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

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

http://www.scottishathletics.org.uk/world-trail-champs-review/


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!

hfgh

(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).

fgfg

(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…

DB5jVmAXYAIQ4NY

(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!

gfhfghf

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

DB41OGoW0AAl6ak

(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!

19023476_1292927930833388_2017475529674748801_o

(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.

DB8xH9fXcAAlGW2

 

 

 

 

 

 

(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!

19113919_10211542381847713_5190670740558546630_n

(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.

18952915_10211542382167721_2552357569746755454_n

(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.

DB8MpvFXsAANd-j

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

kyle1

(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!!

hfhfgh

(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 

 

 

London Mara, and 2 weddings in 2 days in 2 countries!

Well I knew April and May were going to be mental months but holy moly it was brutal busy!

This will mainly be a photo dump post as there is too much to write I’d be here all night!

I think the last time we spoke I was just heading to London to watch Metro DOMINATE!

Screenshot_2017-04-21-19-25-26

(about to board our plane to visit cuz!)

Major kudos to Fiona, Hazel and Jennifer who WON the BRITISH team title!! I believe (?) they were the only team where all three broke, sorry smashed, 3 hours, which is a HUGE achievement!! It made me so desperate to do a marathon again!

Well, after Haworth, Kyle kinda kid himself on that he was good for a PB in London – he needed recovery time after qualifying for worlds, which didn’t give him enough time to get marathon prepped. He hit 14 miles and died a little, so instead took in the crowds and just had fun with the rest of the run! When we saw him at Embankment, I was worried he was going to be in a hole but he was just jogging and joking around with the crowds…and he STILL went sub 2.30 – he is mental!!

The day before the marathon, we had to go to the expo to pic up his bib, so I looked for the nearest parkrun so that I could get a run in! Off to Beckton we went (the friendliest one I have ever done!). It was mainly on grass so I was happy with an 18.34 and course record that day! I didn’t have time for a warmup as we got lost coming off the train, so I got a bit carried away in the first mile and died, but enjoyed posing for the camera as usual!

DSC_0360

Oo oo AND at the expo, one of the stands was a challenge to run 400m at the marathon world record pace, to win a baseball cap! Well, I totes don’t turn down that sort of opportunity, so off I went on the best treadmill EVER and won my baseball cap! Get me to do that another 103 times or whatever it is, however, is another story!

DSC_0366

No pics of Kyle’s race (just this 1st one of him of him pretty soon afterwards), but plenty afterwards at Covent Garden with his cuz!

FB_IMG_1494341613512

FB_IMG_1494341493594FB_IMG_1494341483984FB_IMG_1494341480584FB_IMG_1494341500665

It was an amazing weekend, but unfortunately I caught a virus afterwards and was floored for a solid week! I couldn’t get out of bed and everything was an effort, so I was so annoyed as I was actually getting somewhere with training again, swimming in particular when breaking 5minutes multiple times in a 400m set one evening before London….oh well back to the drawing board I went!

20170425_140147

(when boredom/illness strikes…put on a face mask)

The following week, we had TWO weddings in TWO consecutive days in TWO different countries!! Kyle’s uni friend Steven was getting married to his now husband Stuart at a film theatre – and afterwards a brewery – on the Saturday, then we flew to Ireland the following day for my uni friend Ashley’s dream wedding near Belfast! The stress and lack of sleep was TOTALLY worth it though!! Both were unbelievable in their own way and we are so thankful you let us share your day with you!

FB_IMG_1494341523559FB_IMG_1494341518624

(wedding 1)

DSC_0377

(weirdly, the only pic I found of wedding 2…the donkey isn’t the bride, we just escaped for fresh air and explored the estate!)

Then we were on to Quigley’s Point to visit my Dad’s new house and give him his wedding invite in person. We got a tour around where he lived and it is such a stunning place!! We will definitely have to find some races out there, Kylie Boy!

20170501_11344920170501_114508FB_IMG_1494341504419FB_IMG_1494341507702

20170502_13422820170502_14034520170502_174417

20170504_12444820170503_130122

And fast forward to now, where I am in Day 4 of my new job! The work looks exciting and challenging, and the people are all really friendly, however, trying to find new lunchtime routes has been a struggle (why isn’t WestHILL flat?!) 😉

Kyle’s 1st ultra

Hi people! You may have seen Facebook, but in case you didn’t, Kyle just phenomenally conquered his 1st ultra marathon, which was also the World Championship qualifier in Haworth this weekend! This is his recap:


So …around January after Googling what races to focus on this year, I decided that I would give the trial race for the IAU World Trail Running Championships a bash. The “Haworth Hobble”, as I found out afterwards is appropriately named, consists of 32 (or 32.5 for me) miles in distance with 4500 feet(!) of elevation. There was something that excited me about the prospect of doing an ‘ultra’ distance and the training that comes with it. With my background initially in mountain running (interesting fact: I went to the World Mountain Running Champs in Alaska many moons ago), then trail running (I guess I can call myself current national champ in that field) and current form in marathoning (coming 28th non-elite at London in my first marathon, and 3rd at Loch Ness), I think ultras could be something I could excel in!

So I went straight to my coach, Lewis Walker, for the go ahead. He was excited by the idea and threw me into long steady runs of marathon+ distances (including 2 x 50k runs in the hills), and regular 90-100 mile/weeks. I also tried saunas (research has shown 2x30mins per week in the sauna produces similar results to altitude training…and I’m pretty sure I didn’t make that up!), tested out solid food on my long runs (and hated it), and even threw in some faster intervals for good measure…I even experienced a catastrophic gargantuan “bonk” on a 20 miler so, all in all, I couldn’t feel anymore prepped for the race…!

tyurty

Although everything was going swimmingly well until then, the Mooreigs tend to love a bit of pre-race drama, so this was the spectacle this time:

Basically, when we were skiing in France, I discovered my left foot had changed shape drastically one day (i.e. I could get my ski boot on in the morning, then after lunch I was nowhere near getting in there, and had to go back to the hire place to get a new pair). Since then, I have struggled even in running shoes, and I have been running without soles in training.

I thought it would be a bright idea (it wasn’t) to order a different pair of Inov8’s the week of the race, that I’ve never tried before,  but – shock, horror – when they arrived they didn’t fit my newly oddly shaped foot, despite the reviews saying they had a wider toe box than my other shoes.

Kyle’s solution…cut a hole in my old shoes so my bunion could poke out!

I’ll spare you the pic of the said bunion or whatever it may be…!

Next act on the playbill was the day before the race: travel day. I don’t know what I would have done without Debs, as I was vomiting all the way down the road…regularly puking up my beetroot juice on the motorway laybys. Classy guy. By the way, I was trying the whole “beetroot juice loading” last week, which again research has shown to be effective in endurance athletes. I don’t think that was the root (gettit?) cause of my sickness, it just meant I puked a nice shade of pink. Deb was off work last week with a virus, and maybe I just caught some of it? So it was her own fault she had to drive the ENTIRE way from Alford to Yorkshire #SUPERFIANCE!

She forced me to drink all evening when we got to the hotel, and a fresh air walk/recce of the final km of the race definitely helped. As did the deep fried ale pickles she ordered with her fish n chips. I was of course the better athlete and opted for carbonara and a large Cadbury’s easter egg 🙂

The morning of the race arrived and I couldn’t have been more pumped now that I felt a little better…!

I registered and arrived at the start line (there was no line) at 7.30am. The conditions were perfect for a long race…vest, shorts and Callum’s ultra bag it was! Oh, along with Callum’s Phoenix watch where I he uploaded the race course = LIFESAVER!

17238642_10158389924800644_1719117054_n17270285_10158389924550644_1710078891_n

The race was slightly delayed due to the number of participants (and because we were in Yorkshire, so really laid back vibe…no one even seemed nervous!) but without warning the organiser just appeared and shouted “READY…GO!”

The first 4 miles were very steady and easy – something I wasn’t used to in any race I have ever run, but I loved how relaxed it was. For these miles, I just tucked in behind the leading pack and tried to conserve as much energy as possible.

After around 6 miles, we approached the first hill and managed to fall over and hit my knee – although it was slightly cut, I couldn’t really feel it until later on in the day. That wasn’t to be my last fall…

Around the 12 mile point, Christopher Hudworth pulled away with Tom Payn (a 2.17 marathon runner and GB trail runner) and had managed to gain a 30 second lead on me by the 14 mile mark. The other group I was with were content to stay in the group so I decided to chase down Tom and run with him for a few miles. The biggest issue was that the entire course was unmarked so we really had to have our wits around us. A couple of times we went off course and had to wait until the chasing group caught up with us to find the right way – disaster!

ohh

The greatest error was around mile 20 when we (Tom, Matt and Gary) took the wrong turn heading down towards Stoodley Pike and ended up doing probably 4/5 minutes longer than we should have done. We did manage to find out way back on course but had another pack to chase down. This was the moment Debbie found me while out on her bike and although she was really nice and asking if I needed anything, all I could shout at her was “GELLLLLL. NOW.”

I also demanded a flapjack, but at this point she was too far in front and I never realised we had to head back on trails so I missed her.

Continuing on that trail to the top, I had very little confidence left in my navigation and ran alongside the legendary Ian Holmes for a few miles and with local knowledge he kept me on the straight and narrow for the last few miles.

jj

The last few miles, I started to struggle and I was told I was now in 2nd place – at this point I ran out of gels and tried to eat a sausage roll and doughnut. Note to self – make sure you don’t have a dry mouth with no water when eating them as you will find you’re playing a game of chubby bunny*.

I then hit a bit of a wall at 28 miles and Tom zoomed passed me and then a mile later, Gareth and Matt caught up with me and went past me. I then started seeing flashing black lights…uh oh!

However, I was soon offered some orange juice from a passerby and that perked me up a bit to make a stab at catching Matt and Gareth who were, by mile 30, around 30 seconds behind me in 3rd and 4th place. I saw in the distance, that leading runner Chris was soon overtaken by Tom which surprised me as Chris was 4 minutes in the lead at halfway.

By mile 31, I closed gap to Matt and Gareth and then I went passed Chris to now be on 4th place. It was now all downhill and a fight for 2nd, 3rd and 4th place…

The final 400 metres of was down a narrow path and through narrow lanes…it was like a scene from the Wacky Races…never did I imagine I would be doing a sprint finish in an ULTRA marathon!

I headed into the final 100metres but took the wrong turn whilst 3rd and 4th followed me…they turned and I was now in 4th place but couldn’t overtake due to the narrow paths! All in all…it resulted in 2nd, 3rd and 4th being TWO SECONDS apart! I was pleased but gutted not to make the top 3.

After I collapsed at the finish line, much like when I was “forced” to do Debbie’s half ironman after her accident, being force fed donuts and Lucozade certainly helped, but I was a broken man! I met with a GB selector at the end who was really impressed by my performance, but as he was only 1 of 4 selectors and a budget for the World Champs in Italy hadn’t been set yet, he couldn’t tell me anything. All I can do is keep everything crossed (although not physically because my muscles are still too sore!) that they put me on the team!

17274660_10158389924700644_758108484_n

(How I look after 3h55mins, 32.5miles and 4.5k ft elevation. Still want to marry me, Debs?)

Ok, so what I’ve discovered:

Do:

  • Drink lots and lots of water in the days prior to the race (especially if being sick the day before…)
  • Try out beetroot juice the week before your big distance event
  • Read race reports for the race – it could might save you from going the wrong way or not getting that time you were looking for
  • Praise your support crew as much as possible afterwards – I wouldn’t have made it to the start line without the better half!

Don’t

  • Obsess over food the week before. I think naturally with less training, eating the same is technically carb loading
  • Leave it last minute to pack. I never learn and always turn into a stress head (Debbie moreso at me)!
  • Borrow Callum’s watch (that was not the con…that part was a life saver!) without finding out how to use it. At 10pm on Friday night, Google and Youtube were my best friends!
  • Buy shoes the week of the race
  • Leave it to a sprint finish at the end of an ultra 😉

17270526_10158389924490644_1493357138_n17310476_10158389925380644_2043633757_o

utyut

 

*Deb edit: chubby bunny is a hilarious game involving marshmallows. If you haven’t played it, buy a bag of marshmallows and do it. Tonight.


In other news, Mum did phenomenally well in the 5km at Inverness the following day!! (Yes I did a helluva lot of travelling this weekend…) She was aiming to beat her race number (3448) and crossed the line in 33.56 by my Garmin! So proud of how far she’s coming!

…and yes she beat Kyle’s mum! She’s also been ill the last few weeks and had told us she wasn’t going to do it, then she surprised me at the start line!! Amazing efforts all round!

17274440_10158389925125644_945697686_n

17310500_10158389925405644_914829398_o17264173_10155187251603478_4449050588887670186_n

I was gutted I couldn’t run (virus + calf niggle = sensible Debbie for once, plus I was sore from chasing Kyle around Yorkshire on a bunch of 20% climbs!!) but everyone did so well – cannot wait to get back running and try to catch up! 🙂

Another Interview with the K-Meister, in his quest to conquer his 1st marathon in London on 24th April

Since it’s less than 7 weeks until London (that means less than 7 weeks until we go to THAILAND!), I thought I would interview Kylie Babez again with how he is progressing (you can see his 1st interview on the blog here!).

Please all pray that he remains injury free and rocks it in London, along with the billion other people I know doing it!

ALSO, PLEEEEEEEASE wish for Freyja (you’ll find her interview here!) to do amazingly at the Olympics test event in in Rio this week…she landed there last night and I have a good feeling about her booking another flight there this year..!


 

Ok, back to KB:

 

Picture1.png

(“I’m as good as Chuck right now!” – Kyle Greig, March 2016)

1. What are your main goals this year?

Main goals this year are to:

– Make the start line of London Marathon with my shoes, shorts, vest and race number all present

– Complete said Marathon

– Get a sub 2.30 mark

– After that I intend to get PBs in both 10k and half marathons

– I also want to race in the hills with the intention of winning the Scottish Champs if the marathon hasn’t taken too much out of me!
2. What has your training be like?
In the run up to London it will be long, varied and hard (get your minds out the gutter, folks)!

Just now, I’m cranking up the mileage to an average of 95 miles per week and reducing the faster sessions to twice per week to give time to recover. To do this, I’m having to continue running double days but slightly longer than pre-marathon training. Doing more stretching, foam rolling and, err, eating is aiding recovery!

The session I’m most proud of so far in this marathon training was last Saturday, where I did over 21 miles, made up of a 10 mile tempo, followed by 10 x 1 mile repeats, with 60s recovery. My average pace for the run (including rest) was 5.44/mile, so that was a huge confidence booster for London!

 

3. Do you have a go to pre-race meal?
Lots of carbs – pizza and/or pasta always a winner
12047420_10156628339200644_787842761_n.jpg

(This may or may not have been all for me last night…)

 

4. Any race superstitions?
Back in the day, I never used to have a shower the morning of or the night before the race but I got a few funny screwed up looks on the start line. Other than that, I don’t think I do. I don’t fake tan or anything, like Debbie does…

 

5. Do you do anything outwith actual running to supplement your training?
I like to cycle outdoors in the Alford countryside when I can – especially with big hills to burn up, and boy o boy, there are plenty in this neck of the woods! If I’m injured, I will hit the road bike to keep aerobic fitness up and I’ll use the bike for additional volume for mara training or a nice recovery ride ….followed by a beer if available.

12822252_10156628339360644_1031754073_n.jpg

(A Sunday post-cycle beer)

6. What is your favourite running brand?

Inov8 – their logo is pretty slick and comes from a mountain running background, which is my favourite running discipline. I also respect their shoes, which strip away most of the unwanted ‘junk’ you get in a lot of shoes these days such as cushions, posts and fancy springs! Check what the fast guys wore in the 80’s and you might see where I’m coming from!

7. Favourite race location? Favourite training location?

Race location – Anchorage in Alaska

Training location – it’s gotta be Chamonix in France. This place is a trail runners’ paradise – it even has a Trail runners’ information hut, which is staffed to provide info on the routes, sessions and races around the area. I went with Barney a couple of years back the week before the Ultra Trail of Mont Blanc – looks amazing and something I would love to do when I grow up (which may never happen).

12642690_10207241705773499_1852584759488608824_n.jpg

(trail runner paradise!)

8. What race is on your bucket list?

Comrades marathon I reckon is up there

 

9. If you were to give someone new to running 3 tips what would they be?

– Train consistently 

– Vary your workout

– Set achievable yet challenging goals

 

10. Who do you look up to and what inspires you?

Ethiopian star Haile Gebreselassie – a modest man yet has achieved almost everything distance running has to offer. His positivity towards life and training is something we should all aspire to. I tried not to look like too much of a stalker when we were elites together at the Great Scottish Run!

Picture2.jpg

(Nope, not stalking him at all…)

Debbie, ahem, should also be up there – she got hit by a car resulting in a smashed up knee and permanent lung damage, yet still managed to achieve her goal in an Ironman by achieving qualification to the World Ironman Champs, and now being part of the relay development squad for Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. She works brutally hard, trains for 6 hours in a garage and gets up at 4am to go swimming “for bants”, as she puts it.

 

11. What do you hope to achieve in your running career?

– Sub 2.20 marathon
– 65 min half marathon
–  Sub 30 min 10k
–  More Scotland selection in various running disciplines

 

12. How do you balance training around life?

Even though I can be a scatter brain and forget quite a lot, I strive to be disciplined and make time for everything. To do this I get up early – around half 5 during the week to commute to work, train and then start the working day. I then have time to squeeze in a lunch run or do one after work. I should still have time to be social or relax/do chores/make dinner in the evening…

(Edit by Deb: note he said “should still have time”, yet never does…!)

 

13. Does it help or hinder the fact your burd is an athlete too (eg does training get in the way of coupley things, or do you support each other)?
Not a huge hindrance! It’s quite nice having the house to myself when she goes for long rides or swimming, but I tend to do some sessions with her even though the goals are somewhat different, so it all works out. We push each other and give tips when we are struggling or in need of advice, which means I have a free psychologist/masseuse on hand whenever I want!

 

14. What’s your favourite food and drink?
Food – Lindt chocolate
Drink – Martini Asti


15. Is Debzie Babez your dream girl?

Since Dibaba is never going to know me, she will have to do…

genezbe-dibaba.jpg

(if only)

1 month blog anniversary!

Hope you all had a boo-tiful Halloween! See what I did there?

halloween-candy-ecards-someecards

Sooooo many sweets! Our work held a bake sale for charity (and raised >£1,000!) and THIS was the spread:

IMG_0411_jpg

(£5 for the most accurate calorie count of all these cakes)

You just put in a donation and filled up your plate with whatever you wanted:

10751649_10154804993130644_2037015660_n

(this was taken AFTER I already demolished 2xcookies, a flapjack and a viennese whirl with my Starbucks…)

They even held a silent auction for these bad boys:

IMG_0410_jpg

(these cakes would be wasted on me. i just care if they taste nice)

Hopefully I will train lots over the weekend to make up for this (note: i know athletes don’t exercise to burn off food, and instead eat for performance, but we’ll make this an exception, m’kay?)!

PLUS I’m sure I was told Halloween, Birthdays and Christmas were the 3 days out of the year when food contains zero calories, right??

Tonight we will be continuing Halloween celebrations by attending Wendy’s annual Halloween bash (I am actually terrified because she always goes all out with her parties!), so lots of pics to follow!!

On a separate note, HAPPY 1 MONTH ANNIVERSARY TO ME!!!!!!! My blog has been going a month now, and apparently I have had nearly 1,200 DIFFERENT visitors from across the globe and just under 3 THOUSAND views! Yay! And they weren’t all me! 🙂

Hopefully if you readers keep telling your friends/bigging me up, and the papers keep writing awesome articles like this one, I will be taking over the world in no time!! Seriously, tell your friends.

And since this is a SPORTING blog, can we please talk about Rita Jeptoo testing positive for a banned substance?? Although I found her technique very strange, I always admired how consistent she seemed to be, rocking marathon after marathon. It’s sad to see that this is still going on in sport 😦


Questions for you:

Are you milking Halloween weekend? 

Any Halloween themed races you are doing?