHEESE!

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

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(platter, soup and peach beer!)

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

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(2 more rounds were to follow…) 

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(We sent this to his MUM. #realathletesdrinktequila)

Saturday:

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:

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(soaking and windy)

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

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(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:

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(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:

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

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(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!

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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!

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

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(Kyle’s red velvet cake)

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

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(how the sun hit the cliffs)

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(Aberdeenshire can be stunning!)

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(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):

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…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!

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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?