February Recap


In Which I Can’t Believe It’s Already March..!

After January last just under 18 weeks, it’s a shock that February only lasted 12 days. How is it March already?!

My target for Feb was the same as January, 100 miles. The crappy weather made it a much tougher challenge this month and I’m VERY much looking forward to Spring springing it’s way here.

As well as wanting to run 1’000 miles this year, I’m also wanting new PB’s (Personal Bests) for 5km, 10km, half and full marathons, so it was very nice that my first run of February, on the 1st, was a BRAND NEW 5K PB! 22:41 according to my watch! (Previous was 23:00.)

The next day I had a long, steady run planned of 13.1 miles. (Half marathon y’annow) but as it was a steady run, I took it steady. Took 2 hour and 14 minutes and it actually blows my tiny mind that only a few years ago that was my PB, now it’s training pace!

Next few runs were a mixture of 10k’s and some hill work. (Hills make the runner!) Luckily I live near an extinct volcano (Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh) so that’s handy for hill training.

2020FebHills

Where does that put me miles-wise… Hang on, I’ll check… 30! 30 Miles by the 7th Feb! Very much on target. Next day was a Saturday, so to ParkRun. With a respectable time of 24:17, I earned a big fat breakfast.

Then a few days later a storm hit, so I didn’t run. And I know what you’re saying to yourself, you’re saying ‘you should run in all weather’ and you’re right, as usual. But this was TORRENTIAL. So, no running.

The next run was also cut short by the weather, it was so windy that I almost ended up in Oz. Then the NEXT run I was battered by more wind and rain, so my targets weren’t getting hit. I was getting hit. By weather.

The miles needed to be done though, so went out later than usual for a long run thinking that I’d get finished before it got dark, and I almost made it! 7 miles run, last one in VERY unsafe conditions…

With five days of February left I was on 73.5 miles. Looking at my work schedule I couldn’t see that I’d be able to reach 100 miles for the month but decided 75 is still impressive. Then decided I’m not sawft so went out and ran 10 miles.

Then the next chance I did a short run, just to get a few more done. This left me with the wonderful task of running 13.5 miles on the last day of February. (Thank chuff it’s a leap year!)

I’d had a few too many beers the night before so wasn’t really feeling my best. Slow and steady though, walk if you need to, just do the distance. It was actually a really nice morning for it, but my hangover didn’t agree.

2020FebASeat

Ran by Arthur’s Seat (see pic), down the Innocent Railway, through some wooded areas, along the beach in Portobello, then back around the other side of Arthur’s Seat, towards the Meadows and did a couple laps which gave me 13.5 miles and my SECOND MONTH IN A ROW OF 100 MILES RUN!!

Bradford 10k in two weeks times back in my home town.

Can’t believe it’s March already!

If you want to keep a close eye on me, and let’s be honest why WOULDN’T you, I’m on Strava:

STRAVA

and Instagram:

INSTAGRAM

Edinburgh 1/2 Marathon Recap


In Which I Run VERY Tired

Edinburgh Half Marathon. As I live in Edinburgh, it’s my adopted hometown 1/2 Marathon race.  (That and the Scottish 1/2 Marathon in September which actually goes by my home…)

The previous two years I did the full marathon, finishing both years in around 5hrs (and last year being sponsored by a beer company, I got a HELLA lot of beer given!) This year however, I’m concentrating on York marathon in October so didn’t want to commit to doing two in a year. (I’ve run two a year in 2016, 2017, 2018. Gets tiring!)

To make the half marathon easy on myself I agreed to work the night shift just before. So I started work at 6.30pm on the Saturday, finished at 6.30am on the Sunday and the race began at 8am…

I hung around work when I finished as it was starting a few minutes walk away. I carbed up on a crappy microwave burger (seems to work for me!) and then got changed and set off in the pouring rain to the start line.

EMFhalfStart

People were soaked but their spirits could not be dampened. (I’m proud of that sentence!) The PA system was counting down by the minute and everyone looked excited and/or nervous, with lots of family and friends at the side lines cheering them on already.

EMFhalfCrowd

Then, we were off. Slowly, walking to the start line. It’s a huge undertaking I’m sure, getting all these people organised into start pens and making sure it all goes off without a hitch but it doesn’t stop people complaining that they have to walk a few minutes to begin the race. See it as a bit more of a warm up why don’t you?

The race starts very central to Edinburgh and within a few minutes I was running by Greyfriars Bobby and then my workplace. (National Library of Scotland.) The guys on the day shift said they’d be out front looking for me but they got confused and thought I was running the full which didn’t start until 10am. Turns out at 10am they spent AGES looking for me, but obviously I wasn’t there.

After the library we ran over the Royal Mile and down a hill called the Mound which lead us to Princes Street Gardens and a bit of people congestion so had to slow right down. Didn’t take long to get going again though, and we looped by Waverly Train Station and back on to the Royal Mile (which is a bit longer than a mile.)

EMF_MARATHON_2018 I felt surprisingly fresh after a 12hr night shift and was running quite well. Not fast, but I wasn’t struggling either. My plan for this run was just to enjoy it, finish and get the medal. We then ran in front of Arthurs Seat (a HUGE hill) and at 5k we left the city behind. (But not the rain.)

I was expecting to have to walk at the water station but carried on running. Mile 5 soon arrived and then we stuck to the coast line for the next three miles before coming slightly inland and running near the historic Musselburgh racecourse and that brought me to mile 9, which is where my tiredness caught up and I had a walk break. NINE miles constant running after a night shift though! I was VERY chuffed with that! I could see the finish area on the other side of the road but still had a way to go.

After that it was 2 miles on the same road before turning back for the final 2 mile stretch. The sun came out for a couple minutes, didn’t like what it saw and went away again. The last few miles of my race was a mixture of running and walking and I was enjoying myself more than I thought I would be. Time flew by and all of a sudden I was in the final stretch, down the finishers chute and done!

In my head I wanted around 2hrs 10mins and I completed in 2hrs 5mins 8secs. Can’t argue with that! Handily, the in-laws live close to the finish line so I went there for a shower and some cuddles from my baby. He made sure the medal wasn’t fake.

EMFhalfFinn

And there you go! Turns out that I can run okayish even when tired which is good news for marathon training surely? I usually run after my 12hr day shifts but this is the first time ever I’ve run after a night shift. Next race I’m entered for is Leeds 10k at the start of July and I want to get close to my PB of 47.57. If I do or if I don’t, there’ll be plenty beer afterwards..!

Speaking of which, you thought I’d forgotten!

EMFhalfBeer

TA-DA!

Top 250 Movies Project


THIS post, is nothing to do with running. Unless The Running Man is on the list. Or Blade Runner. Or Forrest Gump!

I’ve recently started another blog too. (Two blogs?! That’s right! As if I’m not busy enough as it is!)

It’s about me trying to watch the Internet Movie Databases top 250 films, within a year:

(Copied and Pasted the first couple of paragraphs. Too lazy to type it twice. I did press Italics though!)

“I am a HUGE movie fan. I used to sit and watch two or three or sometimes four films in a row without getting bored, or fidgety, or falling asleep. (Unless I’ve been up all night watching films.) I currently own roughly 450 store bought DVD/Blu-Rays, and on the odd occasion have found myself buying the same DVD twice. (Always obscure ones like ‘Highlander 5′, ‘Exit Wounds’, and for some reason, ‘How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days.’)

That being said, there’s LOADS of movies I haven’t seen. I bet there’s literally TENS of films, maybe even HUNDREDS out there that’s never been seen by these eyes. (My eyes, the ones in my head.)”

Top 250 Movies Project (Opens in New Window)

If you want to have a look, and read my reviews about the films, feel free to follow or add my other Movie-based Twitter.

Thanks!

EDIT: Both Blade Runner AND Forrest Gump are there! Running Man isn’t. Travesty.

EDIT: Neither is Marathon Man.

View From The Trail (Well, canal. And a road.)


In Which I Go For A Ride, And Someone’s Had Their Last Ride (As In, Dead.)

Last Monday it was a rest day from running so I went out for a bike ride instead. I planned my route out and figured it’d take about an hour, in the late afternoon. I mapped the route so that I’d go along and down the main road for a bit, before venturing off on the canal path for a few miles before attempting (and failing to conquer) a MASSIVE hill near home, before having a steady mile of flat roads and then home.

I planned it like this, a big circle around where I live, so that I could cut it short at anytime if I got right tired, or crashed or got bit by a walrus or anything. Be prepared and all that.

A little while after setting off I was on the canal path, and thinking to myself how nice it was that I’m seeing all this nature and getting exercise, which I wouldn’t even of considered a few months ago. I saw a Heron/Stork/Bird thing, which flew off before I got a picture. (I’m not bad at naming birds; Crow, Magpie, Penguin and such, and can also name Dog breeds: German Shepherd, Labrador, Pug, but when it’s Cats it’s pretty much just: Cat, Cat, Cat…)

Anyway, there were a few birds flapping about and probably a few fish swimming about, when I saw this in the canal:

Whoops!

Whoops!

I’m not an expert, but I don’t think that’s how you drive one of these…

After taking a picture and getting back on my bike, I followed the path around the route, passing plenty of joggers and cyclists coming the other way which made me worry that I was on a One Way canal path and I was going the wrong way, with all the proper-way people tutting as I passed. Soon enough I passed another bloke on a bike though, heading in the same direction, so I used him as a pacer for a bit (mainly so I could blame him when the canal police told us off.)

I came to where I come off the canal path and took this picture of the evening:

image (7)

Not even instagrammed! (well, OK, it is. Not the colours though!)

I walked my bike up through the woods and got onto the main road, where I then cycled towards Shipley. Halfway down the road I was passed a couple of ‘proper’ looking cyclists who both said Hello to me. (I replied with **PANT**COUGH**HI!**PANT**WHEEZE**) They both passed me easily enough but as the road started to go slightly downhill I decided to try keep pace. I managed it quite well too!

Getting to where I was about to turn off, we approached some temporary traffic lights and they both went towards the front of the traffic (as the lights were on red.) I followed. Reaching the lights, THEY BOTH JUST CARRIED ON THROUGH THE RED LIGHT! I was so shocked THAT I ALSO WENT THROUGH THE RED LIGHT! Luckily no one saw. I turned left at the next (green) set of traffic lights and tried to go up Carr Hill. It’s a beast. Seriously, cars struggle to get up it. I managed a few metres before I got off and pushed my bike, which was hard enough by itself! I (slowly) got to the top, got back on my bike, and peddled the steady mile or so home. All in all, I managed just over 10 1/2 miles in just over an hour.

Tuesday, myself and Sarah were both off work and it was quite a sunny day (not warm though) so we decided to go up to a place called Yeadon Tarn where theres a boating lake and… ducks and stuff. A lap of the Tarn is just under a mile. We walked halfway round, then got an ice cream. (Sunny = Ice Cream. Even if the weather is freezing. It was cold enough to have to buy a Hot Chocolate at the same time, but Sunny = Ice Cream.) We walked one lap, and then decided to walk it again, but without another Ice Cream.

image (8)

Half way round our second lap, Sarah said that she could see a box floating in the lake near the edge, so we had a nosey when we went passed. Turns out that it was one of those boxes THAT CONTAINS SOMEONES ASHES AFTER THEY’VE BEEN CREMATED! The date on it was 2011. Now, I don’t know if they’ve been floating there for two years or not, but surely one of the boating people would’ve gotten them out by now? Otherwise, someones been to the Tarn recently with the box of ashes and accidentally dropped them in the water THEN JUST LEFT THEM THERE. I have no idea.

How I Think It Happened

“I’ve always wanted to be buried at sea.”

“Really? Bit far, the sea side. How about that Tarn Lake thing?”

“That Tarn… Yeah, I suppose that’ll do. I’d have to be cremated I guess, to go in there.”

“I’m not touching your ashes.”

“…What?”

“I’m not touching your ashes. I’ll get em everywhere!”

“Just open the box and tip me in.”

“Could do I suppose. What if it’s windy?”

“Do it when it’s not.”

“It’s always windy this time of year.”

“Do it in the bloody summer!”

“Yeah, could do…”

The bloke dies in 2011. Eventually, the day comes. 2013. It’s been windy for two years, but she’s glad she’s waited for this day. The first sunny day of the year, though it’s cold. Sunny days mean Ice Cream however, so that’s the plan for afterwards. Probably a flake too. Reaching the waters edge she sheds a tear as she prepares to open the box. A slight breeze tickles the back of her neck.

“Sod this!” She says, and lobs the whole box in.

The End

Speaking of made up stuff, I wrote a short story and put it on that WattPad website. If you fancy a read, it’s here (opens new window):

‘Super Hero For Sale.”

(A shorter short story, would be a better name.)

Any comments are welcome!