Great Scottish Run • A-Z of problems

On Sunday I ran Glasgow Half Marathon, part of the Great Run Series, I signed up for the race when I was in the midst of my Marathon training and loving running more than anything (even Prosecco) and I finally had a goal, other than just crossing the finish line, I wanted that sub 2hr!!  Two of my best friends also signed up for it making it their first half marathons and I couldn’t wait to run with them. 

Then the marathon happened,  I signed up for a couple more races while still buzzing from the marathon high, then….I stopped running!? I don’t know why.  I missed my running group, my running buddies, I struggled to run on my own and motivate myself, my group were now training for a trail ultra I went along once and almost died*, when I did run I got frustrated that I couldn’t shake off the slow marathon pace even on short distances,  I just could not find my mojo. 

I found myself on race day severely undertrained, a little unfit, knowing I definitely did not have a sub 2hr in me, I’d be lucky to even hit my past half marathon times, I was also using an inhaler to get me through a chesty cough** not too mention a little dehydrated and tired from my work leaving doo the day before.  Having not ‘respected the distance’ I should have probably not raced but my besties were running and I was going for them!

On Sunday 1st October 2017 I ran my slowest half marathon to date, the weather was ‘driech’ which meant there was not much atmosphere.  I don’t blame the crowds for staying home or the runners for getting heads down and getting it done, the weather was awful but even with all that for me this race was MAGICAL, one of the best days running I’ve ever had.

I ran with my friends and laughed from start to finish even when I almost threw up at the final 200m and they had to practically drag me over the finish line.  I loved it, I felt that ‘first’ half marathon buzz for them as I felt so proud!


REWIND to 9am that day.  Lynsay and her husband Brian picked me up.  On route Lynsay and I discussed a topic that had been giving us a little worry the last few days.  Runners trots (apologies if you are eating) before moving on to periods,  once Brian was completely repulsed by us we moved on to less worrying issues like chaffing and blisters. 

‘Are you pair just going through the alphabet of runners issues?’

We laughed.  So I did…

Here’s our alphabet of issues from Great Scottish Run 2017

Acid Reflux – a new one for me but an issue Lynsay alerted me she faces as we trundled through Bellahouston Park.

Blisters – I buy those ‘must have’ socks that cost a small fortune but feel like clouds on your little trotters, however with a combination of wet feet and incorrect footwear (see S), my feet now resemble bubble wrap.

Chaffing – this was never really an issue before the marathon for me but since then I seem to have weak spots, one on my underarm and one under my chest.  Not really a problem during the race but definitely in the bath/shower after.  Ouch.

DOMS– goes without saying really, you just ran 13.1 miles you’re going to feel the burn, stairs and chairs hurt… in a good way!

Energy – When Super Mario gets the Super Star Pow-UP that’s me with my jelly babies! 

Fartlek – Speeding up to fight through the crowds, slowing down on the narrow crowded areas, the first 10 miles were a fartlek session.

Goals – said Goodbye to those when I didn’t train!!!! Mission : cross the finish line was back in play.

HILLS – my enemy, thankfully there was only one notable hill up St Vincent street in mile 1, some people hated that but if you’ve ran Alloa, you’ll know a hill is much less welcome in the last few miles.

Iliotibial Band – I hadn’t trained, I done a trail 10k (which I walked some of) a few weeks ago but I’m not sure what the longest distance I’d run fully since May actually was… 4 miles maybe 5?  Jumping distance so drastically I totally expected my IT band syndrome to bite me in the butt…or knee! Luckily it held out,  I can thank the (mostly) flat route for that! 

Jelly Babies – I had overpacked Jelly babies incase my fellow runners needed some they came prepared so instead we had a pre-race taste test in Costa on Sauchiehall Street to see if we preferred my original Bassets JB’s or Lynsay’s Aldi version.  FYI both were great, a pointless exercise to hide the nerves…

Knees – Are you really a runner if you’ve never had knee pain? Lynsay had some niggling in her knees thankfully mine felt great it was my hip giving me all the feels this time which is a new one *eye roll.

Layers – It’s raining, it’s 6 degrees but your going to sweat- do you wear the jacket? Do you wear sleeves? A hat? Or just layer up and strip off as needed.

Motivational signs – I LOVE reading everyone’s signs when I’m running a race, but the weather meant that the crowds were sparse and the signs were soggy and unreadable! I did see a couple of good ones though ‘hurry up my arms are killing me’ and one that simply read ‘motivational sign’ haha! 

Nutrition – So I failed at this on Sunday.  On weekends I run at 9am, most races I’ve been in start around 9am, this one was 11.50 so why did I still get up and have porridge at 7.55? Why? I tried to nibble a peanut bar on route but by then I just wasn’t feeling it! I actually felt my tank hit empty at 400m to go and almost threw up at 200m thankfully my friends made sure I got there.

Obsessive compulsive App usage – Garmin watch, Strava app, great run app, can you really press al three when crossing the start line?! Oh and after all that I forgot to stop them at the finish line, of course I did!! 

Periods – if your a girl, you know! 

Queues – there was even a queue to get over a puddle hurdle at one point.

RUNNERS TROTS – the biggie, because no one wants to sh*t themselves mid race.  I always wear black leggings and carry some toilet roll, just incase! And no I didn’t! 

Slipping, Snotters, Shoes – take your pick! 

•Walking to the start line on wet concrete was slippy, empty energy gels and wet leaves thankfully none of us ‘fell’ victim to any of the slipping hazards.

•Is snotters a Scottish word? It sounds Scottish, actually it sounds vile but it’s better than nasal mucus, right? Just hope it’s not visible in the official photos!

•I couldn’t find my running shoes (that just confirms how bad my training was) so I decided my best option was my trail shoes a bit clumpier and a little less bounce but they were ok, I actually googled ‘can you wear trail shoes for road running? Google said it was Ok so it must be, the balls of my feet slightly disagree.  

Toilet Breaks– Already had 3 (or 5 in my case) but should you go for one at the start lineup be on the safe side or should you leave it and possible need to queue mid race, or you could stare weirdly/smile at your best friends husband until you realise he’s not just randomly standing in Montrose Street, he’s using a portable urinal. Awkward

Underwear – yep, it’s soaked too.

Voices – the ones in my head telling me halfway, 10k to go, 5k to go, you’re hip hurts just stop, you haven’t trained why are you doing this!  Thank goodness for yhe ones in the crowd screaming Well Done, Keep Going, You’re doing great and the besties beside me shouting at me that I’d come too far to quit now!!!!!

Wall – Everyone else seems to get to a mile to go and get excited and run faster, not me I hit a freaking wall and want to walk?!? 

eXcitement – it makes you want to pee, it makes you want to run fast it uses up your energy!!! But it feels so good!!!!

Yoga – I’m pretty sure at one point Lynsay and Kim were doing some yoga moves with their arms. 

Z  – Zzzzzz

We survived ALL this!!! 

What is your biggest worry when running?

Have you faced any of these issues?

* I might have exaggerated a little but it wasn’t fun

** I saw a doctor who said I was well enough to run
Thanks for reading ❤️

Have a great day 😊

Angela xo 

36 thoughts on “Great Scottish Run • A-Z of problems”

  1. Wonderful recount. My daughter has been doing half marathons for about 10 years now and this year she had a hard time getting her trying runs in so she switched to marathon relays. A good alternative if you know 3 other like souls but I think she plans on going back to the half next year.
    I myself haven’t run for more years as she has been running but I’m right there with you regarding the list. Except for P of course. But then men have their own P to consider. Package Support if you get my drift, which it will.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I’m not sure whether to try get back on it with the halfs or stick to shorter distances!
      Haha yes I’ve seen many men complain about that P more frighteningly to look at is the N, nipple bleeds I saw more than a few guys sporting blood stained T-shirts. Ouch!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Cat, it really was my worst running but my best run in a strange sort of way haha!
      I am about to read all your posts I’ve missed I have them saved in my emails for when I had some spare time 🙂 xo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was also running on Sunday and definitely share almost all your sentiments for the A-Z! It started so late, I was there for 10, could have been nearly finished the race by the time the pink wave started! Toilet queues are always a worry for me anyway as well as layering this time, just didn’t know!! I had never run the half before, only the 10k last year so didn’t really know what to expect but overall really enjoyed it!
    Totally understand the reduced crowd presence, although there seemed to be tonnes at the finish which was good, last push you needed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww were you! Glad you enjoyed it! Ive never ran this one before, my Brother-in-Law has, several times, he kept telling me it was so busy and there was crowds and music most of the route so I hoped that would get me through my lack of training, but no, the weather ruined that one, its was lovely on Saturday as well, typical!!!
      Yeah I definitely felt the crowd at the finish and I definitely needed them by then!!! Have you got anymore races coming up?


        1. If you can do it in those conditions I’m sure you will!!!
          Just a 10k next weekend then that’s me… my running group start training for next years Stirling Marathon in a few weeks they are trying to convince me! Eeek!


          1. You should take the plunge! I was dreading the thought of having those loops though so I’m super glad they’ve changed the route! It was great for me last year as it was easy to see my friends running it as I just followed the loop around but I know I would have struggled!

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Snot is the American word! Snotters is just the fancy version, I guess, haha. I’m glad you had fun running the race, even if it was the worst one 😉 The road looks PACKED! I think I prefer to just run solo if I ever do it! I always have to poop in the morning but I have to eat breakfast first, but I hate running on a full stomach so I get so worried about that when I do run a race! But the last time I ran a race was like, 5 years ago, so nothing I concern myself with too much!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Snot! I couldn’t think of what anyone else called it haha!
      I’ve always worried about dodgy tummy when running but have never really been bothered with it, until my friend started talking about it last week, typical! Thankfully no accidents haha!
      It was the busiest race I’ve ever ran in!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. First off Id like to say congratulations on yet another accomplishment! You finished another half marathon and did so having fun. I completed my first half marathon last October. It was my first one ever after running passionately for about 11-12 years. The year before was my last year of college and I had a severe(for me it was) IT band injury. It laid waste to my hamstring, quad, and my knee itself. I ended up being hospitalized and had to miss several races because of it.(as a runner this destroyed me) but I never let it stop me from my love for the sport and pushed through a hard season. Reading your story about this half marathon experience made me realize that it’s not always about finishing in the fastest time, but enjoying who your running with. I trained for my half with my dad. I was his inspiration, and pushed him to go further then he ever would. After I finished my race I stayed at the finish line some 20-25 minutes later and cheered as he crossed.

    My biggest weakness would be my knee. My IT-band really started hurting about 11 miles im but I pushed through. (Sorry for such a long post, im just really happy to read your posts)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank You!
      Aww no need to apologise I love reading comments!
      It’s true, we get so caught up sometimes in getting better and faster, recovering quicker to get back to where we were that we can forget where we started! Crossing the finish line with my best friend was a better feeling than any PR!

      Oh gosh you’ve had a terrible time with IT band, I had it bad when I was training for a marathon, I couldn’t bear weight, but not bad enough to be hospitalised!!! I put too much strain on mine because I have very weak glutes from sitting at a computer all day so I’m working on that!!

      Well Done you for pushing through and didn’t you just feel super proud of your Dad!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I definitely can say always hearing people say “well Nick do this to make your parents proud” I can truly say when I saw my dad cross that finish line I couldn’t have felt any better. Doing a sport I love with someone I love as well there’s no better feeling. Just as im sure you felt with your friends. In terms of my IT-band I was also told I have very tight glutes and lower back. I’ll never be 100% again in terms of my knee, but that doesn’t stop me from running. I signed up for a local 5k so fingers grossed nothing crazy happens! Thanks for your response

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I absolutely love this! The voice are real, I struggled with the same thing, you can really get in your head.
    I think that a million years ago, when I was last in Glasgow I witnessed part of this race. Funny enough, at the time I thought everyone running was totally bonkers lol.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Why did I not know this and why has no-one ever told me this!!! I usually ditch strava and use garmin , because who needs both?! but my friends all use strava and I like to give them kudos!
      Thank You!!!


  6. Hahah! I love your A to Z list! Runner trots were my biggest fear and it happened during my race! LOL. Thank goodness porta potties were nearby. No way was I going to crap myself and end up going viral on the internet.

    Liked by 2 people

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