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

I was super excited for this one!


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!*


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!


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.


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!


…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!!!!!!!!!!




Your Long Awaited Race Recap: Ultra World Championships, Badia Prataglia, Team GB

I am not just saying this because I am about to be his blushing bride or because I am bursting with pride (poet, don’t know it) BUT this recap is phenomenal!!

I WISH y’all knew just how hard he works. He’s too modest so I’ll boast for him! To balance working in a high level position, commuting >50miles per day AND having to put up with his high maintenance bird, all while training to be one of the best in the world…against FULL TIME athletes….that LIVE in those types of mountains….just leaves me speechless! Well, almost.

Here is the champ’s recap of his 1st (hopefully of many) race as a Team GB athlete.

World Trail Running Championships Badia Prataglia, Italy

kyle gb 2

Now that I have come down from cloud 9 after my first Team GB call up and best race of my life, I thought I will share with you my build-up of the race, the race itself and the aftermath!

After doing the trial race at Haworth in Yorkshire and squeezing into the GB team, I felt I had a lot to live up to even though I am relatively new to the Ultra racing scene. After a couple of weeks recovery from that race and 3 weeks of training, I had the small thing of running the London marathon which was going to be my A race had I not qualified for the World Champs.

For London, although I was now training for the World champs, I genuinely believed that I could still PB of around 2.23/2.24 despite interrupted training and a lack of marathon specific training due to the tapering and recovery of the trial race. On race day, everything went to plan and my spilts were bang on target…until mile 17! These final miles, I was hitting high 5/low 6 minute miles and with my ‘sensible head’ decided that the legs haven’t got the PB in them and tried to ‘enjoy’ the atmosphere running a 2 hours 29 minutes (which was well off my best 2 hours 25 minutes!).

Lesson number 1: look back on your training and assess whether the target is realistic – in this case, I hadn’t done enough mara specific sessions!

Luckily enough, my strategy worked in terms of recovery time after London – if I had tried to race it after the legs started falling off, I would likely still be recovering now! I managed to get back into a decent volume of training even after a week of easy running after London, which meant I had a good few weeks of building some decent sessions and specific for the World trail champs. I really had to do 3 things: a few steady long runs including a long decent 50k run simulating the elevation (although I fell 2500 ft short!), maintain high mileage/volume, and a decent paced session on trails

I also ran the Inter counties hill running championships and treated this as a ‘C’ race due to the training required for the worlds. So after a heavy week of training, 2 weeks after London marathon, severe grassy climbs and only 10k of work, made a lactate inducing hard run and certainly a great workout for the main race. Although I was slightly disappointed with my placing, when I reflect back there is little wonder I didn’t perform higher up the field!

So a couple of weeks before the worlds, we all received our GB kit, which made the whole trip feel real and based on my long and promising 50k effort the week prior, I felt fired up for this race and knew that I have done everything I could to train for the race including saunas 3 x per week to cope with the heat!


(Loved the kit they gave me!)

I met up with the Scottish contingent of the team, Adrian Stott (one of the team managers), Jo Zakrzewski and Helen Bonsor at Edinburgh Airport and we made our way to Italy (Bologna Airport).


(Leaving Debbie at the train station. Just before this, a lovely stranger shook my hand, asked what sport I did and congratulated me!)

The Thursday was a long day, but when we arrived at our monastery accommodation a few miles outside the race village, we met the whole team for dinner. The meal wasn’t the greatest to be honest – mushy meatballs and tomatoes…WHERES THE CARBS MAN!

That night, after being trapped on a plane and in a car, I went for an 11pm run around the forests where my race was taking place. It was a full moon and I could hear the wolves (yes WOLVES) howling and I risked not taking a head torch. The area we were staying in has very little phone signal and is almost completely in the middle of nowhere with many monasteries, ancient forests and a huge amount of history.

On the Friday, funnily enough, I felt quite tired after all the travelling but after a fairly modest breakfast of dried bread and cornflakes, we had to go down to the race village for doping control and health checking. We then recced the first couple of miles of the course (it would have been a bit more if we hadn’t done 3 miles off course! I soon found out that the first few miles was going to be uphill, which after trying to jog up on the Friday, I was worried I was going to be heavy legged on race day…


(chilling with the team after arriving)

We then had the joys of going to opening ceremony at the castle overlooking Poppi, which was absolutely stunning!


(Team GB at the opening ceremony. Photo credit @IRunFar)


(Kitted out for the opening ceremony. Photo credit @TaritTweets)

After our meal there, we headed back for an early night and made sure we had all our race kit in order and our fuel for the 2 manned food stations (where the team managers Sam, Spencer and Adrian would be). In my head, I already had a race plan/strategy which had been prepared in the weeks building up to my training so I was fairly confident I was on the right track!

On the morning, we headed down in the race bus at 6am after another uneasy breakfast where I searched high and low for muesli and they never had any! So I had cornflakes instead but had some more white carbs and a decent meal the night before made sure that I was adequately fuelled and hydrated!

Lesson number 2: Take all your food that you eat to your races especially ones where they may not have the food you crave!

After our kit check, shoved my way to the front of the start line, which although only 10 people wide meant that I would be out of the way of people in front of me and had nothing in front of me to trip me up!

Kyle world start

(The start: I’m on the right of this pic. Photo credit @TaritTweets)

The gun goes, and someone rips my number off!! So I took my time to put it back on, which meant I took the first mile uphill very easy and ended up running in around 70th place! A couple of miles into the race, I was grateful to see two of my GB pals Gareth Hughes and Math Roberts next to me and throughout the first half, we ended up running together for quite a lot of it. Early on the start, I continued my tradition of falling over on what could be described as the easiest and most runnable section of the course.  I bounced back up and felt nothing of it other than a few cuts and bruises afterwards!


(I must have been feeling good here! Photo credit Prozis)

The first half of the race was fairly cool as it was mostly in the ancient forests and good runnable trails. From the get go, the 3 of us, were gradually pipping people off and not many runners went passed us. There was one tough point when it started heating up and we climbing well along the ridge, where Gareth magically whipped out some KENDAL MINT cake, which for me was better than any gels I had been taking – it melted in your mouth, instant sugar hit and had a refreshing after taste!

Lesson 3: Buy Kendal mint cake NOW!

The latter half of the race began to get interesting and very warm – reaching 27 degrees Celsius on the exposed sections. I managed to pull away from Gareth, who wasn’t far behind me but still felt fantastic. I had no idea what position I was but at around mile 20, I was in the top 20! There was a huge climb still to come which, for me, was make or break and I took every opportunity to drink and fuel even if it meant I stopped. I had to weigh up stopping to top up my water bottle for a few seconds versus another 2 miles of no water could mean a slower overall time.








(One of our fuel stops. Photo credit @TaritTweets)   

In the full heat of the long climb up to the exposed ridge, I started to get cramp in my inner thighs, which is something I have never experienced but I was aware I had to ensure I was getting fluids in meant that I could keep going. I knew everyone was going to be struggling in the heat, so it was just as much mental as it was physical. Along the climb, I went passed Tom Payne (flag bearer and leading Brit at the time), which was one of only goals of the race was to try and get first brit. Anything else would be a bonus!!

After a brutal, sluggish climb it was fairly undulating and with only(!) 6 miles to go I knew I just had to hold on after I heard I was in 25th place! I now had one final descent of over 3 miles and with my quads severely bashed and my calves begging to cramp up, I was worried I would do a Jonny Brownlee and be nowhere near the finish line! I could hear the finish and started rehearsing my finish line celebration – a Czech guy called Tomas shouted ‘GO KYLEE, GO KYLEE, YOU CAN DO IT KYLEE’ as he whizzed passed me on the descent. So thanks Tomas, for keeping me going.

Kyle trail

(Going up one of the brutal climbs!)

I then turned round and there was the finish line – 40 metres, 30 metres, 20 metres and UH OH…my right calf cramped up and pointed down to the ground with little to do than hop to the RAMPED finish line…the crowd really got behind me and lifted me to the finish line. It wasn’t the celebration I was hoping for but I was delighted that the cramp only kicked in with 20 metres to go!


(I am NOT impersonating Bolt. I was mid collapse and Bolt just took over my body!)

When I slumped my way onto the finish line, I was soon hoofed over to the physio who pushed calf back into its rightful position and Sam the team manager sorted me out with fluid and ice for my neck. It was great to be finished and when I heard I was 26th and top Brit I was absolutely over the moon.


(Receiving help within seconds. Or were they just trying to get rid of me?)

The rest of the guys and girls in the team did amazing. The guys ended up being 9th team and the girls were 4th team! Individually, the guys were Gareth in 33rd, Tom in 38th and Matt struggled on the day, but managed to finish.


(From left to right: Gareth, me, Tom & Math. Photo credit @TaritTweets)


(My cheesy grin at the closing ceremony)

An incredible experience, great support from the team and friends and family back home and to Lewis who gave me some fantastic sessions to make me race ready. Debbie was a real mess – she sent me a selfie of her crying and made the excuse her training was sacrificed due to watching it on the live stream!!


(Came to her work as soon as I arrived in Aberdeen, where she greeted me with cake, a card and a coffee!)

Now that this is over, I am looking to get into the ultra-scene but also keen to keep working on the slightly shorter half marathon to marathon distance with some high profile ultra-races in the upcoming years. Hopefully, with the runners I was racing against and beat (such as Sylvain Court who was 2nd at last years’ world champs) I can be a force to be reckoned with!

If anyone had any races in mind please let me know as I am in the middle of looking for races to keep my head in the game!!

5:10:15 is the magic number for my ridiculous finish 😉

Race video can be found here if you can’t stream the above 



8 days to go…!

Hi everyone! Kyle here 🙂

Thought I’d take over the fiancée(!)’s blog today to tell you about my preparations for my 1st race as a Team GB Athlete at the World Ultra Trail Championships in one week’s(!!!) time, held in Tuscany in Italy.

Deb told you about the bunion that my coach thought may have been gout, that came on very quickly at the beginning of the year on our skiing holiday. Well, I went up to see my coach a couple of weekends ago (he is an amazing GP) and he said that because it is most definitely bone growth (sexy), as long as it isn’t affecting me or getting worse, I should be fine.

Well, it is actually getting worse, so I’m going to have to buy wider shoes for the race, as well as looking into options afterwards. It’s not affecting training too much (I still have the Inov8s I made a hole in!), but after hard sessions it gets pretty tender.

Speaking of sessions, I have done a few long runs since London. My best one was around Clashindarroch, where I did 31 miles in the hills up Tap O Noth, and even managed a cheeky 2.58 split at the marathon mark in the pouring rain! It was a good confidence booster as I didn’t hit any wall, and it just felt like a fun – albeit lonely (no one wants to join me for these…wonder why…) – weekend long run.


(Tap O Noth)

The last week or so, with the hotter weather we’ve been having, I’ve loved trying to replicate the race conditions. The race is going to be around 25C and pretty humid, so I did a hard session at Glen Tanar at the weekend in roughly that temperature, and have been consistently doing my sauna sessions (30minutes straight after a run, a couple of times per week) to hopefully adapt to the climate.

That Glen Tanar run by the way was awesome – James Espie (international hill runner who beat me at Snowdon) joined me for some morale (with Debbie lagging behind for her tempo 😉 ) and it was great to have someone pushing me for my 10miles worth of effort. This was followed very quickly with a trip to Coop, a picnic in the river, and a swim!

He also joined me the following day for a longer run around Lochnagar (he is great if you ever want some stunning running routes by the way, but not if you want to beat your running partner up any hill….he is a technical genius!). Deb cycled to Ballater and met us for post-training ice cream at the new ice cream parlour. Highly recommended!


I have now officially started tapering, so will only do a couple more sessions emulating the race conditions ie tempos or intervals on undulating trails opposed to my usual beach front/track choice. I’ll cut it down to one run a day, and probably won’t go much higher than 10 miles from now until the big day!

My kit has arrived which has made me ridiculously excited (I may have told the office this is the best day I’ve had in years, when they politely told me I got engaged in December), but I am nervous at the same time in that I am finding myself checking the weather forecast a billion times per day!


Race kicks off on the morning of the 10th June…I shall be taking pics of the opening ceremony, digs, selfies in my kit, and post race (hopefully) celebrations so watch this space! Send good vibes my way, please 🙂



Halloween, a Long Run and No Chocolate November

Hope everyone had a fun-filled Halloween weekend!?

Ours started with our annual pumpkin carving competition (remember last year?!). The boys used their power tools again whilst Mumsy and I used knives. Can you guess which is which?


(Minnie Mouse)



The milk chocolate digestives is what edged the girls’ team in front 😉 That, and the fact I called dibs on being judge.

Saturday we went for a cycle in the pouring rain and wind (but it WAS surprisingly warm) – it was nice to get the bikes out. No pics of the cycle so I shall leave you with our new garage setup (I really don’t know how we coped having 4xbikes in a 1 bedroom flat!):


(turbo ready to go too!)

I got some really good advice from amazing cyclists recently on how to make the turbo fun (particularly in cold, dull, grey garages when I was used to snacks and Sky TV at my beck and call in my living room!). More hard core interval sessions will definitely pass time, as well as plugging my music into speakers and putting up motivational posters! Watch this space…

Oh, and there was an overflow of wood delivered (we got too much for the wood shed!) so the garage is a little packed for a while!

After our cycle, we popped to the local cafe (Alford Bistro) for some pumpkin spiced lattes (yes they have those in the country!), and went to the craft fair at the Heritage Museum. This was all before 11am!

When we got back, Mummy came round to give a mother’s touch to the new house ie CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN!!! She was phenomenal! I awarded her with Halloween cake.


(from our work’s bake sale…yummy!)

Halloween’s evening was pretty non-eventful. I was expecting lots of trick or treaters, hence why I wanted to stay in the hose on our 1st Halloween. Alas, we got like 8 trick or treaters that all came at once! They were so friendly and polite though (although their jokes could have been better. Think “Why did the penguin go to the doctor? Because he wanted to.”) Next year I shall be taking up Kylie Babez’ offer of a spooky torch run!

The following morning CALLUM was coming over for a long run and lunch! He had a route all mapped out on his Garmin (#nerd #imjustjealous) and we set off around 9am after giving him a tour of the new pad of course 😉

I was a little nervous because a) I hadn’t done any double digit runs in a good couple months, b) Kyle and Callum are super fast, and c) I heard part of it would be on trails and we all know how I get on in trails!

18 miles later and I had had my first fall in mud (!), we all had soaking shoes from finding our way through bogs, and our legs were all goosed from the hills and the changes in terrain BUT it was 2.5 hours of so much banter and breathtaking views…right on our doorstep!! Stolen from Walker the photographer for the day:


(When will this hill ever end?!!?)



(Callum pretended he was behind because he was getting his camera out. I am that speck in the distance. Excuses, excuses…)


(the views were so pretty!)


(we made it to the top of “Littlehill”!)


(“I have been in better moods” – Debbie post mud fall)


(Welcome to our new home!)


(We live here!)


(Kyle making it look easy as always)

I managed to keep up (just!) and even tanked them on the final hill (still wheezing though…). We showered, sat down for a little bit then headed back down to the Alford Bistro, as Callum treated us to lunch as our housewarming (THANK YOU!!!).


(risotto, bacon burger and pulled pork burger…delicious!)


(Loving the autumnal themed decor!)

The walk back to the house was good for the legs, then Callum headed home and we did more housework (it’s slowly taking shape!). I had made butternut squash soup (COINCIDENTALLY identical to last Halloween’s soup!) and sourdough bread, so that was devoured on the sofa in the evening watching Stephen King’s IT on TV (I watch 1 scary movie a year.).


(pathetic pic BUT it also shows Walker (& Irina!)’s housewarming present they brought back from Hungary! We ❤ paprika 🙂  )

Oo oo, and another present that is too cute not to mention was on our doorstep Friday after we got back from work:


It was from Phil! Mainly to say thanks to Kyle for coaching him to his phenomenal 1st half time, but I wanted in on it too!

Ok last thing, yesterday I started NoChocolateNovember (I tried to do it in Stoptober but the Bennachie Hill Race had too many cakes to resist! I eat faaaaaaaaaaar too much chocolate so thing it will be a fun challenge to set (since I can’t race fast at the moment 😦 …) Wish me luck!!

What did you do for Halloween? 

Any fancy dress?!

Ever stopped eating chocolate? Help!

21.5 lessons from 21.5 miles in the snow!

What I found out from Sunday’s long run:

  1. Running in snow is a bit like a cross trainer. Every step you slide back a little. This therefore makes it harder.
  2. 1,800ft of elevation while you are already running in said snow really zaps the legs.
  3. Stopping to “deer watch” is a GREAT excuse for a rest (eh, Callum?!)
  4. Eating said snow is a refreshing hydrator after 15 miles with no fuel.
  5. Streams are also refreshing. Until you find out you have actually stepped into the stream (eh, Callum?!)
  6. Never think you are light enough to run over all thicknesses of ice. Some ice may be brittle and break. And then you fall into a puddle as deep as your ankles. And have to run with the freezing squelch in your trainers for 7 more miles.
  7. Watching 2 people who are a lot faster than you can be disheartening at times, but also acts as a great mental tool. You just try and chase them. Keeping your eye on the prize definitely made time pass quicker. Even if it doesn’t work (it didn’t until mile 19), it kept me going! If I hadn’t had Kyle and Callum, I think I may have stopped a lot to have “words” with myself on what the h3ll I am doing running up and down hills in snow for nearly 3 hours, when I could be drinking hot chocolate in pjs watching Disney movies. My average pace would certainly be a lot slower.
  8. When I think I am going fast and am working pretty hard, I look in front of me and Kyle is like an ant in the distance. I don’t find this fair.
  9. Following a map is a great way not to get lost.
  10. Following footprints on the way back is another way to not get lost, but this cannot be relied upon when a snowstorm approaches (yeah, that happened).
  11. When you think you only have one hill to go, you probably have more (they are deceiving).
  12. Peeing in the woods is cold and makes it hard to get going again.
  13. Never rely on your other half to take gels, even if you ask him “have you got our gels?” and he replies “yes” as you are about to start your run. Callum may have witnessed a pathetic domestic on both gels and recovery drinks. We. Are. So. Cool. Sorry, Cal!
  14. A sauna is the BEST way to warm up after a long run in winter.
  15. Long runs with people are 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 x easier/better/faster/more fun than doing it solo.
  16. The wind from snowstorms hurts your face.
  17. Indian food the night before surprisingly makes for good pre-run fuel.
  18. Always drink lots of water the day before (this didnt happen and I struggled the whole time).
  19. Always stay positive. It is amazing how the mind can change everything.
  20. I am very OCD and was the only one out of the 3 of us to run around the car park until my Garmin read 21.5 miles (apparently Callum’s read exactly 34km so he stopped happy. Kyle’s watch wasn’t even on.) McDoogz and Ron you better be proud!
  21. Milkshakes and burgers makes for great postrun nutrition (the Braided Fig chorizo and wild boar burger in particular!)

21.5 We probably need to keep the selfie stick in the car (noone was around – we are the only freaks to brave those conditions)

21.5 miles, 2:44:28, 7.39 average pace, 1,800ft elevation


After a sauna, a long shower, and a wee saunter into town to go to the Braided Fig for a late lunch, we collapsed on the sofa and had an evening of films! We watched “Joe” and “Flight” on Netflix – I recommend both!

Questions for you:

Longest snow run?

Do you tend to do long runs on hills of flat?

Movie recommendations on Netflix please?

Favourite post long run meal?

1st Long Run post Injury and Santa’s Grotto!

So my 2 races within a couple hours made the Press & Journal:

Scanned from a Xerox multifunction device

(must have been a slow week!)

If I’d known I would be exposed like this I would have warmed up for that park run! Oops!


Our walk home from the university on Saturday night, along with some water before bed, meant that I woke up hangover free on Sunday morning and ready to attempt my 1st long run (around 2 hours) since being injured!

Silly Debster, however, somehow forgot to drink water on Sunday morning and started her long run later than usual so probably didn’t eat enough either….

Around 9am, I had an espresso and 2 slices of toast with jam, then didn’t have anything else before heading off on my run at 11am. The plan was Kyle wanted a longish run too, but wanted to run on trails as that way his Achilles isn’t bothered, so he drove to Scolty and I was going to run there and meet him (18ish miles).

abdn to banch


(slight uphill most of the way – my worst kind of hill after steep downhill!)

He left later than me so passed me on North Deeside Rd when I was about 5 miles in, where I made him stop and give me water! I felt great though! Uphill and into a slight headwind, I was hitting 7.10 min/miles with ease! Thinking mentally I could just check out and listen to my music the whole way (it’s just one long road to Banchory), made me quite confident in that I didn’t have to think (unlike Tyrebagger the previous day) and just run.

Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out that way, as the cycle route suddenly stopped about 9 miles in, so I was forced to run on the main road (sorry, Mum!). Luckily, Sunday morning meant that it wasn’t too busy and cars were really nice. Then, about 15 minutes later, I finally found a way to get onto the abandoned railway line that also goes directly to Banchory! Normally I don’t like running on this path because I find it quite monotonous, but I was thankful to find it as it was far more inviting than the main road! Being the simple minded fair weather runner, hitting the treadmill whenever there is a spot of rain or wind, I forgot that this path had the potential to be waterlogged in places. I spent quite a bit of time climbing walls and into fields to avoid getting soaked. I also had to go back on myself a few times as there was just no way of getting across.

This took its toll and about 14 miles in (I passed 13.1 in just under 96 mins) my body was tired. Constant slight uphill for over 100 minutes, along with constantly avoiding puddles had made me both mentally and physically exhausted. I was also SEVERELY DEHYDRATED. I stopped and walked for about 5 minutes, coincidentally right at the point where the old steam train takes off:



I started running again, and could barely get under 8 min miles, but when I saw the river again I was in heaven! I was like Usain Bolt running to the banks to get some water!

A quick text to Kyle to say I was running late and I was off again! Not a negative split by any means but 18 miles in the bank! It took about 2hr15 and my trainers were SOAKED right through!

Kyle was so muddy he washed himself in the Falls of Feugh, while I brought baby wipes and enough towels/dry clothes that I didn’t have to subject myself to further freezing punishment!

To reward ourselves, we finally got to go to Raemoir for cake (!!) and to visit the Christmas Grotto!


(Kyle sat on Santa’s lap)


(my attempted selfie with Santa)


(they had so many gorgeous moving toys!)

Lunch plus cake followed, then it was time to head to Alpine Bikes to collect my bike (only 2 weeks after my crash…) and then I had a cinema date with Freyja!! Go and see Gone Girl if you haven’t already!!

Questions for you:

How do you get over “the wall” in long runs?

Favourite post long run reward?