Run Balmoral 10k – Race Report!


Official time: 50:39

Overall: 452nd out of 1855

Division: 42nd out of 463

Gender: 74th out of 858

A square version of last years medal
A square version of last years medal

This is the second year running I have completed the Run Balmoral 10k race and it was even better than I remembered. I had high hopes for this race as the last time I completed it I hadn’t been running for very long, so after a year of proper training and many, many races later, I was ready to tackle the infamous hill again.

Jemma got the train through to mine from Glasgow on the Friday night as we had quite an early start the next day and hoped to get there with a bit of time to spare. However, sitting on the couch at about 1am, chatting and planning our morning, Jemma asked me what time I thought we should get there as we’d need to leave time to pick up our race packs. I had a giggle, thinking she was joking and said that we had them sent out weeks ago. She then thought I was having her on and only believed me when I went go get mine! Oh well, an unscheduled trip to Glasgow the next morning it was then! Not that I minded at all and it gave Jemma the chance to pick up a few other bits and pieces she would need for the weekend and for me to pick up various items of clothing that I had left at their flat over the past few months! So by 10:30am, after a hearty breakfast of porridge with nutella and a few cups of coffee, we were leaving Glasgow behind us and heading north to Balmoral. We stopped in Perth to pick up various goodies for after the race, including some fine ales for Jemma and a few cans of gin and tonic for me (for once we had driven home of course!), had a quick dash to the toilet, filled up with diesel and we were off again. I somehow managed to take the wrong road out of Perth and had to detour through Coupar Angus. I don’t think this should have added too much time on to the journey but we got stuck behind a car towing trailer which was swaying all over the road and put me off overtaking. We finally got in front of them and we were back on the very windy road up through Glenshee and over towards our destination.

I love roads like this. But not when you get stuck behind cars that brake at EVERY SINGLE TINY BEND!!
I love roads like this. But not when you get stuck behind cars that brake at EVERY SINGLE TINY BEND!!

One of the things I don’t like about this event is the amount of cars that descend upon the tiny village on race weekend. There are 3 different races on the Saturday and the event organisers do very well to make sure the cars are all parked in different areas to allow people to leave after their specific events, but it’s still a lot of traffic considering there is only one road in to the estate! We finally got there with about an hour to spare, but take off 10 minutes to park and another 15 to walk up to the starting point and I was now starting to worry we were pushing it for time as we still needed to get to the toilet and drop off my bag. At 1:45 pm there was a minute’s silence for the Boston marathon and after a whistle blew to mark the minute was up, the field erupted into applause. With the start time now fast approaching it was another dash over to the bag drop as we squished all our belongings into my backpack, pinned our race number and tags on, made sure our sunglasses were at the ready and with an exaggerated leap over the fence to our estimated starting area, we were finally ready to go. With 3 minutes to spare!
Run Balmoral is a huge event. For such a remote place it always amazes me how big this event is and with all the families and supporters that come along for the races, it’s packed to the rafters. And with last years time to beat, I wasn’t going to be squished to the back as I knew how difficult it was to get a fast start as the first 2 miles were along a rather narrow track. However there were so many runners all standing along a very narrow road and it was very hard to get to where I guessed I should be standing. Once standing there I overheard quite a few people saying they didn’t know where they should be standing ‘so just stood here’ and guessed there might be some squishing and pushing to deal with after all. The foghorn went off just after 2pm and after a few waves of shuffling forward, we crossed the starting mat and we were on our way. I knew I needed a fast start as the hill would bring my splits right down but as predicted I had to duck, dive and zoom up the grassy verge to get by big groups of runners. Finally I seemed to be running in a straight line and the pace began to pick up.

Mile 1 – 7:42
Mile 2 – 8:06
Not too bad a start considering the sheer volume of people and wiggling all over the path I had done.

And then came the hill.
I have trained my butt off for months knowing this would be tough, although I had done worse. But It still got me. I don’t know if it’s because my foot is still giving me grief or because I had been so tired the previous week at work but I found it really tough. Not as tough as those who decided to walk as soon as their foot hit the hill.. come on people, you were pre warned there was a hill involved!! However, I pushed right to the top, albeit slowly – no more than a foot dragging jog as I got to the summit and was overjoyed to see the piper. I had my music on really loudly this year so I didn’t hear him, but I gave him a cheery smile as I sped on by towards the water station. I launched a cup of water at my face and felt the power automatically filling up in my legs again as I hit the first part of the descent. This was it, I had slowed down but I could still make up for lost time in the last 5k and catch Jemma who was bounding out of sight in the distance.

Mile 3 (up the hill) – 10:05
Mile 4 – 7:34

I glanced at my garmin at one point going down the hill when I felt like I was flying. It said I was running at a 6:xx pace. Wow, these hills were excellent, and they just kept coming! The following 2 miles really helped me get back on track and as I ran by the 8km signpost I felt strong. I suddenly had a flashback to this point in the race last year and inwardly grinned at how good a felt compared to how dead I was on my legs then. What a difference a year can make and I’m glad I’m putting the effort into all of my training runs because this is why I do it. To notice the improvements in my strength and stamina and to finish a race with obstacles like this one and still having power in my legs and a grin on my face.

Mile 5 – 7:44
Mile 6 – 7:56

The last mile and a bit brings you back towards the castle and through the crowds of spectators cheering you on. As much as I love having the support this is one race that has bugged me 2 years running at this exact point. The kids are getting more and more desperate to get a high five from the runners that they come further and further into the path to reach out and the path gets narrower on both sides for the runners. At one point a guy ducked right across in front of me to get to his daughter who was on the opposite side of the path and although a nice gesture, he didn’t look behind him before he veered across and I almost ploughed into the back of him. Seconds after that, a kid decided he wanted to be on the other side of the path and ran out among the runners – so very nearly tripping up the woman in front of me. Not a wise move!! However, the cheering is a very welcome factor at this point and really helps you give it your all for the last little section of the race. I could still see Jemma’s ponytail swishing about in the distance ahead of my, but by now I could tell she had her serious face on and was going to finish strong. I wasn’t going to catch her this time.

The final section of the race loops back around on itself, goes down a steep hill and onto the flat path along to the finishers chute. I still felt like I had more so I pushed and managed a sprint finish. Or what I think was a sprint finish after such a hilly race. Whatever I was doing, I was NOT going to let the man beside me pass me as we flew along the final flat, but he got me in the last few meters. I will blame the fact I don’t have long legs. Any excuse….

Jemma was waiting for me at the finish line with a huge grin on her face and together we went to collect our medals, t-shirts and water. I remembered to stop my garmin right on the line and once again it registered just short of 6.2 miles (6.19 this time!), but I’d clocked 50:38 and Jemma came in at 50:01. That’s 5 minutes off my course time for last year and if it hadn’t been for my slow plod up the hill, it would have been very close to my PB. Not bad at all!! The adrenaline soon kicked in for both of us and we were buzzing all over the estate talking rubbish. I actually got a twitter message later that day from someone who had spotted us ‘on a gel frenzy’ in the run for it tent. I couldn’t have described it better myself!

Proud as punch. And loving the fact my medal matches my vest!!
Proud as punch. And loving the fact my medal matches my vest!!

I was worried about getting back out of the car park as last year it had been a mess and taken us over an hour to get out of the field alone, but having waited a little longer to get some food and have a sit down after our race I think we missed most of the madness. We were back on the road within 15 minutes and home with plenty of time for pizza, gin and ale with Craig, who had been away being a radio star that day!

This years t-shirt and a cheesy Jemma!
This years t shirt and a cheesy Jemma!

I’m very glad I went back to run this course again as it makes me realise my training is really paying off when I look at not just my time but my overall position and ranking. Not bad, not bad at all! On the whole I have to say it’s an amazingly well organised event considering the number of people who attend and the event staff were very helpful. I think now that I have beaten my time, I wouldn’t go back for the 10k as it is a bit of a trek for us, but maybe we’d try the 15 mile trail race next time. Always on the look out for the next adventure!
With weary legs and heavy eyelids it was time for bed…. and to prepare for round 2 with the Balfron 10k the following day.

A cheeky wee sip. Delicious!!!!
A cheeky wee sip. Delicious!!!!

Running on empty…

I have been meaning to update for a over a week now but things just keep getting in the way. The Easter holidays flew by and I was snowed under at work, stressing and worrying about the organising and planning of the new block of lessons, and now here we are, 2 weeks into the new block and time is just going too damn fast! My working days usually fly by from the minute I clock in to the minute I clock back out and by the time I get home and have my dinner I am already planning on going to bed! I am really appreciating the lighter evenings and they are really giving me the boost I need to get back out and clock up some miles but I have recently felt like it’s a real struggle to find the motivation and energy I need to get out there. Since the Edinburgh half two weeks ago I haven’t managed a run longer than 8 miles. By the time I finish teaching at 6pm I can’t describe how hungry I am, so dinner is always a priority as soon as I get in. I wait for a bit for dinner to digest and by the time I’m ready to head out for my run it’s pushing 8pm and I don’t want to head too far from home with the light fading…

Whining aside, it has been a great month for racing. The Edinburgh race really made me up my game and made me realise I was tougher than I thought when it comes to running in horrific weather conditions. And I think horizontal rain and 37mph winds count as slightly horrific!! Last weekend brought us the Callander X 10K and it was fabulous. Easily one of the most scenic races I have completed and a good challenging run too. It started at the bottom of a hill and after a minute or so of road running we turned sharply and started our ascent up a rather steep trail. It wasn’t a busy race but the trail was very narrow to begin with, so there was a bit of darting about through people trying to find a comfortable position in the pack. The race was described as 40% tarmac and 60% trails, and the first 2.5 kilometres were all off road, quite muddy and rather steep. I was glad I had swayed towards trail shoes for this particular race! I pushed really hard for the first section to try and get past people that by the time the second section of hills came I just felt useless. My run became a bit of a shuffle as the hills got steeper but before I knew it I could hear the piper at the summit of the hill and I was fast approaching 5km. The descent was amazing, I suddenly had the wind in my sails and I used the downwards slopes to make up for lost time on the way up. The trails were absolutely wonderful and with a snow capped Ben Ledi as a back drop I couldn’t help but smile as I speedily made my way back downhill and onto the roads. The road took us back up some serious hills and I could see the fast runners in the distance at the top of the hill and sighed as I realised I had to dig deep and push once more to get up to the top of this one. I was running low on energy by now as I’d really pushed to get my splits back down into single numbers after the last lot of hills so this next lot of hills wasn’t a welcome feature! By now we were about 7.5km in and I could see the trail leading back down into Callander so I just let my legs go and flew down the last lot of hills. I kept glancing back and could see Jemma in her bright Alloa half t shirt not far behind me and she is FAST coming down hills, so that also gave me the final push I needed to speed up. The last 2km were lovely and flat, following an old railway path back in Callander, crossing and old metal bridge and down a final slope back to the finish line. Done. The race wasn’t chip timed so going with my garmin I got 52:40 but my official race time was 53:04. However my garmin only registered 6.09miles, so not quite sure what happened there. But under 55 minutes for a tricky hill race will do me just fine!

Sunny 10k hill run, bbq and mugs. I'm happy!
Sunny 10k hill run, bbq and mugs. I’m happy!

My little brother had come along with Jemma so it was nice to have some support at the finish line and then once Jemma finished we all trotted off for a lovely burger from the BBQ the event organisers had put on for us. The weather was gorgeous throughout and I would highly recommend this race to anyone who loves trail running or just wants to give it a go! We got a goodie bag filled with tasty treats and also an amazing mug – as much as I love a medal, a mug is just as good as you  get to use it daily and with the amount of coffee I drink, this is definitely useful.

An awesome race memento.
An awesome race memento.

Although I feel like I have been running on empty, I have been working hard in the gym during my lunch break. When you finish work for the day, the last thing you want to do (well, me personally) is return to said place until the following day. I work in a sports centre and get the gym and classes for free, but I find myself unable to go back after I finish as 9 hours a day there is long enough!! I go to classes at weekends and I’m desperate to try out Metafit which has just been introduced to our timetable, so we’ll see how I get on with that along with my circuits on a Tuesday. During my lunch break I’m completing a weights circuit 2 days a week and a cardio/abs set on the other 2 days. I wish I could fit in a swim as well (seeing as I’m already in the pool for about 6 hours a day!) but there just aren’t enough hours in a day. Where does time go?! I’m also looking into joining my local running club, The Wee County Harriers. They train 2 evenings a week, starting from my workplace and also at the weekends so I just need a little confidence boost to go along and join them. That’s my one of my goals for this year, along with a 46:xx 10k time and a 1:45:xx half time. I think that’s just about feasible.

I ran another 2 races this weekend which were both awesome. Race reports will follow later this week!

Edinburgh Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon – RACE REPORT!

Official time: 1:53:49

Overall: 1181 out of 4361

Division: 51 out of 393

Gender: 273 out of 2269

It's glittery!!
It’s glittery!!

I had been looking forward to this event for months for a few reasons. I cannot lie, the main reason being the awesome medal, but also because it’s a much bigger and more structured event compared to the others I have taken part in this year. However from the minute I woke up and heard the wind howling outside I knew I was going to be in for a hard slog. I awoke before my alarm at 5am and after a bit of tossing and turning, trying to get back to sleep I eventually gave in and got up. Clearly it was even too early for my dog to as she was snoring away merrily and I had to prod her to get her up!! We went out for a short walk and by the time we got home we were both drenched. Not a good outlook for the upcoming race. Hoping it would clear by the time I got through to Edinburgh, I set about making my usual pre-race breakfast of porridge with banana and a few cups of strong coffee and I was ready to go.

I left slightly earlier than was necessary as I was worried about parking in Edinburgh due to all the road closures. However as I was so early I easily found a space in back road with time to spare for a quick trip to Tesco to stock up on bananas and Lucozade. Sitting in the car as I waited to head down to the start area, I started to worry a little about the race. The car physically shook with the strong winds and the rain was battering off the windscreen. I have had much more pleasant runs this year so far and I have always chosen to wear either long sleeves or a t-shirt, but idiot Iona chooses this one to debut her vest wearing for the year. Eeeek, this could have been a bad choice! But it was too late to worry now, so I packed what I needed in my backpack, braved the cold and took off my tracksuit bottoms, put my hood up and joined the hundreds of other runners making their way down to the starting area at Holyrood Park. I had plenty of layers on for now, but it was only a matter of time before I had to ditch them at the bag drop and make my way to the start line. The wind was fierce and the rain was driving into our faces but I was trying  not to let it get to me – I still had a good few hours of this by the looks of things! A few portaloos had already been blown over by this point which added to the already huge queues of people waiting to go one last time before the race and I needed to join them, not looking forward to the long wait, but luckily I found a short queue. It was then time to brave the cold and get ready so I dropped off my stuff at the bag drop and went to meet Jemma who had got the bus through from Glasgow. As we stood shivering at the starting area we once again wished we had remembered bin bags to wear up until we started – next time for sure! The race was delayed a few minutes at the start due to the weather causing problems on the course that had to be sorted, but not long after 9.15am the first wave were off! We were at the back of the third wave and soon as we were over the line we began to dodge people and try and get a good fast start. The road is pretty narrow for the first mile or so and we found ourselves dodging in and out of people to try and get through the crowds and set a sensible pace. By the time we rounded a corner and came up to 2 miles people had spaced out a bit and we were finally moving!

Soaked through and not even started. :(
Soaked through and not even started. 🙁

The first few miles flew by. The weather had eased up a bit but it was still pretty windy however this wasn’t dampening anyone’s spirits! There were live bands dotted about the course and despite the weather they carried on and boosted morale. The course was flat and fast until we got down to Portobello where side winds hit us hard for a shirt period of time. As we rounded a corner and progressed down to the promenade we had a sudden boost with tail winds and it was greatly appreciated! Miles 4, 5 & 6 saw us running through residential areas and back up towards the other side of Holyrood Park. The rain was still horrific and my feet were absolutely soaking but I wasn’t going to let this weather beat me.

Mile 1 – 8:16

Mile 2 – 7.48

Mile 3 – 8:06

Mile 4 – 8:20

Mile 5 – 8:45

Mile 6 – 9:01

At mile 6 we met the first of the hills. Not too steep, but it was a long one and my legs screamed at me. I took a gel about 6 miles in and instantly felt it in my legs – just the boost I needed. This is the first race in a long time I have completed without listening to music at all and it was really nice to have a chat with Jemma on the way around as well as listen to the bands and cheer on other runners! Miles 7 and 8 saw us coming into Holyrood Park and hitting another hill. With side winds. And rain that felt like it was stabbing me. Ouch. However what goes up must come down and we absolutely flew back down the other side! A combination of a descent and tail winds took our split down to a pace time of 7:06 at one point and we had to laugh – that was slower than some runners pace for the entire race!! As we headed out of Holyrood Park and back into the centre of Edinburgh I could hear the P.A on the other side of the park congratulating the runners who were just coming in to finish – Uhhh, I still had 4 and a bit miles to go!! Those people are crazy fast!! The next few miles were an uphill slog through the Cannongate and looping round past the Meadows and back past the University of Edinburgh. This was the toughest part of the race for me where my legs just wanted to give up on me. My breathing felt good, I felt strong on top and in my head I was desperate to push up that hill, but my legs were aching and my foot was giving me grief again. For a while the arch on my left foot has started to get sore after long road runs, (which is probably due to my crazy flat feet!) so I’m guessing it’s time to go and see someone about it. I’m pretty stubborn when it comes to things like that but if it’s going to affect my running, I’ll get to it pronto!

At the top of the hill we took a sharp right where a sudden gust of wind caught me and nearly took my feet out from under me. This seriously was the toughest race I have ever taken part in. I knew I wasn’t getting a pb from about 5 miles in, but I could probably get back in about 1:55 if I kept up my pace, which I’d still be really happy with! At mile 10 we were on a long flat road going through the Meadows and an American man on the pavement suddenly shouted loudly “3 miles to go, you’re 3 miles away from that pint!”. Unfortunately I had the car with me, so I couldn’t indulge after the race, but this comment really spurred me on again and I caught back up with Jemma, who had got away from me a little. I took another gel at 11 miles to get me up to the top of the last hill and then I was finish line bound! The course took another well appreciated down hill route and I used this as my launch pad to speed up for the last few miles. Through Princes Street Gardens, past Waverly station and plenty of cheering tourists and back down the Royal Mile towards the finish line. There were a couple of guys on microphones shouting everyone on at 12.4 miles and them reminding me I had less than a mile to go made me dig deep. Another amazing downhill stretch gave me another boost right to the final 0.1 of a mile where I pulled everything I had left together and tried for a sprint finish. It wasn’t the fastest but I did manage to get past a few people right up the line where I put on my biggest smile for my finishers photo.

Mile 7 –  9:23

Mile 8 – 8:44

Mile 9 – 9:06

Mile 10 – 9:23 (where my legs just said no!)

Mile 11 – 9:05

Mile 12 – 8:42

Mile 13 – 8:07

0.1 – .49.1

As I shuffled through the finishers area to collect my medal I suddenly felt elated. It wasn’t a pb and it wasn’t a comfortable run by any means, but I felt brilliant and it was another half marathon in the bag!

Then came the downside to the race. During the race the staff had to move all the bags due to high winds and the tents where we were meant to pick up our t-shirts had been taken down through fear of them blowing away. This meant instead of a very quick bag pick up and t-shirt grab we had to queue for our bags as very few staff ran in and out of the tents to get them. The queue was massive, no one quite knew where they should be standing and this lead to many people skipping the queue and others just being left baffled while trying their hardest not to blow away in their amazing silver space capes. I think if it hadn’t been for these capes my hands might have fallen off as after half an hour or so of waiting and shivering my finger tips turned completely white and lost all feeling. Not good! I had somehow come away with 2 space blankets, so I used the spare one to make a snazzy silver hand warmer and kept myself amused by jumping up and down and talking to people around me. EVENTUALLY (over an hour later!) we got our bags back, headed for the t-shirt queue and went to find somewhere to get a hot drink. I think that was the best cup of tea I have ever had.

The feeling has finally come back to my fingers.
The feeling has finally come back to my fingers.
Jemma and her fly away space cape!!! I was so thankful for these.
Jemma and her fly away space cape!!! I was so thankful for these.

All in all, I did enjoy this race. The weather put a bit of a downer on the event but you can’t help these things and I’m sure I’ll run other races in similar conditions – I do live in Scotland after all!

Forward planning…

With 2 days to go until the Edinburgh Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon, my 5th half, I couldn’t be any more excited. The thought of running with 5000 or so other people is really appealing to my competitive side, seeing as the majority of the races I have taken part in over the past few months have only had a couple of hundred people taking part. Most of these people have been club runners and hell they are fast! Although my times are improving (I have taken 10 minutes off my half marathon time and 7 minutes of my 10k time since I started racing), I’m still placing quite far back overall. The last big race I ran was the Great Scottish Run where I placed 1460th out of 7770 runners so this weekend I would definitely like to place top 2000. I think that’s possible….

All week I have visualised the race in my head. When I entered the race earlier this year I put down my finishing time at around 1:50:00, but since then I have smashed my pb by a whole 5 minutes taking my time down to 1:48:11 and I know I have more in me. I haven’t raced this route before but I’m aiming for a pb and I think if I can sneak forward into the 1:45:00 corral I’ll be more determined to keep up with those around me. I finally splashed out on a Garmin Forerunner 410 last week and I can’t wait to try it out properly in a race. A while back I said I didn’t want one as I quite liked using Endomondo on my phone, but as my phone gets a bit older my battery can’t take the stress of gps, music and Endomondo all running for any great length of time. I think I would be heartbroken if it gave up the ghost in the middle of a race and seeing as it has already totally drained my battery while out on long runs the chances of this happening any time soon are quite high. Also being away somewhere on a long run and my phone dying scares me in case I fall and break something and can’t drive home. I’m known for being super clumsy, so this is bound to happen some day!
So, welcome into my life my lovely new Garmin!!!

Ahhh, a new toy...
Ahhh, a new toy…

I did sway with getting the 110 as it’s a bit more girly, but I liked the added features of this one. It’s a bit chunky but, again, seeing as I’m so clumsy I’m pretty sure this will be indestructible for me. I just need to remember to take it off when I’m in the pool teaching!! For some unknown reason I received the instructions in every language except English, so my poor husband Craig had to deal with me footering about with it, beeping every possible button and getting frustrated with the bezel, until he informed me I could download the instructions and didn’t have to guess how it worked. Yep, slight blonde moment there!

So off my shiny new Garmin and I go to add another medal to my collection. I’m aiming for 1:45:00 – 1:50:00, seeing as I don’t know the course. I’m hoping if I can stick to around 8 minute miles I’ll come in under my expected time. Now that I’m a serious (ha!) runner, I’ll actually be a bit gutted if I don’t bring home a PB. Time to rest up until Sunday…
Good luck to everyone running it and hopefully I’ll catch some of you there!

Race report will follow 🙂


Hello Spring!

What an amazing change in the weather we have had in the past week. Back in February when Jemma and I ran our first race of the year we thought that the winter was behind us as we ran along in the (rather chilly!) sunshine with clear blue skies above our heads. But no. Just a week later the snow began and it just didn’t want to stop. It was the kind of snow that you just get really bored with – always there but never on the ground for more than 5 minutes and just bitterly cold and annoying. At least it stopped for the majority of our race days, apart from a little flurry just before the beginning of our Loch Katrine races. The day after the Alloa Half Marathon the snow hit us pretty badly for a day or two – that was a very lucky miss! But here we are, 5 days in to April and we’ve had sunshine every day. I tried an evening run in shorts on Monday – maybe that was a little premature, but it won’t be long!

My training this week has consisted of the following:

Saturday – 11 miles of trail running with Jemma
Sunday – Rest day
Monday – 6 miles road running
Tuesday – Circuits
Wednesday – Rest day
Thursday – 12.5 miles, mixed road and trail
Friday – 5.5 miles cross country.

I won’t lie, this week has been a struggle. On Saturday I felt maybe it was too soon after my breakfast and that’s why I didn’t feel great, but when I went out on Monday I felt slow. I put it down to having had a busy day at work and still being a bit sore from Saturday but if I’m honest, I wasn’t. I spent most of the day on the phone speaking to parents and organising the next block of swimming lessons when I’m usually in the pool teaching all day, so I can hardly say I had a strenuous day! On Tuesday I went to circuits and I felt great. Towards the end we completed a “nightmare set”, which consists of pad work, body kicks and lots and lots of squats. Oh how I needed my rest day on Wednesday! Long run day was on Thursday this week and again I felt slow. I haven’t quite recovered from Tuesdays set even now, so maybe I should have taken an extra day before my long run! But on I plodded down the old railway line from my house all the way round to Alva where I found a bench to sit on and eat my banana. I have started running with a Camelbak on my longer runs and even though it probably slows me down quite a bit I am really thankful for it. Not only does it carry my fluid but I can stick my keys, tissues, phone and even my banana in there. And the longer I run, the lighter my bag gets, so the last few miles are never that bad. However I needed a bath when I got in and a very good stretch. Tiger balm has become my new best friend this week.
My run today was glorious. It was just beautiful! Shorts were back on, buff was left at home and my sunglasses even made an appearance! When I run cross country I have many gates to go through and cattle grids to hop over, so I’m never expecting a fast time, I just enjoy the scenery. And when it looks like this, you can look past the pain!

Snow topped hills, blue skies and the Wallace monument in the back ground!
Snow topped hills, blue skies and the Wallace monument in the back ground!

Reading other blogs and Twitter is starting to make me insanely jealous with all the marathons everybody is running. At the beginning of the year I didn’t think I’d ever want to run a marathon, never mind be ready to run one. But in the past few months I have really upped my game and with Jemma and my little brother training for marathons this year, I’m starting to wish I had entered one too! I’ll wait and see how they get on in theirs first… Maybe next year will be my year!

I have had 2 weekends without races and I’m starting to crave my next one. And what an amazing one it’s going to be – The Edinburgh Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon! I’ve seen quite a few people going on about it on Twitter and their blogs so it would be amazing to meet some new people on the day. Let me know if you’re doing it too – Jemma and I will see you there. After that I have the Callander 10k, the Balmoral 10k and the Balfron 10k, all in April and then the Loch Leven Half Marathon in May. After that my race calendar is actually empty. Give me ideas for more please!!!

Look out for me!!
Look out for me!!

This weekend I may have no races but I do have a lot on and maybe a wee wine or two with good friends. So for now I am hanging up my trainers and with all those running the Paris marathon in mind, I bid you Adieu!