Saturday, 31 December 2011

'twas the day before Janathon...

Yep, despite all misgivings I once again am joining in the winter madness of Jananthon. I did a run today so thought I would do a wee pre-Jan blog to get me started. I have been preparing myself over the xmas hols - I even went out on Boxing day!

I haven't blogged for ages so will give a quick recap of recent stuff thats been happening. This last year has been a funny one. While I spent a good proportion of the year unemployed (7 months to be precise - and it was very sucky) it gave me some time to firstly go to Peru to do the Inca trail which was a highlight of my life and not just the year. I also completed my first ever mararthon which I was very proud of. Also on my time off I decided I fancied a career change so put myself on a course to get my basic Level 2 Exerise to Music qualification which I completed towards the end of December. All in time for the new year. It feels good to find something I seem to be pretty good at and totally enjoy...just need to get myself some classes and willing participants :)

Apart from returning to my old employers on a short term contract, that's pretty much all the big things that have been happening...apart from becoming an auntie...that was quiet exciting, oh and my best friend getting married and allowing me to be bridesmaid for the first time ever!

So a new year, hopefully the start of a new career and lots of running and exercise in general.

My running goal this year is to do the Rock 'n' Roll Edinburgh half marathon in just under 2 hours (my previous time has been 2h15.

well, here's to a fit 2012!

distance: 5.6miles
time: 52m48s
calories: 650 (or about 2 and a half mince pies!)

Monday, 25 July 2011

parkruns and hill walks

After my chickening out of my first parkrun due to torrential rain last week, I am pleased to say this time the sun was shining and I made it down to Cramond in Edinburgh to take part. And I am so glad I did. It was weird not having my iPod with me (I never run without music) and I was a little apprehensive as I was on my own an when I arrived there were quite a few serious looking runners all warming up. But as more people arrived I realised how mixed it was and there did appear to be others running on their own.

Anyway. I started off well, though I thought I was going a little too fast to sustain for the full 5km but once I got into it and started overtaking people (turns out I have a bit of a competitive streak in me!) I found myself managed to average a pace of about 7mph. There were points when I felt I was about to flag but I kept going. I even managed to pass a teenager and a tall athletic looking girl with very long legs. I did miss my music at some points but it certainly didn't affect my speed - far from it. I used my breathing as a way of keeping a beat. Anyway managed to get a time of 24 mins 28seconds which was a 5km PB for me and according to the results I came 4th in my age category and 106th overall out of 195 parkruners and was the 20th 'lady'. So overall I was chuffed to bits.

I didn't run on Sunday but instead went on a very long 13 mile hill walk around the Pentland Hills taking in about 6 summits all in all. There were a few wrong turns and scrabbling through the heather but made back in time for a pint at the pub. It was a beautiful day and got some stunning views right across the firth of forth and beyond - you could see the proper mountains in the distance. Needless to say after all this activity I was in bed very early on Sunday night.

I shall definitely be going back to the parkrun though maybe not next weekend as it will be a pub-themed weekend and I have a wedding to attend.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Time for a change??

Sometimes I don't think about much when I'm running other times I think...a lot. I've had a lot on my mind at the moment. It's actually the 'keeping me awake' variety, though it could be worse if I didn't have my think-athons while pounding the streets/treadmill.

The main thing occupying me is employment (or lack thereof). I've been unemployed now since March and haven't really had much luck so far - a total of 5 interviews, 1 of which I got to the 2nd round and was very close and rather upsetting when I didn't get it. The other thing occupying me is my running and general exercise. As some fellow Juneathoners will know, it has really been helping me with being unemployed both my giving me something to do and staving of obesity and insanity through lack of activity.

Lately it has been occurring to me that running and exercise is becoming more important to me. Since I started my marathon training, my interest in running has definitely developed into something far more than just something to keep me fit. Then just the other week, after another fruitless job search I started to wonder if I needed a change...while I've enjoyed working in communications, I kind of fell into it and I do always envy people who do something that they are truly passionate about. I also started to think if I am going to, maybe, possibly have a career change I'd better get on with it as I feel I've wasted enough time looking for jobs that don't seem to be there. I ask myself - why can't I combine all the time I spend exercising with earning money?

So anyway, while bobbing along on the ski machine today I came to a decision - I'm going to look into fitness instructor courses. At least do some research into what's involved, how much it could cost etc  etc.

I know I have rambled on here (though, not much on today's gym session, which was good and sweaty), but I feel that typing it out and sharing with the blogsphere (whether or not it is actually read by anyone) will encourage me to act on my decisions rather than wimp out. Its time for a change.

Stats for today:
Run (intervals):

Ski machine:

Friday, 15 July 2011

featuring a guy with a Hitler moustache

I should be writing this on my new wordpress blog but I haven't quite got round to setting it up. While I'm assured by Bad Wabbitt that it is all very easy to do but reading the introduction with all its techie talk I thought I would leave it until I was feeling a bit more web-geeky (I did do a multimedia masters but have forgotten a lot over the years).

Summer has actually decided to visit north of the border at last so I have managed to get in a few really good runs recently. Today I actually managed 9.7 miles which I was very proud of. Of these 9 or so miles, 4 or them were under 9 minutes, my fastest mile being done in 08:36 and only one taking over 10 minutes (this was one up a very steep hill).

Although I promised myself I would keep up a pretty intense running schedule while still out of work I don't really think I believed my own posturing but I have actually done really well, with only 2 proper days off since the beginning of July. On those days I went for a walk in the sunshine.

I do realise that exercise is rather addictive and I do find myself getting a little anxious when I haven't done anything.  However, I do listen to my body and always take it easy if I'm feeling tired or achy. Anyway, am also loving that all this activity is allowing me to eat what I want and still keep the weight that I have lost recently off.

A long run today meant doing the Portobello seaside route. Always cheers me up on a sunny day.  In the summer time its always good for people watching too. There are some strange people around. I have recently been attracting some weirdos who seem to feel the need to impart some very important gibberish whilst gesturing at me with intent...Funnily enough they never seem to notice or care that I have my ipod on, doing my best to ignore them. Anyway, my weirdo moment of the day was seeing a man with a perfect Hitler moustache, with hairstyle to match, walking along hand-in-hand with his lady friend. I'm sure he was a perfectly nice bloke but I do think someone should maybe advise him on the facial fuzz.

My other fav moment of my run was overtaking a very fit looking guy while running up a very steep hill  *smug grin*.

Distance: 9.75mi
Time taken: 01:31:23
Average/Max Speed : 6.48
Average/Min Pace : 00:09:16
Calories: 1159
men with Hitler moustaches: 1

Friday, 8 July 2011

post Juneathon blues

Its been a week since the end of Juneathon and I have to say I miss it.  I miss having to think of something new to write about every day and looking forward to reading how others are getting on and looking at the comments. I know people out there are continuing to pound the pavements, especially those who are diligently raising money for charity and there are those who are keeping their blogs going and I will continue to read them.

As I said I would, I have also tried to keep up my running (I think I said I was aiming for 6 days a week), I have on the whole been doing this, though I have to say I'm finding it difficult to stay motivated now that I no longer have a target/challenge to work to. I find myself having long debates with myself in bed in the morning on whether or not to go - so far, thankfully my will power has won the argument).I have also had to go to the gym thanks to the crappy weather and I never like the idea of the gym. However, I have so far prevailed this week and even managed a 4mile outdoor run today before the thunderstorms came along. Even though I felt heavy-legged and slow I was surprised to find that I was managing to average a 9 minute mile pace so can't have been too bad. I may have a day off tomorrow, though I had hoped to start attending a park run out at cramond but the rain looks set to stay so will put it off another week.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

day 30 - early and late risings

It would have been nice to have had a spectacular finish run. However, I did not get to bed until something like 6am so I only did a short run round Holyrood Park - a bit rubbish really. I did do a bit extra earlier when I decided to walk up the crags - a smaller hill in front of Arthur Seat. I managed to watch a particularly lovely sunrise - pics below. So it was certainly worth the effort and the fact that I didn't get up till this afternoon.

 So, my total Juneathon miles (for running anyway)is a pretty respectable 107 which has put me in 20th place. I know its not officially the end of until midnight, but as I have jogged, logged and am just about to finish blogging it is the end for me so am taking the stats as of this moment in time. It is also an improvement on my Janathon efforts where I had a total of 83 running miles but then it was cold, dark and often snowy so Juneathon had to be better really!

I did miss one day where I literally couldn't walk let alone run but overall I'm pretty pleased with my efforts.

Thanks to everyone who has read and commented, the support in what has been a pretty tough month has meant a lot to me. I have also really enjoyed reading others posts and have been inspired by everyone's efforts.

As I said in my last post, I do plan to continue with my more ambitious running plan and will be blogging too, though not every day as I think I would eventually run out of things to say.

Anyway, here are today's and my final stats:

Distance: 3.30mi
Time taken: 00:31:42
Average/Max Speed : 6.24/8.17 mph
Average/Min Pace : 00:09:37/00:07:20
Calories: 395

Juneathon Total:

◦Run - 24 - 106.6 mi - 16.8 hrs
◦Bike - 2 - 14.5 mi - 0.8 hrs
◦Walk - 1 - 10.0 mi - 6.0 hrs
◦Cross - 4 - 10.9 mi - 1.8 hrs
◦Total - 31 - 142.0 mi - 25.4 hrs

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

day 29 - on writing and running

My run wasn't too exciting today - though I did pass my 100 mile mark!! I am well and truly knackered as well, but happy with surpassing my target (by 3 miles).

Today I wanted to say something about a book I'm reading. I've only been really getting more into my running since my marathon (and Juneathon has also helped a lot!) and this has meant I am starting to look at running related literature. My mum bought me Paula Radcliffe's 'How to Run' which was more a help with training rather than a proper read from cover to cover type book. Yesterday I bought Haruki Murakami's 'What I Talk About When I Talk About Running' and I'm already almost finished. I haven't read anything else of his but as a runner, with a great interest in writing and reading (I'm a English Literature graduate), I am really enjoying this and am finding it very inspiring. For all you Juneathoners - this guy runs EVERY DAY, ALL YEAR ROUND. And he averages 6 miles a day - I know, impressive! I share many of his sentiments and approach to running (though I will never be has hardcore as him)- I like doing it as a solo activity and am more interested personal goals than in competing with others. He also talks about writing and though the closest I will get to being a writer will be this blog - Like many English Literature students I have always like the idea that I have a novel in me (though I very much doubt this will ever happen).

Cant' believe its the last day of Juneathon tomorrow. Will miss all the banter and the routine of blogging every day and reading everyone elses. Having seen that others can run every day on a yearly basis I am going to try and go for 6 days a week, maybe not doing as much mileage but I am enjoying the routine of going out every day and, certainly as long as I'm still unemployed I will keep running to keep my spirits up and giving me something to get out of bed for.

Onto today's Stats:

Distance: 6.62mi
Time taken: 01:02:09
Average/Max Speed : 6.39/11.72 mph
Average/Min Pace : 00:09:24/00:05:07
Calories: 804

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

day 28- angry running

I will apologise for the downbeat blog entry now, I will keep it short. Even though the sun is shining I am in a rainy mood. Yet another job interview disappointment yesterday, which after a good start to the day really brought me down. This morning I just wanted to ignore the sun streaming through my window and stay in bed but Juneathon has got me this far though the month so I got up and faced the sunshine (making sure I had my factor 50 on).

Went my easy route along the Innocent cycle path taking it pretty easy after my 8miles yesterday.
I did have a good sprint in the last mile or so thanks to some angry music which really helps let off some steam. This is in fact one of my fav running tunes:

time: 39mins16secs
calories: 498
angry tunes: 1

Monday, 27 June 2011

day 27 - A perfect run

Now when I say 'perfect', I don't mean that it was a particularly fast or impressive run but rather I really enjoyed it and felt really good at the end. It was also perfect conditions-wise. I was out early before the rain set in and it wasn't hot. I was also running in the Pentland hills which meant fresh air, no traffic, hardly anyone out and beautiful scenery. I was going to do 6miles but was enjoying myself so much that I done an extra couple. This also meant getting to run over grass and winding dirt tracks which made a lovely change from the tarmac. As I said it wasn't a very fast run but there was quite a bit of serious uphill action so was actually pretty pleased with my pace.

Being out the countryside also meant that it was a record day for returned greetings from walkers etc. People are so much more friendly away from the city.

Overall a pretty uneventful run though at one point I almost ran into an oncoming van while I was looking down at my feet. I am hoping he would have honked the horn before he got a chance to run me over.

Also with this decent run I have only got 7.5miles to do before reaching the 100mile mark :)

distance: 8.01miles
time: 1:13:55
calories: 968
avg speed:6.5mph

Sunday, 26 June 2011

day 26 hangover run mark 2

I got home at 3am this morning. I was drinking from 5pm. I consumed white wine, beer and cider. I saw a pretty bad band in Whistle Binkies. I hugged my friend who's over from Australia about 10 times before letting him get in a taxi. I got up up 10:30 this morning and donned my running gear fearful that I would be sweating beer. Did one circuit of the meadows, thought I could maybe do another but then thought better of it. This has probably been my lamest Juneathon effort so far.

I am however now determined to get to the 100mile mark so will be putting in some good mileage in the last 4 days. I can't believe we are nearing the end once again. I will miss my virtual running friends. Juneathon has made what could have been a very bleak month more enjoyable.

Distance: 1.43 miles
Time: 13mins16secs
calories: a pitiful 172 (this will not make up for all the beer consumed last night)

Saturday, 25 June 2011

day 25 - park runs and wedgies

Got my run in early today as I have, for a limited period, got my social life back and am off out for lunch with a friend, then to a garden party (though it may turn out to be a house party if the current weather conditions stay the same). Then I'm off to the pub to see another friend who is over visiting from Australia.

So it was a drizzly lap round the meadows today. Was tired after my 9miler yesterday so took it easy - though much to my delight my 'easy' pace is a lot faster these days :)  Unfortunately it was a bit of an uncomfortable one as I was wearing a particular pair of pants that resulted in me doing a Rafael Nadal impression and continuously having to fight against wedgies - I know, lovely!

Anyway, my friend has arrived so I must cut this short. So on the stats:

Distance: 4.22miles
Time: 0:39:19
Calories: 467

Friday, 24 June 2011

day 24- buggy dodging at the seaside

Pleased with myself today as did my longest run since the Edinburgh marathon in May. It was silly not to take advantage of the rare nice sunny conditions. I did one of my fave long run routes which was down to the seaside at Portobello. I even did a half mile along the sand which unfortunately lead to getting said sand in my trainers. I had a pretty good pace going for the first half of my run and there was a nice atmosphere at the seaside with people sensing the presence of sun came out to wander along the promenade. On the downside a lot of these people included young couples with buggies and assorted little people dawdling around (I am not the maternal type). This created a bit of an obstacle course for me and coupled with quite a strong head wind on my journey back, my pace dropped a bit.

Was actually surprised at how comfortably I managed over 9miles and am having serious thoughts of going in for the Glasgow half marathon to see if I can improve on my time. Having said that it costs about £25 minimum to enter and I have no money. I thought running was supposed to be a cheap sport!

distance:  9.5miles
time:1hour 26mins
Avg Speed:6.6 mph
Avg Pace: 0:09:02
calories: 1024
buggies almost run into: about 10

Thursday, 23 June 2011

day 23- Well hellooo Mr Postie

Aahhh, the lovely fresh air!! Yep I managed to get outside today in between the banks of rain clouds I got a run round the park and actually saw the sun and some blue skies. 'Twas lovely. I was just going to do a straight forward run today but I noticed I was getting up a good pace so I thought I would stick to a circuit of the park and do a bit of a time trial instead. The big downhill bit halfway through did help but I also managed my quickest 5k time for a while.

I also did my run early this morning in order to catch my postman as I was expecting a package and didn't want it going back to the depot. He usually come just after 11am. I was home at 10am so I figured I had time to do some abs and weights before getting shower. Well, of course I had been in the shower a few minutes when there was a knock at my door - yes the postie was early! So I had to answer the door dripping wet, wrapped only in a towel...The postman look a little surprise but gave me what I thought was a bit of a naughty smile (he was rather cute as well-bonus!). But main thing is I got my package :)

distance: 3.52
time: 29mins45secs
surprised postmen: 1

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

day 22- mid-week quickie

And so the rain continues...and yet another gym visit...yawwwwn. Had to do a short session of 30mins on the treadmill as I had my second interview today which I wanted to do a bit more preparation for (though I doubt that did me much good overall). I also wanted the rest of the afternoon post-interview to go for a stress relieving drink with my lovely mum and dad.

After a slow start I actually managed to do get a bit of speed work into my 30mins. I have to say that treadmills seem to clock up the same mileage in a certain time no matter how fast/slow you go.

Now, can the rain please give it a rest pleeeese?? Or, I'll make do with making August an Indian summer in time for the festival :)

Distance: 5.12km
Time: 30mins 2secs
Cals: 334

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

day 21 - Rainy day Tuesday

What? Raining Again?? Yes!!  It is Tuesday, it is signing on day at the Job Centre and the weather sucks (it has done every signing on day since I started - coincidence??).  At first it was only a little drizzly and I thought I would still be able to brave a outdoor run but by the time I got home Arthur Seat looked ready to be engulfed in a big wet cloud so I wimped out and went to the gym.

To make up for the loss of effort that treadmill running means I really tried to push myself and put it on a 1% incline and increased the speed every 2 mins until I was running at a pace of 11 on the speed display on the machine.

Also did 20mins on the Ski machine and a circuits of weights and a short set of core/abs exercises.

Feeling suitably tired now but in that nice, endorphin-rush kind of way :)

Stats (Totals):
7.79 miles
1hr16 mins 20secs
cals: LOADS!

Monday, 20 June 2011

day 20 - the hills are alive with the sound of running

Despite my body still feeling the after effects of a wine-themed weekend I managed to get out for a run this morning before the inevitable rain comes along.

It could have been a much longer run but for two excuses  perfectly valid reasons: a) I was wearing my old and rather rubbish old trainers which I really only used at the gym and started to give me a blister at the 3.5mile mark and b) I was running over the braid hills, which are, unsurprisingly...well, hilly and so gave me a bit of a challenge anyway so didn't feel too bad not running that far.

My well intentioned plans for some serious running this week are being compromised by the continuing rubbish Scottish weather - for the week ahead it looks set to be rain, rain and more rain. Unless I man up a bit and face some wet-weather running, it looks set to be a boring gym-bound treadmill week :(

distance:4.50 mi
Time: 0:44:00
Pace: 0:09:46
Avg Speed 6.1

Sunday, 19 June 2011

day 19 - bands, booze and biking

Another hungover day. It was totally worth it though, as had a very late boozy Saturday night in which I discovered a brilliant band playing at a lovely local pub on the Cannongate.
Anyway, the upshot was I stayed in bed till around mid-day today and couldn't bear the thought of a run, so my bike once again came to the rescue. I decided to combine a my ride with a trip to the supermarket to pick up the Sunday papers along with some ingredients for the dinner that I was making for my lovely dad for Fathers Day (yummy risotto in case you wondered - it is my fail-safe dish).
It was an ok ride - although there were a couple of nasty hills where I could feel all the effects of my weekend of indulgence working their evil magic. 

So, not the best weekend on the Juneathon exercise front, but I had two excellent nights out so its all good really. Will be getting back on track tomorrow with the running.

Distance: 6.96 miles
Time: 40mins (or round about, not sure as I didn't have my garmin, or a watch on)
cals: not enough to compensate for the wine and food consumed on Saturday!

Saturday, 18 June 2011

day 18 - uuurggh

I did say my Juneathon efforts this weekend wouldn't be much to shout about and I was right. Today was my shortest ever gym visit. After a very good night catching up with some old colleagues, lots of wine and some very energetic ceilidh dancing I woke up this morning with a deserved hangover. But having already missed one day I was determined not to repeat this so I reluctantly and slowly got my gym gear on. Outside running was in no way going to happen as my head was throbbing and the rain was coming down with fierce abandon.

I struggled through 20mins on the ski machine. It was a pathetic session but I think it was just enough to appease my internal Juneathon coach. The rest of the day is going to be more pleasantly spent having a pre- wedding make-up trial with my bride-to-to friend and going for dinner.

distance: 3.02km
time: 20mins

Friday, 17 June 2011

day 17- pumping iron

I tried to motivate myself to run outside today, I really did but it looked cold and about to rain (which it turned out it was and it did) so I opted for the comfort of the gym. I usually don't like the gym, even in the quiet times. I get bored. However, today I rather enjoyed it and I think my legs thanked me for a break from the pavement pounding. It also allowed me to do a proper weights session - I did most of the machines apart from the chin-up one where you have to kneel on the pad (unless you are hardcore and do without) as my bruised knee prevents any such stance.  Usually I don't like going into this part of the gym as it is generally frequented by posing uni students who spend more time lolling on the equipment rather that actually doing anything. And another point - having your upper body twice the size of your lower body reaally isn't attractive!

I did do cardio as well. Only managed the treadmill for 26mins as the music videos were a bit crap - there is only so much sing-by-numbers R&B I can take. Though I did get a rare Placebo video which cheered me up. Also did 25 mins on the ski machine.

I won't be including this in my Junethon tally but will also be doing some more exercise tonight via some Ceilidh dancing. If anyone has partook of this they will know that it is a rather tiring activity but I do find that it is a lot easier when fuelled by alcoholic beverages in between dances :)

I have a feeling tomorrow will be a less energetic day!

Total distance: 8kms
Time: 51mins
Cals: about 539

Thursday, 16 June 2011

day 16 - I was fast (well, for a wee while!)

Today I decided to venture back into the realms of intervals, which I haven't done since my full on marathon training. I also did the session outside - I usually do it at the gym as being in the city centre, going fast for any length of time without having to stop and cross a road, avoid groups of uni students, is difficult. I went to the meadows which is round and can do nice circuits of it without stopping (loads of running clubs go there but tend to avoid these evening cause they make me look like I am going at a snails pace).

I used the Audiofeul 170bpm session which I didn't think I would manage all the way through, but I did and even managed to do one of my miles in 8:56mins which I was pretty pleased with. Now I don't know if it has anything to do with my running technique but I find the slower bits of these sessions that are at 150bpm really difficult to do - I tend to want to go faster and I even find it difficult to lengthen my stride enough. Still find the faster sections pretty tough.

Looking forward to a sociable weekend for once so I doubt I will be getting much mileage in but was happy with today's effort

Distance: 6.32miles
Time: 0:58:42
Max speed: 10.8mph
Avg speed: 6.5mph
Calories: 738

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

day 15 - getting my lovely legs out!

Getting back to normal, though my bruises are still hurting on downhill impact, as you can see my legs are looking rather pretty at the moment!

As with Janathon, I found with running outside after about half way through I was getting a little bored of doing the same routes over and over again and I'm finding the same this time round. So I went out today with no real route thought out. Before I left I had tones of energy and was dancing around my room to the radio as I got ready. Once I was out I slowly realised that this little pre-run warm-up may have ended up sapping my energy or it might have been the humid day. Ok it was only 17 degrees but since its only been reaching 14 it felt warm to me!! Anyway, what I thought was going to be a nice long run turned into a not particularly fast or long 5-ish miles.
The time it took may also have been due to me trying to have a text conversation with a friend.

To finish, just have to share the lovely mental image of a middle aged man cyclist with the obligatory lycra shorts on doing a bit of a warm up consisting of something that resembled humping thin air by grinding his hips back and forth - I know, not very nice!

Distance: 5.14miles
Time: 49mins18secs
cals: 582
horrible mental image of man in cycle shorts: 1

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

day 14 - is it the sunshine or an age thing

Today I was walking less like a shuffling zombie so I thought I would resume my running. Surprisingly it is actually easier to run than to walk, though I had trouble with the downhill part. Being such a nice day I decided to extend it. I went along the Innocent cycle route and back.

Today was also a record for the amount of returned smiles and greetings I got from various cyclists and fellow runners, walkers etc. It made me wonder whether it was on account that the sun was out and was having a cheering effect on people, though I also noticed that the majority of people who do return greetings are over a certain age...maybe the majority of younger people are just rude or least in my part of the world!

Also I managed to turn up to my job interview on the right day and time. I think it went ok though it was via video conference so that was a little off putting at first (I have actually never partaken in a video conference).

Overall not a bad day.

Distance: 6.01miles
time: 57mins 44 secs
Cals: 547

Monday, 13 June 2011

day 13 - bike to the rescue

Woke up this morning feeling like I had been run over. My midgie bites have been driving me crazy and I'm walking like a new-born deer (which is an improvement on yesterday!). There was no way I was going to manage to go for a run so it was up to the bike to save me from missing any more of my Juneathon duties. Wasn't too bad going either, despite having to do quite a bit of pot hole dodging and getting very muddy on the woodland track part of it. Unfortunately after the 50mile outing a few weeks ago, my gears have decided to not bother going into first so the up-hill sections were slow and I even gave up and got off and walked in parts.

I have to say I wouldn't make a mountain biker, I get scared going over tree roots and mud and muddy stones. I always go pretty slow over these parts. It doesn't help that I've had my bike since I was about 14 so isn't the most high-tech of things with the wheels skidding at the hint of mud and any type of obstacle

distance: 7.49 miles
Time: 48mins 8secs
itchy midgie bites: dozens (I've lost count)

Sunday, 12 June 2011

days11-12 - pain and more pain

I did not miss one day of Janathon, even on the cold, dark snowy days but today I have to sadly admit that I did not do my daily Juneathon activity (am very ashamed and disappointed in myself). I have a pretty good excuse though...thanks to a very tough climb of a mountain in Skye I can barely walk today, let alone anything more strenuous! I am also sporting 2 gashes and some serious bruising to my left leg due to a major tumble coming down said mountain. I am, however, very lucky it was not my skull that came in contact with the rocks that damaged my leg.  Despite the pain though it was a great day. The Isle of Skye is an amazing beautiful place and we were blessed with some wonderful weather and equally wonderful views around Skye. The assent started out with some arduous trudging through very wet marshy terrain. This eventually changed to very difficult scree and a steep incline up the very rocky path (though calling it a path would be stretching it a whole lot and I'm glad I was with some more experienced walkers).

I am happy to say I was 2nd to the top, though, I think I would have been first if I didn't have to faff around with my walking poles so much.

Once at the top we waited for the rest of the party to catch up and ate our sandwiches and admired the impressive views.

The descent was hard and I think I fell on my arse about 5 times. More scree and sharp rocks (including the ones responsible for my hurt leg) followed for what seemed like a long time. However, what followed wasn't much better.  Billy Connolly does a skit on the songs you get about our ancestors "marching through the heather" and makes the comment: "have you ever tried to march through heather?!" You don't - you stumble through it, making slow progress and wishing you had stayed at home instead off climbing a big hill. We returned to the waiting minibus cold, wet and in desperate need of a cold beer. It was worth it though.

We all had a big BBQ and drank lots of beers and subsequently got eaten alive by the renowned west coast midges.
I forgot my camera (doh!) so sadly I have no photos to share. I will be relying on my fellow walkers to share them with me later.

Normal Juneathon duties will resume tomorrow.

Stats (approximate as it was a rather meandering route and I didn't have my garmin):

Distance: around 10miles (all uphill/downhill)
time: 6 hours (including a lunch break and the summit.
calories: a lot, later made up in beer
big, painful gashes in leg: 2

Friday, 10 June 2011

day 10 downhill love

It's going to have to be a quick blog today as I'm preparing to head up to the Isle of Skye with some ex-work colleagues to take part in the Corbett Challenge to raise money for WaterAid (Donate here!!.) We have already raised an impressive £1,181.08. Also because of this tomorrow's blog will have to be done on Sunday as I will be technology-less (and hopefully drinking beer and eating burgers after climbing Garbh-bheinn in what looks to be cold and rainy conditions.

I done one of my fav runs but it was a little shorter as had taken my car and stopped off (its near my folks house where I would normally start off from). The reason this is a good run is that normally it is an exact 6.2 miles round route so is good for gauging times for a 10K. It also has some lovely views of Edinburgh and the east lothian coastline. The downside is the hills - and they are mostly all in the second half. I love going down them and this explains the slightly faster time than I normally manage as I cut off the really big hill at the end -  I don't like going up it and this is why I particularly enjoyed today's run as I didn't have to do it :)

Anyway, I'll miss the minibus if I don't get myself organised so here's the stats:

distance: 4.1 miles
Time: 0:38:07
big hills not run up: mm, at least 2

Thursday, 9 June 2011

day8- hats and gloves, seriously?

I think we should invent the seasons cause they aren't what they used to be. I mean its second week into june and there is talk of snow in the highlands (ok, on the mountainy bits but still!!). Out on my run, well it was more of a jog, I encountered a lady not only wearing long tights and long-sleaved top but a hat and gloves. I agree that it is hardly high summer temperatures here in Edinburgh - it is struggling to get to 15degrees celecius - but I think most people can managed without the winter gear.

Today I wasn't really feeling like a person who completed a marathon several weeks ago. Currently feeling lethargic and heavy so it was more of a laboured jog today. Although I have to say I went the opposite way round holyrood park which includes a long and rather steep incline. The upside to this is the last half mile is a lovely downhill bit which I do rather like to run down like a big kid, waving my arms about in abandon :)

I was originally going to add on the radical road bit of the crags on my way back but the wind had picked up so much that I thought it would be in danger off blowing me off the crags to my death, and plus it starts with another nasty hill so I was lazy and didn't bother.

distance- 3.3miles
time: 32mins52secs
calories: 392
runners in hat and gloves: 1

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

day 8 - a rare gym visit

8 days into Juneathon and my first visit to the gym. Partly due to my ankle (thankfully the pain seems to have eased now) and partly due to impending storm clouds- I don't fancy being struck by lightning - I decided to validate my monthly payment to my gym.

Despite having one of those mornings where I just wanted to hide under my duvet I was so glad I dragged my carcass up the road as I felt a lot better for it. I ended up doing a pretty decent session on the ski machine. I also managed to do a decent weight training session which I don't often do. I've always found doing weights a tedious part of the whole exercise regime and a particularly hard one. However, when I discovered my 62 year old mum can do proper press-ups, rather than the girlie version on your knees I came to the realisation that I should be doing more to build my upper body strength.  So I'm taking advantage of a nice quiet gym and do a full circuit of the weight machines - apart from the ones that I can't work out how to use without causing myself serious injury.

I am still pretty far off even doing the girlie push-ups properly I feel I am making a bit more of an effort.

distance- 7kms
time- 40mins
calories- 489

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

day 7 -

Well, on the running front a pretty decent one. Not very eventful but at least the rain, thunder and lighting waited until later in the day.  I did notice afterwards that my recent, albeit short lived, stint of high heel wearing is resulting in familiar shooting pains in my ankle. Hoping it doesn't develop into anything serious.

In my other main activity of the moment - job seeking - I didn't have such a good day. I actually managed to turn up to an interview a whole week early! BIG FAIL there. Will in future always double check the date and avoid assuming the day referred to is in the current week. (To be fair to myself, the date had been changed and I have had other interviews recently so it got a little confusing!)

well, on to the stats:
distance: 4.56miles
time: 37:42
Avg page: 8.55mi/h

Monday, 6 June 2011

day 6 - grumpy run

I'm afraid I'm not in a particularly cheery mood today as I received another job rejection email and had to fork out over £300 to insure my not-really-worth-much-more-than-that car and this was all before 10am. In light of this I will keep this short to prevent any gloomy ranting.

Did quite a cathartic, fast (well, for me anyway) run round the estate where my folks live. It was cold though (is summer ever going to last more than 1 day in a row this year?!) so done one 2 mile-ish loop.

Hopefully I will be in better mood tomorrow - Have another job interview to prepare for-happy days :)

Distance  2.13 miles
Time: 19mins 04secs
Avg: 6.7m/h
max speed: 10.8m/h

Sunday, 5 June 2011

day 5 - should have had breakfast!

Today was a difficult 5 miles. The grave mistake I made was going out thinking a cup of coffee and some blueberries would see me through my run. I didn't. Also, a lot of that 5 miles consisted of uphill running. Should have had my porridge. I have learnt a few lessons running-wise over time and I thought I would use today's entry to list as few of them (OK, its a bit lazy but there you go)

  • coffee and blueberries will not carry you through a 5 mile run
  • wear sunscreen if you don't want some unflattering running gear tan lines
  • be careful when faffing around with your Garmin - you may end up walking into a lamp-post or falling on your face
  • Don't plan a 10K race and a friends leaving night out on the same weekend. (not my best time)
  • On long runs, always take bus fare/mobile phone (I once had a very painful 5 mile walk following a 10mile run)
  • watch where you put your feet in popular dog-walking areas
  • smile at other runners - it brightens everyone's day and its not hard to simply be polite (I always smile and have had some murderous looks in return - grumpy bastards!)
  • slow down when dogs are around, they will either run after you, prompting fears of being bitten or you will inadvertently step on one (especially the small yappy-type dogs)
I'm sure there are more but that's all I can come up with today.

Distance: 5.3 miles
Time: 55:26
Average speed 5.9m/h
Calories: 634

Saturday, 4 June 2011

day 4 - running as hangover cure??

I wouldn't recommend running with a hangover, but due to Juneathon commitments, today I was forced into doing just that.  It was also my first hangover for a while thanks to marathon training so it was a particularly bad one. The journey to said hangover was worth it though - I have to say it was rather nice being out on a Friday, (a hot sunny one at that) sitting out drinking wine, forgetting about the job-interview ordeal I endured earlier that day and the fact that I can't really afford to be out drinking!!

Got through the next morning by staying in bed the decamping to the living room to dozily watch some episodes of Friends (for the millionth time possibly). Finally I reluctantly put my running gear on and braved the outside world - one which had got decidedly colder overnight!!  Surprising I managed about 4 miles at not a bad pace (around a 10 minute mile average).  Also got peeped at by a couple of passing motorcyclists (assuming they were the vehicular equivalent of a wolf-whistle) which my feminist side would just roll her eyes at but another part of me was secretly happy about, considering I'm not feeling particularly pleasant-looking.

Being Saturday night I'm sipping a glass of vino whilst tapping away...though will be limiting myself to the one tonight!!


distance: 3.9 miles
time: 39 mins
calories: 424
appreciative motorcyclists: 2

Friday, 3 June 2011

day 3 - early but short

Up and out by 7:30am!  Haven't been out this early since...emmm Janathon. Needed to get it done early as I have a job interview later. I could have done it after but I am planning on going to the pub later and I didn't want to have to shower and reapply make-up/re-do hair etc so woke up to the alarm and blue skies. Was surprised at how many people were up and out jogging too - I have been unemployed too long and mistakenly believe that the streets are still quiet at 8am (well my street is rather quiet so gives a false impression)

Was only a short one today as I need do some last minute interview prep. I always seem to do loads just to render it all rather pointless by letting nerves get in the way and screwing it up anyway.  But going to try my very hardest not to let that happen this time!

Distance2.1 miles
Time: 0:19:38
Avg/Max Speed: 6.3
Avg/Min Pace: 0:09:28

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Day 2 - summer running

Today is officially summer in Edinburgh. After all my moaning about the wind and unseasonable temperatures I was looking forward to getting out for a run in the sun...that is until I had run 1/2 mile up the hill and caught myself thinking that running when its hot is not always that great.  I am also adding to my already weird looking tan lines - you can quite clearly tell where my running tights stop and my socks begin. One of my hands is also browner than the other after a very long cycle ride a week ago. Need shorts I think, or a much higher sunscreen - after all a goth with a suntan is plainly just wrong!

Anyway, back to my actual run....due to heat and my still suffering from the sniffles I cut my run short to one lap of the meadows (where people were mocking my sweaty self by lounging in the sun building BBQs and drinking). Was glad to return to my decidedly cooler flat.

distance: 4.2miles
time: 40mins
cals: 475

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Day 1 - The wind tunnel challenge

In memory of my first Janathon, I started Junathon recovering from a cold. And to add to the fun, my toe is still recovering from a traumatic blister incident from its first marathon experience. 

Due to these conditions I am easing myself into running again. I had a bit of a trial run (oh look - pun!!) in the gym and only managed 20mins on the treadmill before finding it uncomfortable.  For my offical start to Juneathon, I ventured outside for a well loved circuit of Holyrood park.

Now, Scotland has been getting a bit battered by some nasty winds in the last few weeks - It was particularly bad on Edinburgh marathon day (I'm sure it added a good 5-10 mins onto my finish time!). Well, it is still going and Holyrood park is a bit of a wind tunnel, and sadly said wind was not helpfully pushing me along from behind but pushing me back as a struggled to gain some forward momentum, whilst giving me a bit of a bad face-lift look.

Anyway, not too bad for my first outside run since the marathon.
Stats(which were supposed to be from my garmin but I screwed up the settings and forgot to start the timer so this is from previous knowledge and looking at my watch!):

distance: 3.1miles
Time: 30mins
calories: I'm guessing around 300, what with the extra effort for running against the wind.

Monday, 30 May 2011

2 Sundays of pain and schizophrenic weather

So much for Sunday being a day of rest - I have spent the last 2 in unfavourable weather completing running and cycling challenges.

The 22nd saw me complete my first ever marathon. I prayed for half decent weather but in return got heavy downpours and almost gale-force winds! This was not helped by the fact most of the marathon course was along the coast.

The beginning
At these event there is always massive queues for the toilets - I thought, being lucky enough to live pretty nearby and being able to leave fairly late I would avoid them but my body had other plans. This lead to me ducking out as I was nearing the start line and then having to start my marathon with a sprint to overtake the sweeper bus. (a note the the woman in front of me in the aforementioned queue - it is a bit off for a non-participant to use the toilets when runners are in a hurry and then look pissed-off when you skip past them!).

After my sprinting start I slowed down, following the usual advice not to go too fast in the first half. I think this paid off but I still managed a half-marathon PB of 2h10min. 

The middle bit
One of the main drawbacks of the Edinburgh marathon course is that from about mile 16 or so the course kind of double backs on itself so when you still have a very long way to go, you start seeing all the elite runners on the way back and you have to live in the knowledge that you have all this to still to come. I think I got to about 18miles when I was starting to think...mmm, I may just finish this. Though by this time my stomach was starting to rebel against all the sports drink I was bombarding it with - not pleasant. so compared with no toilet stops for all of 18miles I managed 3 in the last 8 miles.

The worst of the weather then asserted itself by mile 20 and unfortunately it was in front of us. At one point it pushed me backwards. It was also making my nose stream.

The End (Hurrah!!)
There really is nothing like seeing the finish line and the feeling of adrenaline when, after limping, jogging, walking the past few miles, you somehow manage to find the energy to sprint like a maniac for the last 400 meters or so. I felt overwhelmed and a few tears were shed as I literally zoomed past people like I was being chased by something big and scary.

My finishing time was 4 hours 49 mins. I do think I would have been a bit faster if the wind wasn't so bad and my stomach problems hadn't required the toilet visits. (May have to find an alternative to sports drinks for long runs!)

The following Sunday I decided to mark the week anniversary by cycling 50 miles from Glasgow to Edinburgh in aid of Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland. This is a really small event run by lovely volunteers. It was pretty tough - again, not helped by the windy conditions but it is a lovely route along the Forth and Clyde and Union Canals that link Glasgow and Edinburgh and you are treated to some wonderful scenery along the way. Myself and my Dad (who was that one that roped me in to taking part) managed it in about 4 and a half hours but then we did get to stop of for lunch, though not for long thanks to the freezing wind and rain!

Next week I shall definitely be doing nothing (other than a my daily Junathon exercise quota of course!!)

Monday, 16 May 2011

1 week to go

I really can't believe I've only got one week to go before months of preparation, training, injury healing and overall blood, (lots of) sweat, and tears, will have finally culminated in my first marathon.

Once again I have failed to complete the full training programme due to 3 separate injuries, a trip to Peru and a week of illness. I do think I would have struggled to be ready-ish, if I hadn't been unemployed - all this training is pretty time consuming and thanks to the 'four seasons in one day' Scottish weather it can be hard to motivate yourself to go out in gale-force winds when its raining. With all my spare time I have been able to plan my running so as to miss to nastiest of weather. Also, having my training as kept me from getting too down about my non-job situation, not to mention filling in the time when not conducting fruitless job searches.

Although my longest run has only been 16miles I am hoping the adrenaline on the day will kick in. It is still scary to think that there is an extra 10miles on top of my longest distance and considering my legs were about to give way, I'm going to try not think about it!

The greatest thing about this being my last week is that its a pretty easy week with the longest run being 5miles and also I get to eat big bowls of pasta without feeling guilty!!

My last long run yesterday (Sunday) was pretty good and I managed the 10miles with (relative) ease, though it wasn't exactly a fast run. It also wasn't a particularly nice day- a bit rainy but it wasn't too warm which was perfect. I have done quite a few runs on quite warm, sunny days and I noticed the difference it can make to my performance, constantly having to stop and drink etc. I have been worried about keeping hydrated and also keeping my energy levels up - on one long run I tried a energy gel which made me gag, I've tried jelly babies which stick to my teeth and are frankly a bit of a faff, and I usually only take water with me, so will be relying on getting lucozade from the energy stations.

This time next week I'll no doubt be hobbling round, glad that its over and probably itching to get back out for my next run.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Getting back to it...

It's been such a long time since my last post, I'm not sure how to start.
It's been a difficult couple of months. Having running as a way of keeping me motivated and most importantly giving me something to do whilst dealing with being unemployed suffered a big setback with 2 injuries plaguing my right foot. I had already had a couple of weeks off before going to Peru. It was in Peru and the week following my return where I was pretty ill that set my training back even further. In total I had about a month of no training whatsoever.

Finally, on a bright spring day I was finally getting over the nasty stomach bug I had brought back from Peru and I thought, "right, I am getting out for a jog even if it kills me". Having been in bed, not eating and having lost quite a bit of weight, (one of the only upside to being that ill!) my first outing wasn't exactly inspiring. I managed about 20mins at a pace barely above a fast walk and I was thoroughly knackered after it. I would just have to accept that it would take a while to get back up to full strength and back on my training track.

That was about 3 weeks ago and a few days ago I managed to do 10 miles in about an hour and 3 quarters. It was supposed to be 13miles. However, having reached a point where I was a very long way from home, having inadvertently changed my route, I turned to head back. It was then that my tummy decided to do some very strange things...of which none felt good. I had to stop running and slow down to a laboured but brisk walk. This was accompanied by the sun performing a disappearing act and the wind picking up. Things went downhill from there. At this point I will reveal the lesson I learnt from this experience - never to go on a long run without a phone or a bus fare, preferably both. I had neither - I had stupidly thought that I would manage a nice long run without mishap. I ended up walking a very painful 5 miles to my parents house, which in my mind seemed closer than my own flat. This took me a good hour and 20 minutes. I had to keep stopping to double over as my bowels twisted themselves into knots. I know I could have hazarded asking a passer by to borrow their phone, or gone into a shop to do similar but am terrible at asking for a strangers help. Anyway, what seemed like a terribly long time, my parent house appeared round a corner - I have never been so relieved to find a door unlocked in my life (I had no idea if my parents were in or not!). Without announcing my unexpected appearance I sprinted up the stairs to a very welcome bathroom.

I can safely say that is one of the most unpleasant 5 miles I have covered in my life - I am still nervous that I am in no way nearly ready for the Edinburgh marathon, but I am sure that whatever happens I will be able to struggle past the finish line, no matter what! I am hoping that my new orthotic insoles will keep my foot pain at bay and my pretty extensive routine of stretches and strength exercises will ward off any new injury.

I will be aiming for a 15 miles run this weekend - I most definitely will not forget my phone and an emergency bus fare :)

Monday, 21 March 2011


Even though I have not been running I thought I would blog about something that is a big part of running. It has been said that runners are either recovering from injury, are injured or about to be injured...for me this could not be truer. I have ran 2 half marathons and while training for each of those I have ended up having to take at least 2 weeks off training which in turn affected my race time.

When I started my training for this year's Edinburgh marathon I thought I had learnt enough through previous experience to avoid anything serious...i.e. stretching off properly, not increasing mileage too fast....It however, didn't stop me from being at week 7 in training and finding myself once again injured and unable to walk let alone run (this time it is my ankle). Last sunday rather than doing my scheduled 15mile run I was sat in front of the TV with a consoling glass of red wine.

I don't know what it's like for other runners but I find being taken out even by a minor injury very demoralising and upsetting. I am probably an overly emotional person-I put it down to my, ahem, 'artistic temperament',  but I get depressed and pessimistic when I can't train and I find myself visualising my hard won fitness ebbing quickly away (drama queen, I know).

Anyway, for the moment I am trying to stay off my feet and occupy myself - you take away a job and then training, you find yourself with a LOT of free time on your hands - and hope that I am back into the 'about to be injured' and at least make it intact until after the marathon.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

schizophrenic weather run

Its March and its bloody well snowing!!! Snowdrops and daffodils are out, fashion shop window are looking annoyingly pastel-y and I have had a couple of emails telling me 'its the start of spring...get training for (delete as appropriate) 5k/10k/half marathon' - you would think I could look forward to some nice sunny running opportunities... but no....went out today and though I ended up being rather lucky and spending most of my 5 mile run in the sun - albeit running against almost gale force winds - I did get a short hail/sleet 'shower'. It was, however, also INSANLY one point I almost got blown into a lampost. Though I have to say I was quite pleased that I managed to maintain around a 9min mile pace even running into the wind.

I also expect by this time of year to be able to plan my long runs without fear of too much extreme weather. I can handle running in the cold and the rain but snow blizzards I draw the line at. However, the forecast for the weekend is exactly that and I had planned a 15 mile run which I really should do as the Edinburgh marathon is only just over 2 months away and I'm losing 2 weeks to a holiday in Peru (ok, so its a nice way to lose it but still!)

My options would seem to be to do the long run tomorrow which having done 3 days in a row, one of which was a heavy intervals session, I had hoped to have a wee rest. However, Saturday is the afore-mentioned snow blizzards and Sunday I would assume would be blighted by Saturday's snow which I would have to run through and past experience says that my legs don't like running in snow or slush.  Mmmm, ok my options have turned into 'option'. a 15 mile Friday it is...not doing anything the rest of today then..


5.48miles in 51mins 58secs (and that was with the wind/hills and other obstacles trying their best to slow me down)

Friday, 4 March 2011

Conquering Hills

While I'm not enjoying the uncertaintly and helplessness of not having a job to go to every day and the stress of waiting to hear results of job applications/interviews...I am liking going out for a run at the time of my choosing which for me is apparently late morning (or in today's case just in time for the sun coming out and for me to ignore some long overdue housework!).

As my marathon training schedule includes hill work (after intervals my most hated session) I thought I had better do some.

I have said this more than once - Edinburgh I covered in hills - I live at the bottom of one and I grew up at the top of one. So when my training says - run to a hill I don't have to go very far so not much of a chance of a warm-up. And the best hill for me is the one I live beside which just so happens to be fucking STEEP.  I suppose I should be glad that it makes me work harder and I am certainly glad to be running on grass for a change, giving my knee some respite. There are plenty of other hills but these are either even steeper or too far away, and I don't fancy running up and down a restidential street dodging small children and other obsticles.

Tomorrow will look forward to a nice simple 'easy' 4 miles jog before Sunday's 10 miles (supposed to be 13 but did 10 on Tuesday and really not sure I can do 2 long runs in one week)

4.5 miles in 46 mins
including warm up/down and 10 x 30 secs (extreme) uphills and then down hill recoveries

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

After saying I would continue this blog...I went all quiet. The stresses of coming to an end of my former job and being ill didn't help. But now being unemployed with marathon training interspersered with frantic job hunting I thought I would spend some work-free time to do some blogging.

I decided to start my unemployed runner role in style by spending a spring-like Tuesday going to a job interview then doing a 10 mile run. Doing this I have discovered that the combination of the adrenaline of attending an interivew and too little to eat makes running 10miles pretty tough...I pretty much stubbled to a crawl for the last stretch home. It did however make me feel like I had done something with my day and that as long as I am pretty vigilant in my job hunting and keep up the running I won't turn into the daytime TV watching, staying in my PJs unemployed person that I always fear is lurking...

I was thinking of changing my title to the Job-seeking runner but am hoping this status will not be with me for long so I will stick to the 'Running Goth'.

Being a running Goth I would like to put out a plea to the running shoe makers out there....Why must all trainers be white of some kind (although there are some black trail running shoes out there - not sure why this is) but some nice gothic running trainer of the road running variety would be good - goths do do exercise I promise you and it would be nice to carry on my sartorial style whilst out running :)

10 miles - longest yet! 
1 hour 44 mins
1250 calories....which I replaced by crisps, pasta and ice-cream not long after ....doh!

Sunday, 20 February 2011


Had a good few days recentlyl and actually feel that I'm making a bit of progress. Managed to do a 8.7 mile run on a Friday night - when really I would have probably rather been sipping beer and watching a DVD. Although, my post-run beer was particularly tasty :) And by getting a long run done on Friday meant that I could really appreciate a Saturday doing sweet FA!  I did have a fleeting thought of doing a gentle swim but I stayed in bed instead with a good book.

Feeling somewhat rested on Sunday morning, though my feet are still stiff and my ankles are cracking I managed a good 6.4 miles. I have to say I find longer runs easier when there is some nice scenery (though, today it was rather obscured by cloud) and a variety of landscape to run over, which today included pavement, gravel track and a whole lot of mud. My trainers are now looking impressively seasoned and well-worn - so much so that I have treated myself to some new ones via . I also got myself a nice fluro pink water bottle to do for my long runs which is a wee bit difficult to run with but holds more.

On the subject of drinking while running - I've been told by a variety of sources that you NEED to take fluids on runs over an hour but talking to my Dad he said he never took water with him and he did a marathon PB in 2 hours 49mins! It really does amaze me that he managed this as he also never really done many longer runs - he done one 17mile run but generally didn't do much over 8 miles. He is officially my marathon hero!! I know that I couldn't do a long run without water but it does make me think that I shouldn't overthink stuff like this.

Todays stats: 6.4 miles, 1 hour 7mins

Thursday, 17 February 2011

scheduling nightmare

I am being a wimp this week and haven't been running outside at all...although one day I couldn't run at all due to a nasty blister so made do with the cross trainer.  However, as I was using the treadmill I managed to do a couple of good interval and tempo sessions and also tried out an Audiofuel interval playlist which was good - quite nice having a bit of encouragment with the music. 

I'm also planning a good long run this week. Mainly due to the fact that next week is looking difficult....which brings me to the main theme of this post - scheduling marathon training with work (or in my case looking for work, and a social life). Now next week I have a gig I bought tickets to ages ago and am really looking forward to and the next day I'm travelling up to Aberdeenshire for work which means I'll not get back till that is already 2 evenings out for running. THEN on Friday it's my last day at work and have a leaving do which obviously means I'll be eating rubbish and drinking various alcoholic beverages. This ultimately means that Saturday will be a bit of a write-off. SO, that leaves me 2-3 days to do some running and probably not any particularly 'quality' sessions...Am I being a lasy runner or should I just try harder not to let my social life (and via that any type of drinking activities) infringe on my running?

Well as a compromise, I am going to use my leaving do as my last hoorah of partying before a knuckle down and concentrate on my running...and job hunting. It will be hard to let the social stuff take a back burner but I think the determination to do the marathon justice will win out :)

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

And so the serious running starts...

This is my first blog after Janathon. I was sure I was going to carry it on, but I have found I have been missing the process of writing down my experiences and pondering on my thoughts about running and the thoughts I have while running. Being a blog-virgin, on the writing and slightly less so on the reading front, Janathon has introduced me to a variety of running-themed blogs which have been very entertaining to read, not to mention giving me a whole new  and much needed source of motivation and learning from others' experiences. This is particularly important for me as running is pretty much a solitary pursuit for me and having that support helps.

To be honest I'm not particularly bothered about whether people even read these - For me I feel it is more like a digital journal (my handwriting has always been pretty dire and it always seemed a shame to ruin nice journal pages with it). I am an pretty fast type so it seems easier overall. It also stops my small flat getting even more cluttered with stuff than it is already.

I'm sure while I am training for the Edinburgh marathon, the blog will continue to be very much running-themed but I will probably veer off into other subjects as I tend to do.

Anyway. on the running front...

...after some lovely post-Janathon rest days, I am starting my marathon training proper. I decided to 'ease' myself back into things with a cross-training session at the gym on Monday. The weather here is Scotland is still decidedly wintery there is usually a bit of will power involved in going for an out-door jaunt.

Tuesday I managed my first ‘proper’ full-on run, managing just under 5 miles. I was even more pleased with the fact that I managed to do one mile lap in less than 9 minutes, though I almost keeled over after it! But still not a bad start.

Monday, 31 January 2011

Day 31 - WOOHOO

Well, its been done. 31 days of running/gyming/cycling and I am still standing!! I am a little bit amazed that I made it through. The will power has been challenged big time and there have definitly been evenings where the last thing I wanted to do was put my trainers on and run in the cold darkness. But I overcame and went forth.

I am having a day off tomorrow and going to the pub with friends like a normal person...but this break will be a short one as I have realised that I have a marathon training programme to start. It will be a 16 week one as I have a 2 week break inbetween it to go and do the Inca Trail in Peru. I will be doing a bit of trekking but no running. I think this will affect my performance so am starting the training early to get myself a wee bit ahead.

Janathon has been a great motivator and really think it has kick started my training and has given me a good mindset with which to go forward.

Today's run was 3.16 miles in 29mins and (drum-roll please...)here are my grand totals:

◦Total - 114.7 mi - 20.1 hrs

and this breaks down into

◦Run  - 83.5 mi - 14.7 hrs
◦Bike - 8.7 mi - 1.2 hrs
◦Walk  - 2.0 mi - 0.8 hrs
◦Cross Trainer - 20.5 mi - 3.4 hrs

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Day 30 - the penultimate run

Can't believe this is the 2nd last day of Janathon. Very pleased to have made it through without injury! It was a very grey and very cold day so I went to the gym instead.

It was nice and quiet so I thought I would aim for a 10k today, which I managed while looking sadly at Andy Murray lose the Aussie Open final, although there was some amazing tennis by Djokovic. It is alway inspiring watching proper athletes while struggling at the treadmill!!

Have passed the 100mile mark so am rather pleased and any extra over that is a bonus. I do have I much scarier challenge with the marathon in May but I feel that I have made a good start to my training.

distance: 6.2miles
time: 1hour 5mins
cals: 710

Saturday, 29 January 2011

day29- hangover jog

You really shouldn't do exercise with a hangover, just as it is janathon, I had no choice...a lay in and a couple of painkillers and I managed to get out by lunchtime.

At first I thought....mmm seem to be managing ok, maybe I can do a longer run after all. Then, about 3 mins in I started to think again. It was slow and a bit of an effort. Not even my music could get my legs moving any faster - it felt like my trainers were made of heavy stuff.

Still, managed to go for 2 miles which isn't bad for a hungover 31 year old who would much rather be in bed.

Time: 20mins 17 secs
Cals: 264

Friday, 28 January 2011

Day28 - magical blogging

Now, when I am out running I usually use the time to think what I am going to write. However, by the time I've got back and done all the after-run stuff and I get round to logging and blogging, I find that I have forgotten what I was going to write.

I was actually thinking about this as I ran my route round Holyrood and thought, wouldn't it be good if you could write it with your sending my thoughts so some computer which would magically record them (although not all of them as my thoughts do tend to wander in weird ways). It would mean saving a lot of typing time...sigh...

Well, that's all I have time for as am off out in a while and I haven't even had lunch and its 16:22 already!!

distance: 3.36miles
time: 32mins 34secs
highest elevation: 409 feet (some lovely views but a tough hill!)

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Day 27 - indoor skiing

A gym evening...although I felt like I had already done a workout trying on my shiny new shockabsorber running sports bra. I got the size that the rest of my bras (sports and otherwise) are but this one was particularly 'snug'. Also, because of the two fasener thing I almost dislocated my shoulder trying to do it up. Anyway after much struggling I was all done and feeling very strapped up - these babies will not be doing much bouncing now!

Not really much to report gym-wise, just a solo bout on the cross-trainer so instead will write a little about my musical choices of last night which I forgot to mention.

Now I am pretty particular about my music and am a bit of a rock chick (with a bit of goth/hippy thrown in) so I don't really go in much for the pumping dance tracks that you get with the running compilations you get....however, I heard about audiofuel and saw you could download a sample which I did...a while ago. I have never got round to listening to it - until last night. And I have to say I was rather happily surprised and I would also say that it did make me run a little bit harder. I am actually thinking about buying a proper compilation...although it will have to be on rotation with my hard-rock running playlist :)

distance: 7.5kms
time: 1 hour
cals: about a curry's worth! (560cals)

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Day 26 - where everyone else is too fucking fast!!

Outside again! looking like rain but decided to chance it. Done a route I haven't done in a while as quite frankly it always seemed to far to get to the meadows where you can do laps and it ends up being a long run...and there are proper runners there. One of the reasons I haven't joined a running club or indeed partake in any kind of group running or sporting (at least since tennis as a kid) is that it reminds me how much better others are at it than me.

Now I'm not really built for running (I'm what you would call curvy with a need to spend alot on sports bras) so I really should just be glad a get by. However when I'm happily jogging along at my own pace thinking I'm actually doing ok some athletic sleek looking girl shoots past me with such ease it shouldn't be allowed! Now usually I don't really take much notice but today there were so damn many of them I was starting to feel the creeping feeling of inadequacy. I really did think I was making progress. This thought was quickly squashed by a short skinny girl (she looked about 14!) shot by me, looking like she was taking a leisurely stroll...I did try to speed up but it nearly killed me so I slowed to a slow jog.

Anyway...moral to this story is ignore the running-wizard bastards and enjoy your own pace whatever it may be.

Distance: 4.6 miles
Time: 44mins 48secs
people who shot past me: ooohh about 8 (grrrr)

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Day 25 - treadmill intervals

Oh...its going to be a long feels like it should be Friday.  Needless to say am not in the best frame of mind today for various reasons.  After a long day at work all I felt like was alcohol or failing that making a beeline for my bed. So once again I had to enforce my willpower and remind myself that I'm only a week away from finishing my goal.

For comfort I went to the gym as really couldn't face running in the dark and cold evening. I also decided to have a good session today but the treadmill is so boring I took the opportunity to do some interval training. so after a 10min warm-up I did 30mins of 2mins at speed 11 (getting to 12 for the last couple) and fast walking at a incline of 5 and finished off with a 5min cool down.

Amazed I made it through 48mins as there was a VERY annoying squeeky bike machine behind me and had to stop myself having an incredible-hulk style episode...I wonder if there are many cases of gym-rage?

Monday, 24 January 2011

Day 24

After my 6 miles effort yesterday I felt justified in a shorter run today. There are just too many bloody hills, I should be getting better but I think the toll of doing this every day is starting to show.
A pretty uneventful run it has to be said though I did see a fox....ok that's really not very interesting but there you go, you don't get much action at 8am on a monday morning around the estate.

Anyway, knowing I have got my exercise done for the day I am planning a cinema trip this evening when I would normally be contemplating the gym.

distance - 2.3 miles
time: 23 mins 20secs
cals: 279

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Day 23 - Run to the hills

For a change of scenery and to get out of the city, today I used my visit to the folks to go for a nice run in the Pentand hills. Not a particularly nice day but not raining so a bonus!

I like the fact that I live in the city centre but I can just jump in the car and be in the country side in about half and hour.

Starting off, my ankles were playing up with nasty shooting pains (I have had bad ankles since doing ballet as a child) but found they eased off after the first mile or so. Flotterstone is a very popular spot for walkers, runner and cyclists...which is why I was out early to avoid the crowds..there is something nice about having a wide expanse of water, hills and sky to yourself.

There are a few steep, long hills on this route so that slowed me down. But what goes up...and enjoyed a lovely childish-arms-flailing-in-the-air-style descent until the appearace of the afore mentioned crowds where I went back to normal-person mode.

Managed a nice round 6miles in 1hour 2mins (I have managed a 10k in 48mins with a bit more training) but I feel I'm on my way in the fitness stakes.
Rewarding myself with a nice glass of wine and making the folks Sunday luch :)

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Day 22 - the trapeize workshop that wasn't to be

Well today I only went on a shortish run as I was wanting to save my energy for a trapeize and circus skills workshop I was supposed to be going to in Glasgow today. So at 9am I wandered bleery eyed into the cold and grey day. I would normally go round holyrood park which is a nice 3miles but instead went inbetween in. There are various paths you can do in the park and this one is almost half way between Arthur Seat (pretty much the top of the volcano) and Salisbury crags, which you can also run along the top of to give you good view of Edinburgh and further afield.

I took the opportunity of this route to do some hill work in a sort of fartlek style, running to fixed points where there was a shrub or a rock then a wee recovery walk then a full on effort to the top of the hill.

As it turned out I could have done a longer run as my friend who was coming with me to the circus skills workshop got her date mixed up and thinking the workshop was next week had taken herself off to London for the weekend...oh well. Hoping to rebook it for later.

Now I know I could still go to the workshop on my own but the inner child in me doesn't want to be in class with no friends as it is a 'divide into groups' situation. And it is always fun to do these types of things with a fellow friend to laugh at you as you fall on your face.

So now I have a free day to chill out a bit and prepare myself for a nice long run in the pentlands tomorrow :)

distance: 2.2miles
time: 21 mins 03secs
cals: 291

Friday, 21 January 2011


Running at work is a bit of a pain but I didn't have much choice today. One early morning run in a week is more than enough. So I stuffed my kit in my rucksack along with my painfully healthy lunch and lugged it on the bus ride into work.

It was actually nice to do a different route and there is a handy path away from the main road behind the office - it is not surprising that quite a few fellow collegues go running regularly at lunchtime. Thankfully didn't bump into anyone I knew - there is something not right about seeing work collegues exercising.

Due to my efforts yesterday I did find it a bit of a struggle and various bits of my body are starting to complain...and I just tell them to shut up.

Due to this mid-work session I had a lunch hour instead of a 30min one sitting at my desk so that must be good for me!

Totals for today:

Distance: 2.67 miles
Time: 25mins 29secs
Cals: 286

Thursday, 20 January 2011


Willpower wins out.  Another day of fighting the urge to take the easy route and I won...getting good.

It is freezing once again but I had to visit the Post Office depot to pick up a pressie for myself. I could have taken my bike but madness won out and went on foot. Another motivation for a long run is that I have noticed that I've not actually lost any weight doing all this exercise (will never learn that exercising doen't give me carte blanche to eat whatever I want!) . As of tomorrow the booze consumption (along with the cheese and crisps) is getting curbed

I discovered that having a reward halfway through a run is rather nice despite having to run back with extra to carry.   Also can't wait for the days to get longer so I don't have to run in the dark as have had a few near misses of running into people and objects.

So anyway: totals are as follows:
distance: 5 miles
time 50mins 51 secs
cals: 634

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Day 19

Today has been the hardest so far to find the will power to do my session...After a couple of days with not very much sleep and a busy day with a 220 round trip in the car for work so got home and lay down for a cat nap...I literally had to fight to get my gym gear on and out the house.  But I managed it but stuck to the cross trainer for goinng to have a very early nigtht and hoping to feel more human tomorrow.

Total distance 4.69 km
Total time: 30mins56secs

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Day18 - All a bit of a rush!

Traffic and dinner date with a friend = a short jog, log and blog!

Total distance 2.22
Total time: 21mins 33secs
287 cals, top speed 9mph

some random observations/facts...

  • The 'controvertial' Scottish Parliament building looks rather nice at night with the lights on
  • There's a brill shop selling witchcrafty stuff called the wyrd shop which has some nice jewelry
  • Marilyn Manson has some very good tunes to run to
Now have to go as am going to be late

Monday, 17 January 2011

Day17-Hardcore Training

After a low-key Sunday, thought I should try a little harder today. I had the day off work as was coming  back from Aberdeen and as it was a good, sunny day I took the advantage and went for an interval training session down the innocent railway path which is nice and flat so good for fast running (Though 'fast' for me at the moment is a relative term) Its the first interval session I've had since I've done since training for the haf-marathon last September so it was a bit of a challenge.

I decided on 8 reps of 2mins hard running with 30 seconds recovery. This turned out to be rather tough and my speed declined towards the end though I managed to average about 7mph which isn't too bad considering I'm out of practice.

I'm aslo happy that my strict stretching routine I've enforced seems to be working and my old injuries seem to be keeping quiet.

Total distance: 4.37 miles
Total time: 42mins 47secs

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Day 16 - Beach Walk

Twas a beautiful day in Aberdeen today but was feeling a little hungover from going out last, cider, and a few shots and in after 1am. So, thought we would go for a gentle-ish walk instead.  Aberdeen has a lovely long beach so we walked along the sand then as the sun was starting to go down we turned back and walked back along the promenade.

Don't feel too guilty for taking it easy for once will be back to the harder graft tomorrow.

Total distance 2miles
Total time: 50 mins

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Day15-Running up north

I'm writing this on my friend's loovvvely MacBook (oh how I wish I could afford one) in Aberdeen. Thankfully she has been very accommodating and did not mind me buggering off for a run on my weekend visit. Luckily there is a nice pathway to go 2 mins away from the flat. Very similar in fact to the old Innocent railway path in Edinburgh. Nice and flat too so it wasn't too much of a slog, even managed to go a 9 minute mile :)

It was grey and wet but at least not raining. Now that my running duty has been fulfilled I am planning to go explore the rest of this city that I have never really had the chance to look at properly

Total distance: 3.16 miles
Total time: 31 mins 56 secs
Cal: 406 (translating into a few glasses of vino later!!)

Friday, 14 January 2011

Day14-Its so very early!

It is very wrong to have the alarm clock go off at 5:45am. Feeling headachey (from only a glass and a half of wine last night!?!) and peeking outside to see it was raining with gusto. But on my running shoes went and waterproof jacket. As I finished my run last night at 8pm my body was still feeling the effects and this morning's jog was pretty hard going and had to keep it short as still had to organise myself for a weekend in Aberdeen and still get myself into the office for 8am.

It always amazes me how many people are up and doing stuff so early in the morning...sane people are still warm and cosy in their beds. But the roads were pretty quiet which reduced the chances of me getting knocked over considerably - all my running gear is black or some other dark colour, should really get some high vis things as my road crossing technique is not up to much either.

Total distance: 1.5miles
Total time: 12min38secs
Cals: 192

Thursday, 13 January 2011

1st of a few shortened blogs as life is getting in the way of normal computer activity. 
Was planning on a very short run but before I realised I way on my way to running over 2 miles. Totally not what I had planned. Knee is still complaining but choosing to ignore it.

Up to Aberdeen this weekend so will be nice to see new surroundings, just hope I don't get lost...unless I can persuade my friend to come out for a run too.

Total distance: 2.5 miles
Total time: 26.36 mins

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Total distance: 4.58miles
Total time: 48mins
Managed to combine my running session with 'running' an errand (bad pun I know!). Needing to drop a contract off to a designer I thought I would leave the car and run there and back instead.
Running through Holyrood Park after dark is a bit of a challenge as you only have lights of oncoming cars to stop you tripping over yourself or the odd swan.

Think I've done pretty well so far although my knee is now totally buggered and may have to take it very easy tomorrow.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Day11 Of ice, the return of the student hordes and ridiculous diets

Total distance: 7.4km
Total time: 45 mins

OK, bored of the ice that is preventing outdoor running without risk or serious incident. And now the gym is humming with the return of all the uni students. I have found that one of the drawbacks of being a member of a University gym is that every year I get older but most of my fellow gym-goers stay the same age!

Thankfully I managed to nab one of the few cross trainers left and managed a good 45 mins. Decided to give the treadmill a miss due to the fact that my knee is sore even walking. Ice pack will be out tonight.

As often goes with the new year's new exercise routine, I usually attempt to adopt a similarly healthy approach to diet (though nothing will make me give up my wine and cheese!). These diet-related thoughts are usually helped along with all the magazines which are stuffed full of new diets claiming to be the next 'revolutionary' way to lose the weitgh and keep it off. I have, in my time come across some mad diets but the one that I came across in the weekend's Sunday Times Style suppliament is probably the maddest I have come across so far. It calls itself the 'Evolutionary' diet and goes on the premise that we should be eating the way our ancestors from the stone age ate...I.e. fruit, nuts and the occational bit of meat/fish, pressumabley caught by your own bare hands. Now some of this made a bit of sense but it also says we can happily skip meals now and again (now I always thought this was generally considered a bad thing to do) and says that pasta, potatoes, chickpeas (??) and various other foods I thought were considered very healthy are very bad. However, the maddest claim was that seeds were to be avoided as they contain 'antinutrients'. Now I thought seeds were very healthy with omega oils etc, and I would really love to know what the hell an antinutrient is.

Anyway, that is my rant over with and no doubt this diet will eventually disappear into the vault of faddy unrealistic diets dreamed up by sadists.

Monday, 10 January 2011


distance: 1.89miles
Time: 20min07secs
calories: 242
Have spent the last 45 mins fighting with my internet connection, thus a very short blog before it crashes again and I throw the laptop out my window.

Not near my gym today so running in the slushy streets in the rain it is.

Knee is still sore so only managed 20mins. Also managed to step in some gigantic puddles so arrive back a little bedraggled, wet and craving wine...still, at least I made it out!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Day 9

Total distance: 3.16 miles
Total time: 34.18 mins

Having done 3 days in a row at the gym, really didn't feel like doing it again - I do get bored watching the same music videos and find it almost impossible to do the treadmill without music. Although the snow is not gone and there are now some nasty patches of ice everywhere. Walking back from the cinema there were however quite a few runners out and it was a beautiful sunny day so after a lot of humming and hawing I decided on braving the icy paths and do an outdoors session.
I really wish I had a small portable camera or a fancy iPhone or similar so I could take photos of the gorgeous views I get but I don't (I do have a camera phone but am not able to connect and upload stuff to my laptop).
I did a fav route of mine round holyrood park which amounts to a decent just-over-3 mile run. Also got to use my Garmin forerunner again meaning I don't have to measure out my run on the internet which is tiresome.
One thing I did learn was that running in slushy/icy snow is really not good for my knees and I also managed to forget to put my knee support on so finished the run with a bit of a hobble but hopefully it will have recovered by tomorrow.

Saturday, 8 January 2011


More snow...arrrghhh

Total: 7km, 44mins
Treadmill: 5kms, 32mins, 397 cals
Cross Trainer: 2kms, 12.48

Another gym day due to the snow. I know other hardy people run in the snow but even walking the short distance to the gym I nearly fell twice so running in it is definitly out!
Usual routine of treadmill and a short cross trainer session.
Was feeling pretty knackered after completeing the lengthy and hard-going stretches the physio gave me after my injuries sustained training for my last half marathon. The injury has since healed but I keep up the exercises to stop it reoccuring.
Unfortunately my plan to collapse in a heap had to be postponed until after tackling tiding my flat and hoovering (I have been given a dyson on very short term loan so it needed doing now). I know why I don't do my housework - one because I don't like it and 2 I was more tired after doing that than after a 3 mile run. Anyway, that it done a least for a couple of weeks :)

Now the rest of the day is going to be spent reading then going out for movie and dinner - much better than housework!

Friday, 7 January 2011


Well, one week done and so far I'm still intact

Almost didn't make it to the gym today as I had the sad news that my cat had to be put down. She had been suffering the effects of  brain damage for a couple of years and ran away and was lost just before xmas. Was glad that she was found but it has been an upsetting day overall and the last thing I really wanted to do was get my gym kit out. But I'm glad I did.

One of the reasons I love running so much is that even when I feel low and the thought of exerise is the last on my mind, I find that it is very much worth the extra effort to get myself out. The best is getting out in the fresh air but unfortunately January in Edinburgh at the moment is freezing with frequent snow flurries and I really haven't managed to get the will power to brave it so my gym membership is being made use of instead.

Done similar schedule as yesterday with a treadmill and cross trainer session.

With a full week now done and dusted I decided I deserved a nice cold beer to go with my homemade curry. Readying myself for week 2.
Total distance: 9.38km (5.38 on cross trainer and 4km on treadmill)
Total time: 59mins

Thursday, 6 January 2011


My internet connection is trying its very best to thwart my attempts to log and blog so having to keep it short (my brain is also starting to shut down)  I almost didn't manage exercise today as after a long and difficult day at work and a rather unsuccessful trip to the supermarket (the one thing I go for and reeally needed and they didn't have it) all I really wanted to do was curl up in bed but good sense prevailed and I dragged my carcass out of the door
Due to the baltic weather I decided the gym was the best bet and happily, against my expectations the gym was surprisingly quiet.

Managed 30 mins on the treadmill and 24mins on the Cross Trainer. 4.6km and 4.0km respectively

Now before I lose all details I am signing off and going to bed with a good book.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Day5-Biking it

Total distance: 14km in 1hour 10mins ( that's a outward and return journey)

Mainly due to the fact that it's my first day back at work and I have friends to visit this evening (I can see Janathon reaaally screwing with my social life!) I thought I would sneakily squeeze my exercise for today by combining it with getting to work. Just as I am a fair weather outdoor runner, prefering the comfort of the gym in the winter (its cold, raining and windy in Scotland!), I am not partial to cycling on dark cold days. However, needs must.

So I dusted of my bike which has been generally getting in the way in my very narrow hallway since the summer,, when I brought it out of very long term storage in my parents garage, to do a charity ride from Glasgow to Edinburgh via the canal ways. Anyway, it did give me a chance to use some of the expensive stuff I bought for my return to cycling and saved me a couple of quid bus fare!

The journey to work wasn't too bad though I really don't like travelling in traffic and felt rather good for getting exercise in before 8am. On the down side my return journey was cold and rainy and I now have a rather sore behind - the first ride is always the worst.

I should be back to the running tomorrow but if the promise of sunshine holds out I may cycle it to work aswell! Though I my feel differently in the morning!