Sunday, 30 May 2010

"They thinks its all is now!!"

Finally the day arrived (several wakenings in the night before and fearful stomach tightenings in total fear...why does this still happen?!!) with a slightly overcast sky but cool and looking good for a wee 13.5 mile run around and about Campbeltown and Macrahanish. Early start to get Matt at Blue rock cottages at 8am, we knew we were okay for time as we sailed past Liz's house and spotted the car still in the drive. An hour or so later and we are all registering for our various events...this is fantastic! Freya and Rosie old hands in the 2k fun run and Toby registering for the first time for a chip and a place in the 10k. Garret and I shuffled along to the half registration and then sat in the car debating toilet timings with Matt until just after ten. Leaving the warmth of the car I met up with Liz and settled the toilet question by heading off for one last time.....The mass walk to the start came very soon, it is great now here are so many faces we know, Toby teamed up with a friend and soon we were crowded into the start area breathing in the heady fumes of deep heat. The girls were duly positioned for photos and we were off!! Garret told us our pace according to Gamin and soon strode off, Toby had already gone and peeled off onto the 10k route for a 44 minute run. Meanwhile Liz and I took the first mile in 8.08...who needs a Gamin when you can do tables......The second mile was just over 16 so all good for the 8+ minute miles and the road steadily inclines until the 3 mile mark. I pulled out to overtake another runner just before three miles and realised Liz and her niggly knee were no longer there....trying to remember the beat of the 8 minute mile until the dunes...passed the Police Car leading the leaders (not as it sounds as they did not take the car onto the dunes and so were waiting for him....just before I got to the dunes he passed me sprinting out for home with 6 and a half miles to go. The dunes are a challenge and my pace slowed a lot losing 4 minutes over all by the time I got to that 7 mile mark myself ( I have been hanging out with the Gamin boys too long). The beach is hard but great as you see lots of folks at the double back halfway point. All the Mid Argyll males including Garret who nearly failed to recognise me....The wind that had up till now had been in our faces was now behind and un-felt apart from by the absence of, hot, hot. A friendly voice behind encouraged me up and over the dunes and to my surprise I felt quite strong for the next couple of miles, this despite a realisation that Liz was gaining on me and as I passed marshals who knew us I could hear her cheery response...She could still speak!!!! Miles 9-11 were a nightmare of heat, blister recognition and pounding feet on roads but I did manage to keep a Bellahouston road runner in my sights and even did some over taking. I missed the 11 mile marker so that section was quite long!! Into the town and again missed the 13 mile mark but did spot the 9k from the other race....time to speed up legs? no, really time to speed up!!! The crowds were really supportive and shouting all the way in....unfortunately it was for someone called Moira just behind and then in front of me going through the finish...HOWEVER there were a few shouts for "Fee" "Fiona" and best of all "Mum" which is just the greatest sound and I was over that line and home...blisters and all! Result 1.52.44 and 13th woman overall and 7th in my category so 180.79 miles of training later...result!!!

Other results...Toby 44 in the 10k, Rosie 6th girl in 2k Freya 2nd girl in 2K Garret 1;44 in half

Total total... 180.79 Weekly total....16.94 last total as tomorrow (or maybe next week...the triathlon training starts!!)

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Springtime walk in Scotland

A little downtime walk with the boy and the dogs. He took me to see the bluebells he spotted earlier...We still enjoy a little adventure together me and ma boy..great!! The bridge is the old Douglas Bridge now sadly crumbling away.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010


Tapering the training down now (and legs still b******d after Boot Camp...) so a nice gentle run with js tonight in the sun and a nice breeze. Very, very pleasant....until we came home and found ALL the pigs put on the lawn...even Mr P! He is so gentle that with one gentle slap to the rump he looked round and then ambled home again as if to say "Oh....don't you want me here?? Okay, I will go back then" Slightly more effort into getting the others away but with three of us (and the dog) on their case it was soon just the naughty little girl that was out and racing round teasing secret weapon Ginny......

Total total... 167.29 Weekly total....3.44

Monday, 24 May 2010

Vegetarian Otters and Rhinosaurs.....

A peacefullish weekend with no sporting activities in a lull before next weekends half marathon ( I may have mentioned that before a couple of times..). Time to try to give the poly-tunnel some attention....the radishes are coming on well, ditto asparagus, we have had loads of pickings, tomatoes, strawberries on their new drain pipes,cucumbers, salad and spring onions. The outside peas are coming along well and best of all the frost blighted runner beans that were so sad and dead have sprouted again from the bottom and are slowly peeking above the ground. The weather was really hot and so a hose was the obvious solution for Toby and Rosie and the dogs. Sunday the girls and I took Nina and went over to Stirling for a long delayed trip to Blair Drummond Safari Park. Nina kept the sibling bickering at bay and we had a good time gazing at very ugly Camels and enjoying the overheard comments from other visitors (i.e. the father who told his son that otters only eat grass despite one eating a fish treat in front of him and the mother who corrected her child's pronunciation to "Rhinosaur"...bliss!). A MacDonalds on the way home followed by the compulsory diversion following the usual busy day accident closing the A82. The trip round to Garelochehad and then the side of loch Long to Arrochar was not much longer in mileage but quite a bit longer in time...not unbearable though and luckily no car sickness sufferers.....THEN...yes there is more! Garret and I had a quiet,child free meal at The George to celebrate 19 years of marriage...nearly, the actual day is Tuesday but hey, that is running club day!

Friday, 21 May 2010

Last long run....

A perfect day for a run today...overcast and cool as I set off to meet Liz at Loch Glashan for the last long run before the big day the weekend after next. Loch Fyne was misty and pearly grey as I drove to the rendez-vous. There was even some big spots of rain . I would have been contemplating its beauty and the vividness of the strong colours along the way with such a pale backdrop had I not been raging at the FOOL driving behind and then in front of me who definitely did not read the same highway Code book that I studied all those years ago...apparently his said to over-take at speed on corners and oh...extra points for doing it with an oncoming car in clear view. Back to the run....We met,we started and the sun came out and we slogged our way round the 9 miles in 24' temperatures. Loch Glashan was hard to take twinkling away all cool and lovely whilst we put the miles under our trainers.....But do it we did and that is it for a while so time to enjoy the weekend

Total total... 163.85 Weekly total....20.53

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Physics, Chemistry...Biology

are all spinning around in my head as I take up yet another "How to Standard Grade" book to test Toby. I understand Physics no better now than I did in 1980 but the chemistry and biology chimes a few rusty bells. The main thing is that I ask precisely the right questions so that Toby gives the answer he knows.......he is working hard though and is coping relatively well with the far. Anyway...another running club and another run and very nice it was too!

Total total... 154.71 Weekly total....11.39

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

...and leading tonights session.

A really lovely night to be running in a really lovely place. We warmed up and then did a timed mile trying to run at race pace and then went back doing the same. Liz and I struggled to keep under the 8 minute mile mark which is what we are planning to try to do at the Campbeltown 1/2 the weekend after next.

Total total... 149.46 Weekly total....6.14

Planning tonights session.

A brief trip out in the sun this afternoon to do a two mile test run trying to keep at a steady 8 minute mile (went over a bit to 8.15 or so) which was to repeat it tonight at running club WITHOUT the dogs pulling me along...

Total total... 146.01 Weekly total....2.69

The highs of B and B

The guests that we meet through are bed and breakfast are, in the main interesting, pleasant people with whom I enjoy sharing our home and sometimes we get a glimpse into their lives too. There are many who pass through and many who return to see us again. There are some who erk one slightly (as in the four adults recently who allowed a willing Freya to take their many bags up and down the stairs to their rooms without so much as a thank you..) but these vanish from your mind when you meet people such as the ones that we have been lucky enough to meet this weekend. The Sneddons are very special people who were back here to scatter a mothers ashes at Kenmore right over the hill from us on Loch Fyne where she grew up. They led us through a fascinating picture of her life both written down by her and remembered by her daughter from tales and reminiscences. In these days of internet, fast travel and modern life it is so interesting to read of similarities that exist from that world 80 or so years ago. She tells of going to the "big house" for a party hosted by the Duke's sister at Christmas. This is a tradition which is still followed now with my own children going from the age of 4-11 invited by the Duchess. We do not put on our best clothes for the Games as she and her brothers did but we do still see it as a major day in the calendar and most locals will go. She tells of taking wood from the forests around them to supplement the coal which was so expensive and arrived by puffer boat aka Para Handy style...although our coal now comes on a lorry we are also feeling the cost of it in recent days and are trying to use some wood to keep the Rayburn going along with the coal to maintain the steady heat. Finally apart for the pleasure that these people bought to us with their stories and living- history attitude Margaret gave me a copy of Duncan Williamson's " The Horsieman" a book that I have been keen to get for ages recounting a childhood around the shores of Loch Fyne. I was so touched that she had one to the trouble to get me it...from one stranger to another who are now friends bound by the past and present. We also met a lovely single lady who arrived last night and is staying on pleased with the peace and quiet here and abouts.....

Seafood Fair

This was held at the Castle this year which made it much easier to get to (the Oyster bar site involves parking on a grass field, always a dodgy thing to do in our damp and pleasant land). As usual but for the last time the girls and I took our turn running the tea/coffee stall which is a good way to spend a couple of hours as locals and visitors alike roll up for a drink of something....The flow was steady increasing slightly when the odd shower came on and folk filled the tent from the seats outside. In the main the weather was kind so less takings but happy crowd!

Rainy sports day..

but we managed! Our very last Sports Day at Inveraray Primary with Freya winning the flat race and laughing so much she nearly fell in the time honoured sack race! The rain sort of held off but such a shame the Mothers race was cancelled........

Friday, 14 May 2010

Running -fast and slow

I am getting the benefit now of downgrading the training programme and having more rest days as today's longest run of the eight weeks did not daunt me too much. I actually enjoyed it and did not worry too much about times despite the silent but deadly presence of Garret's Gamin on my right wrist. I went to Inveraray and then along to Carloonan farm. Needing to make it a six miles out I headed past our usual turn round point ending near the old deserted fish farm (Could be an homage to the 1980's terror film genre there somewhere) where I ran along the river for a while until the Gamin had ticked away the vital fractions of mileage. The return route was pretty much the same with several heavy rain downpours, stops to chat with other nutters who felt it was a perfect day for a walk, a couple of cyclists rather pointlessly sheltering under a large drippy tree and enforced halts to let vehicles past. All in all quite happy. And of course the best moment is the 3 seconds or so it takes me to update the weekly and Total totals. On a sporting and rainy theme still yesterday was my very last sports day at the Primary. Freya did us proud and wopped 'em at the 100m...sorry very un-PC. She did though!! Sadly the rain meant no mums race which is just as well as I am still talking usually when the winners cross the line. Cant do running where there is no chatting!

Total total... 143.32 Weekly total....21.19

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Springwatch at Claonairigh

This little chap and his thinner friend have taken to sitting on the porch roof and singing their hearts out. Not too many have returned here this year and no house martins as yet which is sad. Maybe they are just later this year with the cold weather.....
The revision continues. It is like having a large ravenous unpredictable toddler in the that appears at irregular intervals and indulges in time wasting activities BUT must under no account be asked to help with any normal family tasks "cos I am revising Muuuum" At least we have moved onto biology that I have some distant memories of...
Gardening again today for me. There have been a few casualties to the late frost so far and a couple more today courtesy of Toby and Garret trying to kick a football into the trampoline net aka a huge basketball basket from a distance of a 100m or so..needless to say they were not very good at it but very good at hitting the veggie garden and poor tender peas 10m to the left of intended target.
Mid Argyll jogscotland tonight with a shorter drive for me as we met at Ardcastle fifteen minutes from here. A lovely 4.5 miles or so through the woods...very nice!!

Total total... 131.15 Weekly total....9.02

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Back on the exercise mill

Back to boot camp last night and running resumed at the running club tonight. A slightly depleted group (meeting at the school) sheltered in the (we discovered) rather inappropriately named Shelter Shed during a short sharp hail storm. However the skies cleared and out we dashed for a 4 miler with "short bursts" which turned out to be 4.49 miles so happy people! Now having to listen to politics according to Toby so may have to create a diversion in order to escape the room without my ears exploding (DC just accepted the mantle of PM)......So his hair will be grey in a year then (DC's not Toby's)

Total total... 126.62weekly total....4.49

Monday, 10 May 2010

Tired legs, tired head!

A busy week despite the pathetic weekly total with the Dun Na Cuiche run yesterday.. a true family affair with Garret, Freya, Toby and me running and Rosie marshalling at the top and providing much needed encouragement. My nerves were as high as the hill itself and sleep deprivation was taking hold by Sunday morning. A double edged sword held at the throat during the previous week was the fear of not enough entries and lots of phone enquiries from worryingly competent sounding men. backed by a fantastic group of fiends coerced and bullied into being marshals/officials the day was a huge success all round and we had many happy but tired runners! As this is the last in a long list of race reports etc I have had to do in the last 12hrs i shall keep it brief. The Corner family held up there heads with reasonable results. Toby was second MJ, Garret 6th MV, me 3rd FV and Freya with a heavy cold and a bad stitch got the biggest cheers of the day when she 1. crossed the finish line (see photo!) and 2.when she received her trophy. She sure did dig deep to compete in such a hard race.

Photos of the whole race here
Total total... 122.12 weekly total....8.43

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Motivation peeping its head up again

Since Saturday and a decision to have a few days rest the motivation has dropped and the back pain risen...however I am sure it has done me good and I think a downsizing of training programme next week may be in order. A nice gentle run with js in Lochgilphead tonight, one i have not done before. Well, the start of it anyway. Toby is into the thick of exams with maths all day today and Geography tomorrow. He is managing to stay sane though as long as we don't poke him with a big stick....

Total total... 118.12 weekly total....4.43

Saturday, 1 May 2010


My lovely deerstalkers....left me a nice tip...went on their way this am so hence followed a frantic couple of hours tidying, making beds and feeding the washer. I really was so not in the zone for a run and had very tired legs. The hill at the back very nearly defeated me as my calves cramped and hardened on the way up just a few hundred metres in. Garret was my run buddy this time and we nearly fell out until I ran out of puff to argue and did what he said....ten miles later and a very tired sprint finish down the afore mentioned hill. Then as a bit of cool down the girls and I trolled round all the houses in Inveraray to deliver leaflets for the Woollen Mill as part of Toby's job to help him out....another mile or so! So now I am waiting for big brother to arrive for impromptu visit....

Total total... 113.69 weekly total....31.24