Confessions of a Slow Ultra Runner – Part 3 (the finale)

Apologies for the infrequency of these blogs. I really enjoy writing them, but there has been a lot going on recently. Firstly it’s full steam ahead for Race to the Stones on 10th and 11th July. Can’t believe it’s not that far away now. I must admit that I’m starting to get just a little nervous. I have learned quite a lot though through my training, which leads me to a few confessions:

  1. I have never put in as much training for any previous ultra, or probably even marathon!
  2. I have discovered the pee cloth, which has been a game changer.
  3. I have finally got my head round the rest is just as important as training.
  4. Ultra training is really hard.
  5. I think this will be my last ultra (yeah, I know I’ve said stuff like this before, but I really have found the training tough on both my body and my mind).

I do still love running but I have spent a lot of time doing the Jeff Galloway walk/run method as it’s much better for my body and will get me through the 2 days that I find it hard to run for any length of time any more. I’ve just got out the habit. I also still want to set myself other challenges. Before lockdown last year, I’d completed a couple of local duathlons, which were pure hell and I was last, but I’m keen to give them another go. Not sure whether I’m just a glutton for punishment or just insane. I guess the two may be interchangeable.

I’m also hoping to use my newly acquired Personal Trainer and Exercise Referral Qualifications to help others lead more healthy and active lifestyles. Being active completely changed my life and although I still have some work to do on myself, I have a strong desire to help others too.

So really at the moment though it’s all about that 100k of Race to the Stones. Originally I’d not set out to raise money for charity, but recent family circumstances made the decision for me so I decided to raise funds for Alzheimer Scotland. My Mum used to go to their day centre before she became more debilitated by her dementia and more recently my Dad has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. As I’m miles away from them, my Sister has borne the brunt of everything and Alzheimer Scotland have been fantastic support, so it’s the least I can do by way of payback.

If you would like to donate, I have a just giving page which you can find at:

https://justgiving.com/fundraising/Carol-Wilson36

In the meantime, I’d like to thank all my friends for their support.

Here are some lovely photos from recent runs.

Confessions of a Slow Ultra Runner – Part 2

Well, would you believe it, there has been some running. Actually there has even been running according to a plan going on. Dear readers I am as shocked as you are. I thought I’d have to sort out that nonsense and bring you part 2 of my confessions.

My Saturday Views

Not satisfied with those, I was out today too for a run and then a walk somewhere new to me.

So back to the confessions:

  1. I think I’m actually starting to like hills (ssshhh, don’t tell). I am placing the blame firmly on friends Jeni and Jenny who I shared Saturday miles with. Special thanks to Jeni for the marvellous route.
  2. I’m paranoid that during Race to the Stones I’ll have an urgency to go for a wee and have nowhere to go, so I bought myself a shewee. Yes I have already tried using it. I think it will come in useful.
  3. Friends are sneaky and some can’t be trusted 🙂 Went for what I thought was a walk after my Bennachie miles on Saturday to find out it was a run! I was not dressed for the occasion but gave it a go anyway.
  4. I’m starting to really enjoy cycling! Wondering what shenanigans that will lead to.
  5. Training is really hard! I knew it would not be easy, but yup I’m feeling the miles in the legs.
  6. I’ve started wearing Injinji toe socks. They make me look like I have Hobbit feet though.

Think that’s probably enough to be going on with for today. Will there be a part 3. Most probably as training progresses. It could all go a bit wrong, as the next thing I’ll be experimenting with is how I intend to fuel the race. I have also learned that Jelly Babies contain Beef Gelatin which I’m pretty upset about. Hoping to find some that don’t.

Until next time, stay safe out there and run well 🙂

Confessions of a slow Ultra Runner – Part 1

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here. To be honest I’ve just not felt like it. There has been a lot going on behind the scenes but that’s for another blog.

On 10th July this year (hopefully) I’ll be on the start line of Race to the Stones 100k. This race has been on my bucket list for several years and I finally decided to sign up, well for last year that is, so of course, it was deferred.

Whilst I’m now in training, I thought I should make note of some of my thoughts, so here goes:

  1. Weather – I don’t like weather! It’s either too hot, too cold, too windy or too wet. Can we just not have a nice temperate climate with no wind or rain please?
  2. Running – Sometimes I don’t actually like running. Those days when it’s really difficult and you feel rubbish, yup that’s when I really don’t like running.
  3. Hills – I really hate these. I have little short legs, those darn hills are really tough for me to get up. Mountain goat I will never be.
  4. Training – Trying hard to stick to a training plan, but the runs often get moved around dependant on what else is going on.
  5. People – I really miss running with people. So looking forward to that.

As this is just part 1 I shall leave it there for now. I am into my 3rd proper week of training and things are going okay. I know I’ll not be running the whole way and I’m doing the distance over the weekend, but that’s still over a marathon each day. I will be walking up hills and I expect there will be some swearing too. I just hope it goes ahead and I can get there. Travel arrangements have not yet been made.

Will do my best to update at least weekly, but there will be more confessions coming up 🙂

Virtual Race to the Stones – Days 6 & 7

Didn’t get around to writing yesterday. Was a bit miffed at the end of Friday as the app was showing that I had completed more than I had.

Had no plan really for Saturday other than cover as much ground as possible. Ended up wandering round with Al as he was doing a town round. Then got some treats at The Kilted Frog then walked home. When I totalled up the distance it left me with 5.77 miles to go.

This morning I got out just after 8am. It was a glorious morning. I did thus time have an idea about where I wanted to go and my route took me into a more rural setting. I was serenaded with birdsong and the the beautiful smell of honeysuckle. It was just the perfect walk to end on.

I had planned to finish at a Stone circle close to me, but decided on finishing at a Pictish symbol stone in the town instead. Stopped to collect Al on the way and he accompanied me to the finish.

100k done 🙂
Almost there …
Smashed it 🙂
Woo hoo

Am so glad I signed up for this. Although I did the majority walking it was no easy task. By this time next year I will have done it for real. I would have never been fit enough to do it this year so perhaps a blessing in disguise.

My main issue now will be keeping up the momentum I have built up. I do have plan but I have form for being full of good intentions, then not following through. I guess you’ll have to wait and see …

Virtual Race to the Stones – Day 5

After an early alarm and the associated grumpiness I have had a great day today. Each time I was out I was grinning like a complete idiot. Definitely feeling the mental health benefits. Hoping I can keep it up to some extent afterwards.

Was great seeing the miles tick by and I laughed when I met a friend out walking with her daughter. We all paused our respective devises when we stopped for a chat.

Have had to double check my mileage and I have a half marathon to go. Had started to develop hot spots on my right foot but a change of trainers soon sorted that out.

Nearly there.

Going to take it a bit easier over the weekend, as I feel like I am in the home straight. Not sure how much I will do tomorrow so watch this space.

Virtual Race to the Stones – Day 4

Just a quick blog tonight as I am pretty tired. An early start and a lovely morning walk.

River view

Weather took a turn for the worse before lunch time but was pretty lucky to stay dry and even managed to fit in a cuddle stop (it’s Al’s day off) and a coffee stop.

Dark skies

Got out again after work and before dinner and was grinning like an idiot. Think I am actually enjoying this. Am now 67% complete.

Today’s mileage

Early alarm planned for the morning.

Virtual Race to the Stones – Day 3

No early alarms this morning, so up at my usual time but out the door shortly after 7am. It was sunny and warm. Had to take my jumper off for the most of the walk.

It got to lunch time and the weather had turned into cold and threatening to rain. Once I had warmed up there were only a few spots of rain so that was fine. Came home with a bizarre craving for peanut butter and banana on toast, so that’s what I had.

This evening was the best though. A socially distanced run with Annie (AbzAnnie1903). She went with the flow and after initially starting on a run/walk ratio of 90 seconds/30 seconds I was doing far to much yapping to concentrate, so just ran some and walked some. Noticed a sculpture I have never seen before which I really liked.

“Granny”

We had a little go on the swings and then carried on with only one more stop at the river to watch all the ducks for a bit. Very chuffed with just over 5 miles in total.

Distanced Selfie

Here’s how things looked for the day. Now 49% complete 🙂

Not surprised I am tired

Hoping I may be able to finish early but glad to be half way.

Virtual Race to the Stones – Day 2

I so did not want to get up this morning when the alarm went off. I *may* have sworn. Can’t say for certain as I wasn’t very awake.

After some major wrangling with my inner voices, I listened to the one that told me to get out of bed and get on with it. Was out the door by 5.30am and it was a lovely morning. Ended up doing a total of 4 miles which was a great start.

By lunch time my enthusiasm was waning a little but I took advantage of a break in the rain showers and got out again for just under 3 miles.

Weather break.

I was starting to feel quite sore. I must admit I have been pretty lazy lately, so this is a bit of a shock to the system. By the time I was ready to go out for my final walk of the day I was tired and sore. My legs are not best pleased with me, so this time it was a less purposeful walk and more of an amble which was just fine.

Day 2 done and dusted.

That’s now 32% of the distance complete. There will be some ‘running’ tomorrow and a rare treat in that I will be running with a friend. Can’t wait, so here’s hoping I am able to get out of my bed in the morning! 😂

Virtual Race to the Stones – Day 1

After insufficient sleep thanks to a needy cat I was up and out at 4am this morning in the drizzle for my first run in quite a while. I took it easy with a 4 minute walking warm up, then settled into a run/walk ratio of 90s/30s with a couple of minutes walking warm down at the end.

Thankfully by lunch time I was still awake and the weather was no longer wet but more windy. Fine for walking.

The weather stayed the same for the rest of the day so after work got my final walk of the day in.

Miles covered in day 1

Am pleased that I am off to a decent start with 9.58 miles covered, which equates to 15% of the total distance.

Planning similar for tomorrow, however hoping that the cat allows me to sleep a little longer.