Hibernation is over, Ive finished my last Gregg steak bake and put down that pint of Guinness, many animals plan there time indoors but at the tail end of last year my life was turned upside down with the death of my father, there has been many things said on death and how it effects people, all i say.. it does, with 4 kids its been along time to getting round to me and my thoughts ( i don’t mean that in selfish way)just been meaning to write on my blog and kick start my return to regular training, with every good week comes a week of realism of what happened and there lies the problem.
My love for running and my need for self medication has seen me plunge head first into the world of scottish ultra running, my late father spoke about the west highland way and how he and friends use to walk it on holiday..i however always knew he spent it in a local pub and only walked to and from the pub which sat on the WHW.
Last weekend backed the car and along with my support crew gaynor and daisy (2) headed of to run 45 miles,Ive been on training mostly on the roads and trying to follow the the advice of people of running slow, there n lies the first problem, coming from triathlon running fast 5k and 10k to running 10min miles has been frustrating but this adventure gave me the wake up call
For some reason i thought the WHW was flat, maybe in some dream , or from my days driving up to go snowboarding, the wind was strong so decided to change my route and started at the drovers and made my way up to glencoe, the sun was out and the views were emence, i not really one for the sceneria but scotland is stunning and in this run i came to appreciate it
I managed to get in 35 mile before the weather closed in and my legs thought better of it, great thing of running in this area is the the good cafe in tyndrum for fish n chips and a recovery shake
Big thanks to Clifbar for all my nutrition for the day, the shot bloks are god send when feeling shaky and loved the nathan hydration vest, going to try running with bottles for my next big run, to try and make a judgement in what will be best.
Some photos of the climbing, none of the ballet dancing imafraid
The Kilpatricks was my old stopping ground when training on MTBs years ago so had a rough idea, but forgot how tough these races can be.
I always look and go ‘ach its only 10k’ yes but with 450m climbing off road its going to burn.
And yes as you can see i wore my Nike racing flats again to a hill race, this is the 2nd time ive done this, with the thinking of ’ How bad can it be’ well running uphill is fine, but descending like some one wearinh high heels on ice is not a good look and not good for a decent finishing position, i do really enjoy this type of racing so will need to invest in a set of shoes, (Nike dont do a lightwieght hill shoe yet).
The course followed a tarmac road up to the cattle grid, then a steady climb before dropping onto the reservoir track past Loch Humphrey, which is fast and runnable.
After the 2nd gate turn right along a fenceline, then a flagged section through tussocky bog, before reaching another fast runnable section alongside Greenside Reservoir. Danger - watch out here for rusty metal spikes from old fenceposts.
After crossing Greenside Reservoir dam, there is one final climb up the Slacks before flagged descent down heather slopes, to join the outward route at Kilpatrick Braes.
The final 900 metres are down foot-slapping tarmac, with speed bumps to keep you on your toes,.
My speed was good and legs held up but lost 12 places coming down hills, so finished in 19th @ 53min 7sec and place 5th Vet.
Compression tights are on at work.
Photos from rnd 1 Scott xtriseries
Last weekend saw me competing in round 1 of the Scott Xtriseries down in northampton, there were some familier faces from the world champs and the course was flat and fast.
This was the first time id raced in a river and the start was ferious, felt comfortable in the swim , struggled to keep straight and really need to work on this, in the pool im fine doing bi-lateral breathing, but in open water i struggle a bit even so i exited the swim in 21.39, through transition and on to the bike,ive struggled in my last race in this transition, for some reason i lose a lot of time at the start of the bike then settle in, again today i lost around 4 mins then held it, i completed the bike course in 1hr 6mins which is pretty shambolic, ive had a good winter but just cant get it in the pedals, the ibis tranny deserves a better ride, the bike is amazing and night and day to the bikes ivehad before,going into the run i knew i had to race fast, the course was flat and was 2 laps of a 5km course, i ran the first lap conservative as i had sore right cslf from running training during the week, the second lap i let go a bit but consious of this was the first round and just wanted to finish.. in the end i finished 20th overall and but 3rd in Vets which i was pleasing,its quite an ask to lump everyone in together, some of the guys in front train fulltime so splitting into Catogorys helps to see whether your at, i was pleased with the race and the cousre, i though at first it wasnt much of mtb course but apart form a major hill it was tough, very well run and look forward to next year.
A dull wet day, felt like being back home in glasgow, 1000m swim was first, love the swim apart form diving in , goggles stayed on, was leading until i started going left, then right, then left, not got the hang of sighting yet, going straight is harder than you think espcially when your trying to get away from everyone, came out the swim in 9th around 16min for 1k, not the fastest to be honest but not bad, good transition and off on the bike.
We arrived in hervas a few days before the race, so i had a chance to check out the course, the problem was it rained constantly , the cycle course was around the lake which was swelling with the rain so the course was going under each day, it turned into an old scottish XC course, mud more mud and rain, a little wind and mud.
This was the first time i had pedaled the Ibis Tranny in anger, what a bike, really absorbed the rocks that were hiding under the water along the shore line, felt light and responsive on the up hills (wish i was a light), Unfortuately the bike leg wasnt going well i was having real problems getting the power into the bike from legs, lower back pain and alot of stretching to follow.
I was racing in the 40-44 cat (vets), there was many countries colours in show, especially the hosts spain, i ended up having a few ding dong battles with a few, we started just after the juniors and the para triathletes who were inspiring to say the least, i hope to post some more on that later.taking on some Clif shot Bloks, i tackled the run course, i just used my Nike lunar racer, many used off road shoes but the course was muddy not technical , it was mostly up and down and was real leg zapper,i was on the hunt after a poor bike leg the run is my strong part, so i set to work to pick people off, i managed a good few and ran a 24min for 6kIt was a great experience and my first world champs, i could not have done it with out my support team of the `mrs and 2 daughters (beth age 12 taken all the photos)
Also i would like to thank my sponsors IBIS,Clifbar,Crankbrothers and MjM.
This is a project that im trying to get started through my work at Fairbridge, the concept is simple, many the young people live in homeless hostels around the city, and many have problems sustaining a normal life outside the work we do with them 9-5, having myself had problems dealing with day to day life turned to running to give me focus and structure to break the cycle of boredom and alcohol, to do it organically, the bad habits leave you once you have goals… Filmed by james, starring JC