Happiness · Lifestyle · Running · Scotland

Stirling Scottish Marathon

**WARNING** 
1.This post is LONG and boring if you are not interested much in running.

2.This post is probably also going to be a bit..all over the place… as 5 days on my memories are fading rapidly.

3. You might want to grab yourself a cuppa.
SATURDAY

I woke up extremely nervous, I had been really excited on Friday but today I was nauseous and any mention of the marathon had me close to tears.  I decided to man up and meet a few of my run buddies for lunch.  Lynne was as high as a kite, Cally was trying to fight off a cold and was worried she might not be fit to run (we made her sit two seats away so she didn’t infect us) and Elaine was ‘just fine’.  I explained that I knew in my head I would finish the race, I just didn’t know if it was going to be a great run or a really terrible run and my gut feeling was telling me it would be the latter, which actually scared me.  A bad 3 mile run is bearable a bad 26.2 is unimaginable.  I had to force down my smoked salmon and cream cheese sourdough as I really had zero appetite but it was delicious.

After brunch I headed to Run4it, they had a therapist from PhysioFocus there applying RockTape for any runners who felt they needed it.  I didn’t think it would help with my IT band, which had been sore for a week now but Lynne said to give it a go, ‘even if it works psychologically’.  I queued for 40 minutes to see the physio but the time passed pretty quickly as I spoke to two girls in the queue, who were also first time marathoners and hearing other people with the same nerves and niggles sort of helped me.  I actually got a bit excited.  Mandy was working and gave me a little pep talk and said she’d be cheering from the shop and would look out for me and the rest of the group.  Eventually, Sara the physio applied my tape and said they would have a station at mile 10 on the route if I needed anything on the day, the poor girl had been rushed of her feet with runners with last minute niggles.

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…but not really ready for you!!

The tape lasted a whole 3 hours as I had my niece, Harper  sitting on my lap, I didn’t realise she was fiddling with it and had stuck me to the sofa, I couldn’t get it to stick back on, so that was that, haha.

After a delicious steak dinner made by my Mum, I tried to put my playlist from iPhone on to my iPod shuffle and failed miserably as my laptop crashed.  I had made a big song and dance about a playlist (excuse the pun).  I had asked everyone who sponsored me to leave a song request, so I had a good variety and exactly 5 hours worth of music, my goal was to finish before it started repeating itself.  I was gutted I didn’t get to use my new pink iPod but I still had the playlist on my phone so all was not lost.

SUNDAY – RACE DAY

I’m not sure I slept at all but my alarm went off at 5.30am and I made Kevin and I breakfast.  Force feeding myself porridge was not fun.  I decided to leave my peanut butter and banana bagel for the journey but didn’t manage to eat all of it.  Kevin scoffed his in less than 30 seconds.

We got ourselves dressed and ready.  My running belt was already packed with gels, jelly babies and some toilet roll, before we headed for our bus.  We got to the pick up point at 6.50, I was meeting my run buddies there at 7 but we were directed on to a bus that needed to be filled to leave in 5 minutes.  I text Mairi to let her know and that I’d get her there.

The weather was perfect, overcast, not too warm, not cold and no wind, but it was estimated that by lunchtime it would either be raining or sunshine (I told you we can’t predict the weather here).  Thankfully it went in our favour, a few showers but nothing too bad, not much fun for the spectators though.

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NEVER BEEN UP THIS EARLY ON A SUNDAY. EVER selfie

We arrived at Blair Drummond Safari Park with just under 2 hours before my start time of 9.20, we chatted to some people, ate a banana and watched Liz McColgan and Zola Budd being interviewed then I headed for the toilet…  50 MINUTES LATER… really there were not enough toilets.. It was time to head to our corral and I was a bit worried I hadn’t seen any of my running buddies.

Eventually I bumped into Catherine, she said she had seen the rest of them earlier, they were just a bit in front so I felt a little better.  Catherine was so excited it made my nerves disappear.

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We were just behind the 4hr 30 pacer/Duracell bunny and I said to Kevin although my 4.30 goal was probably not acheivable, I’d like to stay with the pacer for as long as I could manage.  Kev said his goal was to stay with me for as long as he could manage, he thought he would eventually fall behind due to his lack of training (and was probably still recovering from Vegas).  I imagined he would stay with me to conserve energy before leaving me to eat his dust.

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Finally I was buzzing to get going.  Eye of the Tiger was blasting, everyone joked that the Safari Park had released the lions and we were off!

I tried to take a picture of the giraffes as we passed but it didn’t work so my music went on and my phone was safely tucked in my back pocket. 

I made a conscious effort not to run off too fast but the Duracell bunny seemed to just rocket off, so I gave up on my 4hr 30 very quickly.

My music randomly stopped playing after just one track (Kanye West-Stronger) so annoying but I was feeling great, chatting to Kevin, Catherine and her friend Sarah so I just left it and decided I’d sort it when I had walk in a few miles.  Except, I didn’t stop, I just kept on going, I felt amazing.

The first 3 miles were pretty rural but there was the odd little sprinkling of spectators from nearby farms cheering us on before hitting the village of Doune where the crowd were amazing.  I was watching out for my boss, Iona who lives there and managed to get a hug with her and her little girl.   Catherine and Sarah fired on ahead as we left Doune for another 4 rural, undulating miles before hitting Kevins home town of Dunblane.  During these miles I met sharkey- a guy running with a shark hat on his head, shark compression socks and a photo of a shark on his back, I explained to him I had a phobia of sharks he laughed and then disappeared, I’m not sure if he was run/walking but he popped up a lot throughout the route and I joked with him that he was helping me run faster.  In fact my work colleague told me after that she saw sharkey and thought ‘she must have missed me, as I’d definately be in front of him’ ha.

The crowd in Dunblane was immense and I honestly felt like I was floating through the High Street, high fives from kids and all of the runners were clapping and thanking the amazing crowd.  Kevin’s friend Findlay was in Dunblane with his wife and kids so we got extra cheers and high fives from them before making the climb out of Dunblane towards Bridge of Allan.  It was here I found my friend Kevin, he was running for his Mum who sadly passed away a few months ago, I knew this race would be emotional for him and when I saw him ahead of me I choked up and had tears, I went over and gave him the biggest hug, telling him he was doing amazing.

Mile 10, still feeling great and keeping to pace, I bumped into my run buddy Lisa, more hugs.  We ran chatting with Lisa, she said the group had been worried when they hadn’t got to speak to me at the start line.  We hit Bridge of Allan and the crowds were going wild.  Mandy was outside the shop, like she said she would be, with a microphone and full sound system she was screaming our names, Lisa ran into the shop to use the toilet and Kevin and I continued on to the half way mark loop up and around Stirling University.  I ran this loop a few weeks prior with the group and remember struggling up the hill, today however, I barely noticed the hill, powering on chatting to Kevin, pointing out runners in costume and laughing at funny signs ‘IF TRUMP CAN RUN SO CAN YOU’ my favourite was one of Dory from Finding Dory that said ‘Just Keep Swimming’ …I’m a sucker for a Disney movie.  My sister had made one that had Buddy the Elf and read ‘I just like to run, running is my Favourite’ 

Looks like I was doing cartwheels at mile 11

After the decline from the University, back on to the main road I remember saying to Kevin ‘how are we halfway already?’ ‘Why do I feel so great?’ ‘I’ve been smiling for two hours’

I saw lots of familiar faces in the Bridge of Allan crowds and it just felt amazing, some of my run buddies family members were on bikes to cheer us on a several spots  throughout town which I thought was amazing.

Mile 15,  we passed the 4hr 30 pacer although we hadn’t changed pace, I knew he had set off too fast.  I noticed Kevin starting to drop back then catch up again, he said he was ‘OK just starting to cramp’

The next two miles headed into the city centre, I knew it would have few spectators but I did get a hug from my work colleague Tracy, who missed her sister passing because she shouting for me, ooops!  Kevin decided he would jump into a bush for the toilet and I made an effort to start chatting to the nearest runners so that I didn’t feel lonely and lose my momentum.  I ran with Chris and Sophie who had just met but were as crazy as each other as they are both running Edinburgh Marathon this weekend…  a week later!!!  Sophie was taking a 10 second video at every mile marker so I ended up in a few of those.  Kevin caught back up at mile 17 just as we reached the bridge into the heart of the city.  The crowd in the city centre were amazing, I couldn’t believe how busy it was especially as it was still raining.

Miles 17-19 were the first half of the 2.5 loops of the town that everyone had been dreading and at mile 18 Kevin’s sprint to catch up with me after his pee bit him in the butt ‘Just keep going, youre doing amazing but I’m going to have to walk’.   I made sure he was ok and then headed on up Dumbarton Road.

Between 19 and 20 I saw my friends and family who were all going bananas screaming for me, my Mum missed me, she was too busy cheering on other runners, but I knew I’d see her next time round.  As I passed through the lapping system (we were to pass through on the right twice and the third time pass through the left to the finish line) I stupidly looked to my left, seeing all the finishers running down the tunnel.  It hit me hard – I have to run round this loop TWICE.

I tried to keep pace but I think I slowed.  I tried to speak to other runners but everyone around me seemed too exhausted (maybe they were already on lap 2) and at mile 22 I lost my mojo and slowed to a walk, I don’t know why I didn’t think to have another gel or get my music playing to spur me on (I just thought of that now, ha) 30 seconds walk and I picked up the pace and tried to run for as much as possible which turned out to be only another mile and a half.  The loop was 3 miles and although mostly flat it was undulating slightly and we had to run through narrow underpasses with steep little climbs out of them.  Back over the bridge into the city centre the 4hr 30 pacer passed me, this spurred me on, as well as hitting those awesome crowds again.  Massive cheers from my family at the lapping station where I nipped past that Duracell Bunny once again.  Last time through the right hand side and one more loop to go… I questioned this in my head for another mile? I was still on schedule for under 4hr 30, which to me was crazy? Had I missed a lap? it was so confusing on the loop you could see mile markers for each lap. Only 3 miles to go… sounds easy right?

Mile 23,  Ahead of me I spotted Catherine’s friend Sarah who I had started with, she was having a walk, also on her last lap, so I walked for a minute chatting with her then we had bursts of running that saw us pass and be overtaken by the pacer several times.

I know the walking breaks were all just mental weakness because with the exception of my hips starting to hurt very slightly, I felt great but I just couldn’t get my groove back and the miles felt so long!

Sarah said we should nail the last two miles when we hit the 24 mile marker, I agreed.  I lasted half a mile before I was walking again.  With a mile and a half to go I tried my hardest to walk as little as possible but watched as my Garmin reminded me my 4hr 30 finish was now out of reach but I thought hopefully still a 4hr 30-something.  Run/walking got me to the last half mile and the crowd got me running to the lapping system where I very happily moved over to the left hand side, gave my family a wave and sprinted the final 200m to cross the finish line in exactly…

4 hours 40 minutes and 07seconds

I have no words to explain how awesome crossing that line felt. 

  I felt a bit lost at the end, the place was packed and I didn’t know where to go.  I checked the tracker app and it looked like Kevin would be another 9-10 minutes.  My friend Lynsay had been tracking us and was sending messages, she sounded excited haha, am I right Lyns?  Our friend Kevin wasn’t too far away either and for the first time the whole day I had a bit of a cry.

Guys, I beat KEVIN, I never beat him at anything, well except maybe hide and seek, ha!  Kevin done amazing too considering his lack of prep and I honestly don’t think my run would have gone so well had he not been with me for 19 miles. ❤️

I found my Mum, sister and brother-in-law and we all watched Kevin cross the line before catching up with the rest of my cheer squad.

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Me and my Dad

I tried to catch up with my running group, who all done absolutely amazing but didn’t quite catch all of them.

Mairi, emma and me

Afterwards I went to a BBQ at Kevin’s sisters, she had ran the 5k in the morning and had some friends over, then I went to the pub to share a gin(or two) with my friend Kevin, who had done his Mum so proud.

If we look tired it’s because we are!!!

I’m joining the run group tonight for dinner and drinks to celebrate becoming marathoners.  Dress code: flip-flops and medals, ha!

Mandy or group run leader from Run4it, Bridge of Allan shared her thoughts on training the group here.
 

I know my time isn’t great by any decent runners standards but I am so happy to just tick RUN A MARATHON off my list! 

….you know those last few miles cost me a sub 4.30….just kidding guys! I loved every minute but it’s definitely my first and last!

Next goal SUB 2 -13.1

Thanks so much for reading❤️

Have a great weekend😊

Angela xo

Fitness · Running · Thoughts · Uncategorized

The Marathon is not on Race Day

The marathon is…

 300+ miles over 5 months of training runs, dedicating time 4-5 days a week to running, long runs that get longer every week, adjusting your diet, testing race nutrition, testing kit, hydrating, running hills, speed training, adjusting your pace, driving routes to make water drops the night before a long run, muscle cramps, tightness, niggles, injuries, foam rolling and sports massages.  

…race day is just the finish line

The marathon is the mental battle…

I can’t do this!  I can’t even run a 2 hour half marathon!  I’m too slow!  I’m not even a real runner!  I can’t do it! Why am I struggling on a 4 mile run when I managed 15 miles just 2 days ago? I’m at the back of the group again! I’m done in! The injured runners are passing me! I can’t do it! The older people are faster than me! I can’t do this! I can’t look at that 20 miles on my programme it scares me!  26.2 miles is a really long way! Why did I sign up for this! I’ve missed a training run I’m never going to do it! I’m too tired to run today!

…and overcoming it when you run 20 miles with energy left in you to continue and your head is finally screaming YES, YES, YES YOU CAN DO IT!

The marathon is watching your body change..

I have lost some upper body strength, the definition in my arms gone and my abs are hidden under a layer of fat, my tummy is more round thanks to ALL the carbs and from me being extremely nieve thinking I could eat everything in sight because I’d be running it off later.  My thighs are bigger, my legs are stronger.  I have ugly dead skin on my feet from blisters on blisters, all ten have survived but my toenails are cut to a millimetre of life, I have marks from chafing in VERY delicate areas,  there’s a white band on my wrist where my Garmin sits. My face has taken a beaten from the ever changing weather and I have aches and pains to rival my 90 year old neighbour.

…but loving it more than you ever have because you’ve watched it do amazing things week after week.

The marathon is running in Scottish weather…

It’s true in Scotland we see all four seasons in a day whatever the season but training from November to May means running in the dark, in snow, on ice, against head wind, tail wind and blow you of the kerb wind, rain in all directions and most recently the sunshine.  You’ll have suffered overdressing and stripping layers mid run or under dressing and coming home blue and shivering.

….I think our finishers T-shirts should read I TRAINED THROUGH STORM DORIS. 

The marathon is dealing with the pains and niggles..

I was no exception to this, I didn’t lose toenails, suffer shin splints or even migraines like some of my run buddies did but I had my fair share of pains.  There was an issue with my foot that I feared was a metatarsal stress fracture which randomly disappeared.  Followed by trouble with the IT band at my left knee, I’ve had it before but never as painful as I felt on the last mile of our 17 mile long run thanks to an almighty steep decline from the Ochil Hills.  I could barely walk that last mile and it threw me out for my 18 mile run.  I thought then it was game over for me.  I was already slow but to miss a week or so of training so near the end would definitely ruin my marathon. 

…and realising that you are pushing your body further than you ever have of course it’s going to complain.

The marathon is accepting what you can’t control…

The dodgy knee/IT band did not mean I was out but I do have to run slower than I would have liked this means any time goal I had was quite simply disregarded and my goal became crossing the finish line.  I found this hard to accept as my running group are still all aiming for the same time goal we set at the beginning of training.

The weather, well we can barely even predict the weather here and unfortunately it can have a huge impact on how your race goes.  I’ve had to abandon many a training run because I’m soaked to the skin or it wasn’t sunny when I left but now my shoulders are burning.  It’s a case of dealing with what elements are thrown at you on the day.

Some runs are good and some runs are bad, I myself am pretty inconsistent and can’t ever pinpoint what causes a bad run, unfortunately sometimes even race day just isn’t a good run day.

…you’ve just got to go with the flow.

The marathon is ignoring the doubters and not comparing…

I know a lot of good runners who are not running the marathon, some of whom are judging people that are running the marathon… For being bucket listers and not real runners, questioning why we would bother to do it if we know we won’t get a good time, not training sufficiently blah, blah, blah.  I’m a bucket lister because I’ve learned through training that this distance is probably not for me.  For this race I’m also a charity runner.  I won’t get what a runner considers a ‘good time’ and I’m ok with that.  I’m running in a race but I’m not racing there’s a difference.  I compete with myself and no-one else.  I run with a group of girls who can all run faster than I can and I wish them nothing but the best and can’t wait to see how well they do and I know they all wish the same for me.

…26.2 miles is an achievement regardless of how long it takes. 

Good Luck if you are running this weekend.  

I have scheduled this post to publish as I cross the start line (…except I actually forgot to publish it…) So you can read it while I’m pounding the tarmac around Stirlingshire with Liz McGolgan and Zola Budd…well they’ll be pretty far in front of me, ha! 


My goals for my first (and last) marathon…

A. Sub 4hrs 30 minutes 😂 the knee claimed that one.  A(2) Cross the finish line, hopefully sub 5hr but not putting pressure on myself.

B. Do not die, poo or pee myself.

C. Enjoy the atmosphere, maybe take a selfie or two.

D. Smile for race photos and not be ugly crying in my finishers photo.

Ahhhhhhhhh it’s RACE DAY! 

Thanks for reading 😊

Have a great day❤️

Angela xo

Lifestyle · Running

Sunday Run Down #15 and #16 -Taper Time

I combined these posts for two reasons, 1) I am officially tapering so less running to discuss and 2) I’m really bored of these posts so I guess you will be too….


Monday

REST.

Tuesday

Hot Yoga. I haven’t managed to get to Yoga for a while and the last few weeks have been suffering with really tight hamstrings.  I swear, I couldn’t even touch my toes at the start of class in fact it was painful just reaching below my knees but I felt good afterwards.

Wednesday

3 miles. I had to work late and missed my Wednesday run buddies Emma and Mairi. So Kevin ran with me, I ran to my sisters for tea and cake, Kevin kept running to get some miles in he’s really far behind with his training, I thought he’d just pull out as he doesn’t like to fail but he said he’ll just run with me.  I doubt he will but I’m not sure if I want him too.

Thursday

3 miles. I was pretty slow, my hamstrings and calves were tight but I don’t know if I just wasn’t feeling it, I’m starting to feel like I’ve done all the hard work I can ease off now, so maybe I was just lazy.

Friday

REST

Saturday

11.3 miles. Yeah it should have been 12 but I got lost haha! The shop we run from are having a station on marathon day, we can leave water bottles or fuel and use their loo so Mandy decided we’d give a try today following part of the actual marathon route and pass the shop at 8 miles for water and loo stop.  It was pretty warm (it’s Scotland, it’s never hot) but I get too hot running any weather so I felt like I needed water at mile 3, I also decided I really needed to pee.  Mile 5 I’d fallen behind the group but so had one of the other girls so we ran together. I got back to shop at 8 miles desperate for water and a pee just as the group were leaving for their next 4 miles.  It wasn’t until I left the shop I realised I wasn’t sure where they were going?! I couldn’t see them so I decided I’d just do my own thing and headed off to run out 2 miles then back…except I got bored and a little bit lost so I tried to just head back and  realised I was short on miles…oh well.  I’m not obsessive over hitting numbers, it’s so funny some of the girls on the group keep running if we are 0.2 of a mile short and some of the older ones don’t run with watches or apps they just go with how long they’ve been running 0.7miles short or not.

That night I had a sisters and misters date which was so much fun, its been so long since we all went out together!



Sunday.

Rest.  Back to Glasgow, shopping for holiday clothes for Kevin.  I got NOTHING!!

WEEK 16

Monday

Fees Bootcamp.  Ok so I was planning to join Fee’s Fitness again after the marathon but she posted on Facebook about an 8 week challenge and a discount on joining for the 8 weeks…so I signed up! Bootcamp class was great, I’m still not where I was with regards to upper body and arm strength but it felt good to smash a workout and not pound the pavement.

Tuesday

6.5 miles.  I ran with Mairi because I knew I couldn’t on Wednesday. It was a good run we both felt pretty fatigued and tight but we got it done.

Wednesday

Sports Massage.  Ouch.  Caroline worked all over my legs and identified some areas that I need to work on with the foam roller. There’s a big knot in my right calf and my right quad is super tight, she tried and tried but could not loosen it off.  She also could not get into my left glute (butt cheek) at all, not for the love of trying, I felt like she was trying to push me through the bed and I could hardly sit when she was done. So I have some homework to do, of the foam rolling type.

Thursday

Rest. Kevin left at 5am to go to Las Vegas for a stag party for 6 days… he claims he’ll still train when he is away. Hahaha

Friday

2 miles.  I just felt like I had done nothing since Tuesday and it was a nice night so I went out for a short one.

Saturday

8 miles.  Guys this was our last run as the Run 4 it- Bridge of Allan, Beginner Marathon Group, it was kind of emotional.  As a treat Mandy arranged for us to start and end our run at Dunblane Hilton Hotel where we had free access to the pool, sauna, steam room and jacuzzi and free coffee.  She had also made us all a little goodie bag, only 8 of us made it to the last run but it was the core group who have made almost every run since October and we have all became good friends.

The run itself was great,  a straight 4 miles out to Andy Murray’s Cromlix House and back. I felt strong, I could feel my niggly IT band on the last 2 miles but no pain.  The weather was cooler than it had been all week, the sky was grey but the rain held of to just a drizzle until we were done.
We had the best time chilling in the sauna and pool, chatting without running is so much easier, haha! We’ve already planned a night out for dinner and drinks and may have discussed still meeting up to run…3 miles and a coffee sounds about our limits though, haha! NEVER thought I’d say this but I’m going to miss the long group runs.

After, I went shopping for some holiday clothes and bought NOTHING again!! I officially hate shopping!

In the evening I had a great little movie night with my sister Donna we watched Fantastic Beasts and where to Find them and then 12 Years a Slave.

Sunday.

Rest.  I could cry, my knee is throbbing and it kills going downstairs again.  Arrrrrgh! On the plus side, I got my period a week early so I won’t have that to contend with on race day.   That does also explain why I have felt so emotional the last couple of days, like, crying every time anyone mentions the word marathon, I really hope I don’t ugly cry before, during or after the race…. and fingers crossed my knees/IT band holds out!

My friend and running buddy posted this on Facebook last night it made me giggle..

This was the last Sunday Run Down, I have a couple of short runs this week but I won’t report on those I guess I’ll do a race report and let you all know how I do.  Good Luck to everyone running the first Stirling Scottish Marathon, were going to have a great time, right?
Weekly mileage:  17.3 & 16.5

Weeks until Marathon: 1…ONE WEEK!!!

It’s 12.30 and I’m thinking that this time next week I could be very near the end of my marathon journey eeek!

How was your week?

Thanks for reading☺️

Have a great day❤

Angela xo

Fitness · Lifestyle · Running

Sunday Run Down #14  Solo or Disco?

Last week, Mandy, our group run leader, sent us out a message that she wanted us to run this weeks long run (16-20 miles) SOLO and with no music!!! The team all laughed when I replied that I run SOLO every damn week, about half a mile behind the group.  I was being funny but it’s kinda true, ha!  Some of the girls from the group suggested we do ours together…in secret.  Of course I agreed.  Here’s how this week went down..

MONDAY

Rest.  Because I’m the laziest person training for a marathon. Ever! 

TUESDAY 

3 miles.  I was booked in to a Hot Yoga class but ended up late at work and missing it, my programme said 5 miles but it was late so I only done 3.

WEDNESDAY

3 miles. I ended up at work late again and couldn’t go out with Mairi and Emma.  Instead I ran with Kevin we only did 3 miles.

THURSDAY

I went to the gym with my sister intending a 3 miler on the treadmill and then some weights.  Unfortunately my hatred for the treadmill seems to have grown and I couldn’t stand it after just 10 minutes! So I just done some weight training.

FRIDAY

Rest.  Prepping for Saturday’s long run. HYDRATING!!

SATURDAY

20 miles.  We met at Lynne’s at 9am and she told us she’s been having IT band pain all week, instead of running she was going to cycle.  She was AWESOME, she had her Bluetooth speaker in her backpack, blasting banging tunes and encouraging us on with ‘whoops and yeehas’ as she cycled along side us.  We call her Esh but she is now known as Esh’s Mobile Disco.  So much fun!!

As for the run.  It was great, slightly slower than our usual group runs so a pace that suited me.   I had no issues mentally or physically at all really.. until around mile 13 where my already tight hamstrings felt even tighter, by mile 15 my legs felt fatigued and tight ALL OVER, that left knee IT band was hurting but I kept going because the group were great and Esh’s mobile disco was just too much fun (I totally would have given up had been running solo). The last mile was slow and painful.  I was so glad to be done.  I’m not sure why it was so tough at the end, our last 20 miler had killer hills and I felt great at the end, this one was mostly flat?!?  

Guys, this was my last LONG training run, halle-freaking-luyah!!!!!! Our long run next week is 12 (you know you’ve come a long way when 12 miles isn’t a long run, ha) then it’s 8 and then it’s the BIGGIE!!! Fingers crossed the tapering leaves me with fresh legs!

I was so sore after this run that I cancelled meeting my friend Lynsay in town.  Instead I lay in a bath for an hour…  I only got out because the water got too cold! Later I watched boxing with Kevin, then totally crashed out at 11pm.  I love boxing (missing my boxing class so much!) but I have to admit I get a bit anxious watching and my stomach flips whenever someone takes a big hit!


I found this photo hilarious because you can’t even see me in it (I’m behind Lisa in the orange) not even my feet?! Haha #teammidget 

SUNDAY

Rest.  I met with some of the girls going on Kevin’s sisters hen weekend for lunch to organise some fun stuff and then hung out with my sisters and nieces. The legs feel ok today, tight at the back of my knees but I’m hoping some foam rolling later should help.

Total weekly miles: 26

Weeks until marathon: 3

The BLING was been unveiled this week…

I kinda love it, here’s hoping I cross the finish line!!

Do you like watching boxing? 

How was your week?

Thanks for reading😊
Have a great day❤

Angela xo

Fitness · Lifestyle · Running

Sunday Run Down… Unlucky #13 

As I start writing this, Mary Keitany has just crossed the finish line in London in 2 hours 17 minutes (her chip time hasn’t been announced yet).  INCREDIBLE!! That’s a minute or so off my first HALF marathon time, haha! I’ll be doing well if I manage the marathon in DOUBLE that time! So inspiring!

I ended last weeks training on a high when I managed to complete my first 20 mile run, a confidence boost that made me feel like 26.2 miles was actually possible.  This week…

MONDAY

My legs felt tired and I ended up working late so I missed my bootcamp class, I went to the gym after work but was just too tired and ended up not doing much at all.

TUESDAY

2 miles.  I got up before work to go for a run but my legs still felt tired so I was home again with only 2 miles on my Garmin. Ugh

WEDNESDAY

7.5miles.  I ran with Mairi and Emma after work we managed a 7.5 mile but my legs felt like lead the whole run, I was so grateful of a rest half way when Emma had to make a pee stop at Waitrose.

[The elite mens winner Daniel Wanjiru just took the ribbon and club runner Josh Griffiths has just finished 13th overall qualifying him for World Championships, fastest Briton…amazing!]

THURSDAY

Bootcamp.  My legs felt strong so I was hopeful the fatigue had finally gone.

[I’m getting tearful watching marathoners stories….why am I soooo bloody emotional and why is everyone one of them sooo amazing!!]

FRIDAY

Yoga.  I did Yoga after work, I was NOT very flexible so took to some foam rolling when I got home.

[I got side tracked by sunshine and my sisters…Its now 5pm and all the marathoners are probably/hopefully finished!]

SATURDAY

12miles.  It was such a beautiful day and the group chose a route that we haven’t done before which turned out to be gorgeous but I just wasn’t feeling it today.   From go, my legs felt heavy and I wanted to stop, I was slow.  One of the girls in the group has a slight injury so I ran at the back with her but battled with my head so much not to stop, eventually at 10miles my head got the better of me and I walked, I told Lynne to keep going, that last two miles were a mixture of walk/run with me hating myself for letting my head beat me!!  Did I peak too early last week?


[Its now 7.30pm and I’m in Nando’s waiting to collect food]

SUNDAY

REST.  I watched the first few hours of London Marathon and then spent the rest of the day with my nieces and sister.  My brother-in-law who is also running the marathon, injured his knee today and thinks he might pull out, Kevin hasn’t run for two weeks (he has ITB pain too) and I just noticed Mandy(group run leader) posted this…

Who knows what next weeks training will bring?

Miles this week: 21.5

Weeks until marathon: 4 ….argh 4 weeks!

Did you watch any of the London marathon? Were you running? 

Thanks for reading❤

Have a great day 😊

Angela xo

Fitness · Lifestyle · Running

Sunday Run Down #12 Bruises, Bruno and a Breakthrough 

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I’m getting so bad at posting these on a Sunday. Oooops!  My race number arrived in the post on Saturday this is becoming very real!

MONDAY

I had my second sports massage at 5.30pm, Mondays are cross training days but Caroline advised not to exercise for at least 24 hours prior to the treatment so it was essentially a rest day…although my legs were beat up! It wasn’t as sore all over as the last time but certain areas needed a lot more work and those hurt A LOT,  again I was left with some bruising.  However, with the exception of the bruises being sore to touch, my legs actually felt great straight after!  **they are still bruised 1 week later and really hurt from foam rolling last night!

TUESDAY

8 miles. I was advised not to run for 48 hours after the treatment but I knew I was busy on Wednesday as was my run buddies Mairi and Emma and Thursday just felt like leaving it too late, so I broke the rules…ooops! I must confess my legs felt like lead for the first 3-4 miles and I considered just turning back a few times.  After making a stop for a minute or two to speak to a fellow runner my legs improved and by the time we finished the run they actually felt good.

WEDNESDAY

Rest.  I went to a Bruno Mars gig with my sister, he was awesome. who doesnt love Bruno? and who said marathon training ruins your social life? Ha!

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Our seats were in the clouds but we danced all night!


THURSDAY

Rest. I had planned 5 miles with Kevin but after work I just felt awful.  I am too old for late nights, I also had that embarrassing interview at work that day! I’m still cringing!

FRIDAY

Rest.  At least this rest day was actually scheduled on the programme. Ha! Today was about prepping for our 20 miler, hydrating and carb loading.  I’ve been looking at that 20 miler on the programme with fear since I was given the programme late last year, today was no different, in fact I was probably more scared because it was actually here, the recent IT band issue and missing that 18 miler.

Fuelling:-

Breakfast : melon and grapes 

Lunch: prawn salad 

Dinner: Pizza Hut Chicken Supreme cheesy bites pizza & jalapeño poppers (shared this with Kevin, not exactly a healthy way to carb load but I just really wanted pizza!)

Water: 2litres (that’s a lot for me, I’m sooo bad at hydration)

SATURDAY

20.5miles. I did it, I actually freaking did it!! The first 5/6 miles were absolutely brutal as we climbed uphill, it was warm with the odd strong gust of wind.  I knew after the hills at the start that it was a pretty flat route and I think that’s what kept me from turning around also Nigel our group leader ran the hills with me even though I was really slow, he was a star!  The group split up and I was at the back with a couple of others as usual, but we regrouped a few times as Nigel had left water at miles 7 and 16.  He even left us all some Mini Eggs as an Easter treat which was so nice of him and each stop just seemed to spur me on even more!

I had an embarrassing fall at mile 11 but thankfully no injuries,  then a bit of a dodgy tummy at mile 17 but it disappeared without any emergencies..phew, the knee niggled but nothing too bad and my determination to finish seemed to overpower any thoughts of needing rests! The sun was shining and my head was just in a really good place it felt effortless!  I really don’t like the sound of bagpipes (I know, I’m so unpatriotic) but when I passed a wedding in Dunblane at around 17 miles they sounded amazing and made me smile.  I caught up with, chatted and passed a couple of girls from the group in the last 4 miles.  When I reached Helen at mile 18 she said she was so glad to see me and had been about to burst into tears as she was really struggling.  I stayed with her and we got back to the shop together.

I finished strong and felt like I had more in me, for the first time ever in my training, I thought I CAN DO THIS!!!

Fuelling:-

Breakfast: (7.45am) muesli & semi skimmed milk & wholemeal toast with peanut butter. 300ml water.

Pre-run: (8.50am) nature valley protein bar -half of (couldn’t finish…nerves)

During run:  between 1-1.5 litre water, half bag of jelly babies and couple of mini eggs. I forgot my gels but obviously didnt need them!

I just wish I know what went so right, haha! Mondays massage? Over indulging in rest days? The sunshine? The hydration or the pizza? The slower pace?

Fingers crossed I can replicate this on the day!!

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small person 2nd from right…thats me!

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SUNDAY

Rest. My legs felt ok, the knee was painful at times on stairs but nothing major. I had a day with family, I thought I would want to eat everything in sight but we went out for a family meal and I struggled eating my starter.

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I earned a few!

 

Weekly Totals

Miles: 28.5

Weeks to go: 5

Embarrassing moments: 2

Are you training for anything?

I hope you all had a lovely Easter Weekend if you celebrate.

Thanks for reading☺️

Have a great day❤

Angela xo

humour · Lifestyle · Running

THE INTERVIEW

It’s forbidden for staff to write anything about my place of work on social media… No, sadly it’s not MI5, it’s a flipping car dealership!? I know top secret, right?!? Company policy and all that jazz!

The company I work for is named after its founder and (until recently) director, who sadly passed away on Monday, aged 89.  The Boss was knighted by the Queen in 2004 and last year became the UKs first motor trader BILLIONAIRE.  His success story is pretty inspiring.  If you are Scottish you probably know who I mean, outside of Scotland you can find out who I work for with a quick Google search of the above information but it’s really not important to the story, I’m just rambling.

So, I was sitting at my desk on Monday morning when we (the office girls) received an email from our Office Manager informing us The Boss had sadly passed earlier that morning.  He was a grand old age, we hadn’t seen him for a few years and we were aware his health was deteriorating but it was still a bit of a shock to read.  No-one was sure what to say, if we should be upset, do we just continue on with whatever task we had been interrupted from.  Instead there was a bit of an awkward silence….

My phone rang.

Me: Good Morning, Angela speaking! …I start thinking about a funny incident of a time our late ‘boss’ paid us a visit…

Caller:  Hi Angela, blah blah blah….MARATHON ….blah, blah…VIDEO…blah blah… FILM YOU…blah..  see you on Thursday!

Me: …still thinking about funny story, almost laughing about it… Ok, thanks Bye!

I hadn’t actually been listening to a word the caller (no idea who he was) was saying but vaguely had picked up something about making a video and coming to film me about running?!?! What?! Which made no sense as I was at work?! I really should pay attention*

Turns out, [undisclosed company that I work for, that’s not MI5] has partnered with Great Run Company, who organise running events including the Stirling Scottish Marathon.  Awesome! The caller was from a film company who have been hired to make a video about the partnership between the companies (I think).  Awesome! …except I just stupidly agreed to be in it because I was too busy thinking about a funny story involving my dead boss, bless him!

Now, I am not the type of person you want in front of a video camera, I’m not what they call a natural.  I mean sure I have had more than a few You’ve Been Framed moments, worthy of the £250 prize money but in general I’m more of a ‘face for radio’ type of girl unfortunately I don’t have the voice for radio.  I’m really shy and quite nervous in most situations, including BEING FILMED.  When I feel uncomfortable I fidget, I stammer,  I say remarkably, stupid things when I’m put on the spot and I have this really annoying thing where I get fits of the giggles when I’m feeling particularly uncomfortable, I also smile over enthusiasticly.  So naturally, I spent Monday till Thursday freaking out about it!

On Thursday morning, I contemplated pulling a sickie,  then remembered I’m not brave enough to even do that.  I arrived at work ready for filming looking real fly with a double dose of what looked like pink eye because I’d fallen asleep with my contact lenses in, which I never do and my voice was hoarse from spending the night before screaming Bruno Mars songs at the top of my lungs**

The ‘film crew’ and an assistant from our Head Office arrived and introduced themselves then gave me a quick explanation of what was going to happen..

We’ll ask you a couple of questions a few times, you don’t have to prepare anything, just be yourself, natural, honest answers thats all we need, it’ll take about 5-10 minutes.  We will go set up equipment and give you a shout when we are ready for you.

I got a call from the receptionist about 20 minutes later.  ‘I’ve to tell you they are ready for filming! I hope you’ve got your lipstick on, you should see the set up!’

Now I’m proper freaking!

… palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy ..thankfully none of my mothers spaghetti vomit on my sweater…. ohhh I must add Lose Yourself to my marathon playlist..

I won’t lie, the set was intimidating.  It was in the middle of the showroom, lighting systems, microphones, cables everywhere, my collegues who were asking if we were filming for a new Hobbit movie…really funny guys.. and of course there was the camera and cameraman.

Stuart instructed me where to stand and checked the lighting was ok, then adjusted the camera and mic height because I’m a midget (rolls eyes) and we were off…  Stuart, the interviewer threw some questions my way, for example;

Why am I running the Marathon, what charity and why? What motivates me when I’m running? How have I found training? Any tech gadgets or apps I use? Favourite part of my kit? Pre/post run treats? How do I wind down after long runs and my advice for other runners thinking about signing up for a race?

You know, all the stuff runners LOVE to talk about, unless they are me and have a camera, 3 strangers, work colleagues and customers all staring at me!

I had to think of answers on the spot, not a strong point of mine.  We had to repeat some of the questions several times due to background noise and my wobbling.  I was standing which meant my nervous rock back and forth came into play.  I’m sure my voice was jittery (and hoarse) but I don’t think I stuttered much, if at all. We ran through the questions again, I’m not sure if I even gave the same answers. Ha! Finally  we were done, in no time…but felt like a lifetime.

Obviously once the nerves wore off and I was back in the comfort of my office I thought of much better answers.  Thinking about it, I’m 99.9% sure a bit of my hair was sticking up the whole time and knowing me there is every chance I had some of my breakfast stuck in my teeth too.

I don’t know what this video is being used for, I didn’t even ask.  I now fear the day that my colleagues get to watch my jittering mess explain how much I love peanut butter bagels.  Fingers crossed the footage of me doesn’t EVER see the light of day!!


*I do usually pay attention and actually listen at work.  It was a one off.. or twice…ok it happens often.

**I was at a Bruno Mars gig not just screaming songs into my hairbrush in my bedroom. 

How do you cope with nerves?

Have you ever been in a situation like this?

Thanks For reading ☺️

Have a great day ❤ Happy Easter Weekend if you celebrate it.

I’m working today, Good Friday… no-one becomes a billionaire by giving their minions a day off I guess…sigh!

Angela xo