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!