Friday, 16 October 2009

Dear Mr Waterman,

Bright and early this morning I dropped my husband off at the train station armed with one of his famous 'good' plastic bags and a suitcase filled with enough running gear to kit out all 45 competitors in the upcoming event. He was in reasonable good health apart from a sore shoulder, a bit of a sniffle, suffering from sleep deprivation and moaning about a lack of consistent good nutrition this week. Past experience prevented me from asking about the state of his legs and feet so perhaps you could enquire upon his arrival.

I've provided back up for him on a few occasions and thought some background information might be useful.

He has been known to swear a wee bit if things aren't always just so.

He asks for all sorts of food and drinks but has an uncanny knack of asking for something you don't have, have never heard of and usually when you're miles from any retail outlet.

He likes to think he has a flexible plan but really it's the back up team who has to be flexible.

He has a bit of a cough when running which sounds worse than it is but discreet monitoring is usually effective.

Loo roll and hand wash are a vital piece of his kit.

The night before the race he may be tempted to have 'just one' toast to old friends. He is incapable of 'just one' so abstinence is the best approach. I'm sure his old friend would understand.

I would be grateful if you could return him to me in a reasonable state of health. I would be particularly appreciative if he at least caught the correct flight home.

Many thanks for your help in this matter.


PS Seriously guys, huge thanks for doing this xxx

Sunday, 11 October 2009

It wasn't a fluke!

I'm feeling very pleased with myself as I ran 3 miles this morning without any walking again! I thought perhaps that last week's race was a fluke and I'd raised my game to achieve my target. But I managed it again despite having not run since last Sunday and having 2 glasses of wine and a wee whisky last night! Ok, it was just as slow as last week but it's really given me a boost that I can improve on this running malarky.

The next distance target is a 10k so maybe I should be looking at a beginner's 10k programme as the complete beginner's one doesn't cover going from running from 14 mins to 40 mins in one fell swoop. Ian helpfully suggested that I need to learn to run faster so I just need to figure out a plan. The non running week was entirely due to not having a plan. Good grief, I'm starting to think like a runner!

Monday, 5 October 2009

Inverness 5k

The first target I set myself when I started running again was to run the Inverness 5k. I wanted to be able to run the whole way without walking. And I did! It took me 41m 37s but I ran every single step. There were loads of kids who set off at 100mph but were walking after 2 mins. There were adults who were running faster than me but slowed to a walk and I passed them again. There were fairies, rabbits and guys in kilts. There were kids with painted faces and women with pink hair. It was brilliant!

Getting that medal at the finish line was amazing. I felt like I actually earned it. It's now hanging beside my NYC marathon medal (2002) and Glasgow 10k (2004).

On the way home I read out a text on Ian's phone because he was driving. It was from Geraldine and it made me cry. But for a good reason. Thanks Geraldine. And thanks to everyone else who sent messages. It's a small but significant step for me and your encouragement is very much appreciated.

I have 2 more targets to aim for now. The first is to be able to go out with the Harriers on their Monday run without holding anyone back. I'm hoping this will happen soon.

The second is to run the Women's 10k next year in an hour. My best time is 66m but it was on the old route and it was years ago when the event first started.

I've no excuses now for not running throughout the winter as I've got some fabulous new Gore running kit courtesy of a certain Family member and his shop at the race. As Ian pointed out I've now got better kit than him to run in.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

With a little help from my friends

I think I actually had a successful run this morning :)

It definitely is a mental thing, this slowing down to walk. And when you're following a programme that says run x mins and walk y mins it's hard to get out of the habit. This morning's outing didn't start well when after only 5 mins of running I had to walk a bit. I wasn't out of breath and wasn't running fast (actually Ian can walk as fast as I run!) so I knew it was all in my head. I remembered Davie's advice (thanks Davie!) about not slowing to walk and trying to just ease off the pace before running faster again.

So I started running again and lasted 3 mins! I started greeting like the big girl I am and tried to give myself a pep talk as I walked. I asked myself why am I doing this? And to my horror I realised that I'd fallen back into my old way of thinking. I was comparing myself with other runners again and worrying what they might be thinking about me and my pathetic attempts to be a runner.

I reached the point on the route where there is a commemorative bench. Now usually where there's a bench there's a view. And hand on heart I heard a very familiar voice in my head tell me to look round. So I did and I saw the view of the rolling fields and the distant Ochils. And I remembered why I want to do this. I'm doing this because I can.

I looked at my watch and noted the time. I started to run. And I kept running. I swallowed a fly but I kept running. I choked on my drink of water but I kept running. I ran without walking for 14 and a half minutes. I only stopped running because I reached the main road and needed to put Lucydog back on her lead for the 2 minute walk back to the car. I was only slightly out of breath but I felt good. Tired but good.

Friday, 18 September 2009

10 reasons why women should run

I found this in my wanderings around t'internet. Think it originally came from

1. Running is the most efficient path to cardiovascular fitness
That's true. I've tried a few things in my time in an effort to get fit and running has worked for me in the past.

2. Running is the most accessible of aerobic sports
Yep, true again for me. Since we live in the sticks my nearest gym is miles away and I've no idea where there's a decent sized swimming pool. And getting on a bike round here is just suicidal!

3. Running is cheap and easy to learn
Uh huh, as long as I've got decent shoes and a good support bra I'm sorted. Easy to learn but it takes a lot of practising!

4. Running is the best method of stress reduction on the market
Maybe for some but I'm still lying awake at 2am despite being exhausted.

5. Running can help ease women's menstrual tension
Ask Ian about that one!!

6. Running is an excellent component of any weight control programme
Ok, here's where I disagree. I still haven't shifted a single pound. Although I can squeeze into some trousers that were previously too tight and wouldn't zip up. I know that muscle weighs more than fat blah blah..... but I was hoping for a slight loss pushing me nearer the Jimmy Choos.

7. Running is a flexible method of training

8. Running increases your overall sense of well-being. Fitness, self-esteem and confidence all increase with exercise
Clearly I'm doing something wrong as I don't feel fitter and I'm definitely not confident enough to be seen running by people who know me.

9. Running is for families and individuals of all ages

10. Running is a great social activity
Well I guess it is since our entire social life revolves around running, runners and races. I can count on 1 hand the number of close friends we have not involved in running.

I know there are many good reasons for running. I just haven't found the one that really makes me think 'Wow this is why I want to keep doing this.'

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Running v Daytime Telly

I know I run the risk of sounding like a big blouse wearing girlie but when will this running malarky get a bit easier? According to my training schedule I should now be running easily for 20 minutes without needing to walk. I'm nowhere near that! And as for the claim that I should be feeling full of energy and raring to go......*blows big raspberry*

I'm never going to run a sub 3 hour hour marathon but a slight improvement in speed/time/distance would be nice. I still can't go for a run without walking bits of it although I can run for longer periods now. But even though I'm running more I'm not covering the distance any quicker. In fact I was a minute slower today over the same route I ran last week.

Someone kindly suggested that maybe running isn't for me. Maybe it isn't but it's the easiest way for me to fit aerobic activity into my jam packed life and I get to exercise Lucydog at the same time. But frankly I'm at a stage where I could easily give this up and lie on the couch eating chocolate and watch daytime telly.

Somebody kick my arse. Please.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Please excuse Allybea from running today......

because it was too wet. Now before you all think 'What a feeble excuse' I'd like to point out that it wasn't just ordinary rain. It was really really heavy rain. In fact it was so heavy the river burst its banks and the main road between Greenloaning and Braco was closed to all traffic. Of course there were a few numpties who tried to get through and ended up stranded. This included a guy in a big Merc who wouldn't get out of his car because he wearing expensive shoes! Methinks the damage to his car was a bit more expensive! Eejit!

Anyway, back to the no running today. I know that it's never too wet/cold/hot/whatever to run if you have the right gear. Unfortunately I don't have the right running gear. I own 1 pair of shoes, 1 pair of socks, 1 sports bra, 1 pair of trousers and 1 decent top. I think I need to go shopping for some new clothes, don't you?

Friday, 28 August 2009


Yes, there is progress in my feeble attempt to get back running but it's rather slow. However yesterday I had a bit of a breakthrough. The training plan I'm following is totally different from anything I've tried (and failed at!) in the last few years. Right from the first session you're on your feet for about 40 minutes. In the beginning it's mostly longer spells of walking with a bit of running. It gradually changes over the weeks so that you're running more and walking less.

Until yesterday I couldn't get over the walking for 2 minutes in between the running. But somehow my legs and breathing co-operated with each other and I was able to all the running bits with only a 1 minute walk in between. I was simply gobsmacked as I had a bit of a hangover (yep we didn't manage an alcohol free August!), I hadn't eaten any breakfast and when I arrived in Crieff I realised I'd forgotten my watch so went home with the intention of actually skipping the run. But Lucydog was crying with excitement at the prospect of a run so I changed my mind and went down to the village instead. I'm so glad I did.

I've not had much success in setting goals and planning races in the past. So I've surprised myself by entering the 5k run at Loch Ness. My target is to run the whole way without walking. The 2 routes that I've been running on locally are around the 4/5k mark so I know what to expect. I don't have a clue how long it'll take me but I'm not that bothered at this stage.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Just like Dad!

Can you see that kid on the track in a blue t-shirt carrying a baton? That's No3 son representing his school in the Primary Relay at this afternoon's Crieff Highland Games. He ran the first leg giving them a good lead which they held on to right to the end.

Look, the trophy's bigger than anything Dad's won! It was presented to him by Allan Wells. Sadly he'd never heard of him! Hmm, I wonder where we can put it for the next 3 months? Well done. He's going to be a better runner than than his Dad methinks.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

It's not easy

I'm not smiling today. In fact I feel like curling up on the couch and crying cos I'm sooo sore. I knew the initial euphoria would wear off but not this quickly. I dragged myself out of bed and made myself eat something before I went for a run/walk with Lucydog round Lady Mary's Walk in Crieff. My legs seem to have long forgotten that I used to be able to do this. They feel like I haven't been running for 20 years instead of only a couple.

I had 2 thoughts as I kept forcing one foot in front of the other. Debs left me a comment saying the first time she went out running she couldn't run for more than a minute. And look at what she achieved last Saturday! That really motivated me to keep going. Thanks Debs.

The other was a conversation I had with John and Katrina on Saturday. They reminded me that 99% of the population either can't or won't run. I'm in that 1% group that's at least trying. Thanks guys for helping me put it in perspective.

I got home to find a parcel on the doorstep. My new running shoes had arrived. Same as my old ones, just a newer version. New shoes are a good incentive for me. Not quite my Jimmy Choos yet but they'll do for now. Can't wait to try them out.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Location, location, location

For the first time ever, I've come to appreciate that where you run makes a huge difference. In the past I've sought out flat routes with no hills (ie round a boring housing estate) with the aim of getting the run over with as quickly as possible. I'm sure that seeing and hearing Ian and everyone else on the Way has made me think about location in a different way.

I've been following a beginner's programme that's had me walking briskly until now. Today for the first time I actually did some proper running (and walking too!) for 40 minutes. And I loved it! I ran down the castle road near the house with views across to the Ochils on my left and rolling hills and farmland to my right. It was a beautiful sunny morning and I smiled a lot as I ran. I managed to miscalculate my run/walk sections and actually ran more than I needed to. I even ran up a hilly bit of the road! I totally get why you would want to run the 53 miles in the Fling or 42 miles in the Devil. And I surprised myself by even daring to think that maybe one day I could!!!

Of course everything hurts now. My ankles, my knees, my hips, my back. And my face - from smiling so much : )

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Will run for shoes

By fortuitous coincidence this month's Running Fitness has a feature on beginners. It's not rocket science (a mixture of running and walking until you're running more than walking) but it's nice and easy to have a schedule already prepared for you. And they're following someone who is using the programme so it's encouraging to see how quickly they are running a few miles at a time and enjoying it. See that's the hard bit for me, in the past I've never got to the part where it's enjoyable. I don't seem to get that feel good endorphin rush that everyone else experiences. After an exercise session I always feel like a gin and tonic and that's what makes me feel good!

Talking of alcohol, I'm joining Ian on an alcohol free August. He's trying to get himself in shape for the 24 hour race in Tooting. The annoying thing is by the end of 2 weeks he'll have dropped half a stone just by cutting out booze. It takes so much more for me to drop the weight. I know I'll never be 8 stone again but I need to lose a decent amount to feel healthy again. So I've made a deal with Ian. With a proper training schedule, cutting out booze and eating sensibly I'm aiming to lose 2 stone. When I've lost the 2 stone he's going to buy me a pair of Jimmy Choos!

Now, he's either keen to see a slinkier version of moi prancing around in a pair of ridiculously high heels or he thinks it's a safe bet. Either way, it's an added incentive for me get off my fat butt and get out that door!

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

A Sunday outing and a new start

On Sunday Ian, Lucydog and I had a wee outing on The Way. It was a bit damp and blustery to start with but it cleared up later on. Ian wanted to run from the Devil's Staircase to Fort William. Lucydog would have run with him all the way but since labs are prone to hip problems in later life if they over exercise, we decided she would run from Kinlochleven. It was especially poignant when we stopped at the bottom of the Devil's Staircase as the last time we were there was with Dario, supporting him in last year's Devil o' the Highlands race. But mindful of his sister's comments at his funeral I tried really hard to remember how positive he was and how thrilled he was to be taking part. He didn't mind that he was at the back of the field or that the sweeper was almost catching him up. That thought stayed with me throughout the afternoon and made me smile.

Ian set off and I arranged to met him in Kinlochleven at the usual place.

An excited Lucydog is ready to run
A couple of hours later I met them at the Braveheart car park as Ian didn't want Lucydog to run along the busy main road to the leisure centre. As he left us she began to cry as she wanted to go with him. That dog just loves to run with her master.
At the leisure centre Lucydog had her dinner (followed by a huge burp!) and Ian had a shower. When she saw him coming out she bounded across the car park to meet him. I wish I had a fraction of her energy after 13 miles! Ian had a roll and a coffee (followed by a huge burp, then some retching and coughing!)

A few hours later she was curled up in her bed sound asleep
Throughout the afternoon I had plenty of time to think about stuff, especially Dario. He didn't mind being at the tail end of a race, he was just happy to run. This was mentioned frequently on Thursday by those paying tribute to him. I have to say that I stopped running myself because I didn't like being being at the end of a race and was embarassed by my times compared to the other people in my running club. A few years ago when I ran in the NYC marathon someone laughed at me when I told them my time. Now when people ask my time I say I finished.
For the last 20 years I've been surrounded by good runners, sub 3 hour marathons and sub 40 minute 10k. My 10k PB is 66m 16s (and that includes a pit stop at a portaloo!) As Ian pointed out that would now put me in the middle of the field at the Glasgow Women's 10k.
So inspired by Dario (if that doesn't sound too cheesy) I'm going to get back into proper running. I'm not going to set myself targets or aim to run in any particular race, I'm just going to run. And when I eventually take part in a race I'm not going to care if I finish last as long as I finish. But most importantly if someone laughs at my efforts I'll know that it's their failing, not mine. Because I'll just be happy that I can run.
PS My NYC marathon time was 7 1/4 hours!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

A million stories

No idea where I'm going with this post so bear with me but I know I want to say something about a man who has been a huge part of our lives for so many years. Today I'm thinking about Dario with tremendous affection and fewer tears than yesterday. I'm remembering all the daft stuff that at the time was insignificant but has taken on a deeper meaning now.

Earlier, I was thinking that between all of us who knew Dario there must be a million stories about him. Anyone who's ever met him has a Dario story to tell. A couple of years ago when I first started this blog, Dario told me I should write a book about my adventures on the WHW. I told him that if I ever did there would be many chapters that would include him and they wouldn't all be complimentary. He just laughed and then would tell me another story ending with 'You didn't hear it from me!'

At the BBQ last month he reminded me about that book and also gave me a row about not writing enough in the blog this year. I told him I'd lost my writing mojo and he said not to worry, something will happen to kickstart it again. I think he went a bit far, don't you?

But my favourite recent story involving Dario doesn't include the WHW. It involves one of his other passsions. Whisky.

Eariler this year, during that bad spell of snowy weather, Ian and Dario had a wee whisky tasting at Phil T's house (just whisky, no food as it spoils the palate). Afterwards I picked them up and took Dario home so Gillian didn't need to come and collect him. They both reeked of the water of life (I think they showered in it!) so we drove up the A9 to Blackford with the windows down. Dario kept thanking me for taking him home and insisted I dropped him off at the Baxter's place and he would just cross the dual carriageway. No way! He could barely stand never mind cross the busiest the road in Scotland. He then insisted I drop him off at the layby near his house so I didn't need to go up his wee road and turn. No way! He wouldn't have been able to walk the few hundred yards. So I stopped outside his house to let him out. It was pitch black, it had been snowing and I let 2 inebriated eejits direct me into the neighbour's driveway to turn.

The short version is they directed me into the snow covered rocks at the edge of the driveway at the front and then the snow filled ditch at the back! I was assured that is why cars have bumpers anyway. Good to know. Unsurprisingly neither had any recollection of these events the next day.

The most recent email I had from Dario was about the Crieff 10k. I was trying to rope in as many club members to help as I could. At first he offered to help and then decided he might run it instead as I had enough helpers. He then apologised and said he would be going a run near Lochnagar instead. Who knows what might have happened if I had needed him to help out on Sunday.

He was always telling me I was crazy for doing Ian's backup, for hosting the BBQ, for organising the 10k. I always told him it was a labour of love and anyway he was one to talk. He would laugh and say 'And?' His last email to me ended with 'ps, you are crazy.'

Dearest Dario, you were a good friend to me and a great friend to Ian. We will miss you always. Thank you for so many memories and so many stories.

Much love

Ali x

ps, you are crazy

Sunday, 28 June 2009

BBQ Pics

What's everyone looking at?
Ah, John, Neal and Alan have got the tent the right way round at last

Look, Davie can put his tent up with just one hand

Geraldine and Karen

Ian, George and Mark

George, John and Louise

Aileen, Jean, Derek, Gillian and Alan

Richie, Thomas, Marco and Silke

Lee, Muriel and Tim

Silke, Sharon and Caroline
Some people managed to escape the camera (how did you manage that Dario and Debs?) Many thanks to everyone who came and brought lots of lovely food. And thanks also for the beautiful flowers. They were much admired.
Hope everyone had a lovely time. I'm exhausted. I'm off to sit with my feet up and be waited on hand and foot by The Runner for the rest of the day ;)

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

WHW 2009

I've either been too ill or too busy since Sunday to make sense of the notes in my notebook about how this year's race looked from a backup perspective. I usually spend a lot of time collating them and trying to write a witty account of events but I haven't been well this week. The journey home from Fort William was eventful as I spend most of it hanging out the car window being violently sick and having hallucinations. Poor Beardie was turfed out the car at Tyndrum and had to hitch a ride back with someone else so I could get home faster. Thanks George.

So thanks to The Runner's suggestion, this post is exactly what I wrote in my wee notebook at each checkpoint (you can see it at the BBQ if you really want!) Since most of you know who everyone is anyway, I haven't changed real names to nicknames.

WHW 2009


Left Milngavie just as the race was about to start. Arrived at Drymen to find teenagers' party in full swing. Half dressed wee lassies - obviously not bothered about getting bitten by the midges.
Cars parked all over the place but got pole position beside path. People clapping and talking loudly.
Got 20 mins sleep
2 hrs to Drymen -Ian arrived with skint knee and elbow - covered in blood. Managed a piece of banana loaf and a coffee.

Balmaha - bitten by midges

Midge ridden hell - eaten alive
Managed a sleep
Ian looked good apart from being covered in dead midges and dried blood from his fall

F of F
George packed a bag to go back to gate.
I dropped him off and went to Auchtertyre.
V busy and noisy - 45 min sleep

Note - people at Drovers Inn!!

Auchtertyre -Smelly
Met Lee

Back to Carmyle
Parking was haphazard and some people were taking up too much space
Some people had been there hours instead of 20 mins!
No space to set out stuff for Ian
Me - v grumpy with 2 Lizs (Sorry guys!)
Ian - tired, sore, not happy

Back to Auchtertyre
Set up properly, much better
Ian- 20 mins earlier than we thought
Weighed- lost 2.5kg
Seemed a bit better than previous stop

B of O
Had a bad patch, not in a good way here. Same in previous years
Bit emotional
Eating becoming harder - tried to eat a bit of everything

Long wait
Saw John and Marco (struggling). J interviewed by BBC man with camera
Got text from Liz T - Phil plodding on, getting slower

Much better - believing he can do it again. Had to work hard over Rannoch Moor. Passed Thomas who is walking
(Spoke to Silke after - not sure he can go on)
Filled up on soup. Wanted bananas. Tea. Coke
Using the Settlers to stop feeling sick
Left KH at 5.45 with G.
Expected at Kin @8pm

Spoke to Jo
Only 1 drama at Glasgow. Austrian guy taken to hospital - no details
Spoke to Murdo - said a lot was riding on Ian to finish
Used hall x2 for loo
Got a single fish and pickle
2x Liz + Kaz and Al - talked to them
Phil plodding on - not enjoying it
Midges got bad. Lent Kaz net

Got there with 20 mins to spare
Later than expected due to eating fish
Midges bad despite Duncan's fire
Saw Marco and John M.
Ian violently sick - coudn't eat any more
Hardly drunk coffee all day

Checked into hotel and went to loo
Went to sports centre
Didn't know anyone - inside or out
Dr and massage people all set up
V relieved to see Ian and George

Changeover crews - a lot of runners don't have the same crew throughout
Maybe why some crews don't behave!

I promise this is exactly what I wrote on the day. Rough, raw and unedited.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Race Day!

Well, here we are. It's the big day and I think we're ready.

The alarm woke me at 7am. My first thought was "That's the last sleep I'll be getting until Fort William tomorrow night." If I'm lucky I might catch a few winks somewhere but it doesn't usually happen. The Runner planned to sleep until about lunchtime but he appeared at 10am declaring he was too hungry to sleep!

The kitchen table is groaning with beans, rice, sports drinks, flat Coke, banana loaf, gels, power bars, flasks, water and jelly babies. There are piles of running kit everywhere (I managed to get it dried despite the continuous rain!) The cool bags are lined up ready to accept Magic soup, pasta salads, smoothies etc. I have lists everywhere, ready to be checked off.

This year's target time? We don't have one. Or a list of ETAs for each checkpoint. The aim is to get to Fort William in one piece. This year time doesn't matter. The Runner wants to enjoy the race and the time will take care of itself.

It is my heartfelt wish that everyone who starts the race makes it safely to Fort William. Dig deep and remember the challenge is against yourself. Not the clock or your best mate.

To roughly quote The Runner "The pain of not finishing is much worse than the pain of not beating a PB."

Good luck and see you all tonight.

Ali x

Thursday, 18 June 2009

I am a swan

On the surface I am calm, elegant and in control. But underneath my little legs are paddling furiously to keep up.

With 1 sleep to go until the big day I am about half a day behind in the preparations due to a slight drama involving the replacement of my 2 front tyres yesterday. Panicking? Moi? Aaaargh!

And all the time I'm reassuring The Runner that everything is under control and on schedule. Of course I'm lying through my teeth! He doesn't need to know that the tumble dryer is broken. He'll have clean dry kit somehow. And of course he needn't worry that No3 son has been off school for 2 days with a bug. It's not contagious. And as for my lying wide awake into the wee small hours every night this week, well what he doesn't know won't hurt him. After all he never reads this blog!

Sunday, 14 June 2009


On Friday night we watched the classic movie that is Closing Distance. It's been over a year since we've looked at it. How things have changed in such a short time! Best bit was seeing a 7yo No3 son.

We noticed that The Runner kept using the word "tough" to describe each stage. So here's a competition to help fill the hours you're not running this week. How many times does The Runner say the word "tough" throughout the film? Just him, no one else.

Leave your guess in the comments and I'll announce the winner after the race next week. I'll think of a suitable prize and present it at the BBQ if the winner is there or I'll get it to you somehow.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

In my defence......

Somehow I feel the need to explain myself. Whenever the subject of race t-shirts comes up, runners get very defensive. I have no problem at all with keeping t-shirts from significant races. They are a tangible reminder of a target/ambition achieved. Heck, I was even wearing my NYC Marathon t-shirt from 2002 the other day (in fact my finishers medal is hanging up in the bedroom!) But I do have a problem with hanging onto a t-shirt that's way past even having value as a cleaning rag!

Since The Runner runs at lunchtime during the week, his smelly wet kit is stuffed into a plastic bag (don't get me started on his obsession with keeping 'good' plastic bags!) for at least 7 or 8 hours before he comes homes and puts it in the laundry bin. This contributes greatly to the deterioration of cotton fabric. And since I refuse to wash his running kit with normal laundry, his 1 t-shirt, 1 pair of shorts/pants/socks and towel used each day might not get washed for a couple of days. Hence the need for a large amount of running kit. Again, I don't have a problem with that.

But he never throws anything out. Holes in your socks? Buy a new pair. Shorts got a rip in the seams? Buy new ones. BUT THROW THE OLD ONES OUT!!!! The only reason he agreed to throw out them out on Monday was that his 18 (EIGHTEEN) drawers wouldn't close!

Cruel? I don't think so. Waiting until next Thursday and telling him I've got alternative plans for the weekend would be cruel!

Monday, 8 June 2009

Woohoo, at last!

I've been trying to get The Runner to clear out his manky running stuff for several years now. Today, on a rare holiday, he decided he wanted to get his possible race gear in some sort of order. Naturally I offered to 'help' him with my roll of black bags in hand.

This is the resulting pile of t-shirts that made it into my throwing out pile. At last I was able to get rid of that t-shirt from the Dublin Marathon in 1997 that is older than No3 son! There are a few London marathon t-shirts in there, as well as some Troon 10k ones that are falling apart at the seams. I guess they don't hold the same sentiments for him any more now he's an ultra runner.

This is the keeping pile (which frankly would have been a lot smaller if I'd had my way but hey, I'll take the disposal of the manky t-shirts as consolation!)
His pile of keeping stuff consists of:
7 Tracksters (no pockets)
3 Tracksters (with pockets)
1 waterproof jacket
1 waterproof trousers
6 adventure tops (ie tops which are not Helly, summer tops or long sleeved)
2 waterproof jackets (that are the size of a tennis ball when folded into their pouch)
1 windproof vest (ditto)
8 summer tops
3 long sleeved summer tops
4 long sleeved Hellys
3 short sleeved Hellys
2 Icebreakers
9 vests (including 1 Strathearn Harriers, 1 Central and 1 Troon Tortoises)
2 pairs Skins (shorts)
2 pairs cycling shorts
3 pairs shorts
6 Buffs
1 pair running gloves
2 woolly hats
1 high visibility vest and.................
only 30 t-shirts! Woohoo!!
One thing that did surprise me was the level of crumpledness of most of his stuff. I wash it, iron it and fold it so I know it looks good before he puts it away. No idea what happens to it between then and him wearing it. If you ever notice he's a bit crumpled looking, ask him how he manages it!

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Race food

Mmmm, rice pudding, beans, jelly babies, coffee, smoothie and magic soup all mixed together. Would you eat this on a normal day? No? Then why does The Runner think it is a good idea to eat all this at each checkpoint on race day? Is it any wonder he is frequently sick in the first few minutes after leaving me? And when you add in energy gels and water all sloshing about in his insides....... Yeuch!

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Bizarre Conversation No 1

Him: When I went to bed last night I had a nail on that toe.

Me: Hmm.

Him: When I got up this morning it was gone.

Me: What do you mean gone?

Him: It just wasn't there. I checked in the bed and on the floor and it's definitely gone.

Me: Uhuh. And what do you want me to do?

Him: If you find it save it for me.


Friday, 15 May 2009

Bad Wife

Hello! Is it that time already? You know, time to think, talk, plan, breath and eat the WHW Race. Time to tell tales, relaunch Blog Wars and generally get my own way for a few brief weeks because The Runner is pathetically grateful for my back up and support.

Blimey, I remember when there was only 1 ultra event talked about in this house. Now it feels like there's 1 a month! Tomorrow is the Cateran Trail and I am a Bad Wife. I put my foot down and said I did not want to give up another weekend to provide back up for yet another event. So what did The Runner do? He's roped in an old family friend who lives practically on the route and persuaded her to hang around for hours and supply him with coffee and jelly babies. I just hope he's not as rude to her as he is to me!

But I think I can live with being a Bad Wife. I've washed his running gear, baked a banana loaf and got Mr Tesco to deliver his beans, rice and jelly babies. I've got him a bottle of nice wine and a lovely bunch of flowers to take to his friend. I can go swanning round the garden centre and have tea and cake in the cafe with a clear conscience. Or at least I hope I can.