Sunday, 31 May 2009


It was the Edinburgh Marathon this morning so we set off early on bikes to try and photograph our Portobello team-mates. We had some success and the best of the Porty photos will be on PRC website before long. Thought I'd put a few more up here.

You'd think having both done the marathon last year we would have known the course but it shows how we're getting older or that running doesn't make you any brighter - at least not at the time - as there was a fair amount of argumentation about where to go. We did get to a good enough stance just before the dog-leg as perhaps the 2.50 - 3 hrs people were running back towards Musselburgh. I'm sure we missed lots of people though.

It was quite hypnotising staring into the runners trying to pick out people we knew and I went off into a trance a few times. At the risk of stating the obvious a lot of people looked uncomfortably hot.

I really enjoyed having the bike out. I've been think about using it as supplementary training for a while as its low impact and its primarily my feet and achilles and heels that seem to be suffering from running these days. We couldn't have had a much nicer day for it. It was cool on the bike and the wind didn't seem particularly strong in any direction.

31 miles in 2hrs 45 mins and I think my legs will be okay tomorrow!

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Animal training

Thought about going a gentle run for recovery, or going a cycle or taking the wetsuits to Gullane but in the end we went for going to the zoo. A hilly walk with much distraction. 3.5 hrs. Good leg stretch. Very enjoyable.

Rigg Race

Fabulous turn out of Porties for the Rigg Race (6 miles in Balerno, 2 up, 2 along, 2 down...)many of whom had also been racing over the course of the weekend. Hard to know if racing on Saturday had much impact on my running or not. I wasn't particularly sore but maybe was missing some killer instinct. It was a championship race so we were out looking for points. I think the only other Porty in my category was Melanie Henderson who is just coming back from injury. She beat me decisively by about 6 minutes. I'm glad she didn't waste time shilly-shallying about! She was also first lady. Nice come-back race!

I was a handful of seconds slower than last time I ran this race in 2006. Strangely found the flattish middle section the hardest, unable to generate any pace.

Enjoy the look of a field with loads of Portobello vests. Have to get back to club tomorrow night. Haven't been in about a month...

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Stornoway half marathon

I've written all about this for the prc website already so will keep it brief. It was enjoyable going in a totty wee airplane. I love the roar of the engines when they start up. Pity it was cloudy nearly all the way. Raining in Storno so bad weather for photos but not bad conditions for running in. Not too windy. The second half is much nicer than the first being in the castle grounds and on gravelly paths. I made a good effort for the first 2 miles and then slowed greatly being tired just beneath the excitement of flying and racing. Enjoyed it though. And for my efforts I was rewarded with an enormous f. off. trophy for 1st lv35 even though I was only 4th lv35 - the first three ladies were all lv35s so I got first vet.

I had a bit of an inner debate about my deservingness for such a prize over the 3 senior ladies who also beat me given that a vet prize is rather a compensatory prize and yet there's less and less proof that runners need much compensation for being over 35, especially over longer distances, especially if they're women. I managed to settle my hash eventually by reminding myself that I'm not just over 35 I'm 42 and fast approaching super-vet status and hey those younger ones probably have more time left for winning prizes.

Is it a trophy or is it a shield? Its one of these one's with wee plates on it for putting your name on for posterity. Last held by Julia Henderson of Helensburgh so presumably Andrew had brought it back that very day. He was there but Julia was away doing something else. I'm thinking of putting a little photo of myself on it!

Came home via land and sea with the rest of the Porty possie. Ben was 3rd, Peter was 5th and 1st mv40, and I was 1st lv35 so Richard was a bit crestfallen because he had nothing but a black-pudding and a sore pair of legs to show for his fine 1.29 effort trying to keep up with Lucy Colquhoun.

Lucy is just coming back from injury and is in fine form. She took the race easy but still came out 1st lady so we had a shield/trophy fest.

Lovely race. Lovely organisers.

Arrived home 11pm extraordinarily tired.

Other highlights were finally getting Jim Davies to do a road race although he did it pushing Rosie in a baby buggy. He strolled past me at about 3 miles and just pipped Richard to the post meaning Richard was not only beaten by a girl (Lucy) but by a baby. Jane ran too, not liking the course as much as a hill run but being a good sport about it none the less. We'll get them converted yet - if not to roads, to trails...
Thanks to Gavin of SRAC for photo of Jim and Rosie...

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Ho-hum what am I doing?

Nice run on Sunday from the East end of the Silverknowes esplanade along to the Cramond Brig Inn, round what we call "the airport loop" and back. The last 2 miles were particularly hard into the teeth of a stiff easterly wind.

Tonight I narrowly avoided getting sucked into race-mania, nearly agreeing to go and have a stab at Kinnoull Hill Race, even though I've got work tomorrow at 7am again, I've got the Stornoway half on Saturday and then the Rigg Race on Monday. Peter's away to do it and he'll be fine I am sure as he continues uninjured and with good powers of recovery. (Hope I've not jinxed him.)

I'm also skiving a club night as I want to arrive at Stornoway as fresh as I can on Saturday.

Feeling a bit ho-hum about running as I'm lacking specific goals probably. As some bloggers prepare themselves for West Highland Way madness I'm thinking "well I'll not do too much because I don't want to get tired." Trail running in Maine in August will be a big buzz and I'm looking forwards to another go at the 7 hills race in June.

Watching the London Marathon and Mara Yamauchi running so hard and well really made me want to train for another marathon. I'm thinking October marathon. We were thinking about going to do the Amsterdam marathon but it clashes with other stuff so maybe Loch Ness Marathon would be the one. This blogger is on tea duty so I better get moving. Hope to have more interesting things to say after Stornoway....

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Memories of a beast run

I seem to mention drinking a fair bit in my blog about running. Usually drinking after running seems pretty good, and drinking before running can make the running thing a bit more difficult. As I booked flights yesterday to go and see our friends the Trailmonsters later this summer I find myself thinking fondly about the brave and fool-hardy beast run we participated in the last night we spent in Maine in '07. The inaugural beast run had been the summer before to mark the 6th of June 2006 and consisted of as many laps of a marked trail in the woods, with a beer at the start of each lap, as each contestant felt they could manage. Our beast run was held in May (perhaps especially to accommodate the visiting Scots) but continued the spirit of the original beast run.

I felt a bit dubious, being a cautious person, about the sensibleness of drinking and running, but since Emma (aka Gnarls) who is much more sensible than I am was keen to improve on her number of laps from the previous year and was looking for support from a fellow Scot to achieve this, I let ambition over-rule sense and we went for the record. If I remember right the previous female record had been set at 5 laps. (Approx. 5 miles and obviously 5 beers.) Being nurses and keen to promote and model healthy choices we chose low (but not no) alcohol beer for between laps. Some of the men felt this was cheating and 2 in particular lost a bit of dignity ultimately as a result.

Having a beer and a run in the woods was much nicer than I thought it was going to be. I remember feeling very at home and comfortable in my surroundings, almost at one with my environs. I think Erik almost became one with his environs as he pitched headlong into some trap along the way, so it was by no means wholly without risk. Long story short Emma and I put in a good effort and pulled off a world's best of 6 laps before calling it a day and going to find the BBQ. Peter took it to another level so he and another chap with a ginger beard had to recover outside for some time beside the river with the frogs croaking and the bugs biting as they were not fit for indoors. Out of loyalty I stayed outside and kept them company as the chap with the beard expressed regret about his behaviour and raised some questions about his own status as a human being which needed sympathetic answering. I can't remember what Peter was on about.

Looking forwards to this summer though I think we should save the drinking for afterwards...