Tuesday, 23 December 2008


This is how it should be done - Simply stunning!


Running blind

I went out last night for a tempo run on the Milngavie 10k route. The route takes you out the back roads through Bladernock village and through some fantastic car free country lanes. The best bit about it though is turning the head torch off and relying on the slight shine on the wet roads to guide you through the darkness.
There is something quite magical about running in the pitch dark. I think when one of your senses is taken away from you the others become more heightened. It is quite mesmorising to hear only the sound of my steady hard breathing and the thump of my feet hitting the ground and I feel very disappointed as I emerge back into civilisation and streetlights once more.
It has an incredibly calming affect on the soul and leaves me feeling revived and in love with running once more.
I am away for a few days now so if anyone is actually reading this, have a very Merry Christmas and I hope your plans for 2009 are achieved.
24 hours 44 mins WHW Race 2008 - Finished!

Monday, 22 December 2008

On the road again

I am back running again at last. Well, when I say running, it's a bit more plodding really. I went out last Monday for the first time in over two weeks and did a short 4 mile loop around the Ski Club which felt not too bad but worryingly, my legs were sore the next morning. The next night, Nr. 1 son runs at Garscube Harriers and I did my usual 7 mile route whilst he was out with club - sore legs again.
I missed the next few days due to eating and drinking committments! and so I didn't get back out again until Sunday morning. I set off at 7:00am into a very dark, windy and wet West Highland Way and ran up through Mugdock Park and out to the Carbeth huts. Although it was fairly slow 11 miles, it was good to get out and get my feet muddy again.
So here we are, 9 days of the year left and still 37 miles to get my 1500. We're off down to Shrewsbury for Christmas to stay with my in-laws and given my Father in-law's generous hospitality I'm not convinced I'll get in much mileage. There is a wee hill race on boxing day called the Stiperstones Dash which I'll do but it doesn't eat into the 37 miles a great deal.
So it looks like I'm going to end up with a 20 mile run on Hogmanay to finish off the year!
There is a definite sense of hyper-exitement in our house at the moment as the kids have finished school and are counting the days until Santa arrives - I'm sure it's something to do with the fact that every day starts with a chocolate fix from the advent calendars!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Party Animals

This was not what I had planned! A fourth post and still no running to report on. I am now on the mend and am just trying to shed an annoying cough and a blocked nose so I am hoping to actually get out for a run by Friday.
I have 59 miles left to complete my 1500 for the year and so it is still on although I may have to put in a bit of an effort!
The party season is in full swing now and I never seem to be at home although it has to be said - they're not my parties! Nr. 1 son has a scouts party and a school christmas panto (Oh no he doesn't!) Nr. 2 son has a Beavers christmas party and a school christmas party and Nr. 1 daughter has a Rainbows christmas party, a school christmas party and 2 "other" christmas parties. Now none of these parties will involve a late night kebab and the last train home but they do somewhat eat into what little time I have for running!
I am resolved now not to post again until I have actually put my running shoes on and stepped out of the door. The results could be painful!

Friday, 5 December 2008

Definately not Man-Flu!

My slightly under the weather feeling has now become full blown flu. Now I'm not talking man-flu but proper, I can't get out of bed flu. I have even had to take time off work for the first time in about 10 years!

Not surprisingly, I haven't run this week at all so my 1500 miles target for the year although still quite attainable is going to have to be worked at a bit harder.

Perhaps this is a good time to look ahead to my plans for next year. My main focus will once a gain be the West Highland Way Race but I also plan on doing the Highland Fling and the Longmynd Hike again. With the Fling and Longmynd being in the Vasque Ultra Series, I might have a look at doing the Wuthering Hike in March which would give me three counting events. Outside of ultras I also plan on doing the Mighty Deerstalker, the Milngavie 10k, the Galsgow 1/2 marathon and maybe the Dundee Marathon. I've also entered as part of a team for "70 WILD MILES" and I am planning riding the C2C route with some mates in March. That seems like a reasonable spread of events but like all great plans, whether they actually happen is another issue. The first stage is to get rid of this bloody flu!

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

The dreaded lurgy!

Running has been somewhat curtailed at the moment as all three children are off school with some kind of flu type bug. I'm not feeling too chirper myself and so rather than tempt fate and continue running in the current sub-zero temperatures, I'm staying indoors and trying to put off the inevitable bug transfer.

All being well, I'll be back out later in the week and with only about 60 miles left to do to complete my 1500 for the year, I'm keen to get out for a long run on Sunday morning.

The long run - ah yes, the staple of all long distance running training and for me, the most difficult to accommodate. I don't think I'm particularly unique as everyone has other commitments and pulls on their time although reading some of my fellow bloggers reports, some seem to have more than others. For me, Sunday's long run means a 6:00am rise and out the door for about 6:30am. This gives me a good 3 hours before returning to demands for swimming trips or bike rides by my pyjama wearing family. My enthusiasm for this is directly proportional to the amount of red wine consumed the night before and whether this was followed with a large Lagavullan or two!

I do try and get out with one of the organised training groups when I can and this gives me the chance to put in some extra miles.

Last year, I peaked at about 60 miles a week just before the WHW race. I don't see that changing dramatically next year but the plan is to run smarter, rather than longer and be a bit more structured in what I do.

So there you go, two posts in two days. Hopefully, my next one will include some comments on an actual run.

Monday, 1 December 2008

And so it begins

This blog was set up to find out how to set one up that I knew what to do and could tell my 12 year old son, Cameron how to do one. Now that I've set it up, it seems sensible to put something down; on paper - kind of thing.

A bit about me first. I'm a 42 year old, self employed father of three. Although, perhaps that should be a father of three who is self employed because that's the priority they seem to take in my life. Oh, and I'm a runner.

This blog aims to set out how I fit in running my own business, keeping my kids happy, staying in love with my wife and training for ultra-marathons. I like to think I do three of the four things very well and I do just enough to get by in my running.

I started running at college and after a few years competing in triathlons I started running ultras two years ago. Last year I ran the Highland Fling, West Highland Way Race and the Longmynd Hike. I did some other races as well but ultras have become my focus.

Next year I'm hoping to do the same three again with hopefully a couple of others thrown in.

So that's a brief summary. Over the next few weeks, I'll put a few of my thoughts down on how my training is going. If anyone bothers to read this, let me know you're out there.