Sunday, 30 November 2008

WHW Training Run Beinn Glas

One call off from Geraldine so it was Jimmy, Andy and I who set off for the Drover's where we were to meet John Kynaston et al for the first of the organised runs to familiarise ourselves with the Way, or re-familiarise in the case of the old hands. It was a stunning morning, once we left the Vale that is, as it was shrouded in mist that hung around all day. Other than some ice on the A82 it was a great day for the drive and after introductions, and a team photie we set off at 9.30 heading to Inversnaid and back, with the option of going on to Derrydarroch or Carmyle for the truly mad.
Soon after setting off though, it became apparent that the -6 degree temperature meant that ice on some of the boulders was going to be a problem, and so it was. For me, among others, and several times at that. There was a cracking pace set at the front and everyone seemed to be keen to get to Inversnaid quickly. However about a mile short of the hotel I began to have a bit of trouble with my ankles and knees, objecting to the frequent re-corrections to my balance and then my calf started to niggle. No problem I thought, just slow down, get to Inversnaid and take your time back. So after a drink and a couple of sweets I turned with Jimmy and Andy but soon let them go on as I could feel my calf tighten even more. That however was to be the least of my troubles as about a mile north of Inversnaid I slipped again, my left leg going left and the right followed through, before coming to an abrupt halt as I toe-ended a boulder. Bloody sore too, and I soon realised that I was in a bit of bother as the foot wasn't able to stabilise me as I progressed over what I'm assured is the worst of the WHW terrain. It was almost six miles of difficult walking, interrupted by a slow jog when I was on good going. Getting back much later than I expected, we were unable to partake of the Drover's hospitality as Andy was due at work at 3pm.
Home,then, for some RICE treatment to the joint of the big toe of the right foot that seems to have absorbed the worst of the impact, and to avail myself of the brownie points that I seem at the moment to have in credit. And some painkillers.
I noted, too,the absence of Mr Pacepusher, whose wife had accused him of having manflu, but who today rather guiltily admitted that he really isn't well. Make the most of that Neal!
I ran with Caroline for a while early in the run and she was really running well, taking full advantage of my trailblazing to avoid the slippy bits! I didn't see her after Inversnaid, so I hope she managed without me. :-)
Thanks to John for the organisation, and to all those who turned out.And for those Milies who had a lost weekend following Friday's presentation and whatever "cure" was taken yesterday; there's always next time!

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Club Session - Hill Reps

Didn't venture too far tonight warming up round Burnbrae before doing a club "favourite" - not session. There are three hills, on Upper Bridge St, Overtoun Rd and Margaret Drive, 3 reps on each street jog down recovery and jog between streets. There is a short recovery jog after Margaret Drive and then do them all again in reverse order. UBSt and M.Dr are short sharp hills about 100 yards or so and Overtoun is a long dragging hill. we ran to the far side of the fly-over there which gives us an extention to progress the session in future. A total of 18 hills,and combined with warmup and cooldowns comes in about 6 miles in total. I ran fairly well and was still working hard on no 18, although Mr Cowper was giving me a start and was jogging along quite nicely behind me at the end, hardly out of breath..... see these fit guys.....

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Club run with head torches

Jimmy and Geraldine, having purchased head torches at cheap and cheerful prices insisted that we should run them in on a club run. I was able to appropriate my son's Pretzl torch that is used for going into the loft, having bought it a few years ago to walk the WHW. It still has the original batteries and did the job tonight on an 8 mile run out to the Arden roundabout and return. The run out was pretty nippy but the weekend is still in my legs so I eased back on the return trip as Steph headed the run home. Took a bit of a slagging from JR re my lack of jacket and Camelbak on Sunday. But I can take it! I certainly hand it out, so I've got to take it when I get it.
Missing JogScotland tomorrow night as I have to attend a cousin's funeral at 3pm in Irvine and won't get back. Elizabeth was only a year or so older than I am, so it's particularly hard to believe. She had a long illness having been diagnosed with breast cancer a few months ago. I seldom saw her in adulthood, but we were certainly close when we were kids and I have no doubt that old memories will be stirred up tomorrow.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Fail ToPrepare, Prepare To Fail

Yep, Davie does it again. After realising last night that his legs were feeling the best they've felt for weeks, and putting it down to the lack of driving required to be a househusband, he goes and makes a complete disaster of today's training run.
Up at 6.45 for brekky and gets the camelbak filled with water,cereal bars, rain jacket, yes that rain jacket, the one that cost the GDP of a small nation and promising to keep me dry in all weather. Out the door in plenty of time with rucksack,shoes to suit trail or road, desperate for a good run. Parks car at the club car park, swaps stuff into Steph's car and off we go.... No. Call from Ali and Geraldine in the other car;"Davie's not locked his car." Steph took me back. Car locked. Off to Succouth for another Sunday Tour de Ardgartan.
Reach car park, into boot.Shoes,check.Hat,check. Gloves, check. Spare pairs,check. Camelbak,@*$5^&*(£~#, and that's a long swearyword, believe me. I hadn't even left it in the car. It was still at home! Tucked up on the floor of my livingroom, warm with the central heating on seriously warm.Tucked up like I should have been on this particularly cold, wet, windy,early winter, crappy day.
Still after some hilarity from the team, I was loaned; a showerproof jacket, a water bottle to fill from a stream, and later two jelly beans a wine gum and half a banana. Just what you need on a planned 17 mile trek in the Argyll Forest park.
Off we went on a wee detour through Succouth to gain the forestry rd we had been on a short week ago. Turning towards Ardgartan, then onto the old Glen Croe road that you see below you when you're nice and dry on the A83. Weather threatened us all day, but only on the climb up from the bottom of the glen to the Rest and Be Thankful did it hit us with full force. Strong wind and sleet. Back via the Cat's Crag loop via the higher road and Loch Longside to the forestry offices, with slippery, icy surfaces on that stretch testing the grip of those Salomomns of mine. Must say they did ok. Wet,yes, but not as wet as the rest of me! At Ardgartan, Andy and I took the road way back as both sets of legs were saying no to the final climb up the forestry road back to Succouth. I was really quite bedraggled by this time, hungry, though at this time Jimmy gave me a banana. He offered Andy one but Andy said,"It's OK. I'll have a bite of that one." You mean mine! On arrival back at the car we stripped off and into a change of clothing.(I had brought that at least.) The girls had fled the scene after cutting down on reaching Cats Crag so we headed straight back to the Vale without stopping for tea. I took Jimmy's advice and spent the rest of the day in a bath and PJ's. Probably did about 16 miles at a pretty miserable clip with a lot of walking. Some days are simply better spent in bed!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Milburn Harriers Balloch Park XC

Up early this morning to lay out the course for the first race of the club's cross country championship, with assistance from Jim Robertson who was essential as he was the only one who knew exactly where the course should go!
Off at 10am, and unfortunately two missed the start, Elaine who simply started a minute behind and head her time adjusted and guest Lindsay who could only run two laps as he was too late. The race was won by Stevie Cowper, club speed merchant, and Adrian, the club mountaineer, was second. I had no chance of beating them so concentrated on doing my best to beat the others. I ran, for me, a steadily paced race,realising that as long as I could stay in touch with Steph and Pat I should be able to get past them at some point on the next two laps, as I seemed stronger than them in the mud and hills in the second half of each lap. And so it proved as I managed to beat them both and finish 3rd. Geraldine won the ladies race, and overall there was a good turnout with some first timers enjoying the experience. Tea,coffee, and Jan's home baking after the race before heading home for a bath and the laundry basket!
In the afternoon I attended the Scottish Athletics Seminar in the Glasgow Marriott, where there were updates on the Commonwealth Games planning,performance planning, competition structure and a half hour talk and question and answer session with Paula Radcliffe. She spoke about racing on home soil, training, and then gave some very incisive answers to some searching questions. I got to ask one at the end;
Davie: Paula, when you've won Olympic gold and Commonwealth silver (losing to a Scot), and given your love of trails, would you consider tackling some of the long distance trail races?
Paula: Oh God No! I would like to do some fell races though..... How long are you talking?
Davie: WHW race is 95 miles.
Paula: When I did my first 1/2 Marathon I swore I wouldn't run twice that distance. So let's never say never.
Voice at the back: I asked her this morning to run the OMM with me!
Davie: What, and get her lost?

Chair: OK thanks. Lets go for coffee!

Dario...... Send her a form for 2015

Bed early, well after X Factor, as we are on the Arrochar trails again tomorrow.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Easy running

Two runs to report, Jogscotland on Wednesday where four of us set off on the last of the 10 week session. Normally that means they should be doing the last run in the programme, but all the girls who run in my group have achieved this previously, and are racing 10ks on a regular basis, so they are happy just to run for around an hour. That's what we did last night, suited to all as one had another event to attend. Two found the pace just right for the distance we did, and had both been injured and missed a bit of training recently, and I was happy to get home in time to watch the Argies tribute night at Hampden! It's really sick the way our football press drum up the nationalistic feelings against our English cousins by harping back to the "Hand of God" of 1986. I mean you never hear the English press go on about 1966.
Tonight was club night and as the first of the club x country races is on Saturday a fair sized pack set out on an easy run. We just followed the 10k route, which is getting a bit boring, but in winter, as I've said before, it's difficult to get runs to measure the schedule unless someone does their homework. The run covers a bit more than the 10k in question which actually doesn't complete the loop so its about 6.5 miles. Some of the members were keener to run a bit harder so after the first mile two or three of them kicked off. I would normally have followed, but a new found discipline took over and I stayed with the pack. I'm just a wee angel so am ur!

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Club run into Dumbarton - No passport required

First winter foray into Dumbarton, avoiding the dark and dangerous Renton Road, we headed over the Renton footbridge and out past the Lions Gate towards Bellsmyre. One, nay, the only benefit of the new road system they have put in place for the new retail/commercial park is that there is now street lighting the whole length of the road, although we returned along the top road to Bonhill Bridge and that part remains unlit. Anyway, I digress. On reaching Dumbarton we turned down Townend Rd, where two members of Dumbarton AAC were spotted doing reps, to the Church St roundabout, then along Glasgow Rd to Greenhead Rd where we ran back up to the A82 and returned along through Bonhill to the bridge and back up to the club. Seven in the pack Jimmy, Ali and Geraldine staying together at the back whilst I took Garry, and new boys Richard and Ian along at a slightly faster pace for the last 5 miles or so. 9 in total, pretty easy running, but good to get to run with the newer guys who are coming on well despite only just joining the club recently.
Good turnout at the club overall with Jim taking his group to Loch Lomond Shores for some reps and a few others disappearing for a shorter run.
Club cross country race at Balloch Castle on Saturday morning, not my favourite race but forms part of the training schedule so nothing else for it but to turn out and run. Hopefully home baking to look forward to post race:-)

Monday, 17 November 2008


Some good responses on my post yesterday and I took John's advice and put it on the WHW website and that generated some more responses.
Between keeping up to date on the various postings and my housework (Washing, drying,washing-up and drying,stripping bed, washing,drying, putting it back on.... hoovering, taxiing,.....) I needed a run, so set off after dark on a three mile slow recovery run round the village, staying off the hilly bits which isn't easy. The worst bit of stiffness after yesterdays run is actually in my neck due to carrying the camelbak around. I had a poor sleep because of it, so it has to be fixed. Answer? Address the cause, which in my case is poor muscle strength in the shoulder area. How? 100! I'm saying nothing about my initial test. It was piss poor, but I've started so hopefully it'll help.
Anyway, my other half is in, switched telly on for first time today and she settled in to watch last nights I'm a Celeb, only to be interrupted by the first of at least three one hour phone calls she'll receive tonight. It'll be winter in the jungle by the time she watches the whole series.Definitely not up to X factor, but then nas long as the Spanish bird is still the apple of Simon's leering eye she'll stay in the running and I'll stay watching! Sorry Debs!!

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Back on the Trails

A short 3.5 mile easy run on Saturday afternoon, prior to spending the rest of the day at the telly watching rugby, football and the unmissable X factor. SAD me.
Up at 7 this morning to head to the Vale to meet Steph, Ali,Geraldine and a slightly worse for the wear Jimmy. I'll say at the outset I didn't know he had been on the shandies on Saturday. He hid it well otherwise he would have suffered!
Jim Robertson had threatened to appear but had to drop his good lady off at her friends before he could escape for his first run in a week. He did appear later.
We parked at Succouth near Arrochar and intended to run 17 miles. we were to start on the Glen Loin loop take in the Loch Sloy dam at that end of the loop before heading to Ardgarten and back to Succouth. Ali intended doing only the Loop but was able to run up to the bottom of the dam, declining the short steep climb onto the dam where geraldine Jimy and I did a bit of sightseeing. The run from Succouth to the dam is on a good trail with some stiff climbs. I had run it previously, in July taking a couple of hours for the 10.3 miles of the loop, but this was slower, allowing for a bit of re-grouping. The sun was starting to show behind the hills on the east side of the Glen and although a bit chilly, it was a beautiful day for a run. Returning to the the loop we headed back towards Succouth, meeting JR who decided to stay with Ali as she was aiming for about 13 miles. Steph and I headed on, setting a decent pace but stopping to replenish sugar and fluid levels as the run took it's toll. At the Ardgarten end we took the lower forestry road to come out across the road from the forestry offices. This however entailed a quad crunching decent, easy meet for the mountain goat that is Steph, but sore on me. Waited for Jimmy and Geraldine and then gave them the good news. Return by the higher forestry road, not the A83. This entailed running half a mile along the verge before climbing a seemingly never ending hill, where as I had several times previously today I was reduced to walking. Full marks to Geraldine, she ran every step of the way, the two of us reaching the top together to find Steph sitting at a picnic table, where we helped empty his orange juice bottle. Jimmy arrived a wee bit later, feeling the night before's fun. The run back to Succouth was reasonable flat,until the descent via the Cobbler path. Reaching the car after 4hrs 15minutes.
G Map was difficult due to the terrain but I measured the run at about 18miles. URL for this route is:
After changing into less sweaty gear, we headed for the Tarbet Tea Rooms where we tucked into a feast of heart attack inducing breakfast rolls and tea. (O.K. Geraldine had soup)
A wee disagreement with JR who thinks we are starting our WHW training a bit too early. He thinks there is a danger of getting sickened by the level of training, our arguement is that last year, Steph, Geraldine and Jimmy ran the Fling and felt that having started training in January, they were unprepared for the race. This time the goal is the WHW race just a few weeks later and that will require a longer prep. I see JR's point but would argue that he has been doing this for many, many years and has thousands of miles in his legs. That goes for many WHW veterans, but those mere mortals who are doing it for the first time have to get as many miles as possible into their legs, and the coach in me says a long base preparation is the best way to prepare. Last week I did just over 40 miles and the others slightly less. I don't think that is excessive, although today's miles count for next week and it was a hard days work.
I won't fall out with Jim over it, and any other views are welcome.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Hill reps

To Irvine today to visit my neice and as it turned out my two nephews who had a school holiday. I posted that I had been down a couple of weeks ago at a retirement party, and had taken the retiree a rather nice botlle of whisky that my brother-in-law had obtained at a good price, as he works in Johnny Walkers in Kilmarnock. However I had forgotten to give my neice my share of the cost and she had embarrassed me by e mail into going down today to pay my dues. I got there to find the boys also had the day off and had a great time reading and playing with them and then sharing their lunch - mince with baked beans mixed in and bread to dip. Brilliant! And the first time in years I've had such fun at lunch.
Got home in time to do a bit about the house, then set off for the first of regular Thursday rep sessions at the club. We opted for hills and ran to Balloch Park where we ran from the main gate to where the road splits for the castle and the north gate. Two distinct climbs totalling about 700metres at a rough guess, jog back recovery x 4. Pretty hard work but sustained effort that has my legs objecting noisily and ensured the jog back via Jamestown was very easy paced. Total running of about 7 miles, maybe more.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008


For the first time in 6 months I was able to do what I wanted, when I wanted today. Although I gave up work last week, my wife had some time off and I was subject to being under the thumb for the past 7 days. Today, however, she was back at work so I lay in my bed and scratched my bum until the dog annoyed me enough to get up. Straight into running gear though as I intended to put in a few miles at a decent pace as tonight I was in JogScotland mode. So in the early afternoon I did a quick run round Drumhead estate for 3and a 1/2 miles, so that if I had to take another group tonight it wouldbe easy to make up the 6 miles I was scheduled to run today. As it turned out the girls who turned up tonight, 7 of them, were all of good ability, if some of them needed a run after missing a few runs. The pack stayed together though and I was able to guide them up the hills at Mollanbowie estate and Davie Graham's hill where I was also able to stretch my legs a bit. Around 5 miles or just over, so that made for 8 and a 1/2 for the day. Easy pace. One thing I noticed after the early run was that i had no tightness afterwards, perhaps the distance run was enough to ease out the muscles and not enough to get them tight again. I'll keep an eye on that and see if it is a way to stay healthy!

Also noticed a weight loss over the past 10 days, and I am making an effort to keep the junk food to a minimum. Still a long way to June but my head seems to be on the right way, hope all the training group can say the same!

Club run 8 miles

Quite a big pack set out towards Renton for a loop before a backward circuit of the Vale Polaroid 10k route. Steph, Jimmy, Adrian, Garry, Geraldine, Ali and new member Richard were my company for the evening, but nice to see Kirsty make it to the club from JogScotland, another JR judo student of yesteryear. She went with Charlie and Elaine et. al. for her intro.
Steady pace for us, Ali still struggling with the pace but definitely digging in hard to stay with the group. We had to turn back to re-unite with her once, and she missed a loop but she's worth it! Maybe my fault, as at one point I was referred to a road sign which said SLOW DOWN and asked to adhere to the instruction. Me? Fast? Shurely shum mishtake!

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Boturich and Horseshoe - The Long Way

Met Ali, Geraldine, Jimmy and Steph as arranged, but Steph decided to do a hil run at Luss leaving the WHW/Flingers to do their 15 mile run on the roads. Setting out from the club car park, we ran to Balloch, through the main gate of the park and after leaving via North Gate, we turned round Boturich peninsula before rejoining the A811 for a short run into Gartocharn, opting to take the Duncryne road onto the Horseshoe route. Had a sighting of a runner who looked from the distance like Marco. At the 10 mile mark Stevie turned up to relieve us of Ali, who is beginning her build up and was only wanting to do 10. She had worked hard, the language at times demonstrating just how hard! She also had a family occasion to attend, a meal to celebrate her father Davie's 80th Birthday. I've known Davie for a long time, as he used to run the snack bar at Luss Car Park, where I was the local cop for 4 years in the 80's. He doesn't have a scooby how many freebies I got from the girls who worked for him, but if he did he would be sending me the bill! Happy Birthday David!
Continuing down the Auchencarroch Rd,the pace picked up a bit but will still be described as easy inmy diary. Hard enough after yesterday's race which by the time I had finished today had taken it's toll. Passed Janet McColl of McColl's buses on the lower part of Auchencarroch Rd, being paced by a McColl's mini bus with blacked out windows! She said it was in case she needed a lift, but I think that she has identical triplets who each run a section of every run and race she does! Finishing up at the car park again we had been out for 2hrs 50, slow but the idea of these long runs is to simulate WHW race pace rather than running at what we would run for 1/2 marathon or 10k training.
Measuring the run on G maps I was astounded to find that as we had set out to run 10 miles (Ali) and 15miles (the others) we had in fact run 10.1 and 14.9. Not bad considering the Duncryne bit was added on impulse when we got to Gartocharn. Can't say we waste energy.

URL for this route is:

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Glasgow University 5 Mile Road Race

To Garscube Estate to run this long standing road race for the first time. Good turn out of Millies on the last day of the 2008 club championship. The champion will be the runner who gains most points from a fixed number of varying races i.e. 1xMarathon 3xhalf marathons, 4 x 10k, 1x 10 miles and 1 x 5 miles. These can include club handicap races, but runners can select any other races at the distances. A point is gained for every mile (or nearest mile)and a point for every club member you beat. I have for the first time completed a full set of races. I was beaten by Pat and Rob whenever we raced against each other, but if they didn't run enough races.....
We'll see, but I think I'm well placed!
Stevie Cowper, by far the best Millie runner turned out today, but Stevie won't run any further than about 6 miles..... ever! Even training runs. He gets a nose bleed at 6 miles and a yard.So I had to beat Steph, Garry, Jimmy, Ed to get all the other points available to me. Steph will normally beat me but is still struggling with a back injury and I beat him last week, so I was hopeful of doing a double! Garry is really a novice at the racing but he is younger and if he puts in the training and races more then he will keep improving. Jimmy, will never beat me! If I run till I'm 90 he'll never beat me. That's because he abandoned me on a training run a few weeks ago when I was suffering after a night out. I'll never forgive him!:-)
Anyway, on arrival at Garscube I registered, and warmed up with Brian Clark of Dumbarton who had buttonholed me for a lift home, then made my way to the start. O the gun I started briskly enough and as I had started ahead of the guys took a lead to the gate onto Ilay Rd. Problem here was that the race organisers had failed to arrange for a big gate to be opened and by the time my section of the field arrived, there was a big buildup to get through the side gate. Steph, no etiquette displayed, got through before me and took a 30 yard lead off me. I workled steadily to get it back but after the hill before the turn onto Maryhill Rd he came past me again. I went past again at the entrance to the Uni estate and didn't see him after that. I was running steadily enough, but knew that the hilly nature of the course was against a really fast time. I think 7 minute miling for 5 is beyond me at the moment, but had quietly hoped for 36 minutes, and was quite happy when my watch stopped on 36.35. I didn't see Stevie after the race, but Steph, Garry,Ed and Jimmy came in steadily after me. Cooled down with Brian, then enjoyed some of the excellent buffet put on by the Uni. Had a blether with Marco and Debbie, giving her a mild ticking off for running herself in the dark when there are plenty of running groups leaving the Vale leisure centre three nights a week!

So a good race (very fast at the front end with Chris Mckay winning in 24.24) spoiled only by the gate just after the start being closed. I have thoroughly enjoyed the four races that I have run in the past four weeks and I am feeling the benefit. Glutes still tight but put some Deep Heat on, carefully, before running today and felt that had a positive effect.Just wish it smelled of roses!

Thursday, 6 November 2008


When I started as a leader with JogScotland a few years ago I had to consider that a number of the joggers under my leadership were pretty nervous of running past the assorted neddery that passes as lowlife in the vale of Leven and in the lead up to Guy Fawkes one problem is the use of fireworks as an intimidatory weapon. However, on Guy Fawkes night when there are displays all over the country, there is less opportunity for showing off by the bad boys and running the streets with displays all round was a brilliant experience. Last night being a JogScotland night and Bonfire Night meant I was keen to get out, but most of my group were missing, presumably having been dragged off to displays by their kids and only two of the girls turned out. We did a quick 40 minute run which was enough for one of them, who was not as experienced as the other, so we called it a day after about 3.5 miles, just in time to get to the TV to watch some pub teams playing at Parkhead. The football was probably responsible for the diminished amount of fireworks this year, with half the West of Scotland watching Celtic and the other half watching Man U!
This morning my wife had a dental appointment and I went along as her taxi as she was having a couple out. She wasn't that bad she couldn't go shopping. We were after a dinner service to replace the one we've been using for 9 years, and I was dragged round half the stores in Clydebank, to no avail. However...... TK Maxx did have a pair of Brasher walking boots at £69.99 (RRP £110) and Mairi took so much trouble finding them and pointing them out, that I felt kind of obliged to take the opportunity...... and a couple of pairs of long socks to go with them. Well, I did feel that wearing trail shoes on my last walk was a bit iffy, especially on the rough downhill, so hopefully these will help. Then I had to tell her that I had bought two pairs of gloves and a hat in Achilles Heel on Wednesday. Oh and I'll need a couple of pairs of running tights soon....... see me, see retail therapy. Oh and she did get a new comb for the dog.

To the club tonight for a 7 miler. From the club we went round Burnbrae and then the Polaroid 10k course. We left at 6.15 sharp, leaving Ed behind as he didn't know we were away, and before Steph arrived...... blame Jimmy guys! Jimmy, Geraldine and Garry were my companions for a steady run. Some of us are doing the Glasgow Uni 5 miler on Saturday which is the last race in this years road race championship, and then a 15 miler at 8am on Sunday. Leaving from the club.
A cup of tea and some toast and cheese in the centre cafe with JR who always has plenty of sound advice for me with regard to the WHW. Between Jim's advice and the companionship of the club members, not to mention the WHW group training runs, I will have no excuse for failing to cover the training required. My only worry is injury or illness but, other than taking as much preventative care as I can, that is something I can't control. One good bit of news this week on the club front is that JR's group have decided to enter two teams for the Fling relay. Little do they know how the bug will get them!

On the WHW blog front I was sorry to see that Brian McIntosh has suffered an ankle ligament injury. I offered some advice re strengthening exercises, but his unfortunate accident reminded me of something I read a while back that I had saved for future reference. When I saw the runners at the WHW race presentation hobble up to collect their goblets and the esteem in which they held Dario I thought it would be good to see this on t-shirts to be worn at the presentation. It is an anonymous Gaelic Blessing (in English)

May those who love us, love us
And those that don't love us,
May God turn their hearts;
And if He doesn't turn their hearts
May He turn their ankles
So we'll know them by their limping
Author Unknown

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

I left the house at 6am this morning to take the Volvo down to Goole, with the intention of getting up and down in time to get to the club, this being the first day of the training schedule that Steph had compiled for Jimmy, Geraldine and Ali. As I will be running with them for most of my sessions I will also be looking for a copy of the schedule and thought better of missing the first run! As they all work, and I am now (after tomorrow) back in the realm of the retired, I will be able to put in additional work, but will need to keep an eye to their timetable to tie in with the sessions. I hope to do some walking, strength work and cross training to complement the running.
Anyway, I ended up only just making it to the club as, due to a combination of fog and wide loads, the journey up and down was very slow. We set off out to Arden roundabout for an 8 miler. Easy run out and eventually Garry and I ran hard for the last couple of miles. No idea how long we ran for as I forgot to look at the watch, but it wasn't really of any consequence due to the slow early pace. No problem with my legs which have been subjected to ice treatments for the past two nights.
Two wee jobs tomorrow within Glasgow and I'm back to full time athlete!!

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Eddies Half Marathon

A beautiful day for a race, much nicer than the last time I ran this race in 2005 when it was windy and rainy. Mairi and I drove over to the Vale in case we had to take some of the club members, but with a bus and two other cars, we weren't needed. So off we went, and as Mairi hadn't been up through Glencoe for many years, she was spoilt with an absolutely superb day for scenery. So nice that every good viewpoint had it's own horde of photographers, complete with tripods getting what was probably the best pic f the year. Stunning.We arrived in plenty of time to register then have a coffee. After meeting the others I had a warm up with clubmate Elaine and Yvonnne from Dumbarton AC. I had by that time I had discovered my club vest was lying on my bed in Cardross, having looked it out and promptly left it down. So I was forced to run in a t shirt!
Quick lo visit before the start meant I was near the back at the start and as I crossed the start line, realised I hadn't reset my watch, so after a bit of footering I finally started it about 15 seconds late. Off we went and I soon passed Garry, who was running his second 1/2 marathon and I told him to watch for the climb from the turning point, thereby incurring the wrath of two Kirkintilloch Olypians for whom that information was not what they wanted! I was running quite freely but was soon overtaken by Rob and Elaine, who soon took about 50 yards out of me. Maybe I was running slower than I felt. But no, the miles were ticking off inside my usual splits, even allowing for the watch malfunction. The course is mainly downhill from about 4 miles to the turning point, where of course we have to run up the hill we've just come down. By that time, I was swapping places on a regular basis with a Lochaber AC girl Theresa, who seemed to know every spectator or steward we passed. At the top of the hill at Corpach I was running well and I was thinking a Pb was on, but suddenly at about 11 miles I started to feel my right hamstring getting tight, and the strange sensation of my left leg running better than the right started. I'm sure this is the result of driving so much as I get a numb feeling spreading from my glute to the hammy when I'm driving long distances, which this week had been every day. (see yesterdays post for my solution to that wee problem!). By mile 12 I was in bother and felt as if I could be about to tear the hammy. I slowed down but then had to walk for about a minute. I got going again and managed to run the last mile and the bit. I finished in 1.43.41 for 80th,which I think is my 2nd best 1/2 ever just short of the 1.41 of three years ago in the same race. How disappointed I was. Still, only Rob and Elaine finished ahead of me from the club, Steph, running after injury was next, then Garry, Jimmy, Geraldine, Catherine and Chris. JR ran with Karen and Sandra, pacing them to 2 hrs 30. a vast improvement on their previous runs.
Plenty other good runs from Dumbarton area runners and at the presentation I was delighted to see Elaine Somerville and Yvonne Boyle took 1st and 2nd in the over 35 ladies and Neil Prior of Dumbarton took second male vet.
WHW family members I met included Jim Drummond, who had engaged in his usual slagging of JR when they passed. And I introduced myself to Thomas and Silke who both had good runs but I will leave them to report their own races. I'm sure there were others running, we will no doubt find their reports on the forum or blogs.
A good race, as popular as always, but if forced to choose one from this or Aviemore, then Aviemore would always be my choice. Maybe I'm getting used to being off road!
Finished off a lovely day with Sunday lunch at Duck Bay Marina.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Now I've done it!

"Done what?" you ask. Well it's not put on my training shoes every day and gone for a lengthy run. This week has seen my work load involve visiting Goole, Aberdeen (Dyce) 3 times,Paisley, East Kilbride, Shotts, and Glasgow. God knows how many miles, and He alone knows how many litres of Carbon Monoxide I have released into the atmosphere from gas guzzling high performance vehicular monsters. I became a danger to myself and others as I spent my days driving, arriving home to go to bed, get up and go driving. All for a wage that does not exceed the minimum as laid down by HM (non)Government.
No more. My wife, who had insisted that I get out of the house and return to earning, got to the stage when even she was getting fed up with the hours I was keeping and raised no objections when, today, I typed a resignation letter and sent it off 1st class announcing I work no more after this week. Now I have no excuse to miss runs, although I will still be seeking employment, subject to semi-retirement rules!
This week I had managed to run only once, with Jogscotland on Wednesday, where I ran my group a couple of miles before doing some hill reps (gentle) in Balloch Park and then running back for a total of 5 miles.
Tomorrow however, I will hopefully manage to run a decent Eddie's Half Marathon on my fresh legs. Quite a few Millies and associates from Jogscotland and local unattached runners are heading up to Fort William. Mairi is coming too so I won't have to drive back.
Last night, after coming back from Aberdeen in a wonderful Volvo XC90 (glad it wasn't my petrol!)I headed down to the Volunteer Rooms in Irvine to surprise my old DJing boss Willie Freckleton who was retiring from his job in entertainments at North Ayrshire Leisure.
Having been TAGGED by Rachel, this is where I get to reveal A LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT MYSELF and admit to a few musical indiscretions that will have the subversive runner choking himself with his hose and Brian wondering why I don't like Ivor Cutler. As a 17 year old I worked as a DJ in Ayrshire's finest discotheques(before they took the name "night clubs" which prior to the year 2000 were where Sinatra sang cabaret). Willie Freck ran the company and we were pretty high profile in those days, hosting Radio Clyde DJs,scottish bands, The Wombles, Johnny "Tears On My Pillow" Nash,amongst others. I was the first person ever to play "Una Paloma Blanco",the first to introduce Midge Ure's Slik after they went to number one, as well as being the first DJ Willie ever sacked for being D & I and unable to go on stage!
Anyway, my niece Sarah Jane, who works in the Magnum in Irvine told me this party was on and although I hadn't seen Willie for many years I thought I would go down to wish him all the best for his retirement. It was a lovely evening, not least because Sarah Jane called a very attractive young lady over to meet me. This turned out to be Devil of the Highlands ladies race winner Sharon Law, who was Debbie's support on the WHW race, the two of them having been best pals for years and years (must have been since before they were born). We had a good blether and will no doubt meet again at the various training days over the next few months.There was also a brilliant band on, Vein. Pretty much a cabaret type band, they were unusual that, although they had about 10 musicians in the band, they had a different lead vocalist coming on to the stage for every song. I'm sure that, if I had thought to have counted them, there must have been about 30 people on the stage all told.
Anyway, more CHORES on Saturday before an early rise tomorrow for the trip to Lochaber.