Wednesday, 19 March 2014


Another Tuesday night and another fast run round the leafy suburbs of the greater Dunbar conurbation.
Surely next week will be the last week, this “season”, for the Town Run! This winter I think I’ve done more sub 40 minute runs than usual. Pace just seems to be pretty frantic every week. All good training – but bleedin’ hard. Certainly I feel it a bit more than I used to on a Wednesday for my daft o’clock run - heavy, tired legs do not a nice run make.

Anyhoo. Got races coming up. Two weeks on Sunday till the mara. Jeeze it just seems to have crept up on us. A real emphasis on the “L” in this weekend’s LSD I think. The week after that it’s the St Andrews half. And I’ve now put my entry away for that perennial favourite the E2NB (please god … a nice day with a nice stiff tail wind for that one).

In an attempt to shape up my flabby gut I’ve started adding a new routine to my exercise regime. To wit…..”the plank”. Seems like a sure fire bet for a hernia to me – but we’ll see how it goes. Good thing is you don’t need kit, equipment, or anything really to do it.
Waiting for the kettle to boil? Plank.
Waiting for the shower at work to heat up? Plank.
TV news depressing you? Plank.
Bored shitless at work? Plank.

Monday, 17 March 2014


Tried something a bit “unusual” for me yesterday on my LSD.
Nothing spectacular … but I turned off the sound on my GPS. I kept on the autolap feature, just turned off the “beep” every time it clicked over another mile marker.
I also did a circuit that I’ve dome many, many times before..but I ran it the “wrong” way round.
Instead of what is normally a large 18 mile clockwise route I did anti-clockwise.
Don’t know what got into me to make these changes, but I’m glad I did. Too many runs can get over familiar and too many runs can end up becoming a race against the clock – not always an ideal thing with LSD.
So yesterday I just set off and tried to keep it “comfortable”. No focus on pace – no focus on a heart rate range – just “comfortable”.
Even without the “beep…beep..beep” of the autocounter there is a tendency to look at the watch at various “landmarks” and think “Ooh 1:34 – I’m usualy at this tree/gate/road/barn by 1:32, better pick it up”. By approaching the route differently I was disassociating myself from that kind of thinking.
It was like a new run – only on familiar roads. Quite enjoyed it. Added a bit on at the end to lift it up to 20.
One more weekend (maybe two) of long runs before the taper for the mara.
Be nice to get a weekend without howling headwinds though.


Sunday, 9 March 2014

KB5 or =VLOOKUP($A2,register!$A$1:$F$245,2,false)

Saturday saw us head into "The Toon" for the King's Buildings 5 mile race.
Done this race before, but it came as a bit of a surprise, when looking through my log, to discover it was six years ago. I thought three or four!
Anyway. I couldn't completely remember the route, but I did know it was hilly. Add to that yesterdays horrible winds and it was always going to be tough.
We got there in loads of time and put ourselves through the rather strange "registration process". You paid for your number (fair enough), and THEN the runner had to go to a row of laptops and negotiate their way round a rather badly designed "registration form". The whole thing had a bit of an "internet cafe" feel about it.
Anyway. Met a few folk and had a bit of a chat before me and Nick headed off for a bit of a warm up that took in the first mile and a bit of the route. I had forgotten just how much of the first part of the race was run on pavement alongside a pretty busy road. With the amount of "street furniture", wheelie bins and shop signs around it was going to be tricks and passing opportunities were going to be limited at the start.
Our warm up took us to the bottom of the first real climb and it suddenly came back to me what the route was like (and not in a nice way).
Anyway. We jogged back to the start in time to shed jackets and tops and get into the start line with everyone else.
Being hosted by a university team there is quite a young crowd at this race.
A few words from the starter..a whistle..and we were off.
As I'd feared, the start was a bit of a guddle and I wasn't in the best position, but just tried to keep the head until we got to the foot of the climb where I knew the pavements widened out and the roads were a lot quieter (you can pop off the pavement and use the road here).
For most of the climb I was running pretty much shoulder to shoulder with Willie Jarvie of Portobello, and we could see Rab Watson of Musselburgh ahead.
Once up the hill we were running along by the Braids Golf Course and it was at this point that the cross wind was at its worst. Got ahead of Willie here, but I could not tell by how much as I didn't dare look behind me. I just kept the head down and tried to reel in Rab (didn't happen).
A fast downhill section along by Liberton and I think at one point my GPS was clocking 5:30 pace.
The last section, however, is a slight uphill and I suddenly became aware of WJ right behind me. Then passing me...Then pulling away. Just didn't have anything left to answer.
Still. Pleased with my time (28:59 by my watch) and happy to see that it was a bit faster than six years ago.
Have to wait on the results to see how I got on.

Back in the hall at one point I was sitting waiting on Anne going back to the car to get some change for a coffee. There was a young girl at a laptop - obviously doing the results. I was trying not to look as I know how frustrating it can be to be trying to do results and have someone looking over your shoulder! But when she shouted over to one of her pals to ask him if he knew "anything about Excel" I couldn't keep quiet. Turns out she hadn't put absolute references into her VLOOKUP and she had also missed out the "false" statement that makes the statement look for an exact match.
Bloody students eh? Got to wonder what they teach them these days :-)

Today, being Sunday, it was a day to worship at the church of "Oh God, Make Me A Better Runner" by doing a bit of LSD.
My planned 20 mile route got changed halfway round when I met up with George Gilholey and ended up running with him for a bit. Quite enjoyed my run with George.

Legs were a bit "heavy" today. Plan this week is to keep the mileage up but keep the effort low.

Sunday, 2 March 2014


Decided to forego my usual day of rest on Friday and head out at daft o’clock for a wee run towards Cramond (again).  Didn't go into the village itself this time, but just ran out to the “roundabout” and back. Made it about 11 miles, but ran it at quite a brisk pace (keen as ever to get back to the Arsehole Factory).
Saw Ray Harris on my way back – I assume he was on his way to uni’.
Friday night was the club’s annual “do”/dinner/prize-giving-type-thing. So it was a quick trip home from work….bit of a rub down with a damp cloth…and into my “finery”.
Much food was eaten and quite a bit of drink was had as well – though none of it by me. Food was “OK”, though I do suspect that the chef perhaps over stretched himself a bit and had to enlist some family members to help him out with the rice and sauce for the vegetarian option of sweet and sour – to wit - his “Uncle Ben”. When you've been vegetarian for about 29 years, when you hate potatoes (in all there horrible forms) AND you still think everyone else's steak and chips look better than what you've got - you know its bad.
The main event was the handing out of prizes.
I got a lovely shield for being “bloody minded and doing more championship counting races than anyone else" (or something).

Yesterday I ended up doing a basic 9 mile run.
Today though I was determined to do some proper LSD.
It was a beautiful morning. Not cold – just “nippy” and beautiful blue skies. Thankfully there wasn’t the wind that has plagued us for most weekends lately (perfect conditions for those of to Lasswade today).
Started off going out towards Oldhamstocks then home back through Innerwick. But on the last leg I cut down towards Aikengal and then did a u-turn at the farm and then home. Ended up doing 20. Not exactly a fantastic pace it has to be said (but that was never the point).

Five weeks today to the marathon … so runs like that (or better) at least every weekend have got to be my target.
Thinking about doing the KB5 next Saturday so my LSD will have to be Sunday next week as well.
This logo is better than the one on our club vests!!

Brian and James share a candlelit moment.