Tuesday, 21 September 2010


See me eh? two posts within a week.

Saturday saw me at the start line for the 41 mile River Ayr Way (RAW) Challenge. Feeling particularly unprepared, I decided to set off at a nice steady 9min mile pace and see how long I could keep it going for. I had set myself a 7hrs 30min target which seemed reasonable if not too challenging.
The first few miles went by ok and I was running comfortably right on pace. This was my first time on the route and I was pleasantly surprised by how scenic it was. It starts with a lot of open farmland and rough grazing and then as it gets closer in towards the coast, there is a lot of natural woodland and some beautiful trails along the rivers edge.
I kept a nice even pace and despite one minor naivigation hic-cup I was feeling pretty happy about how things were going. In a bid to try and stave off my dreaded cramp problems, I had decided to drink an isotonic fluid rather than water and so I topped up with my individual sachets of High 5 at various stages along the way. I am please to say that I didn't experience any cramp whatsoever - so a bit of a result there!
I went through the marathon in 4hrs 15mins and although going ok I was starting to feel the effects of my lack of training miles. Still, I seemed to be picking off other runners now and again so I was still feeling remarkably upbeat.
By about 31 miles, I started to struggle and over the next mile or so my pace dropped and was interspersed with the occassional walk. I managed to adopt a nice little routine of running 200 steps and then walking 100 and so on. I kept a close eye on my Garmin and just focussed on ticking off the next mile, then the next one and then the next one. This worked really well and my overall pace settled out at about 10:30 and gradually he miles ticked by until I found myself on the long road section by Auchencruive.
By now I knew I was going to make it and so ditched the number counting and pressed on as best I could. I managed to pass another couple of runners in the lat mile or so and crossed the line in 7hrs 11mins.
Overall I was pretty pleased with my performance, not exactly a contender but I think I finished about 35th out of around 80 starters so I'm happy with that.
This was also the last race in the SUMS (Scottish Ultra Marathon Series) and with me now having 4 races completed my name appears in 37th place overall and 10th Male Vet.

So what next? I'm going to ease back a bit over the next few weeks and enjoy some nice easy running. I've got the Saab Salomon Turbo X run in Mugdock Park in a couple of weeks which is a bit of a novelty event run through mud, rivers, steep hils and trails and although 10 miles it is more about the enjoyment rather than a time.

October sees the entries for next years WHW Race opening but my main focus on next year will be on the UTMB. I am hoping to get a ballot place in the January draw so in anticipation, I need to start getting some time in the hills!

Friday, 17 September 2010

Where the hell have you been!

I have not disappeared off the face of the planet - I am alive and well and active, I just don't seem to have had time to put much of my life down on "paper" as it were.

Anyway, this is just a brief note by way of a catch up but I promise to be slightly more proactive in the blogging stakes.

Much has happened since the WHW Race in June. Still on a high, I had two fabulous weeks in France, resting, drinking large amounts of wine and I even managed 3 runs. A week after I got back I was on the starting line for the Clydestride and finished in just over 7 hours but was once again plagued with cramp from about 30 miles onwards. Not sure what I'm doing wrong here as I was eating "S" Caps like sweeties but they didn't seem tobe making a difference.

Bit of a rest through August having had to pull out of the Speyside Way due to other commitments but then completed my 21st running of the Glasgow Half Marathon in a time of 1hr 34mins. I has set off on a sub 1hr 30min pace but after about 3 miles I realised it wasn't going to happen to eased off and came in 3 mins slower than last year. I'm sure I've got a sub 1:30 half in me if only I got round to training for one!

My planned 4th run at the Longmynd Hike was scuppered due to an over subscribed entry and the usual woeful race admin not sending me the email alert to let me know entries were open. As a last minute decision, I have therefore decided to run the River Ayr Way Race (RAW) tomorrow which will give me 4 counting events for the SUMS (Scottish Ultra Marathon Series). I feel particularly undertrained for 41 miles but I plan to set off really gently and plod round in somewhere near 7hours 30mins.

That's you pretty much up to date. It feels good to be back in blog land so watch this space!