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

The Inaugral Great Aberdeen Run 10k – 3rd Female

This was always going to be a fun run for me. I knew a lot of people doing it, and after how successful the Tour Series was in Aberdeen, I was hoping for a similar atmosphere; people you recognise everywhere, lots of positive people cheering, beers flowing and the sun shining! To be honest, part of me thought it was a given that I would get a PB. My training has been better than ever and my current time is when I had to stop and walk for a few seconds, as a glute injury had flared up. So I was more excited than nervous; guaranteed PB, lots of friends around…well that didn’t go exactly to plan!


 

So one of my great friends, Robbie Renwick, was actually asked to start both the Half Marathon and the 10k. We had been having banter in the weeks leading up to the event as he was also partaking in the 10k (loser buys the beers etc etc).

I was looking forward to seeing him because each time I’ve met him since Rio (he lives in Stirling now so it’s not that often) he has promised to bring his silver medal but always forgot it! Well THIS time he HAD to bring it, so I was sure to act like he was a major celeb and take a pic with it.

21397405_10159334270485644_1625819965_n

(me and Rabster)

He and his lovely girflfriend Jodie and I had breakfast together after the race and I forgot how hard swimmers find running (I guess I have got used to it over the years – or have I?) so they were pretty happy to get just under the hour!


 

Kenny (men’s overall winner in the 10k) and Espie (men’s 2nd place in the 10k – and previous blog post about him!) had a sleepover at our house the night before which was so much fun! I attempted to cook and we caught up while playing video games. #ladsladslads #crispylasagne

In the morning, we forced Espie to drive so that Kyle and I could have beer at the end

*note: remember Kenny and Espie got a gold and silver but never drank…Kyle and I both got bronze and chose to drink. Who are the sensible ones here???*

21397702_10159334270470644_704517357_n

(“I’m running to beat Kenny & Espie”)

We arrived and got a space about a km from Union St. We didn’t have too much time to WU but I followed Kenny along the route to the 1st km and back and then it was a quick strip and to the starting pen. That is when I saw SO many people I hadn’t seen in ages, so lots of hugs and kisses later, we were 3 minutes to the start and the blind runners were off.

In hindsight it was probably a little worrying that I wasn’t nervous. I more felt like I was going for a hard run with friends. When the gun went off, immediately some douchebag with massive headphones, sporting a baseball cap and about 30 extra kilograms than his “rivals” in our starting area who had found himself RIGHT at the front, started off at a 10 minute mile pace. I was angry but shouted something trying to be funny and a couple people around me laughed, so that put me in a better mood (since it is a rare occasion when someone laughs at my jokes).

21397481_10159334270725644_773656343_n

(Where’s Wally?)

Back to the race, Kenny shot off like a rocket. He was so far in front even after 40 seconds, that I felt like I didn’t have my legs today. But then I realised I was next to Fiona and Nic, so that couldn’t have been a bad thing? Down the short steep hill after about a minute of running, Fi shot down superfast (but how? She weighs nothing!? Surely fatties like me should be overtaking everyone at this point?!). I have NEVER been a good descender so sprinting to try and not lose her was mistake number 1 (of many!).

I carried that momentum to about 2km and found myself leading (idiot.). But I felt really good, I promise!

21442855_10159334270715644_2084544804_n

3km came and we were on the beachfront. It was the 3 of us girls and a couple guys; one of whom was very keen to chat about the weather. I couldn’t string more than a few words together so ignored him, but managed a laugh when we started to pass the blind runners who were chatting about the McGregor/Mayweather fight that had happened that night!

Then suddenly, just after the 4km mark, Fiona went off and I had NOTHING. But I didn’t just lack the surge speed. Suddenly I lacked any speed at all. I’ve gone out and died in races before but this felt different. Every step was a struggle, even on the downhills and the second half contained underpasses and short sharp hills so I just admitted defeat.

I tried to find a rhythm and not let any girl pass me (there were plenty guys!). Shout out to Stuart Milne who passed me at the Mounthooly underpass and shouted at me to stay with him, and I couldn’t even grunt back at him! Sorry, Stu!

21442089_10159334270730644_1139003985_n

(I’m in a very bad place here!)

There was a car wash style shower on the road with just over a mile to go, so I went in that just to wake me up (I was actually sleepy at this point?) but that was a STUPID mistake because for photos afterwards that combined with sweat made me look like a drowned rat compared to the two goddesses who beat me.

Anyway, it woke me up a little and I was able to muster together some faster cadence in the final 800m or so when the crowds started to appear. They were cheering so loud it was awesome!

21397049_10159334270705644_456590629_n

(Nicola, Fiona & me…the clock still reads 39 behind us so not much time to chill!)

Happy to come in 3rd but unhappy with a personal WORST (apart from Lumphanan a couple years ago and also the Balmoral 10k that I did straight after the 5km race and after maybe 4 or 5 proseccos in the corporate tent that was downed in between. For those who don’t know, I ended up in A&E that night after falling down my stairs…so I don’t count either of those races!)

One downside to the 10k – other than that it should have been done in REVERSE – was the presentation. They told us it would be at 10.50 (the race started at 10). The average finisher of a 10k, when around 5000 people are doing it, is probably just over the hour. So Union Terrace Gardens was dead!

21397377_10159334270630644_875584612_n

(What I meant when I said it should have been in reverse! Photo courtesy of Kenny and his splits…definitely not mine!)

Also, Nicola’s Mum was running in the 10k with a goal of breaking the hour (which is a huge achievement!) and so not only did her mum miss seeing her daughter get her medal, Nicola couldn’t watch her mum over that finish line.

Furthermore, there were no signs (that I saw anyway) saying where and when the ceremony was, so the guys doing the half mara that would have had plenty time between watching and warming up to race, had no idea and so Kyle and Tom (Fi’s husband) missed us too!

The half ceremony was done a good time after the better guys were done. They also had a brutal course AND the sun really came out for the them, so they were all pretty tired by the end!

21439302_10159334270565644_1981715753_o

21397039_10159334270620644_796827157_n

(Go Metro! Ginie came in 5th but has been off with a stress fracture for ages – great to see her back!)

It was amazing catching up with people and seeing friends every street you turned onto, but this meant that we were all getting pretty HANGRY at this point as we were constantly stopping to chat! We ended up going to Spin, a burger/record place, and got peanut butter burgers and chilli cheese dogs, before doing a mini pub crawl and heading home.

21439322_10159334270710644_1944120125_o

(Check the special boy still wearing his medal!)

It was a lovely day, but on a serious note there is a lot of work to do if I want a decent 10k time soon!

As if I wasn’t busy enough… The Dam and Landan!

…I got the opportunity to head to Amsterdam to visit one of Subsea 7’s pipelay vessels during one of its scheduled dry docks.

When I was a graduate I actually went offshore on a diving vessel, but it was puny in comparison to the Seven Oceans!

20916052_10159234871295644_1730123167_n20773258_10159206383005644_628895386_o

Training took a back seat but I managed a 10.30pm treadmill run after a day of touring the boat, and a selfie with my colleague/foodie expert Andy to tease Kyle! at the Canal Lover’s Cruise…!

20916913_10159235024205644_823452631_n

(how romantic)

20938029_10159234871245644_732410466_n20937711_10159234871160644_377618496_n

The day after I got back, it was time to head to London to visit Kyle’s cousin, give the flower girl Queen her dress to try on and watch the Athletics! I.e. Bolt’s last ever race in the 4×100 relay (I think we know how that went….!) and Mo’s last (official) track race (I believe he is doing a couple more local races).

20916901_10212172261794318_824509257_n20891411_10212172254114126_949031083_n20891525_10212172262914346_382777221_n20915864_10212172257314206_1028733839_n20937816_10212172257714216_2131956886_n20938060_10212172258514236_48763365_n

I wish Bolt got up “Cool Runnings” style and hobbled to the finish, getting the relay the slowest time in history but then again I have never had hamstring cramp and I imagine it is pretty painful!

And what are the odds/how cool is it that we ended up sitting directly in front of one of Kyle’s Scottish team managers and his wife?! Malcolm is super knowledgeable on the sport so was interesting to hear his insights!

The weather was perfect and we managed to run in the morning, have a lovely brunch both days, shopping, then prosecco on the Thames until we headed to the stadium…my idea of heaven!!

20938643_10159235045105644_1491910279_n

(cousin Vicky)

20839536_10159235044780644_1279317190_n

(my fiance is so macho)

20891237_10159235044825644_2102902415_n

(brunch with the gang!)

 

20915768_10159235044520644_642403649_n20915873_10159235044685644_1458985893_n

(we act like a couple sometimes!)

20938942_10159235044455644_690638301_n

20891376_10159235044435644_1686960492_n

(“you kiss like you’re related!”)

20915957_10159235044395644_737866340_n20915725_10159235044580644_875231983_n20915868_10159235044320644_347467396_n20885187_10159235044195644_98586303_n20891507_10159235044280644_1352213579_n

20937829_10159235044065644_1153333664_n

(the perfect way to end a run)

20937661_10159235043925644_1528504571_n

(they NEED to have these sippy cups for grown ups…no-spill wine!)

20885107_10159235043675644_8272009_n20916807_10159235043960644_2085469060_n

20915694_10159235043710644_438434615_n

(cheers, Belle!)

 

20915731_10159235044060644_908416956_n20916896_10159235045315644_602393948_n

(And to finish…the “Horniman”…sorry, Mum)

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 

 

 

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.

10651933364_b889dd3a9c_b.jpg

(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!

18902715_10158804240040644_2053528302_n

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!

18871471_10158804225940644_440423664_n

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 🙂

Logo_color_TSF+CMP_completo

 

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?!) 😉

One injured but one gets a GB vest!

Yep. Stiiiiiiiill injured.

17741023_10158474831355644_703747785_n

(Punk IPA and Radical Road are good ways of dealing with injury…)

Remember that time I gave advice on how to cope with injury? Yeah do as I say don’t do as I do (I have added a couple kgs from comfort eating (“ahhh my world is ending. i will never run again. oh look, chocolate”))

BUT my best friends are now my ice pack and hot water bottle, I have channeled my spare time to more biking and wedding planning, AND I have forced Kyle on the bike with me and can even smash him pip him to the top by a couple secs now!

It sucks that the weather has been glorious (for Aberdeen) and I can’t get out at lunchtimes, BUT lighter nights mean some cycling/walking outside so that keeps my vitamin D up a little.

17693210_10158474830340644_289491170_o

(my handsome fiance/walking buddy)

I have taken out these frustration on some nearby hills! Last weekend, I did some Suie hill reps after our first meeting with our humanist (realised we needed one of those otherwise it is just a big party!), then the following day redeemed myself by cycling the entire way up the Lecht rather than stopping on the first part after my granny gear failed on me last time!

 

When I checked strava, I saw Noodles had beaten me up by 5 secs and I was GUTTED!

hrthu

(he blamed using a TT bike…clearly using every excuse in the book #chicked)

Other fun news was that Speedhub sent me an aero suit to try (tri?)…!!

17578010_10158474830370644_1551574159_n

(“Kyle this is so cool – take a pic take a pic!” “Shouldn’t you sort your hair and put makeup on 1st? You don’t want them to drop you already…” …should have maybe listened to him for once! 😉 and yes my leg is taped there too)

So I’ve not ran at all and Healing Hands Helen (she fixed me after the accident) has banned me for a while, but I really hope I can come back soon! I hate to love people running so amazingly well at the moment and I can’t join in the fun!

In other news, I found an action shot from Mum’s 1st 5km!

17690091_10158474830375644_1837574447_n.jpg

(she’s in the zone!)

And I also found a pic from our Christmas dance

dance.PNG

(I am a lion)

Another random finding was Kyle finding this on Facebook:

17690278_10158475385550644_1060829555_n.png

(oh dear to having ZERO transition skills a year ago! JK that was our first date – looking forward to our rematch! #novice)

My sister loved her bday present

17690370_10158474831315644_1704646093_n.jpg

(she is now a mermaid)

Her birthday is 2 days after mine, so I guess it’s a bit like Christmas with the giving and receiving of gifts for us!

For my birthday KB and I went to Aviemore! It was beautiful and we had the best time!

ytyurt.PNG

(oh yes Kyle now has Instagram – add him!!)

Why was it so amazing you ask?

BECAUSE WE WERE ALSO CELEBRATING KYLE MAKING THE GB TEAM FOR THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS!!!!!!!

thjg.PNG

(read all about it here!)

For those of you who don’t know, his Haworth Hobble really paid off!! I couldn’t have been more proud! It is his lifetime goal to make a legit Great Britain team and wear a GB vest to compete on a world level! I KNEW the ultra distance would suit him!

So he is off to Italy in June 😀 I’ll force him ask him nicely to do a post about his training and any team updates!

Deb Tris to get rid of injury – top 10 tips!

Being injured sucks! I really shouldn’t have raced Fraserburgh Half Marathon, but I couldn’t eat ALL that cake after watching Kyle without burning some of it off, right?

Wrong.

No running since, apart from 1xmile last Friday evening. It took me 9min46secs 🙂

BUT I had a glimmer of hope when I was able to commute from the pool to work yesterday morning! 1.5miles of pain free “running” – and by pain free I mean a 3/10. So yeah, still not going to get back into it just yet.

Anyway, here are some tips from me on how to stay sane maintain fitness during injury:

  1. Make the most of the poor weather and dark nights and actually chill out for a change! You WILL get better, but your body needs to REST! That’s how you got yourself into this mess in the first place!
  2. Watch those movies, make those lovely meals (rather than resorting to standard staples like chicken pasta like one couple I know…), get up to date with housework OR just lie down and relax!
  3. With the extra time, I have been youtubing pilates and “yoga for runners” videos! It has actually worked a treat! I’ll have my pjs on and get in a good 20 minute stretch before bed! Then I wake up feeling less creaky than the day before, which makes me think my injury is getting better 🙂
  4. I have been making the most of my work’s gym. They have a stair climber, bike and a crosstrainer. On days where I would normally do a hard run session, I try to mimic it as best I can on the crosstrainer ie lower level to keep up the cadence and not using the arm part. Looking at the side-on mirror, I don’t get as much movement, but it’s the best I’m going to get (on this girl’s budget, anyway!). For example, if I were to do 8x800s with 2mins recovery, I would do 8x3mins with 1min recovery on the crosstraining bad boy – I feel like you don’t need as  much recovery with zero impact activity compared with running, and round numbers make it easier for this bozo to count while maxing out!
  5. As a triathlete, I should probably be focussing on the other 3 elements (including transitions on this one, as this is my weakest discipline!), however, I am actually enjoying a “different” sport with the stairs/crosstrainer and it is the off season after all. So I think I will keep it up for my mental health – adding in a new activity is refreshing and keeps me motivated!
  6. I should probably tell you I am doing more strength work now since I have more time without running, but I’m not going to lie. I hate it. I have begged Kyle to do it with me, but he also hates it. I might incorporate a little routine before bed and switch it up with the yoga in number 3 up there, but no promises!
  7. Mix up the weekends! I didn’t have to do a 10 mile run after a 3 hour bike last weekend! I just stopped at the 3 hour bike! Granted, it totally sucked because it was on the turbo (all hail Sluggie’s Turbo Champs!) but it is SO icy outside (AND dark because I didn’t get round to it until 3pm on Sunday…procrastination at its best!).
  8. Rediscover that motivation. We can’t lie to ourselves – not running when fellow competitors/rivals/teammates are getting faster. We are happy for them (grudgingly sometimes!) that they are improving BUT we, as injured runners, feel like we are gong backwards! Well, just remember that you WANT to be running MORE than them. They’re already out there putting in the mileage, being tired all the time, suffering that DOMS, complaining of having to run in wind/hail/snow/ice/sleet. Just pretend they are miserable, m’kay? That means you have a tougher mentality than them. When you can run again, you will be putting in a lot more effort than them, because you want it more!
  9. Buy some new running clothes/shoes for when you do get back! It’ll make the “OMG I am SO unfit” feeling a lot more durable if you look good while dying!
  10. Enjoy the process! After every run, rather than have the negative “how did I get to be so unfit so quickly” mentality, turn it around to instead think “I will never be this unfit again.” Each session following the last will be better, faster and stronger!

If you have any other tips, please let me know! I am by no means an expert (or I wouldn’t get injured in the 1st place!). Hopefully none of you are suffering from injury (apart from Callum. You enjoy my crutches, buddy 😉 …) and will smash cross country season.

Speaking of Callum, here is what I sent him to MTFU after his fall:

 

sfffssdferfsdfsasdffs

 

 

 

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?