Thursday, 30 April 2009

How much weight in a pair of legs?

Tonight's made three runs in a row since Tuesday following last night's JogScotland night where we hailed Christine's effort on Saturday. Don't know if we scared some of the new starts off with tales of an ultra,though. It was, after all, only the second week of the session, so the beginners would only be jogging for 1 minute x 5! Hope they were inspired. My own group were running for only 50 minutes but I was shorter than even that as one had a problem with cramp on her hamstring, so I ran with her and she only managed 45 minutes.
This morning, my wife was at hospital for a check and her consultant was quite pleased to hear we are of on holiday for two weeks. Why? well she's in my jogging group and reckons she'll get an easy time when I'm away. Little does she know I'm leaving homework!
On my way home, I passed an optician shop window. And in the display was a board congratulating staff member Christine on her Highland Fling run!

Back to the vale for the club run. we decided on an easy 5 or 6 miler along the cycle path to Balloch Park and return by whatever route we preferred. Started off easy enough but soon found myself away with Garry. We ran up Heart Attack Hill at the far end of the park, adjacent to the trail where my legs failed on Tuesday. I can report an improvement as I managed the hill, albeit in my own good time. Out the north gate and down Mollanbowie hill and back via Jamestown and the Bonhill Bridge. By this time my legs were feeling as heavy as I've ever known them, but strangely the pace was picking up and I put an effort in on the hill up from the station towards Renton. Then back along Main St to the club and a sprint finish! Speed must have reached at least 9 minute miling! About 80 minutes running, and probably near 8 miles. But it felt fast at the end! A slow walk/jog round the block to take the heaviness away and shower before JR arrived back.
Looking forward to a busy rest day tomorrow with a few wee jobs for the holiday to be done. Hopefully a few hours on my feet at the weekend on an easy run.
Good luck to Steph at the Stuc a Chroin race on Saturday.

Footnote: Just as I was about to save this post an e-mail arrived with some info on some Trail Escapades coming soon. Link here

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Back in the Fold

Club night tonight with a photo-shoot to provide some colour for the local press report and the club web-site. I also wanted some pics of some of our girls who had taken part on Saturday. As they had started running at JogScotland before coming to the club,I thought that the JogScotland folk at Scottish Athletics might appreciate an article.Here is a wee look at why Jim is still running!
Most of the girls made up our relay teams, but Christine, the one with Jim's leg over her, ran the whole 53 miles. Everyone is dead chuffed for her.

Now,Mrs Consani made a comment on my last entry asking if we were doing our usual 12 mile trail run this evening. She didn't think we'd dare following Saturday's race, did she?
Well guess what? Jimmy Mac suggested the run we took Debbie on a few weeks ago. It was to be easy as we were recovering and Steph is doing Stuc a Chroin at the weekend. However, there were some who hadn't run at the weekend, and the easy pace was a bit faster than that although not much. Along the Leven and Loch Lomondside (an easy section!) I stopped for a widdle in Balloch Park,leaving myself a few yards behind the others as we started the climb through Fairy Glen, a steep, twisting trail that leads us to Whinney Hill gates. I managed halfway before my legs told me they weren't going any further without the assistance of a rescue helicopter! The others carried on,but I wimped out, cutting my run to a mere 70 minutes, running across Balloch Park and through another two parks back to the club for a shower and a blether with JR who had sensibly opted for a shorter, even easier run! We were discussing Saturday, as you do, and remarked on the terrific support we had - and not only the drivers.Most of this lot below either ran or turned up at some point of the day to help, and that didn't include the family members, and JogScotland members who appeared at various points of the day. Thanks to every last one of you, your support was incredible.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

The Montane Highland Fling 2009

I'm up early, been for a walk, and other than red hot feet burning through my socks I feel better than I thought I would. I'm typing this and watching the start of the Flora Londo Marathon. I ran last years race and thought, at that time, nothing would ever come close to that experience. As soon as on-line entries opened my application was in, and my wife started looking forward to her weekend in the UK capital. Two weeks later, that is to say a year yesterday, I was picking up my club-mates who were running the Highland Fling, and spending the day supporting them and when some were timed out at Beinn Glas, spent the next couple of hours in the Drovers car park massaging feet. NOT A NICE JOB. By this time I knew that London and the Fling were on the same weekend this year, and the Fling looked like a possible consolation prize if my London entry was unsuccessful. Fast forward a few weeks to the full West Highland Way Race and I'm running the final few sections supporting Jim Robertson and thoroughly enjoying the experience. The presentation and the obvious camaraderie amongst all particpants, whether runner, supporter or race official, was inspiring.Come August my entry went in and I also entered the Fling in order to justify my entry for the WHW race. Now of course I was praying for a rejection from London and wondering how to explain to my better half, Mairi, why we wouldn't be going to London if it wasn't! (It was rejected, thank goodness!) Preparation started immediately and my training routine's changed to take in more trails and other off road runs. I even ran one of the club cross countries for goodness sake!
Suddenly it was April, and as can be seen from my pre-race blog I wasn't terribly confident that my preparation for the Fling was sufficient. Wee niggly things had caused me to pull back on training a bit and I missed one of the preparation runs (42 miler) due to illness. Had I done enough?
F-day arrived, my wife and son (Andrew) struggled from dreamland. They were my support for the day and dire warnings had been issued. They were helping and I wasn't to shout at them or they were off and I was on my own! We arrived at Milngavie and I registered before walking around saying "Hello" to friends I had met in the past year and to some I knew only by blog and reputation! His Subversiveness Dave Waterman, Lee, Tim, and Geraldine all came into this category and it was great to meet them all. (Mind you having read of the moment when Geraldine met Mark, eyes meeting at Race Control in Kinlochleven, there wasn't much chance of me stealing her as when I got to meet her, at Beinn Glas, I wasn't at my best and she told me I looked terrible. No romance in her soul at all!)
Soon it was 6am and the ladies and the "Auld yins" (over 50... that's me) lined up to start with a few "Good Lucks" to friends I met on the start line and off we went.An hour later, the "young yins" would start and an hour after that the relay runners. Over 300 runners would take part in one way or another a fantastic achievement for a race only in it's fourth year. A tremendous feat of organisation and all for a tenner!
A nice bright morning and I contrasted it with last year when the photos I took in Mugdock park were badly under exposed due to the dark clouds. Debbie taking photos from the wall at the entrance to the Way wouldn't have any such problems this morning. Into the park and I found myself running near George Reid,veteran of many ultras and who better to stay near to ensure a sensible pace? Wrong! Although a nice comfortable pace, and soon settling into a "walk the hills" routine it turned out we were way too fast. The first three miles were done in 29 minutes, no worries I thought, Garmin on right wrist would keep me aware of what I was doing. Keep the heart beat in my chest, and judge breathing to assess pace. Doing fine. The miles were passing quickly and easily and when we came into the checkpoint at Drymen we had taken only 1hr55. Far too quick, so much for George! Speaking to him later, he admitted that that pace was a lot quicker than he had intended. Put it down to the god conditions! I had intended stopping and changing my shoes to my trails for Conic and did so before checking in so my time is recorded as I left as opposed to arrival at Drymen. What to do now? Keep running as hard? Not really an option on this tough section so I decided to take it even more conservatively than I had intended and try to take some recovery. As I climbed towards Conic Hill, shrouded in mist, I ran very sparingly trying to save my legs for later. As I got closer, a fluttering Saltire marked the viewpoint of Murdo McEwan who had posted his intention to watch the race fro Conic and somehow you knew that it was he. A quick hello and I started the descent. Still ahead of the young yins, but that didn't last too long as suddenly a pack of four went flying past, followed by a few others just off the pace including Marco Consani who was, as usual off to a flying start. Although I had managed,with a luckily soft landing,to fall up the hill, I managed to stay upright on the descent and came into Balmaha in good time. Until now I had been eating regularly but I now started to have difficulty in chewing and swallowing and started to feel bagged up. I changed back to road shoes and set off via the loo, where nothing happened! Came out in time to see Joe Sheridan passing me and soon after the ascent of the knoll Thomas Lohendorf passed.These guys were,of course, near the front of the field and Thomas was on his way to a terrific time, passing Marco who would suffer for his early pace and finishing in 8.20. Thomas is hereby christened "The Not So Crazy German!!" By now the younger starters are starting to come by with greater regularity as did the relay teams, identified by coloured sashes. Those sashes are a Godsend as it would have been utterly demoralising for me not to know that the runners flying past me were only running 12 or 14 miles! A few were not so obvious though, tucking them inside vests or wrapping them round wrists. Please, please, please wear them in a visible manner next time! Just before Rowardennan I was passed by Gavin MacKinlay another blogger I hadn't actually met before. He had had a knee problem a few months ago and I had e-mailed him with an exercise to correct the tracking of the patella. As he passed he asked me to e-mail him another exercise for his hamstrings. But his knee is alright!
Garmin (more later) showed exactly 5 hours for 25 miles; 12 minute miles and probably my idea of a reasonable pace for that section. Rowardennan in 5.15. Bang on what I thought I was capable of, although I was careful not to have specific targets. I switched from bum bag and bottle to Camelbak and set off with some trepidation on the way to Bein Glas, knowing this would be the worst section of the race. Walking most of the climb after Ptarmigan Lodge and a good run down the hill, things slowed a bit on the rough last mile before Inversnaid. Passed at this point by Davie Bell, having a bit of a struggle but not I think as bad as I was starting to feel. Drop bag at Inversnaid introduced me to a new nutritional delight. In a plastic bag I had some PB & J sandwiches and I had put some grapes in beside them that had squashed into the bread. Delicious! But the last bit of food I'd enjoy. Off again, and the bit I dreaded. Those of you who know me will know I'm not the lightweight, nimble type and I have difficulty trusting my nervous system to connect my brain to my feet. I was overtaken by so many runners that I lost count. I'll gloss over the details but I absolutely hated this section and even where it is possible to run I had difficulty raising even a canter. The heat was also taking it's toll.
I eventually reached Beinn Glas in 9.07 3 hours 47 after leaving Rowardennan. "215!" I said. "Davie!" Trish Duffy, a Millie who had had the benefit of my massage last year and was officiating with aforementioned Geraldine at The Farm. She hardly recognised me and soon told me how dreadful I looked. Geraldine agreed and I was given a seat, told to eat drink and recover and not leave until I was feeling better. Mairi and Andrew fed me liquids including a large tumbler of full fat Coke and water. Eating was out of the question, I hadn't peed since Carbeth, and was starting to worry about over hydration/exercise associated low sodium/hyponatraemia. Now I wouldn't have known a lot about that before I started this ultra lark, but I'd been to the the WHW information night and Dr Chris Ellis's presentation was starting to worry me! Mairi and Andrew had been briefed about keeping positive thoughts in my mind and give them their due, despite G and T's best efforts they continued to encourage me.Two other things of note here; Tricia gave me a packet of crisps to try and eat something and get some salt on board. They were Salt and Vinegar and by God they were horrible! I also realised that my Garmin was about 2 miles out and probably had been for a long time. I was actually covering the ground even faster than I thought!!! After a visit to the loo, successful No.2 no No1 (sorry), and after spending half an hour resting I'm off to Carmyle Cottage, for more coke and water and then off up the hill. Suddenly I'm a new man, overtaking quite a few on the climb to Ewich, not even giving my normal mental v-sign to the farmer who works so hard to keep the path well fertilised, and catching up to Tim Downie with whom I'd exchanged places a few times during the race and shared some time as we both rested on the chairs at B.G. The agonies of the last downhill section of the race were somehow muted as I reached the railway bridge and meeting Andrew and Mairi at the A82. Andrew agreed to run the last few miles with me and whilst I had a short walk on the approach to Auchtertyre (where I had a can of Red Bull) I got into a decent rhythym and believe it or not Andrew started to struggle to keep up with me! Into Tyndrum and Silke (race doctor and wife of the Not so Crazy German) was asking for numbers. 215. What's yours, she asked Andrew. "215 Junior" I replied for him!Even my sense of humour was improving. Now I can see the finish, flags fluttering and inflatable marking the end of the 53 miles, and I'm sprinting! (ok relatively speaking). Not quite London-sized crowds, but far more welcoming, the applause for the guy finishing in 222nd place (including relays, I'm referring to the provisional results here!) was very much appreciated and I was delighted to have the energy and mental faculties to gasp out "Thank Yous" to everyone. Clubmates and club runner's families had turned out in force to watch the finish, much appreciated. Dave Waterman was first to greet me when I crossed the line in 12hrs 32.10.
Then a cuddle from Mairi and a hug from Andrew, who proceeded to drink my sponsor's Coors! Handshakes from lots of people, and I hope I managed to convey my thanks to everyone for their tremendous support. My first food since Inversnaid was a bit of Elaine's homebaking, I think it was lovely but I'm afraid my mouth wasn't capable of procesing it and it became a gooey mass. It went down eventually.
Back to the car to change and reaching it before the keys I had a bit of time to myself and Emotions took over. Tears of, what; joy, relief, I don't know, but this guy was in pieces. Changing was fun, and revealed to some, I couldn't get down far enough to see, feet that had been in better nick! Christine, who had also been a beneficiary of that 2008 massage, was asked to reciprocate but decided a photo would have to do. Se moved in close enough to omit my feet.
I walked back to the finish in time to see the presentation, meet some more friends (do I really have so many?), and drink some more coke. Thomas picked up two prizes as Male Vet (3rd?) and 2nd team for Kilbarchan. And a huge cheer, 2nd biggest of the day, for Jez Bragg who extended his course record, or should I say demolished it, now a phenomenal 7hrs 19.09, over 5 minutes faster than last year.Sarah Ridgeway,another blogger whose blogs have more photos than words, (unlike mine!) took !st lady and my wee pal Sharon 3rd lady. Murdo's presentation was muted a bit by announcing no FV55's had finished, but a little later someone advised him the first was about to finish. Cue the biggest cheer of the day before said lady was ushered straight to the podium Grand Prix style. I'm not sure she knew quite where she was!
So, what now? I have an entry for the big race in June, but I have my doubts as to whether I'm capable of it yet. The advice given to me when I entered, that my lack of experience could be a problem, was probably accurate but my bullish nature made me go ahead. Typing this, I actually feel not too bad, but I'm leaving it till after my holiday in May, where I need to keep my training going to justify running 95 miles. Failing that, there will be other ultra's this year and maybe next year.....
Finally, a huge thanks to Mairi and Andrew, without whom I'd never have finished. Not only did they keep me fed and watered, the thought of letting them down after all their support made it not an option to DNF. The only thing that would have stopped me would have been a broken leg. Mind you, if Mark Hamilton can run on one anyone can ;-)

Friday, 24 April 2009

It's Tomorrow??!!!

Had along lie this morning and I'm going to bed early, so this will be brief as I've a car to load and food to prepare.
My preparation has been pretty poor since early March when I ran 31 miles. Since then I did pretty well in my medium length runs but on the weekend I should have been doing 40ish I had pretty bad diarroea and after I recovered I felt it was too late to do a really long run and recover in time for the Fling. I stepped up the number of medium runs, got on the hills and trails and in the past week I've cut down on distance and number of runs, with a lot of walks to compensate. Unfortunately I am feeling, instead of very tired and sore big muscles, pain in lots of wee wans that I wouldn't normally feel, but reading other taper stories that's not unusual. My wife and son are supporting me on Saturday and last weekend was spent on a familiarisation trip to show her the checkpoints and meeting places so that I get regular sustenance. A drop bag for Inversnaid and some bars and gels in my bum bag or Camelbak should look after the nutrition between points.
As for a time..... absolutely no idea and absolutely no concerns about how long it takes. And that's not like me. I usually weant to finish as fast as possible,but this is about increasing the length of that long run as opposed to running a race.
My next problem will be keeping it going whilst in Portugal as I fly out on the 4th of May. If I can't cope with running long in the heat, than I'm going to have a problem getting enough training in to justify running the big one. However if I manage it I'll have some valuable experience in coping with the heat in the event that June is a sizzler. Which will be first.
On checking my e-mail this morning, club-mate Brian Garry, who has been piling in the miles, has been notifies that he is in the WHW race, having been waiting patiently on the reserve list. He'll do really well, I'm sure. Brilliant news, Brian.

Friday, 17 April 2009

West Highland Way - Recce of Rowardennan to Inversnaid

The only part of the Fling route I hadn't been on previously is the above stretch. I had no idea what it was like other than there is a climb out of Rowardennan. So I set off this afternoon after circumnavigating West Dunbartonshire trying to get to the bottom of my car problem. Eventually settling for the local Vauxhall dealer at Dumbuck. They should know what to do, as everyone else seems to think it's another garages problem. mechanics think it's a bodywork problem, Bodywork think auto electric, etc etc.
Anyway, as I left Lindsays I turned up to Bowling Roundabout to head back to Balloch. And just kept going due to a tailback caused by roadworks at Milton. Went the scenic route by Carbeth which took a bit longer but was a pleasant trip. I arrived at Rowardennan about 2.30 and set off at an easy pace, not wanting to blow up as I didn't know what I was going find. Plenty of walkers and I managed to keep a decent pace up the hill, evoking a well done from more than one! Poor souls had probably been walking all day and when the old guy goes past at a jog having run less than 2 miles he gets the plaudits! Anyway I found the going good,and kept up the pace until hitting a stretch of rooty,rocky,steppy going that was more like what I expected. Views spectacular on a nice cool day where the sun made the occasional appearance between clouds. The only drawback was one of Cordner's cruise boats giving the guided tour of the loch to the residents of Stirlingshire as well as their paying passengers. Does it have to be that loud?
Reached Inversnaid in 1hr 22 and took 10minutes to eat crisps and a banana. Refilled water bottle from remnants of a Gatorade I'd had to wash the crisps down and set off back. Is it my imagination or is the climb back up steeper on that side? My natural heart rate monitor started it's alarm. You know the one you see in cartoons when the heart beats out of your chest? BADANG BADANG. Slow down,boy.
Seemed to walk a lot but got back to Rowardennan in just a couple of minutes slower than the outward journey. Maybe a fast descent into Rowardennan helped. Quick rub down and change of clothes and home in time to make the tea! After a nice cool bath.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Ghost Writing Is Going Too Far

I'm writing this my self! No wife, girlfriend (a what?), partner, better half or significant other will be typing my blog! Subversive and Mrs Mac writing each other's was bad enough but now DQ is doing the business on his princess..... nooooo,that's not what I meant to say!
But anyway where is this all going? Will Eilidh and Cairn be booting up the laptops to do Dad's (or Mum's). Hmmmm Maybe not a bad idea. After all Cairn did not a bad job of telling the story of his birth and the fuss made thereafter. And he could start by dissing the Godfather about that feeding bottle. A WHW feeder tasting of Midges?
And wee Eilidh could talk about climbing huge hills in Milton Keynes whereas to Dad they are wee molehills.Or maybe not. :-))
Brian's last post on the WHW website questioned his motivation and he was soon put right as to where to look. I got a wee lesson tonight to back up the kick I got from my JogScotland group last night.
Tonight was the club 5 mile handicap. I decided to give it a miss and acted as timekeeper. Steph who is our race coordinator was away on business but left a handicap list, although he left me with a bit of work to do with some newer members.
First away was Charlie, an old time Millie making a comeback last year in a bid to shed weight and get fitter. He has worked hard for a long time, struggling to keep up, but never shirking the enormous task he had in front of him. Tonight he got his reward, winning the handicap race by nearly two minutes. He thoroughly enjoyed his run being able to work away at a pace with which he was comfortable, no need to work harder to keep up, and slowing when he struggled. Then he realised that he was within a mile of the finish, no-one had passed him and he was then able to pick up his pace for a good finish, tired and happy with his effort. A minute after he finished he looked as if he could do it again! Such is the joy this sport gives us. I got as much enjoyment as he did, with none of the effort. Mind you, the aforementioned handicapper will be getting it in the neck, and Charlie has been advised that he has had his moment of glory!

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

JogScotland - end of block run

Only 5 made it to the end of the block tonight, a tad disappointing given the efforts they had made during the 10 week session. However, one was forced to work a back shift at short notice, one has a problem with her shoulder popping out (karate injury that affects her running) and another had to miss due to the school holiday. The goal for the advanced group is to run for 90 minutes, and all five easily achieved that and indeed ran a bit more as I misjudged the route timing. From the CE Centre we ran to Renton footbridge then back along the cycle track to Lomond Shores, then turned along Luss Road to the Duck Bay/Cameron House entrance off the A82. A run through the grounds of Cameron House and surprisingly the three at the front turned UP the hill past the lodges. Nice to see as it is a tough wee climb. I followed with the two at the back and then we ran along the Main St back to the club. As we passed the magic 90 minutes mark I told the two girls they had the choice of easing off, having attained the goal or continuing as they were. The three in front at that point appeared to start racing! Now I like a wee challenge so, giving them about a 100 yards of a start I set of after them, catching them quite quickly, and continuing to finish at a pace in order to get to the Centre in order to applaud their effort as they finished. Just a wee touch of recognition that I like to give them for their efforts over the session. They covered exactly 9 miles tonight, probably the best effort of all the groups I've taken on the advanced programme. And two of them finished with a sprint!
Maybe not quite of the standard that features in the WHW blogs, but a tremendous achievement for the participants that Jog Scotland targets and it's a pleasure to be part of that success.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

An Easter Disaster

Running on Sunday and Monday for a total of 15 miles, Sunday's being a road run into Dumbarton and back with a loop in the town. Monday was an away day to visit my folks in Irvine and to see the progress of my neice's son Darren, who has been mentioned before apropos my fundraising aim for the WHW races. I'll post some photo's later but he has come on a treat since I last saw him, both physically and in communication. He is really finding the benefit of his trike and has had an amazing increase in the power of his legs. I also went for a run down there, using the Eglinton Park trails before running into Irvine for a nostalgic lap of the Town Moor and the recreation park where I did most of my youthful running.
Today was a disaster as I was up early to attend the funeral of a special friend's father who died earlier in the month aged 89. My wife was going straight to work afterward, so we decided to take both cars and I'm afraid the Green Gods were against me for that. First of all I discovered the car covered in birdshit, and I mean COVERED IN BIRDSHIT. A visit to the two local car washes that early meant I was disappointed, but, as there was no way I was going to any funeral in a car like that, I went to a car wash in Clydebank near the chapel. This was a brushless affair with a super-powered jet wash where the roller brushes would be. So bloody super-powered it sent the water into my air conditioning unit and into the footwell on the passenger side. I don't want to know how much it will cost to fix, suffice to say I can't afford it with my holiday in two weeks. No transport to training tonight and I'm pretty much pissed off at the world so can't be arsed going anyway.
The only good thing is reading Tim's post that it's better being 10% under-trained than 1% over-trained. The former sums me up at the moment as I know I lack at least one long run in my buildup to the Fling, but hope that my feeling of improved overall fitness isn't an illusion.

Monday, 13 April 2009


You know how it is. Sitting on my backside thinking of where to run and Stumbling through the interweb when I find this

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Club Night - Solo Run for Davie Naepals

The usual Thursday session is hill reps but I am looking to fire in some steady mileage so opted out. A few wavered about coming with me but team spirit prevailed and I was on my own. Set off on a slightly extended Horseshoe, avoiding Main St as it's usually busy at the shops and we usually run along Middleton St anyway.
Nice steady pace catching the men's jogging group by Tulliechewan and plodding through Balloch reaching the Gartocharn Road and the first of the hills in about 17 minutes. Soon moving quite steadily, even on the hills and as usual getting faster than I should.
The wee hill at Caldarvan Station did my legs as usual but by then I'm heading back to the Vale and shortly afterwards the Haldane came into sight. Not the nicest part of the Vale, although far from the worst, but always a nice sight on this run as it means you are well on the way home. Pretty breezy, but on my back for the first few miles and when it started to hit me head-on I had reached the mainly downhill section. Back into the town and pleasantly surprised to finish in 87 minutes. Missed the rep crowd but back well before JR whose run was extended by a police incident on the Leven. Apparently they found a body in the river near the golf club at Dumbarton.
Never a dull moment with Milburn.

Double Run Wednesday

Back to running twice on Wednesday, a five mile loop of Bonhill, LionsGate and Renton before picking up my Jog Scotland group for a six mile run along the cycle track to Lomondshore, a climb of Cameron Hill and back along to the CE Centre. Six miles there in just over an hour which is faster than some ran their recent 10k race. Although a bit faster than they should have been running, they set the pace and seemed comfortable, other than when at the top of the climb behind Cameron House. Mind you hey "flew" the downhill. Next week is their "target" run week when they will be runing for an hour and a half. Should be easily achievable for all of them.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Club Run - Sorry Mr Farmer

A few faces missing tonight with the Easter break obviously affecting the turn out, and a few of the regulars off walking and running on the WHW.
Whilst driving round to the club I passed Debbie and Cairn off to meet Marco off the train. The plan was to hand the boss to Marco and Debbie was coming with us on our 12 mile run, with the promise of some off road running. I got changed and then all three Consanis appeared loking a bit like drowned rats from the walk from the station. I introduced Cairn to the ladies and listened to the ooos and aaas. Last time Debbie saw them she was a little larger! I'll keep the details short to encourage Debbie to post her views of the run! Suffice to say she got wet, muddy and maybe a bit tired. We ran to the Alexandria/Renton boundary at the Vale academy where we went onto the cycle track to Balloch. Across the bridge and into Balloch Park at the hotel,following the path along the Leven to the loch. At the far end we had a discussion about whether we went to the Whinnie Hill, but the response was "12 miles, as much off road as possible". So I eschewed the usual run up Heart Attack Hill for the trail alternative, and soon the group stretched. By the time I got to the top, Whinnie Hill was off the menu, and I suggested a route JR took me on New Years Day. As I say, I'll leave Debs to fill in the details, but I will admit that a farm gate, climbed on the hinge side as recommended failed the Big Davie Test. Sorry.Back to Balloch by a more direct route and back along the cycle track having run 2 hours for the 12 miles (almost exactly, Debs!) See me, see navigation...

Monday, 6 April 2009

A Christening

Back out tonight after a lengthy time stuck within easy reach of the loo. No more information as it's not a pleasant story. Pulled on the new Mizuno Wave Harriers to break them in and set off across the golf course in an effort to find a few trails that I knew were there but just couldn't nail down. As a result I had a poor mileage of 4 miles on the Garmin but given that mile 2 took 20 minutes to run you'll realise that I found some toughies. There were however a few dead ends and non existent ones, having overgrown since I saw them from the fairways a few years back. I lost count how many tree trunks I had to scramble over and combined with some burn crossings, where the Harriers, by now well and truly christened, scored lowly on slippy rocks, it turned into a tough run all in. Finished off along the shore past the sawmill in just over 50 minutes. The shoes were great on and brilliant on the trail and in the fields I crossed, but slipped on the aforementioned stepping stone and on the concrete breakwater at the sawmill where I stepped on to avoid a pothole and promptly slipped back off again.
Most of the new trails I found were pretty well worn and were within the grounds of the old St Peter's Priest College, long ago abandoned and which really should be pulled down. It is beloved of those who worship the concrete and steel architecture of the 60s and always the subject of this appeal or that appeal to have it restored. Not worth it! Pull it down and give the ground to the community who can develop the grounds and paths for recreational purposes.
The trails, to get back on subject, link up to the road that formed part of the Farmyards run of last Tuesday so I'll use them from the house to get onto the Carman without having to take my life in my hand running on the hill road. It's bad enough driving it and as I went across tonight to take my son to the Vale nearly got wiped out by a clown coming round a blind bend on the middle of the road. He was lucky it was a car he met, the next vehicle was a small lorry that wouldn't have made it through the gap he was trying to leave. A regular occurrence I'm afraid as many people can't judge where their nearside wheel is in relation to the edge of the road. The worst are the 4x4s, yep, the ones that are built to drive off road!

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Stonymollan Hill Race 2009

Unable to run because of the trots, I was the nominated timekeeper and drove along to the start at the bottom of the footpath to Cardross on Old Luss Rd between MacD's and the Lomond shores. 5 miles with 1060' of climbing over three tops. A turnout of 10 ladies and 9 men with Stevie Cowper the back marker 38 minutes after the first group left the start. Results here click on 2009 Hill Race results. Marion was first handicap by a wide margin, Stevie first scratch in a PB for this race. Three years ago he broke the course record and it is now held by Al Morrison a guest from Garscube who won last year. Special mention to Peter who was second scratch, still only 20. Unfortunately he is a student who works at weekends so his race opportunities are limited, but he will do well when he gets going. Several "new" routes taken tonight due to the good weather bringing out those who think it's fun to move the markers, but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves although I did hear one "never again". Thanks to Steph for organising. Managed to survive being away from the loo for a couple of hours.

No Running!!

Damn. Wednesday night turned into a bit of a bourach (or should that be Boruc?). A bourach (gaelic) is a mess or a muddle hence the new spelling. Two of the jogleaders called in sick and another is in the US so I ended up with the beginners group for what turned out to be a slow mile on the cycle track and a walk back to the club before setting off anti clockwise to meet my own group for the final part of their own run of 1hr 20. Ticked all the boxes then headed home to watch the footie. Bed after that as I felt a bit tired but when I woke in the morning to take my wife's car to Lindsay's for it's service I had to make a loo stop. No more information, unless Dr Silke wants it! Suffice to say I haven't eaten since breakfast and have had sweats, shivers and other symptoms you don't want to know. So I must miss the club hill race (oh dear how sad never mind) although I have to go over to see the previous secretary (nearly said old secretary but she'd take that the wrong way) before she sets off to walk the WHW. If need be I'll hold a watch but I really think I'd better stock up with fluids and some tummy stuff......... men!