Lost, but not yet found.

You know that saying ‘she could get lost in her own back yard’?  Well that’s me.  True story.

I have the most incredulous ability to get lost in a place I have lived all my life.  It’s an amazing skill.  Not necessarily a useful one but a skill none the less.  Run a favourite route backwards and I’m screwed.  Cut the trees down from one of my favourite tracks and that’s it, to me I have never been there before.  If they close a road I usually take on my way to work you’re guaranteed I’m phoning in sick that day, unable to make it there.

It’s going to go one of two ways. I start off and almost instantly take the wrong turn. I spot a runner in the distance so chase them down before realising they aren’t in fact a road runner and now I’m completely off course so I hide under a bush trying to decide what to do until I see a clown further down the road just staring at me so I take off in the wrong direction again and somehow make it back to the start but the start is the finish so everyone thinks I am just finishing until someone checks my Strava and then everyone thinks I cheated and I can’t handle people thinking I cheated so I stop going to the roadrunners and because I’m not going to the roadrunners I stop running completely and I end up back on the couch never leaving the house.

Welcome to how my mind works – even my therapist is impressed with it.

Or, I put my big girl pants on (as well as my hat and gloves – it’s cold), and I manage to run the 9.4 mile route round the place I have lived for 34years and 11 months and go home happy with the no doubt hilarious secret santa gift.

It will be a good night.  The races the roadrunners put on are always good.  Everyone’s friendly and it’s a bit of fun.  It’s a challenge I’m looking forward to.

But my god I’m convinced I’m getting lost.

Im going to be that person running with google maps on to tell me where to go.

‘At the next roundabout, take the second exit’.

Big girl pants Ella, big girl pants.

It’s A Doubler

Run two races in 1 day.  Probably not everyone’s cup of tea but I didn’t exactly go looking for that challenge.  I ran the Mo Run last year (in atrociously cold and wet weather) with my original running buddy so when he said he was doing it again I signed up too.  I did try to grow a moustache for it but his was better.  

Then I saw the Supernova run which I didn’t do last year but did really fancy.  Just a 5k at night round the illuminated Kelpies.  So yeah, signed up to that too.  Didn’t think to check the dates.  Oops.

I know the Mo Run route – I have ran that monstrous hill more times than I want to remember – so I knew it wasn’t ‘easy’.  My only goal was to beat last years time but make sure I would still be ok for the Kelpie run later on that night. It started off cold but it was dry.  I had chosen not to dress up (not so keen on the attention that brings) and opted for shorts – just can’t let them go yet.  I might not have the best looking legs but I’m very attached to my shorts now so if you don’t like seeing the cellulite on my legs just don’t look ok. I’m that small I’m pretty sure normal shorts look like trousers on me anyway.

First time up the hill and yup, it was as my legs remembered.  Well almost, I have been doing some training.  Don’t get me wrong it was in no way easy but I didn’t get to the top and think my lungs had collapsed. I began to pass the tail end of the 5k runners and have to admit, I did wonder why I hadn’t chosen to do the shorter distance.  At 4KM I caught up with Brian’s dad Mike – I’ve met him a couple of times at park run.  He was doing  the 5km and I think this was his first official race.  I gave him a few words of encouragement before pushing on for my second lap.  As I passed the park where the finish line was I heard behind me ‘and here comes Mike Spence’ – made me smile and I clapped.  Probably looked a right moron but I didn’t care.  Up and round a second time and I was a bit lost in my thoughts as I went round the loch at the top.  That was until I passed a guy and heard him say ‘I’m not being beat by a f….. girl’. 

Game on mate.  He sped up past me and received my best dagger look as his sweaty being went by.  I knew there was another very slight incline before the downhill so just kept pace.  Typically he was one of those that passes then goes directly in front of you and slows right down.  Hairy twat.  Up that last bit and it was on! I may have short legs but I know how to lengthen my stride and I’m not scared of going downhill anymore.  It was worth the risk of falling anyway.  (Obviously I can say that now given I didn’t ha ha).

I beat last years time but didn’t quite get under the 50mins.  Brian wasn’t far behind me then in came Frazer with a slightly less ‘pure anger’ face this year followed by Ginnie in her blue London top I have extreme envy over. 

We had time for a cheeky wee hot mint chocolate before the train home (I could drink 6 of those in a day!).  Poor Frazer was working at 5pm but given he had just gotten a 10k PB on a hard course he was in a good mood. 

My lovely mum picked me up from the train station with my youngest and I had time for a nice hot shower before planning what to wear for the Kelpie Run.   They encouraged you to wear neon clothing and glow in the dark accessories but naturally my organisational skills had not allowed me to prepare – oops.  In the back of my wardrobe I found bright pink leg warmers which obviously every girl has, and I had bought reflective spotty running leggings the night before so went for that.  My mum picked me up and we set off for the Kelpies with the ‘trustworthy’ google maps.

Just one wrong turn later and we arrived safe and sound if not cold.  I was glad for this race I had put on some fun clothing because almost everyone was full on 90’s glow painted up! The queue for the toilet was bad so unfortunately I didn’t have time – not great for a woman who’s had 3 kids! In fact, probably not great for anyone who’s about to run.  I said to my mum I was likely to be about 25/26 minutes.  Then quickly corrected it to 20 minutes.  It wasn’t going to be a fast run but my mum is late everywhere! 

Off we went and I have to admit it looked great! Everyone had to wear a headtorch and at some points in the course you double back so you can see all the lights behind you.  My legs were a little heavy and I still wanted to make a good time so I didn’t do my usual stop and take a million photos.  Strange for me I know!

I was huffing and puffing like a choo choo train round the course, the cold air getting to me a little and the earlier run having an effect on my legs, when I was overtaken by another woman runner.  Not unusual, however, as we passed one of the friendly marshalls she gave an easy ‘thank you marshall’ as opposed to my grunt of a pig.  How do people do that? Even running slow I can’t talk without sounding like I’m about to throw up a lung.

In the final kilometre I was passed by about 4 more women.  This didn’t bother me but did make me wonder what I could have done if I had been fresh.  As it was I still managed under 23 minutes – and I’m very pleased with that! My mum even managed to be at the finish line ha ha.

Back at the car and we had a cup of tea from the flask my husband had made for us. Perfect! And of course some more selfies.

Today I’m sticking to a rest day.  Giving my legs a break.  They might not have been big distances yesterday but it was still a challenge.  Would definitely do both of those races again.

Moody Cow

Yup, that would be me. Last Saturday. And continued in to Sunday.  In fact, it’s taken me until now to write this from a more ‘adult’ perspective than what was going through my head a couple of days ago.

And the reason? 8 seconds.  8 lousy bloody seconds.

It was park run, and it was pacer week.  A great opportunity to try and beat my PB before settling down in to the slightly slower runs through the winter.  I’ve never used a pacer before but thought I may as well give it a go and see what happens.  Nothing to lose at the end of the day is there.

I’ve no big running challenges coming up but I do have my next triathlon on New Years Day so I’m having to increase the swimming and I’ve taken to the turbo or the bike at the gym.  Nothing too strenuous but it’s a start.  So the week leading up to ‘8 seconds’ was a standard one filled with lunchtime runs, swimming a few times and a couple of turbos.  

Morning of park run and it was freezing – standard for Scotland.  I wasn’t keen I won’t lie, in fact, if my mum hadn’t been coming over to watch the kids for me I maybe wouldn’t have gone at all. But I did.  That’s what you do.  I hadn’t fully decided to go for it either.  I was still debating it over but I clocked the 24 min pacer and thought worst case scenario I will just make sure he didn’t pass me. Very quickly we were off and I didn’t push it the way I usually would if I was going for a PB.  I saw the 23 min pacer though and that was it – decision made, I’m going for it.

Worst decision ever.

The first mile wasn’t as fast as I usually would have done but then I know I’m not one of these negative splits people. I do slow down over distance so I just reckoned following the pacer would keep me at a steady pace the entire course.  And I was fine, kept at pace perfectly fine over the path.

But the path turns in to grass and a muddy section which I don’t cope with that well so I knew I would slow a little.  I rather naively thought that since the pacer was also the guide for a blind runner they too would slow down at this section, at least a little anyway. I was wrong.  I slowed down and they got further and further away from me.  I should have known this as I know the guided runner is super fast.

Ok well my PB is 23 mins 17.  As long as I’m not too far behind I can still do this. 

But I couldn’t.  AND I DONT EVEN KNOW WHY!!!

The grass wasn’t that slippy, the course wasn’t too busy, the wind wasn’t blowing me backwards, my legs didn’t hurt they just wouldn’t bloody move!! 

Gone.  My PB was gone.  Forever to stay at  23 bloody minutes and 17 bloody seconds. 

I came in 8 seconds slower.  8 god damn seconds.  That means I have to do it all over again.  I hate running fast.  I hate sprinting, not being able to breathe, pulling faces that make you look like a dog being chased.  Hate it. 

8 bloody seconds.

So I left.  As soon as my token and bar code were scanned I was storming back to the car, scowl well and truly plastered on my face, kicking the leaves out of my way and slamming the door.  Don’t. Speak. To. Me.

My mum didn’t stay for a cup of tea.

I was reminded of how I felt the night before.  It didn’t help.

As it was bonfire night that same day I took a walk to the local supermarket to get sparklers for the kids.  The below almost had me throwing an almighty tantrum in the milk aisle.

So what caused it? Haven’t got a clue.  All I know is it didn’t happen.  Am I over it now?  I would say about 75%.  That’s an improvement. I’m still not talking to the course and think time apart will do us good.  I have the Movember run and Supernova run this Saturday so a good reason not to see it.  We will see how a bit of distance serves our relationship. 

8 seconds though…. sake.