Sunday, 26 December 2010


I hope you’ve all had a nice Xmas. We’ve had a quiet and cosy time spending our first Christmas in our new home.
Time to look back now to see what happened to my running goals of 2010. Well on paper it looks like that: Fling, Devil DNS, CCC DNF. Well, it could be seen as a failure but I am actually very pleased with last year. :-)

The Fling was only my 2nd ultra after the Devil and I was scared of it. I was running it unsupported with drop bags and had no idea of how it would go. But on the day I really enjoyed it. I loved seeing everyone pass due to the staggered start (and I do mean nearly everyone!) and was very happy to reach the finish in my target time of sub 13.5 hrs just in time to see Thomas getting his prize for 2nd overall!
As a Fling bonus I achieved one of my major running goals after trying for the past year or so of getting under 50min in a 10K. I just ran the Women’s 10K out of fun a couple of weeks after the Fling and got in even under 49min! I did another 2 10Ks and managed to stay under 50min both times even though I did not beat my new PB of 48:55.

Then out of nowhere our dream house appeared and we weren’t even actively searching and before we knew it we had bought it with an entry date of 1/7/10 (strategically placed after the WHW Race). So suddenly I was busy with trying to get people organised for July for some major changes before we would move in early August just 5 days before the Devil and after a 2-week long planned holiday with 10 relatives in Glen Affric! You get the drift but running took a back stage from July onwards and when I did run my Achilles was playing up. So I decided not to even start the Devil. Thomas did though as he needed the points for his SUMS and he put in a decent run not being in the best shape and very exhausted from the recent move.

Before we knew it we were in Chamonix for the UTMB/CCC and even though I had started to run again my training had been pathetic compared to what it should have been for the CCC. But I got sucked into the whole atmosphere there and was all up for it to see how far I could get when the heavens opened and the dream of running over mountains in sunshine got washed away. After his inaugural Courmayeur 5K (or was it 6?!), Thomas phoned me and thankfully decided for both of us to stop. We were the first to “DNF” and should have got a medal for it as later on the whole race was stopped and only a few had made it to the finish. As everyone knows the rest of the races were also stopped, cancelled and then changed the next day. But we had a great week with everyone else who was there and were not too disappointed.
Once back I concentrated on skating to get in shape for the Berlin Marathon. I was not as fit as last year but still thought I had a chance to get a new PB and finish under 1:40. For Thomas the weekend was hard as he had been all set for a new PB when a chest infection struck and he was unable to run for a couple of weeks so he was sidelined to spectating. But what else should happen then the heavens opened shortly before the start and turned the roads into rivers?! Where had I seen that before? For skaters this is even worse so the PB was not on but I still managed to enjoy myself and ruin all my bearings in the wheels! So that’s 2 races spoiled by torrential rain and none of them was in Scotland! In fact all the races here had been fantastic weather wise.

After Berlin I think I just went into hibernation running wise. I just thought I deserved a rest and did not do anything for weeks with the odd run in between. Well that went on into November and by the end I had to do something and decided to become a “Marcothoni”. So for the past 25 days I have been running every day covering the minimum most times, sending swear words towards Marco when I had to get up at 5:30 am to do my run before work but otherwise in fact loving running on the ice and snow with my Kahtoola Microspikes! I now even own a pair myself, having ordered a pair via Amazon on 20/12/10 they arrived on 23/12/10! How is that for a Xmas miracle?!

The highlight of the year though was Thomas finishing the WHW Race. And finishing it well! Despite injury worries before, during and after the race. I am really proud of him and still have tears in my eyes when I think of the moment he ran into the car park at the Leisure Centre. I am so glad he had a very good year running wise and now not only has a WHW Goblet but also a rather nice decanter for his 2nd veteran place overall in the Scottish Ultra Marathon Series!

So into 2011! I have no big plans and will not do any ultra race next year. Instead I will be concentrating on “shorter” distances, i.e. Marathon and HM. :-) Now I hear some saying that this is not very ambitious. I know. But after last year I have learned that there is no point planning ultras when I already know that I will be struggling with getting all the required miles in, the long training runs etc. If I have a training plan I like to stick to it and get a bit nervous if things get in the way. And as there are a few important non-running events next year that will take up my time, I decided not to put me under this pressure. I was thinking though despite better judgement of entering the CCC as I really want this finisher’s gillet. :-) But it turns out my Fling points will count for 2012 so that’s been postponed until then for now. Unfortunately the Devil is only one week after my parents’ Golden Wedding so again not the best timing for me as I will be involved quite a bit in the planning before and after. I also want to be around for a few other family events in Germany that will take up weekends as well as having friends and family over here for their holidays. So ultra-wise I will be back in support for all that Thomas wants to achieve next year.

For myself I have planned the Edinburgh Marathon and I hope to get under 4 hours this time. This is my main goal. I hope to do some of my longer training runs on the WHW. I will do a HM somewhere, probably the Women’s 10K and a couple of other ones, maybe the Glasgow HM later on in the year. I still have to get a sub 1:50 HM time so that’s another goal for 2011. At the moment we are undecided if we will go to Berlin again. If we do I will be back on my inline skates, and maybe even get a new pair of racing skates that will help me to be even faster!

So bring on 2011. It will be an exciting year for us, welcoming friends and family in our new home, celebrating various special birthdays, weddings and of course continuing to be part of this special WHW-Family and enjoying everything (ultra-)running has to offer – both for the runner and the supporter!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year 2011.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Day 9 of Marcothon

Yes, I am still in it! Not doing much more than the required minimum but it is a first for me to be out running for 9 consecutive days. And in THESE conditions! In fact the snow and ice probably helped me as I was just loving the running with Kahtoolas, and on Monday I managed to run in the freshly falling snow - like a soft carpet! Great.
Well yesterday saw me retreating into the gym for the first time in years though - and probably the last for another few years. I left work early in the afternoon to get home safely while I could still see the ice and snow on the motorway in daylight and headed into the Gourock gym onto the treadmill for 30min - £4.90! Got 1000m of rowing in as well, I guess it is still cheaper than hiring a boat... Well, Thomas had "booked" the Kahtoolas for his afternoon run so I guess it is really time to buy a second pair so I won't have to retreat into the gym if our running times clash.
On my way back I also went into Tesco. Big mistake as the whole of Greenock was in there buying supplies. No fresh milk left and the sliced loafs of bread were rationed! One per customer. Luckily I was after the German Rye bread - no rationing there. :-) So Glenpark girls I guess it will be German bread, sausages and Sauerkraut for our weekend brunch! :-) Just kidding ...

Wednesday, 1 December 2010


I have joined the Marcothon today, literally at the last minute. I had immediately declined the invitation on facebook a few weeks ago as I don't do daily running. In fact I always look forward to my days with no running. But towards the end of November my thoughts were going back to the Marcothon. I averaged one run per week in November - not because of injury, but purely because I have been lazy. A few other things got in the way and to be honest I did not really miss it. That's my problem, I don't need my daily dosage of running so I'm quite comfortable just chilling out at home. But the threat of loosing my fitness got me thinking how I could get back into more regular running. So that's where the Marcothon popped up again. But I had more excuses not to join in! My parents were due to arrive today for a few days and surely I could not leave them alone on their first evening to go running. Then Edinburgh airport got closed and their flight cancelled and I had spare time at my hand. So I thought, maybe it's time to take the challenge. Will I be up for it? Especially in this weather? (By the way, does a treadmill run count - just in case it gets even worse! Or a brisk 30min walk in the snow at lunch time? - I guess it's a no for the walk?) So I got home, quickly checked the rules on the internet, put my Trabuccos on and ventured out for 30min, a few extra minutes to allow for stoppage time to let cars pass as I was running on the road. I enjoyed it! Bring on day 2!