Rory and I escaped the big smoke for some much needed R&R up in Scotland for a week. Perfect time of year to go, crisp cool air and a surprising amount of sunshine. We couldn’t be further away from chocked west London, delayed tubes and clogged inboxes.
It’s been just over a year since I’ve been up to this part of the world, pretty special place for me as reminds me how far I’ve come with my fitness and running, this is pretty much where it all started.
I raced my first 10K up here in Glasgow back in 2011, supported by my two Aunts, one running with me and the other handing out much needed encouragement and bananas. Having just completed the couch to 5K program, Val suggested I get registered for a 10K, and Lyn chimed in recommending her local – the Glasgow Women’s 10K – beautiful course complete with half naked bagpipe players. What more motivation do you need?
I had coped with running around 5K a couple of times a week, plodding around W10 and letting Stella run circles around me – surely 10K would be doable. Which it was. I hadn’t checked the course before (which it turned out was a good thing – I would have panicked) and had no idea there were a few pretty killer hills, one in particular stretching from 6k to about 8k and having done no hill training in my life, it was a shock. Thankfully, the semi nude bag pipe boys where there to help me through though. Kilts and all. God bless Scotland.
One hour and twelve minutes later I had run my first race, thrilled with my blingtastic medal and flabbergasted I hadn’t died or at least had a minor heart attack. I had quit smoking a year before and was still reeling from the fact I didn’t cough every five minutes, huff and puff up stairs or come down with every cold going. I felt like superwoman.
2011 First Race (10K)
And that was that, I was hooked and promptly signed up for my first half marathon that September, keeping with the Scottish theme and registering for the Great Scottish Run.
Two years, three half marathons, five 10Ks, two ITB injuries and untold hill sessions later, it’s wonderful to be back in Pollok park going over a few of the ‘killer’ hills I remember and catching up with the local wildlife. Unfortunately, no bag pipe boys to be found this particular morning, but we can’t have everything. I settled for the astonishing lack of rain and pretty mild temperatures. 
You cannot beat Scotland when the sun shines, eat your heart out Hyde Park!

Autumn – Let’s be Having Ya!

New Look for A/W 2013!  Waddya think? Don’t I look the professional blogger type? So shiny!

So with that, I am very pleased to announce I am back in training. New shoes, new look, new races in the diary – and the weather is near perfect for it. Cold, windy and a bit wet. As they say, if its not raining, its not training. This is also my excuse for not updating the blog, I have been outside, RUNNING! Yes you heard right, I’m back doing decent mileage too. It’s been bloody brilliant.

Monday’s finds me training with RDCWest, clocking up about 5 pretty steady miles with the crew. I’m not pushing myself too hard as I am incredibly paranoid I am going to injure myself for a 3rd time in less than a year – which would just be plain stupidity and I don’t think BUPA would be terribly sympathetic. I’m reminding myself that speed is not the priority right now, time is irrelevant, its just about getting out there and getting my endurance and fitness back up to scratch.

Thursday’s I’ve joined RDCWest’s very own track mafia. Last night I survived my very first taste of track and did not puke, pass out or cry. I’m taking that as a massive win. I do have a slightly niggly knee, but the physio assures me that’s not the end of the world, and a bit of ibuprofen and MORE FOAM ROLLING will do the trick.

Brand Spanking New Trainers (they even squeak)

CREW! Hitting Little Venice

Happy Endorphin Running Face = Mash Up

If all that wasn’t enough, I’ve started sampling the free weight section at my local gym. The wonderful Jim Murphy  has designed both a lower body and upper body work out developed to support my running, and get my upper body stronger. Its pretty killer. I couldn’t walk for about 3 days afterwards and discovered what DOMS stands for on fitness blogs. Yes those. I had them. D.O.M.S.

Serious Buns of Steel. OUCH

I am hoping the additional time in the weights room will pay off when I am hauling myself over massive walls and running through London Mud (ew) in the Survival of the Fittest event I am competing in on Nov 16th. This deserves its very own blog piece, but involves me and five other  kick ass ladies kitting up and showing the boys how its done. Or at the very least getting covered in mud and having a really good laugh making total asses of ourselves. New hobby it would seem.

So with Survival of the Fittest and Movember 10K taking me into the festive season, and the Brighton and Berlin Half to prepare for in the Spring, I’ve got plenty to keep me occupied, and hopefully, injury free!

Huge thanks to Michelle Allan for the awesome new header – she’s a super talented design lady and all round bad ass running hero who is also raising money for Tommy’s – check out her site, great offers on designs for a limited time, for a fantastic charity.