Saturday, 12 September 2015

10 years of running... That's a lot of miles

This event was a special one for me as it will not only be the last one for me for a while, it also marks 10 years of running for me. Rather fittingly it was also the Lakeland Trails 10 year anniversary.

Thanks to various injuries I have decided to not to sign up to any more runs for a while (we'll see how long that lasts!). Anyhow, as it is 10 years to the month, I felt that this would a great opportunity for a wee race report/reminiscence on my running 'career' (haha!!) so far. 

I have come to proper trail races quite late on, but was lucky enough to come across Lakeland trails shortly after my folks bought  wee holiday house down that way a few years ago. The first one I signed up to was the Coniston half marathon which was hands down the best event I've done (having a lovely sunny day for it helped greatly!). Nothing helps the miles go by than stunning scenery.

The Derwent Water (or Keswick 10/15km) trail challenge was indeed that - a challenge. It  starts off rather tame - running along an old railway line out of Keswick. However, it soon takes a turn into the hill and then its all uphill...for what seems like a long way but is apparently only around 5km. But not only is it uphill but uphill through very boggy land - almost lost my right trainer at one point!

The course sort of skirts round one of the hills and you can see Skiddaw (3rd highest peak in England, in the distance. You can see all the dots of the runners ahead of you. Due to the narrow tracks we are pretty much going in single file in parts!

The views are the best thing about this run - you really don't notice the mile passing by (though the blister developing on my arch was noticing for me). My only little disappointment was that there was only one water station which was about 4km from the end of the race. If I had known this was going to be the case I would have brought my own water. To be fair because of the remoteness of the course it would have been difficult situating it anywhere! 

There was a pro photographer taking photos for this event. Now my run photos never come out well - I always look like I'm walking rather than running and I was hoping this time it I would get one that looked like I was zooming along. No such luck - the photographer had placed himself in a section of very rocky track so you had to really watch where you put your feet. However, the pic actually came out ok..ish..I certainly look like I'm concentrating!

I was thankful when I came to the downhill bit, though by this time my mud-covered laces kept coming undone so I lost time having to keep re-tieing them. (on a side-note, I discovered recently that I have been tying my shoes wrong ALL MY LIFE...I blame whoever taught me...).

Stunning view of Derwent water as you descend. 

My one other disappointment was that as I came speeding to the finish line expecting the MC to be calling out my name and number (while being in awe of my extreme speed) I arrived to noone, even my mum didn't manage to get her phone out to take a finishing photo! Apparently the power had gone off so my grand finish went unrecoreded :( though, someone did shout "I love your hair!" so thank you, random person!

So looking back over 10 years of running I have done 1 marathon, 7 half marathons, 2 10kms, a 15km and 2 Tough Mudders (I would have liked to do one more marathon but I just don't think I can be bothered with the training. 
And this is what that looks like in bling (note, I didn't receive a t-shirt for my marathon due to the bad organisation of the finish area, which is still a sore point for me!) 

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Day 20: Did a fractured elbow, cold and headache stop me doing Tough Mudder - Hell No!!

I know I have totally failed for this year's Juneathon but I felt I had to do a blog for this. I reckon managing a 12 mile mud-soaked obstacle course with a fractured elbow and a thumping headache makes up for all the missed days where I totally slacked.

I was told by the nurse at the minor injuries clinic that I would not be doing Tough Mudder...and already by then a little bit of my brain was holding onto hope. The thought of just spectating at the event was just too depressing as was the though that I wouldn't get my special 2-tough mudder headband!. 3 weeks down the line and I had managed to do climb a couple of peaks hill walking in the Highlands and had got a bit of movement back in the arm so I thought I could just run the event and not do any of the obstacles...but then on the run up to the event I was like...well, I could just do the obstacles that I don't really need two working arms for...

In the end I calculated I did over half of all the obstacles. I absolutely couldn't do any of the climbing over wall/monkey-bar style obstacles or anything that would risk me smacking my elbow off something - The Everest obstacle was definitely out...this was updated and looked way harder and steeper than last time!

Now, as if a fractured elbow wasn't enough, I was just getting over a week-long nasty head cold AND I had a thumping headache for the entire day (only abating after a good few glasses of wine in the evening). To say this was a challenge is putting it mild. However, having said that we saw and heard that there was a 71 year old doing it which kind of puts most people to shame!


Now as this was my second Tough Mudder I was allowed to forgo the Electroshock Therapy...however, the special 'Tough Mudder Legion' obstacle for everyone who had aready earned their first headband. This was a monkey-bar style thing which I could do...instead of just going the finish line I decided to brave the Electorshock Therapy again! Now when we arrived there was no breeze and I figured it would be possible to get through without being hit...to my horror when we arrived the evil hanging tentacles were now happily diagonally floating in the now very present breeze! I got shocked once, remembered what a horrible sensation it was and ducked out the side.

So, I may not have done half of the obstacles but I feel I totally earned my green headband and bottle of cider. And it helped soo much having a great team (that is, after all, what it's all about) who helped me round and grabbed my (good) arm to help me out of the mud - thanks guys!!

NEXT year I plan to do ALL the obstacles - the training starts...well, whenever my arm is in fully working order I suppose!

Stats!
time: between 3 and 4 hours
distance: 12 miles
obstacles successfully completed: about 14
Tough Mudder headbands: 2
celebratory drinks consumed: many
All the donated trainer...including mine :)
war wounds



Thursday, 4 June 2015

Day 3: not going well...

Didn't manage to go running yesterday, but in the true spirit of Juneathon, I have a very good excuse!

I went to the Minor Injuries Clinic to get my elbow checked out after being facebook nagged. And lucky I did as it appears I have a radial head fracture. This in NOT what I wanted to hear Even though I kind of knew what the answer would be, ever hopeful I asked, "and the likelyhood of doing Tough Mudder?" You can guess the answer...

Am beyond gutted. I have worked really hard the last few months to get my fitness up so to hear that I will have to stand in the spectator area while others get muddy makes my heart sink...

I will say my exercise for the day can probably be claimed by my navigating round trying to find the corect building at the hospital which probably clocked up a few miles. Came in and out of about 3 different entrances before I found the correct place!

Got home and needed much cheering up so went to a comedy night set up and featuring a very talented lady called Bonnie who is putting on her first fringe show in August.

So, apologies for what looks to be a rather limited effort for this years Juneathon but I'll do what I can.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Day 2: walking is about I can manage

At least I managed to achieve my pedometer goal of 10000 steps today. My arm is still too sore to even go running and besides, I had to break in my new walking shoes before Saturday when I will be climbing Suliven (a big hill in the highlands). Also supposed to be doing a bit of cycling which I reeeeally hope my arm is better for...

I had a wee day off work today so myself and my mum walked into town and around the shops. I amounted to about 4.5 miles which isn't too bad. Way more tired than I should be though!

I bought a plasitc funnel to decant stuff from big bottles into wee bottles and some cheep walking trousers - How glamorous am I?!?

I also spotted Amanda Palmer walking past me in Princes Street, not sure if I smiled at her first but she smiled at me, only then did I realize I had the t-shirt I bought at her gig last night (which has a photo of her on it).  Was a strange moment...

Going to try to do a run tomorrow...wish me luck!

Stats:
steps taken 11105
exciting things bought at the shops: 0

Day 1: Injured again

Its becoming a tradition of mine to make sure I get at least one bad injury on the run up to an event. I've had ankle problems and countless knee problems when training for any race I've ever entered.
This year I'm doing tough mudder with 3 weeks of training time to go,
I manage to fall off my bike and now I can't straighten my arm...it fucking hurts :( so my aim of doing lots of push-ups and pull ups are obliterated as I can barely hold up a pint!

So, Juneathon is not off to a particularly auspicious beginning. That, though is not why the blog is late. It is late as last night I was out at an Amanda Palmer gig. Which was awesome by the way.
I did manage to do a (one-handed) balcony pushup though, which I have been told by Jogblog herself, is a perfectly valid Juneathon effort. 


We didn't have much space but this is a photo of me doing my balcony push-up!

And here are a few pics of the gig. There was even a guest slot from Janey Godley. A strange but great addition to an Amanda Palmer gig.

stats!
Balcony push-ups: 2
working arms: 1
gigs attended: 1


Saturday, 31 January 2015

Day 31: Ending with less of a bang and more of an "aaachoo! "

Yes, I've had a rather less than auspicious ending to Janathon this year, with a rare fail yesterday to even blog, tho I did do my usual 1 mile walk to /from work.  But the onset of a horrible head cold has meant the day spent mainly on the couch reading or sneezing (or more often than not, failing to sneeze). I've even had to give up a trip to the cinema as I figured folk wouldn't appreciate me adding my own tissue - related sound effects.

I will however be going out for dinner later as it is a close friend's birthday celebration and we're going to a very good Vietnamese restaurant and all the chilli etc. will  obviously be good for my cold along with some medicinal wine :). I will walk to and from the bus stop for my exercise

Well done to my fellow Janathon-ers, who I'm sure have managed way more exercising than I have this month. However, be sure that my training has only just begun... For June this year my goal is to be able to manage at least one proper pull up in time for Tough Mudder!

Stats!
Preemptive miles : 1-2miles
Times I've sneezed today : about 30
Tissues got thru: lots

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Day 29: walking for wine counts!

So I was supposed to be doing circuits round 2 buuuut,  and as always,  I blame Ian,  I am having to claim walking as my exercise for today. However  it's not easy walking thanks to icy compacted snow. So I walked from the bus stop to our friends house then to the shop to get wine.

Not quite as strenuous as planned but managed to clock up around 3 miles all in.