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!