Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Doing my S.U.M.S.

Just when I though my plans for the year were sorted along comes Murdo and introduces the Scottish Ultra Marathon Series. A series of 9 scottish ultra marathons including 2 new events and one resurrected event.
The scoring requires runners to complete at least 4 of the races and prizes will be awarded to the overall series winners after the last race - the River Ayr Way.
Now I'm already signed up for two of the races - The Highland Fling and the West Highland Way Race but I am keen to do 2 more to feature in the series rankings.
I have decided therefore to do:
The Clyde Stride - a 40 mile race following the new clyde walkway from Partick to Lanark. This is only 4 weeks after the West Highland Way Race so if last year is anything to go by, I wont exactly be springing along.
The Speyside Way Race - This was apparantly last run in 2005 and ties in nicely with my plans to run this route anyway. The race is only 35 miles which, as far as i am aware, is less than the full speyside way but looks like being a great race none the less. This is on 28th August and as this is usually quite a quite month for me, it fills the gap quite nicely.
So at the moment, my race plans for this year are now:
March - the Mighty Deerstalker
April - The Highland Fling
May - Cycling trip to France
June - 70 Wild Miles and the West Highland Way Race
July - The Clyde Stride
August - The Speyside Way Race
September - Glasgow half marathon
October - Longmynd Hike

Looks like a full year with 5 ultras and few 10ks and other half marathons scattered around in there.
Training is going OK at the moment - no huge mileage but what I am doing I feel good about. I did an 18 miler on Sunday morning and finished strongly feeling good. The plan is step up this weekend and put in a 25 and then keep the momentum going through Feb.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

What's Occuring?

Well, 2009 has now been and gone, I managed just over 1500 miles again for the year - not as much as many of my other running colleagues but enough to let me complete the various challenges I had in 2009.

So which races did i do last year?


Wuthering Hike (32 miles) - this was my first attempt at this and in some challenging weather I manged to finish in a very slow time due to some slight navigational errors which saw me add an extra couple of miles on to the route!

The following week I ran in The Mighty Deerstalker - this is billed as a 10k but it is actually abouy 9 miles and includes river crossings, swamps, log bridges and much more. I know some people don't like this event but I do and have signed up again for this year.


This month I ran the Highland Fling (54 miles) - my time of 11hrs 42 mins was very disappointing and I suffered terribly with cramp throughout most of the race. It is still a great race however and I am signed up for next year.


I had a quiet May and only ran the Helensburgh 10k. It was a very fast flat course and I ran 40mins 26secs which I was delighted with. I was also pleased that I was up the next morning at 6:00am to meet Mark Hamilton & Ellen McVey in Tyndrum to run the 35 miles to Kinshouse and back!


This is the busiest month on the year and it started with 70 Wild Miles which is team triathlon. I joined up with a couple of friends and did the final run leg of 13 miles. It was a really fun event and we're doing it again this year. The following week was my local 10k which is on a tough, hilly course and managed to beat my previous years time by 15 seconds to come home in 42mins 52 secs. One week later was the main event of the year with my second running of the West Highland Way Race (95miles) I had a great run and took over an hour of the previous years time to finish in 23 hours 30 mins. I'm going for sub 23hours this year!


I took some time out this month to go on holiday and nurse some injuries picked up during the previous month.


I decided to run the Helensburgh half marathon this month for the first time in 20 years. It was really hot day and I struggled from very eraly on to finish in 1 hour 38mins (faster than 20 years ago though!)


This is the month of the Glasgow Half Marathon which I now completed around 20 times. I had a brilliant run here and finished in 1 hour 31 mins. I'd love to get under 1 Hour 30mins again so maybe this is the year! The following week I ran the Saab Salomon Tubo X race in Mugdock Park. A 10 mile run through the trails and swamp. It is very much a fun event and I loved it.


I ran the Longmynd Hike (50 miles) for the third time this year and despite horrendous weather for the first half of the race managed to take 20mins off my PB to finish in 11 housr 25mins.

That was the end of my racing for the year and after some big mileage in the first half of November I've been pretty lazy up till Christmas. The snowy weather is proving challenging at the moment. It's ok if you can get off-road but the pavements are dreadful and it makes for some hard running.

I ran to work yesterday in -11 degrees. When I ran home, my eyebrows and eyelashes had frosted up!

So what of my plans this year? As always, it depends on what I can fit around my work and family commitments but my race plans at the moment are:
The Mighty Deerstalker
The Highland Fling
70 Wild Miles
WHW Race
Longmynd Hike
I'll do some 10ks and Half marathons as well.
I'd also like to do a couple of hill races this year and I had mentioned in a previous post about running the official Long Distance Footpaths (WHW, Speyside way, Great Glen Way, Southern Upland way) I'm not sure how these will all fit into my diary but we'll see as the year progresses.
So that kind of brings things to a close. I've got out of the way of blogging recently but I'd like to get back into a more regular routine so watch this space