Saturday, 19 October 2013

Glenmore 24 & Pentland Skyline

Two very different races with pretty much the same outcome ... pain & disappointment.

The G24 is a great race, my 3rd time aiming to stay awake and make 100 miles. Failed miserably on both counts. Felt pretty sluggish from the start, just tired. Heavy legs that I guess just hadn't recovered from the John Lucas.
I tried to stay positive and managed for a while but as the hours ticked by the wee sleep demons took over ... 3 hours later I was back out there, another 20 miles and I'm wrapped up in my sleeping bag again, oh dear! I crawled back out for the last hour on the small loop. Had myself a great time, all the support/shouting & general abuse made for a fun last hour. 84.25 miles.
I'll be back next year to try stay awake and run 100 miles :-)
Thanks to BaM & co ...great fun

Then last weekend my first ever long hill race. I recce'd the route a few weeks previous so I knew pretty much what I was letting myself for.
I think I had a few issues going on. Firstly I was bit wary of getting lost, one wee recce does not make me proficient, my plan was to keep others in sight! In the clag that was never gong to happen, I didn't get lost, but I got panicked when I could see no one in front or behind. Ran way too fast pushing as hard as I could to get clear of the mist.
Then there was the energy meltdown. Coming off Bell Hill, I'm good. Struggling up next hill and I litteraly stopped, dead. A wondering weaving wobble to the top. Oh my god what as happened to me?  I was dizzy and feeling sick. Well MTFU lady cos you still have a few wee hills to go.
Still, I'm determined if it's runnable, I'm running (probably stumbling). I finally reach some marshalls in a tent and I'm beyond all hope. I enquire about pulling out. Ok, just walk to the finish you've only just over a mile to go. Want some tea or sweets? Ha I think, guess I'll just push on then.
Off I go with a smile on my face, nothing like a reality check.
Soon it was all downhill & I'm managing to run. What a buzz to finish, I was delighted. 4:07. I'd have taken 5:07 at the start. I wasn't disappointed with my time but by blowing up so badly.

After some chit chat I have came to the conclusion it was more than likely my lack of calories in the days previous to the race. Have been quite happily following a low carb type diet & think I just underestimated the amount of energy I was going to need on the day. I'll be keeping an eye on that for the Jedburgh Ultra next weekend. I never like carbo loading as it just bloats me but sensible eating for  a day or two before and should keep me right.

I may even put in a day or two training as well, legs were completely trashed after all those hills I decided they required a good week off. I'm looking forward to Jedburgh but also to the end
of  the season. I'll try fit in a few XCountry races and get back to the weights.

Safe running

Karen & Munro

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Keeping it going

I'm talking about training and dieting and in general just getting out there keeping it going.

Since finishing the Way I am glad to say I did not loose 'my way'. I rested well, over 3 weeks with nothing more than jogging with Munro.

Turned up at the odd Eglinton park run, just outside my PB, well, by a minute or so but if you consider I've been running over 5 minutes outside it you could say I'm getting there.
I entered and enjoyed a few local races. Girvan half marathon, first half since 2007, way outisde my PB time but under 2 hours so I was happy enough.

Cairn Table hill race, beat Tim, that is always worth a mention.

Then the Dundonald 10K, I love saying this... 1st FV35 haha. I think everyone was on holiday but I'll take it.

Then it was back to the Ultra world. I sort of tapered for the John Lucas Round Strathaven 50. I didn't have a clue what to expect from this race. I was worried, it was all on tarmac, it had a cut off time of 10 hours. Tried not to worry too much and was assured I wouldn't be pulled from the course if I missed the cut off. Thankfully I had a good day. As we are in Scotland we had good old Scottish weather. Wet & windy at the start with everyone huddled in the wee tent or their car. It did dry up for the start and the forecast was promising a wee bit of sun at some point through the day.

As always I was slow from the start, but I was not last, at any point. This for me is pretty unusual but it seemed I was not the only person with an old diesel engine that needed a few miles to get it going. The route itself was enjoyable, quiet back roads lovely countryside views. I didn't get bored and maybe thanks to my Hoka's or possibly all the weight training I didn't get aching quads by 20 miles either. The checkpoints in the small towns were excellent, lots of happy helpful folks offering cake and coffee, maybe what a cyclist needs but not a close to the wire runner. Made a mental note to cycle it next year.
The cyclist were great, all shouting encouragement. I fair noticed the silence once the majority of them had gone by.
I had a real struggle between miles 30 and 36, I found the constant long dragging hills, quite a drag. By the time I got to the 40 mile checkpoint I was out of sorts and feeling very sick. Helen & John were here doing a grand job, they didn't let me linger.  T'dTFU and plodded on meeting Noanie and Elspeth about mile 43 marshaling. I had a wee moan about my woes and carried on.

I soon picked up my pace when I realised I was well within the 10 hours. Not only that, if I got my finger out I'd get under 9. The gauntlet was down and I had a goal. The miles at this point seemed never to end and at one point I was awfy sick. Think I'd had too much water. Felt slightly better after that wee mishap.
I finally got back onto the roads we had earlier set out on. I knew I didn't have far to go but the clock wasn't for waiting on me. Only one more mishap when I ran straight down the hill following the cycle signs (as per route) Apparently they had a marshal here earlier but 
they had been taken off the point. A marshal who had been cycling round all day saw me and came after me, gladly I had only gone a short way but had to go back up that bloomin hill... now I was really having to fight the clock. I didn't know how far I still had to go, knew it wasn't too far as I could see the houses so just went as fast as legs with 50 miles in them could go. Wayyhay finished in 8hrs 54. After all the worrying and fretting!!

Now I'm excited about the G24. This is a great race, well for me it's a run. I can't see how it's possible to 'race' for 24hours but I will enjoy running it. It's also the start of my annual leave and our wee holiday in Aviemore. Only one more night shift and two lates to go. Wishing my life away here.

Other wee runs to finish the season, Pentland Skyline is looking good and I have entered Jedburgh for a 2nd year. Then it's Cross Country .. hell I just love Cross Country.

Winter training here I come.

Safe running
Karen & Munro

Friday, 28 June 2013

WHW 2013

WHW 2013 …. I did it

Wow, on Sunday 23rd June 2013 I joined another 148 runners collecting their well deserved crystal goblet at the presentation ceremony of the WHW race. I was to say the least a very happy person. People watching, as I do, you could see the pride and emotion on the faces of not only finishers, but crews, marshals and families.

Still grinning.

At registration I was nervous, but tried not to hit the ‘climbing the walls’ level of manic which in the past has seen my stomach in knots and race ruined before I’ve even ran a step. I managed it. I mingled about, visiting the loo too often, having a last minute snack, listening to the race briefing. By 1 o’clock I was ready.

I started off at the back of the pack but within 3 miles and even after many loo visits I was hiding in a bush with my headlight off. Geeze oh!! Catching the sweepers I
apologised for hiding, put my head down and aimed for the Carbeth huts. My crew of partner Bryan and WHW support vet George McGregor were meeting me here just to make sure all my gear was comfy and I hadn’t forgotten anything. 

 I got into my slow plodding pace and just ran happily along knowing I had a huge adventure in front of me. I started eating my wee snacks within 15 mins of the hooter going off, home made chia seed bar and protein bars. I next met my crew at the Queen Elizabeth car park, half cup of coffee & a wee bit of chicken leg. Conic hill here I come. What a difference the improvements have made to this path, I enjoyed my run to the hill, over the hill and took my time with the steps on the way down. No falls or slips. All is good.


Into Balmaha checkpoint in good time, yummy, more food. Porage here. I get my water sorted, restock all my snack stuff. Crumpets and golden syrup were going down a treat. I’m out the checkpoint in 5mins. I have now started catching folk. Dribs and drabs but I’m no longer last.
I have in the past heard people mention a low path to Rowerdennen, I didn’t know where it was or what folk were talking about, well I do now! I was so busy looking at the loch I ran straight past the Way marker post and onto the landrover track. After a bit I realised I wasn’t sure I had ever seen this part before. Then as I turned a corner onto a downhill 3 runners were coming uphill. Sure enough we were all on the wrong track. Ahh well. I was lucky to only have ran about ¼ -1/2 a mile, the others had ran right round till they couldn’t go any further. I ran a good bit after this with a girl from South Africa, blethering at our stupidness, mine in particular, they all had an excuse, I had none.

Into Rowerdennen and I’m feeling good. Time for more food and a change of top and shoes. I put my sticky soled LA Sportiva on here for the loch side section. I also put my heavier rain jacket on as it was really chucking it down. 10 mins later rain was off and I was roasting like a piece of meet in tinfoil at gas mark 5. My jacket was too large to carry in my small rucksack so I kept it on and stewed. My run to Inversnaid went well, had a quick seat and refresh, loved my pink custard and fruit pot. Huge thank you to the rescue team, they were very helpful and full of banter.

I generally enjoy the section from Inversnaid to Beinglas as long as I take it slow. No bouncing jumping or trashing legs. Had a great run/walk here my mood was high and I was grinning from ear to ear. Still running all runable parts nice slow and steady.
At Beinglas checkpoint I had to wait for Bryan getting stuff out the car as the cars all had to be parked so far away. Not really a problem but I think I uttered my first diva cuss word here.

Onwards to the half way point. A steady jog to Derrydarroch farm? under the underpass, no dramas at cow poo alley, an excellent power walk up the Bogle Glen then good steady jog saw me into Auchtertyre. I had lost a bit too much weight here, god knows why as I had been eating like a kid in a sweetie shop all day but a note was put on my card to see the Dr at Bridge of Orchy. I had some soup and bread, went down a treat. Also a full change of clothes, feet vaselined up clean socks and new shoes. I left feeling fine but changed my rucksack to bottles as I was now starting to get cramp in my legs, one bottle of water, one bottle of isotonic, very good decision. I was still running all the way, slow but not shuffling. My dry clothes and fresh shoes gave me a great boost, then the rain started. Bryan and George had started joking I had my own rain cloud. A quick hello in Tyndrum and I was on my way to Bridge of Orchy. 

On this section I caught up with fellow Tortoise Derek Hill. Derek decided to keep up with me so we ran into Bridge of Orchy together. (quick nip into the hotel loo). Got my weight card checked, refuelled and off we went, a quick chat with MtM and a jelly baby before the descent. Another quick hello with our teams and kit check before the moor at Victoria Bridge.
If my mind serves me right this is the first real struggle and low point I had. Derek coaxing me on and me moaning my ankles were aching.
We got to Glencoe in good time and had another slightly longer break, dry top, soup and I took some painkillers for my ankles, just to dull it.

We ran out of Glencoe, I was still feeling good, positive now that I had ran past my DNF point. 2 years ago I was a mumbling ruined human being at this point, I didn’t give myself any credit for the distance I had ran or the effort I had made. Suddenly I was blinded by my stupidity and very proud of what I had achieved, even if it wasn’t to the end on that particular day. 2 years too late but I finally celebrated my 2011 WHW race.


A slow jog was all we could muster to Kingshouse but no point walking the flat bits, plenty walking to be done later on. We managed a pretty smart ascent of the Devil but I was worried about the downhill. My ankles were really sore and I think the thought of all the loose stones were playing on my mind. We picked our way through but I had no confidence and my mood was now starting to get low. Crabbitt is not a big enough word. I think the second half of this section I F’d & blinded with almost every step. Then I stopped for a pee. It would seem I had some chaffing!! I was almost sick with the pain WTF!! Ankles forgotten I had a new issue.

We got to Kinlochleven still running which was good. Now I had my worst diva moment when Bryan didn’t get me the savlon and Vaseline as quick I would have liked (something to do with me not packing the savlon but hey, that’s just a small point). Eventually we found some germoline and I got myself sorted. I had put on some weight by this point so all was good, I think all those sugary treats were starting to land on my hips. I had more painkillers here but think it was a nice new fresh personality I needed cos the old one was battered, rattled and in no mood to be in pain. We ate more goodies before heading out on the last section. (After grovelling apology to Bryan)

We headed up the hill, quickly getting caught by others but that was fine, we let them get past and got on with our own run. The underfoot conditions were as expected but slightly wetter. We walked the whole way and it was a long slow slog, but now days later, it was ok. We caught sight of Jeff’s camp and trudged determinedly towards it. Photo taken we plodded on. Then things got weird. George commented he thought he saw car lights on the side of the path.. eh? Quick look around, nothing. Then 5 minutes later I saw what could only be car lights lighting up the track.. Eventually we caught the full outline of the car crawling slowly along the track behind us. Unfortunately this was Jeff heading towards Lundavra as someone was in trouble. Never good to hear and makes you aware how vulnerable you are out in the hills. Huge thanks to Jeff and his team who are happy to be there and enable us to take part in our mad pastime safely.

Bryan had walked out to meet us. Oh, he says maybe 10 mins to the checkpoint. It was great to see the glow of the fire. Neal and Caroline had a great fire going, what a wonderful checkpoint. For me though I still had my minging personality onboard and just wanted to get a quick refresh and go, no standing at the fire, I wanted a bath and the only way I was going to get one was to keep going.

Leaving Lundavra we got caught up in a few others running in a line. It was good to still be running/walking at a decent pace and I think we all used one another to keep going forward. Reaching the fire path I knew it wouldn’t be long. I also knew it was still a hard downhill slog; we kept a fair pace and walked as quick as we could. I found this harder than running but I think it was more mentally doing my head in. Every turn I was looking for the old Way marker, knowing the car park wouldn’t be far. Bryan again came up to meet us with a happy oh it’s just 10 minutes. All the way I had made many markers, each not too far, and each being another tick in the very long list of boxes. Now these small markers were killing me, Fire road. Tick. Way marker. Tick. Braveheart car park. Tick. 30 sign. Tick. Arrgghh, where’s the f***ing end!!!

Needless to say as all things do, it came to an end. We ran the whole length of the hedge and across the car park. How did it feel, well, not sure. No huge elation, no great wave of happiness just a thank **** that’s finished. I barely managed to raise a smile for the photo.

I never even went into the leisure centre. I was soo tired and crabbit all I wanted was out of those stinking clothes and into a bath. Not quite the end I had been thinking about, training for and building up to for the last 3 years.

After a bath, sleep, shower I was at the presentation. Now it was sinking in, now the elation was sweeping over me, the pride in what I had achieved. I guess like any huge hard fought battle/achievement it takes time. I now have memories that will last a lifetime and I’ll probably be smirking and squirming in equal measures at my good moments and my diva moments for a long time to come.
I would say I am suitably embarrassed by my bad moods, always thinking I was quite easy going and laid back. Funny when I mentioned that to work colleagues they laughed, aye right, you? Seems I don’t see myself as others do!

I wanted to keep this short, but how do you do that when so much happened? I would just like to say a massive thank you to the organisers, what a huge amount of work went onto making sure we all could indulge in our own selfish pastime efficiently and safely. The marshals, standing for hours in midge infested checkpoints, the Dr’s the mountain rescue, Jeff’s team on the Lairig Mor and the crews. I’m not sure if any had a harder time than mine!! Well apart from Knoxy’s mum & dad. Tom Hanks wouldn’t have this much to say!!

Safe running

Karen & Munro

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Here we go again

I actually can't believe it's almost the WHW race time again. 2 years of disappointment (one DNF, one DNS broken leg) I'm really determined that this will be my 3rd time lucky.

                                                           Galloway Forest Feb

Not that I'm relying on luck. After completely changing my training after my injury I have continued with less miles and more strength work. At times the boredom of the gym and in particular some weight sessions almost had me screeching a trail, well back to the trails. I have however toughened up, zipped up my wee female I'm tougher than that suit and groaned and moaned my way through.

            Glencoe March

Next on my hate list is the speed work, well why would I need that for running an ultra? I'm not qualified to say but just google that shit and you will find lots of people who are and they are giving some excellent advice for free. So head down and get on with it, I have increased my speed on the TM by over 3kph. Considering anything over 10kph is speed work to me it's not that impressive but I'll take it.

Glencoe March

I do however enjoy hill work, not really the short sprints because again like speed work, they hurt. I have been finding my lungs are on the edge of exploding and my legs feeling fine, but in reality it is probably just that the lungs are hurting more than the legs and I'm more focused on breathing than the fact that I'm wobbling and shaking. I have included a downhill session every other week to try get the quads used to a bashing. On my last session I could barely walk for 2 days so I reckon I slightly overdone it.

 Glen Trool Jan

I have been making my long runs count, travelling to nice places like The Galloway Forest, Isle of Bute and running some good like for like trails with some good company. I've manged a few runs on the Way and enjoyed reacquainting myself my favourite parts though I'm glad I haven't spent too much time on it. I am looking forward to being there again and excited about seeing the Loch side, Inversnaid and making it past Glencoe would be nice.

 River Ayr Way June


In a previous life I would log runs willy nilly and if I remembered but now I have been logging everything, all sessions, trying to keep a record so I can see if it's all working or just a waste of time. Unfortunately once it's logged I rarely go back to it. Kind of like my diet/weight watching. If my clothes are looser, I'm loosing weight. If I'm running faster and stronger, it's working.
Every small improvement will eventually make a large improvement. So I tell myself.

 River Ayr Way June

My only ultra race this year has been the Cateran, loved it, even after getting lost and finding ourselves in last place. Well Jo is blonde and I was clearly just following her! To much talking I think. I hung on with Jo for 3/4 of the run but she was toddling and I was starting to hurt. Time to let go before I trashed myself. Jo sprinted to the end and managed 4th lady!! I was pleased I managed to continue to run every runnable section. A nice wee confidence boost.
Also managed a local hill run which was great fun and I felt incredibly good on the uphill, came back down like a wee lassie in heels, but managed a very strong run to the finish. More confidence my strength sessions are working.

 Isle Of Bute June

Taper time now, I'm not yet going round the bend, have decided to do some long neglected household chores to fill my time. Ignoring all aches and pains as they are not real but phantom notions an idle mind will eek out.

 Isle Of Bute June

I'll now just tick over till a week on Friday, not yet made a list but still have old ones on my ipad. I'm sure my list won't have changed much although my food list will be longer. I'm not too worried about tummy issues as I learned a great deal from my last WHW outing, I do like to learn from my mistakes!! Some might say it was a hard lesson to learn and I would agree. I'm still learning and even though I was icky sicky at the Cateran I am confident I can make it ok on the day.

Isle Of Bute June

35hours to complete. I am taking part to complete and know I will be out the 2 nights.
This is going to hurt!

Good luck to everyone taking part. Hope we all make it to the other side.

Safe running

Karen & Munro

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

The Fling: Drymax Trail socks: UltraAspire Surge: La Sportiva Raptor GTX

Gladly I am yet again doing the relay.  I enjoy the fun weekend with club mates more than actually running 53 miles.. who'd have guessed?? This year accidents aside I get to do the glory leg and finish at Tyndrum. Looking forward to that.

The Tortoises have 2 relay teams and a few individual entries so it will be a good day supporting.

I'm again getting back into my training after pulling out the 100K race with an injury to my foot. Appears my trusty Hokas were rub rub rubbing, I thought it was worse than it was, like tendon damage, but turns out just swelling and bruising over the bridge of my foot due to the shoes. I went home feeling rather deflated, another DNF even if it was at 70k. Lots of anti inflammatory pills and a few days rest saw me good. Being sensible doesn't always make you feel good!

Over winter I have been testing a few wee bits n bobs for my big race The WHW. I got the Drymax trail socks as a present and bought an pair of hill running LA Sportiva Raptor GTX. I was mainly aiming at getting comfy shoes and socks that I would be confident doing a lot of miles in and keeping my feet as dry as possible whilst at it.

So the socks, felt uncomfortable and wide at the toes. They also have (or had) wee bobbles at the side of the toes almost looking like the seams were seared. Endless rubbing against my toes I duly cut the bobbles off, leaving tiny wee holes. Guess they're not going to keep me dry now! Well that takes me right onto the fact they never actually did keep me dry.

First outing of socks and GTX shoes was down Glen Trool. Jogged across the wee tarmac road onto the trail, bit of mossy grass here, shoes duly let water in as do socks and I'm not 50meters from the car. Ah well. That said my feet felt warm for the rest of my run even though they were wet.

I will certainly not be buying another pair of Drymax, my Nike stay dry are just as good for a fraction of the cost and very comfy.


Now the shoes, well they looked good in the box. Very light and quite a firm feel on the ground. Unlike the cushioned Hokas you really feel the ground but not in a hard bashing way, more in a way of giving you confidence where your feet are. Stuck them on to run round Stinchar Bridge in the snow. I was mega delighted with how well they gripped and my fear of sliding all over quickly left.
2 wee issues.
1) They are GTX but the seams (upper to sole) let water in straight away even if the upper material keeps it at bay better (rain etc).
2) the tongue slides to the side no matter how you tie the laces. Very annoying and uncomfortable, I was stopping constantly to straighten them, Now have given up and just tie the laces looser so they don't hurt when the tongue moves during a run.

                                                                           Like this

I consider both items 'made on Friday' and hope the ones they make Monday to Thursday are of better quality.

My wee Surge pack is a star in comparison. Not let down at all. Lots of wee pockets in the right places, comfy too. There is the issue that the bladder had no tag to hold it in place but I just made my own with a piece of bendy plastic. Problem solved. Also it is purple and I like black, but they are not that easy to come by so sometimes you just got to take what you can get.
I did wonder about the room in the back with the bladder but finding I have more than enough space for food/extra jacket/gloves/headband.

                                                                    In purple

Glad I have got all that out the way. Been meaning to write something for ages but never quite got round to it.

Back to the training. A wee jaunt from Balmaha to just outside Rowerdennen with Stan, Jo and Carol had me running quite a bit faster than I am used to. I did hang on but my pace is definitely not quite good enough yet.

I then did the Kaim hill race again. This is 3.5 miles starting with a pleasant downhill sprint on tarmac, then 1 mile up round the trig point then 1 mile down. Bog up past my knees, burned heather ripping through my socks. The wind was blowing so hard up the top it took my breath away. On the last field I was running so fast I couldn't keep up with myself, what a weird feeling, just belting downhill arms flying around and hoping you are not going to fall. Then the pleasant downhill tarmac start becomes the most massive hill and stopping myself chucking up was all I could think about. A female who I had traded places with on the way up took 4 minutes out me on the downhill.. very impressive.

This week I enjoyed another long run with Stan, Noanie and John down Stinchar Bridge. 20 miles hill/trail and a bit of forest road. I felt comfortable the whole way and took a wee boost from that and my hill race.

I had yet again been nursing a slight strain, this time I'm sure from my weights session. Tweaked the band on the side of my calf, it was dodgy before the Stinchar run but aching afterwards. I had been planning doing the Eglinton Park run on Saturday but again I was sensible and forced myself to have a complete rest day along with Sunday. I am now boring myself with my sensible head but have to admit it seems to be working for me.

Xtrain tomorrow then wind-farm run Thursday before rest day Friday. Can't wait till Saturday. No tapering for me. My 12 miles will be a race pace training run... I'm sure there is such a thing.

Good luck everyone. Most importantly ENJOY

Safe running

Karen & Munro

Saturday, 30 March 2013

First Ultra of 2013

For me this is later than planned. Hardmoors last week was abandoned before it started due to the weather. Road closures and snow drifts did not have me running out the door jumping in my wee hatchback and chucking all caution to the wind in a desperate need to run 55 miles on a course that will most definitely be there next year.

So in the safe warmth of my backroom I slumped and sloped about in a huff with a continual need to reassure myself I had made the right decision. Scunnered I took the internet hunting for another run to race, or in my case turn up and hopefully finish.

I then remembered the Perth 100k. Oh wonder if it's closed? anyway it didn't close till next day so with credit card in hand and after quick calculation 100K = 62 miles, cool just over the 55 I was planning I duly paid the fee and entered the race.

Then I looked at the race info. I am really going to have to learn to 'read the bloody info first' in future, walk before I run, look before I leap etc etc

The avg pace required to complete 100k in 12 hours is 11:35. Now for most this is a stroll and when you think that the elites will be gunning for a sub 7 it does seem pretty doable.
Trouble is for me it is going to be one hell of a struggle. With a PB on the D33 of 5:55 (2 years ago) you can pretty much see why I'm concerned.

Well, here's to my first attempt at a sub 12hour 100K lol

Safe running

Karen & Munro

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Winter training

Oh well, it's been 2 months since my last post and I'm real glad to say they have been incident free.

                                                                     New Shoes

 I have chipped away at everything that scares me... gyms with lots of people
 in close proximity... speed work & intervals, why would anyone deliberately hurt themselves like that? hills? oh why??
But there I have been, on a weekly basis ticking off my sessions. Building up my TM speed work one teeny point at a time, to say the least, that is taking a while. Hills are now up to 8 per session. I started at 3. Long runs are my fun day. I am planning each run a week in advance, looking forward to it and so far enjoyed every single one.


Another fun part of training and motivation had been Jantastic. I entered as part of The WHW team that John Kynaston was pulling together. This has been great motivation. I only entered 3 runs per week for January then 4 for February. My LSR, Interval & Hill sessions. February I added a dog jog. I am still sitting at 100%. My timed run for March is going to be my first ever Park Run. Eglinton Park. Almost looking forward to that!

Since my leg break last year my training has changed massively. Being unable to run for so long then only being able to do strength work & spin/stepper for the first few months to build up changed my mind set that many miles were best. Now I spend more time in that horror hole called a gym than I do on the roads. Weights are cool, now almost squating my body weight. That would be so much easier if I could loose a few pounds!! Doing the dips and pull ups, assisted of course but getting nearer my body weight for that too. Spinning is cool, hard work, cycling through treacle is fun. My favourite killer machine is the stepper... I'm building up the floors and speed, sweating like a sweaty thing, suffering like never before and sadly I'm loving it. So that leaves only 4 days for running but I take one as rest. 

So my long runs. Wee adventures with Munro. Stinchar Bridge, Crainlarich (Stan), Tyndrum (Fling weekend), Whitelees oh and this year a recce to Sunderland with Davie Bell reading the ipad map thingy, we meet some like minded English guys who we couldn't understand and them us. That didn't stop any of us and we set off from Osmotherly to recce the Hardmoors course. Davie was doing the 26.2 trail marathon and also the 110 later on in the year, I'm doing the 55 which is now only 17 days away.. gulp.
But as luck had it, this was the first weekend of all that snow!! this kind of hampered our progress and we managed 19 miles with a huge part merely falling / slipping / tramping our way through 2 ft + snow drifts. It was much fun and a good work out for the legs although I'm still not much surer of the route but sh*t happens.

The Hardmoors have quite a lot of mandatory kit after some seriously cold weather in the past. Only 2 drop bags but one checkpoint has hot food. I think I have all the necessary including my heatsheet bivvy bag. I have never even heard of such stuff before! I have been told lots of people enter the 55 with the aim to see how far they can get. Well I aim to finish it... as my tent and car will be at the end (bar open in football club too) not Xing anything, just going to try my hardest and know that I did my best. Anything less will not be good enough.
I used to run because it was fun and my training stopped the minute it started hurting. Not anymore.

Safe running

Karen & Munro