Wednesday, 4 November 2009

a glimpse of runner high...

well I think that is what I was feeling as I ran home from work tonight. Today was my first run following my 10K on Sunday as it was the first day I did not feel like a 90 year granny everytime I stood up. Too high on making it to the finish line on Sunday and hurling abuse at Pirate boy for his trade description act text I forgot to stretch and my legs complained!!

Unfortunately, i didn't get finish work until 6 so I headed out onto the streets of Edinburgh in the dark. My head torch was being very useful sitting in my kitchen!!

My chest and legs moaned when I started off but by the time I was through the cowgate and heading to the park I started to feel quite good, dare I suggest I was enjoying myself! Holyrood park was pitch black apart from the passing cars so I was glad that I know that section quite well otherwise the runners high would have been squelched with a sore knee. By the time I was heading down Jock's lodge near my pad I was truly sampling the runners high I have heard so much about and I was flying down the hill.

Tonight was only a short run to get the legs loosen up. On Friday I am meeting up with Ken at lunchtime to go for a short run and talk about a potential Fling relay team - OMG, OMG.

Yes, not only do I sign up for marathons with only a couple of 5k's under my belt I am now trying to gather a relay team for a off road run of at least 12 miles in April. So far Ken is keen and Stan the man is up for it. I have emailed the fourth member but until she confirms I will keep her a secret or if she says no advertise the position on this blog and race forums.

I blame this crazy, impulsive running ambitions on my Moon boots. My moon boots are my new and rather lovely Salomon Quest 4D GTX walking boots that I purchased from the very patient Tiso store in Edinburgh. They are the business.

The moon boots were taken out last weekend when Mark and I joined our friends JP and Marieanne who rented a cottage in Glencoe for the week. Headed up on the Thursday afternoon with a quick stop at Bridge of Orchy so I could stomp around in the Moon boots then out for dinner to Loch Leven seafood cafe followed by drinkies at Clahaig with music by the Ghosties. Top day.

On the Friday we headed to the Devil's staircase. The rain was on but I was kitted out in paclite Berghaus waterproof jacket and trousers plus the Moon Boots. I was nervous. It was only 6 miles but it was the Devil's staircase. So we head on out and I am finding it okay, the Moon boots make me feel safe so I follow the pack and at times stopped to enjoy the view. After 30 minutes Mark and JP are waiting for Marieann and I to catch up when Mark tells me this is it. I ask what is it? we are at the top of the Devil's staircase. I do not believe him, and this goes to and forth for at least 5 minutes. I can't believe I got to the top without having to call medical support. Given the reports I have heard I had visions of having to crawl up the staircase however, by the time Easter comes along I will be carrying a pack, been on my feet for four days and 70 odd miles in my legs - I will not be thinking the Devil is so gentle then!!!

Friday night was the boys heading to Clahaig to test the pints of beer to pool quality playing or something like that while Marieann and I shared a bottle of champers I got for my 30th and watched the Mamma Mia film. Cheesy but fun to watch. Dinner and drinks followed in the Clahaig.

Sunday was the Strathaven 10K

All in all it has been a top week for me and I am a happy bunny

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Stan the man

thank you so much for getting me to the finish line of my first 10K in 1 hour 7 minutes!!

Run with the wind in Strathaven was a top notch running event but it was not all downhill and a piece of piss as quoted to me by pirate boy

The route did have a few inclines which unfortunately I did walk some of but it was a very cold and wet day.

Soup and a sandwich afterwards plus a catch up with Ian Beattie, Sharon Law, Tim Downie ( who was a brilliant support - thanks Tim) , the lovely Lee and pirate boy. A good day.

Mark was roped into marshalling and it did seem strange for me to be wearing the runner number and him in a bright yellow marshall top but hey sometimes it is refreshing to do something different.

Anyway I am away to eat a lovely big dinner as I have been running today - oh I quite like the sound of that!!!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009


I have just entered the Dingle Marathon

I have yet to even complete a 10k race

A marathon is 26.2 miles

It is on a tough course along the Irish coast with hills

Mind you I can already taste the pint of glorious Guinness at the finish

It will be grand

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

DQ jumping in

The Runner has been living up to her name, AND has been doing a lot of WHW Race stuff so I am going to keep you up to date.

The Runner has been making all the right noises recently. She has become fixated with time. No matter how often you say time does not matter at this stage still she is checking her watch. On the few occasions that she has allowed herself to just run she seems to have enjoyed the experience.

The girl that was walking "a bit" in 5k races is now running 5 miles and seems to be getting a bit of buzz out of the fact that she can. I think that some of the credit for this should go to her Coach S(a)tan Bland. He has the touch and sensitivity that I obviously don't. Well done mate. The prep for "Run with the Wind" 10k is going very well and think she is going to shock herself at just how well she does. I now don't think that I will have to bring my sleeping bag to wait for her at the finish.

The Runner will be taking her first run on the West Highland Way on Saturday. She is spending a night in a poncy Hotel on Saturday but before I drop her off we shall wiggle our bottoms from Tyndrum down to St. Fillians and back. This will be The Runner's longest run to date, so major achievement on both fronts. She will be treated to a slap up feed in the Real Food Cafe to celebrate. Hope the day is as nice as the one that the Glee Club had on Saturday past. I would love her to see the route in those conditions.

The other big thing on the horizon is the West Highland Way Walk at Easter. The WHW Race Forum had quite a run on debate regarding whether to carry racksacs or not. I am afraid that I am totally and utterly in the "you must make it as hard as possible" camp. The Runner is of course very pleased about this. Accommodation is booked. Stops will be Balmaha, Bein Glas, Bridge of Orchy, Kinlochleven and Fort Bill. Long days for someone who hasn't done this kind of thing before so can I urge you to give the little Lady whatever you can afford as she is going to earn it.

Waterproofs have been bought, but she has to get footwear and rucksac. On the Footwear front, does anyone have any advice, opinion or suggestions?

Hopefully next report will be from herself.

DQ (personal secretary to Runner in the City)

Monday, 5 October 2009

I actually have been running....

yes, I actually have been running!!!!

Not very far or very fast but I have been out and about the streets of Edinburgh and Prestwick clad in shorts and trainers putting one foot in front of the other in a running type motion.

Yesterday, I managed to run 4 miles in one go. It took me 46 minutes but I am surprised and pleased I did not walk at any point. There is hope that I might finish the Run with the Wind without keeping Stan in his shorts for over two hours!

The plan for this week is to keep up the 4 mile distance by running to work tomorrow and running home from work on Thursday. On Saturday I might try 5 miles but that needs to be agreed by my coach.

On happy running news - Ally B did brilliantly in Loch Ness 5K - those shoes are a coming.....

On long distance news - I am going to be walking the West Highland Way over Easter 2010. This is the extract from the WHWR forum message that I posted:

The Royal Couple on Tour

The WHWR Princess and WHWR Drama Queen are going to walk the West Highland Way in 5 days over Easter 2010.

There will be many royal tantrums and hissy fits but I am sure DQ will get there in the end!

The walk is in memory of Dario. Dario always wanted to show me the route but we never seemed to have the time to fit it in. In his honour I am making the time and although I am nervous as I have only 6 months toprepare from scratch, I am really looking forward to finally seeing first hand what all the fuss is about!!

To celebrate Dario's encouragement of running I am hoping to raise some money for Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland. My first ever race was a CHSS sponsored 5k and I will never forget how chuffed Dario was when I phoned him to tell I made it over the finish line.

As a tribute to how Dario and I became friends all donations will be thanked with a Twix bar.

Please go to or contact me on email address.

Thank youGeraldineWHWR Princess

Anyway, enough from me as it is getting late and I have my running gear to get ready for the morning, me being a runner and all that........

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

the dangers of chocolate treats....

What can I say but I hope my race organising transpires to be a little better than my blogging....

I can't believe it has been a month since my last confession!

Since my holiday report in August quite a lot has happened in my world of ultra distance running.

When Dario passed away my initial reaction was that the race goes on and it will go on but the huge reality of the undertaking has been hitting me in bursts. Sean and I only managed to meet up a few weeks ago and just before I was having a major wobble. The race means so much to so many I was terrified that I would not get it right and risk people achieving their goal that they worked so hard for. I do worry that I am not the correct person for the race committee but then Jim Drummond, a race legend, tells me the race is in good hands and I feel that maybe just maybe we can pull it off, although it will not be an easy task by any stretch of the imagination.

There has been endless offers of support and that is what makes the race so special. Knowing that the race committee can lean on so many people gives me a sense of comfort and this was demonstrated by the words of encouragement at the Adventure show preview.

The show was fantastic and Triple Echo the production company have made a great film that shows the race in its full glory.

River Ayr Way Race
Back again for the race that brought together two of my favourite people( Subversive Runner and Mrs Mac). The race was good although I have been officially sacked as Mark's back up.

Apparently, I should stick to marshalling as that is all I care about. Last year I did give away his last mars bar and this year I ate his bounty. In my defence I did not have time to stop for lunch due to a major road accident blocking to road to the next checkpoint but still it was his lovely coconut chocolate delight.

Being back up is pants though. It really is hanging about for a glimpse at your loved one looking like a pile of crap, moaning their head off and then looking indignant when you suggest they call it a day. Although saying that I did get to share tunnocks teacakes with Lee and Stan and catch up with the Downies and George so maybe I should book up a lesson with Ally B on how back up should be done!!

Commonwealth Championships, Keswick
For my 30th birthday my Mum arranged a girlie weekend in Keswick with my aunt and cousin. It transpired to be the same weekend of the championship. Unfortunately, I did not manage to catch any of the action as we didn't arrive in Keswick until late in the afternoon, and it would have been a tad rude to my travel companions if I deserted them to watch so instead we toddled off to the pub to celebrate my entry into the third decade of my existence.

While I was in the ladies I noticed two ladies wearing Team Bragg tee shirts. I enquired if they were connected to Jez Bragg and it transpired to be none other than his Mum and aunt. Both were in top form and beaming with pride about Jez's victory. Jez was in bar and his usual lovely down to earth way. So, I managed to combine being a ultra distance runner groupie while in a drinking establishment - multi tasking at its best!

Run with the Wind

High on sugar from the tunnocks teacakes mentioned above Stan, the nicest man in the world, has agreed to run with me at the Run with the Wind 10k at Strathaven on 1st November. Stan has also agreed to coach me as the furthest I have ran is 5k. So far, I have only managed a couple of runs due to the drinking and running celebrity spotting weekend described above. This does not bode well for Stan or the marshalls, who will be getting cold at the finish waiting for me to stumble across the finish line swearing off tunnocks teacakes for life! Still, I do have 5 weeks to prepare........

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Running in France.....

....did not happen and the piccie sums up why - hot tub, sunshine, wine and gorgeous food.

During our first week in France we stayed in a gite with our own private pool and tomato vines. It was in the middle of nowhere so was peaceful and very relaxing.

On a trip touring the local area we went to the local vineyard. Transpired to be a small family place that sold a 5L box of rose for 10 euros and a very nice rose at that - I love France!!

Mornings were spent visiting local historic sites and local markets.

Afternoons spent relaxing by the pool and the evening enjoying dinner on the terrace chatting away. It was a great week.

The next week we moved to a converted wine tower with it's own hot tub. Again this place provided everything you needed for a comfortable stay and exclusion from everyone. During the second week it was my 30th birthday. I confess I stayed up to midnight to open my pressies. Mark got me a rally experience at Knockhill race course. I am a bit of a speed demon and petrol head so I am going to enjoy my laps in a single seater round the course going as fast as I can. My parents arranged for Mark to take over their present and I was overjoyed with their diamond necklace.

Birthday morning was champers and croissants then a trip to Bordeaux. Bordeaux is a beautiful city and we enjoyed a fantastic lunch during which was washed down with several glasses of the finest red the region had to offer. The day was finished with hot tub and more champers. Overall, a rather lovely way to spend a special birthday. Thanks Mark.

Friday, 7 August 2009

France is calling

..and Mark and I are coming. Tomorrow morning Mark and I are heading to the south of France for a fortnight of rest and relaxtion. I am so looking forward to it.

I have packed my running gear but our gite is surrounded by vineyards and I feel it would be rude not to sample all their produce....

It is my birthday when we are away so it will be birthday cake and vin for moi!

Au revoir

Friday, 31 July 2009

It has been over a week since the formal goodbye to Dario. I thought it would help but no.

I still can't believe he is not going to phone me. I just want to wake up and for it all to be a really horrible nightmare.

I know I should be strong and lead by Allybea's example and take something positive from what happened but all I want is to turn back time and not let him go on that run. I just want him here.

I can't bring myself to write a story about him to send to Garry as it seems too real, that it confirms he has gone. I saw the coffin but I still don't want to accept what has happened.

I know I have to be strong to continue the race as his second in command but all I want is to do is to run away and pretend it has not happened, that any minute he will phone with an increase in numbers and the belief in me that I can more than handle it.

I just want him back.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009


I still can't believe he has gone. Even though a few days have passed I am still just trying to come to terms with the news.

Dario was the first person I met on my first day of work at the Inland Revenue in February 2002. Over the next 7 and a half years he was to become a close and treasured friend who I could always turn to.

Our friendship blossomed over twixs. He always kept a packet of them in his drawer and insisted that I help myself if I was in need of a chocolate fix. Thanks to the joy of tax exams and book-keeping I borrowed a lot of twixs.

During my twix raids he would talk about running and the race. Dario knew about my highland connections so wondered if I wanted to help out with the time keeping at the 2002 race finish in Fort William. He said there was a fleece in it for me. Roll on to 2009 and the Dario and Gelly race organising double act is well established.

Dario was so supportive. After my first race, a 5K in March, it was Dario I called when I crossed the line. He was so chuffed for me. Dario, Karen and I signed up for the Rat race this weekend. Karen was telling me that on Sunday he was talking about it and looking forward to it. I called the rat race people to let them know. As Dario and I know as race organisers there is nothing more annoying than people not showing up so I thought it only fitting that I let them know.

In many ways Dario was a protective big brother to me. Not long after Mark and I started dating Dario was out running with him and not very subtly told Mark how much I meant to him and he would not be the only one upset if I was hurt in any way. Since I am an only child Mark was not expecting a big brother chat but Dario made it quite clear that he was watching out for me. Mark told me that for all his joking around he could tell just how much I meant to him and that I was lucky to have someone like that in my corner. So true.

I think I am still in shock and a part of me keeps hoping that I am going to wake up and it is all been a horrible nightmare. When Sean called to tell me my response was "tell me it is a joke" over and over again. Mark rushed out when he heard my gasping and Sean had to tell him the news. I could not even speak at that point. Later that day WHWR family members were calling but I could not even talk to them. I feel bad that I was not stronger but I felt I had the wind taken from me.

Mark and I were up in Uist for the weekend. On the Monday we flew back to Glasgow airport and I was meant to be returning to Edinburgh. I stayed with Mark as I could not face being alone. Also, I wanted to go to the Glasgow office to tell colleagues personally what happened. Their reaction like so many others was one of shock and disbelief. In what I am going to take as a compliment to our friendship that first thing my colleagues have asked is how I am doing?

I drove back to Edinburgh today and kept going over and over in my head that I will not get to speak to him again. I think I am repeating it so much to try and get it to sink in. I am waiting for the reality to hit but I am dreading when it does. How can he have done this. He was meant to be doing the rat race this weekend with me, we were meant to be getting a 24 hour race sorted, make the WHWR even better than before - now what

I can't even begin to understand what Gillian and his family are feeling. I hope they get comfort from the messages on the forum.

On one of our many phonecalls we were laughing about one of the funny things that happened during a race, and Dario in between his laughter said "you know Gelly, I love you to bits". It was a natural throwaway comment but one I keep repeating to try and ease the pain. I too loved Dario to bits.

When my uncle Peter passed away a few years ago my Mum told me that the only reason why it hurt so much is because I loved and cared for him so much and for that I was lucky. That reasoning has come into my head that last few days. My mum was and is right but it doesn't stop it hurting like hell.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

bullet points

I think I can safely say that I am rubbish at maintaining a blog. It has been quite a while since I lasted posted and quite a lot of running connected events have occurred. So to limit me rabbiting on as I have a plane to Uist to catch tomorrow morning I am going to relay the information in bullet points:
  • Mark completed the WHWR in under 24 hours
  • I have only managed a few runs as been off work with viral / cold thing
  • My Mum and Dad have decided that being back up for an ultra runner is the new going out
  • The lovely Lee become a 'runner'
  • Mark has binned the role as my running coach - the reasons given I could not make out from his mumbling and cursing under his breath
  • I am not going to be able to run the 10K on Sunday as only managed 3 miles at the weekend and even then a golfer from the Old Links course at Prestwick nearly offered me a lift on his golf caddy
  • My Dad carpeted his van in preparation for being back up at the WHWR which Mark rudely did not use
  • The weather meant I had a very easy job as race control at the WHWR
  • I am considering auditioning for a new running coach with the main criteria - appearance in shorts and I don't mean me
  • Found out at the WHWR that Davie's in laws are friends of the family from Helensburgh Highlanders
  • Oh did I mention Mark has ditched his role as my running coach
  • Dario has done his usual and increased race numbers without consulting me
  • Got a lovely hug from Keith at post race BBQ
  • My Mum has appointed herself as Mark's support commander in chief as she as seen how it is done and thinks he is a tad amateur in his approach to his running - her exact words were"I am going to take that boy in hand" - only hitch is that Mark is not running WHWR next year

So I think I covered most to the happenings. Race reports and pictures of the very enjoyable Beattie post race BBQ are available at

Finally, my apologies for the almost business like approach to my blog this evening but I am still in the clearing your desk prior to going on holiday mode from work and I have yet to have my pre-holiday glass of wine!!!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

The next race.....

Thank you to Davie for the piccie on his blog. It is a strange picture as I have a look of concentration that I could almost pass for a runner!! The picture above was taken with my medal which I didn't take off for the next few hours and is now proudly hanging from my bookshelf.
Tonight I was talking to Andrew the organiser of the Berneray 10K which I am planning as my next race. It is on 11th July. It starts at 2pm as part of the route is on the beach so needs to be at low tide. It is a mixture of terrain with machair track, tarmac, grass and beach.
Berneray is a small island off North Uist which I have never visited. I have been going to South Uist where my family are from since I was a baby, often two or three times a year but yet to my shame I have never visited many of the islands close by. Normally, I am busy catching up with family or attending a three day wedding in which case a road trip is the last thing you fancy doing!!!
So I have signed up to double my distance in just under 4 weeks!! What am I doing? I know the next step up the running ladder is a 10K but probably I should give myself more time and a straight forward city tarmac route. I suspect I have been associating with ultra runners too long and the mentality of taking on challenges and pushing yourself is rubbing off.
I warned Andrew this evening that my previous is a 5K at 30 minutes so I might be a wee bit longer than the record holder of 34 mins. He has very kindly agreed to wait for me.
Currently, Mark is deciding whether to join me. I am wondering whether to request that he runs with me to help me get to the finish but that is selfish of me as it will not be much fun for him plus do I want to finish the race all by my own effort. I don't know as just now my head is constantly on WHWR preparations so I will need to think it over next week.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Vale of Leven 5K

Well, I might just be a true runner as I made my run with my hangover on Wednesday and then I ran to work on the Thursday. Friday and Saturday the trainers got a rest while I prepared for my second ever race - Vale of Leven 5k. Given my two weeks training in my new insoles I was concerned that I was not going to be able to beat my PB of 34 minutes.

The route seemed and was very forgiving but sadly the on the day the weather was not. It was hot and my feet complained all the way round. In my traditional style of ill race preparation I didn't carry any water so was running round gasping for a drink although at least DQ didn't have to provide socks like last time.

I made it in 30 minutes which put me 53rd out of 122 runners. Not great but at least it was faster than my previous. I was going to put up my piccie but my phone has been taken to the phone hospital. So you just have to imagine me wearing a medal with a big red face!

From reading the blogs it seems a few family members were also in attendance but I didn't see anyone which is a shame but then again the 10k and 5k were kept separate so that is probably why.

During the same weekend the Lovely Lee and her team did brilliantly and completed the Caley Challenge. What an achievement and I can't wait to see her at the race next weekend to give her a huge well done hug!!!

As a result of the hot feet I took a jaunt up to run and become at lunchtime for socks and as I was reviewing the sock collection I heard a familiar voice. Mr Drummond was in buying trainers. It was lovely to see him and he advised me to save my money and get my socks at Tesco - right in front of Adrian - only Jim!!

The race is only a few days away and I am starting to get concerned that I have got everything that I need. Of course this year I need to pack a lipgloss and at least ten change of outfits as the BBC Adventure show are going to be based at Kinlochleven. My better half is used to media attention but I am not so sure. I am going to encourage only ultra runners to be in front of the camera and then there is no risk of me being on.

Anyway I really should be getting some shut eye as I am up early to run to work and I want to avoid the angry commuters. Last week I nearly lost an eye to a women and her brolly as she stomped her way to work with that lovely look of sooking lemons.

It is very muggy here in Edinburgh so too warm to sleep well but hey it is good training for the weekend.....

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

am I a true runner?

so am I really a runner?

I went out after work tonight to meet the girls who I went last year golfing to La Manga with. Vino was ordered and consumed but I have arranged to meet a work colleague for a run at lunchtime tomorrow.........

If I manage to run tomorrow then I know I am heading in the direction of runnerville. I will email Ken in the morning to confess to my consumption of the beautiful grape juice and he will show no mercy!

In the meantime the preparation for the WHWR is in full swing. I am on the phone to Dario most days going over the final details. It all seems in hand but with the WHWR you can never tell. I have been involved since 2002 and every year has been different. I am so looking forward to it.

Monday, 8 June 2009

quote of the year

On Saturday I went for my follow up appointment to the orthotic clinic in Ayr to review my insoles and settle the bill. I explained that so far I have experienced no pain in my shins so I was very pleased. I explained that on my left foot I was tender on my outer sole which was eased by rubbing it over a cold bottle. Mr Shaw who has a silly amount of letters after his name said he was not surprised as

"your feet are not the best for running"

this is exactly what a person wants to hear when a) they have signed up for three races over the next 6 weeks and b) is about to pay £300 so they can 'run'

However, I have decided that any races I do complete will be even more special as I have managed to finish despite my biomechanical difficulties, public transport feet and voice in my head that tells me that the shops are open and wanting me to visit......

Although it does make wonder whether I should dig out my bike from the garage.......

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Running to work

so the alarm went off early this morning and just before I hit the snooze button I remembered my trainers were sitting by the front door like a child waiting for santa to come to town (sorry about the Christmas reference but we are arranging our Christmas lunch at work just now so the man in red is in my mind!)

So, I gathered together my work clothes, towel and wash bag plus usual handbag goodies such as purse and phone. It was midway I realised my little cute rucksack was going to look more stuffed than a MP's expenses claim so I dug out my big rucksack. By the time I leave the flat when everyone else is still in the land of nod I look like an army wannabe!

Now I must confess I didn't run the entire distance as by the the time I got the the Cowgate part of the city, about 2 miles in, I walked as my legs were aching. I then got to the grassmarket, about 0.5 miles and ran all the way to work. By the time I was near work I was feeling quite good so I am annoyed that I walked some of the way.

Overall I was glad I ran to work as it was quicker than the bus plus fellow runners said hello which has not happened in Edinburgh before. It must all us hard core west coasters out pre 8am!!

After a long day at work I headed to Harvey Nic's with a friend as they were hosting a summer party. There was champers and wine on offer so thanks to no dinner and being up early I was giggling after just one glass! I bought some Japanese Pickled Ginger mayo and Chanel lip gloss.

Overall, it has been a lovely day only improved if I got
to go home to Mark but we live opposite sides of the
country so that is that. I really miss him. It sometimes still makes me laugh that after years of looking upon the West Highland Way runners as 'freaks' who have never heard of public transport to get about that I go and fall in love with one but I am so glad I did.

Monday, 1 June 2009

back in trainers

at long last I am back running!!!! Since my last blog which was at least a million years ago I have been fitted with my insoles and I have now worn them enough that I could start to run in them over the weekend. I managed 1.5 miles on Saturday morning along Prestwick beach then on Sunday 3 miles in Arthur Seat. So far so good and the shins felt no pain whatsoever so maybe the £300 has been worth it!!

Due to my forced running break and the fact that I could only find my way to shops and bars instead of the gym my legs are complaining today. So, since I was walking gingerly in the office I decided that I would randomly mention the marathon in the hope that people would think 26.2 miles caused me to walk the way rather than risk that rumour to start again.....

So in my new found joy of getting into my Mizuno's ( thanks to Run and Become in Edinburgh for the top notch advice) I have signed up for:

  • a 5K at the Lomond Shores on 14th June

  • a 10k on the Isle of Berneray on 11th July as Mark and I are going to Uist that weekend so figured may as well try my first 10k on a wind blown island with a race field of around 30 just so I can have a chance to win the last runner prize!

  • The rat race in Edinburgh on Saturday 18th July which is at least 10K of running like a nutter round the streets of Edinburgh. My fellow rats are Dario and Karen D. Our team name is Happy Days in honour of George Reid. Everytime I see George during races and training runs he has a massive smile and say's Happy Days so I am hoping to gain inspiration from the great man.

I am planning to run to work tomorrow as I have to work late so will not manage tomorrow night. Thanks to the joy of tram works in our fine capital it takes me nearly an hour to cross the city by bus so I am hoping my mechanically challenged limbs will be faster.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

While my trainers are in limbo....

My trainers are in limbo. Which is actually a bit of a nuisance for a running blog....however fear not as I have not being idle during my forced respite for I been partaking in some other pastimes which involve increased heart rate, sheer determination and the joy of achieving the ultimate goal... spending the weekend in London which involved quite a few of the opposite and then shopping for a dress to wear to my birthday lunch in the South of France in August oh la la
Oh I just love when you enter the store and there on the hanger is just what you have been looking for, the right style, colour and look you want to create. The sense of pleasure of trying on the dress as it skims your body in all the right places, you forget the disappointment of the wrong lengths, the colours that don't just work or worst case scenario it just makes you look a minger.
Now if only I could transfer the dedication to getting just the right outfit for a special occasion to running maybe there is more than a 5k in me however first of all I need to get the shoes and handbag to match plus there is the jewellery and then of course there is make -up to decide upon so really I don't know when I will have time to put running in.....

Monday, 27 April 2009

Hot totty at the Fling

Well, what can I say but there was a lot of totty at the Fling. A big thank you to all the men who ran without their tops on it was very much appreciated by the marshalls at Beinglas.

The Fling was a great weekend. Unfortunately, there was parking issues but it got sorted and Murdo is already looking for ways to improve the situation.

It was nice to be out on the course and see family members during the race. At WHWR I am indoors so it was good to be outdoors and soak up the atmosphere. It was good to be able to see DQ and make sure he was hydrated, fed and feeling fine. I feel bad that I can't be race support for Mark as I am marshall at the fling, race control at Cateran and WHWR. I would like to be there for him but I love helping at the races and can't imagine not doing it. It will be hard being unable to be support him during WHWR and I am concerned that I will not have time to even check on him as it is so hectic being race control.

The ceilidh was good fun at night and it was great being able to catch up with everyone. My head was a little tender on the Sunday morning as the hall served the wine in half pint glasses and Pirate boy was in charge of the rounds!

The next big race is the Cateran next month when I hope to at least have my insoles and my trainers out of quarantine......

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Trainers still in limbo

I feel a bit of a fruad with this blog at the moment since my trainers are in limbo until I get my insoles.

However, my life is not without running as I am helping out at the Fling on Saturday. Dario is a tad concerned how I am going to cope with only being a marshall rather than next in line of command as I am for the WHWR. For some reason Dario and my better half DQ seem to be under the impression that I enjoy being in charge and being in control. Now in all fairness I did give DQ detailed instructions on how to answer a phone while I went to the toilet during last years WHWR but I am very protective of my runners, so I had to make sure things were in hand during my two minute absence.

I am at Beinglas checkpoint with the Lovely Lee so I am excited as we can have a proper girlie catch up. At the River Ayr Way race we debated about having a marking scheme for the male runners with categories such as general good looks, legs in shorts etc etc but there was not enough runners. The Fling however is a different kettle of fish!!! I think Runners world would love a Fling top totty list !!!!

Friday, 17 April 2009

First of all can I thank DQ for updating the blog during my brief period of internetless. Although can I just say that I am not deformed but a person with bio-mechanical difficulties.

As DQ explained I am off the trainers while a lab in NI scans the plaster cast of my foot with the bio-mechanical prescription to make my super duper insole. These insoles will allow me to fly like the wind and have Jez Bragg seeing only the back of my running jersey! Well, that is a tad ambitious but I have to justify the £300 I am spending on these insoles somehow, but just think how cool would it be if I could runner faster than Jez. I would get to be sponsored by North Face - oh imagine the jackets I would get never mind the bags - I could have one in every colour!

So, how come a princess who has never ran the length of herself is spending £300 on insoles? Now, do not get me wrong I have spent that region of cash on items for my feet before but that was for a pair of gorgeous knee high leather boots from New York with heels so high that they are only practicable for nights out when you are getting a limo everywhere. Hence, they are my limo boots but anyway I digress....

As a consequence of the bio-mechanical difficulties I am no longer running Troon 10K or the Barrathon and I have to say I am surprised just how disappointed that I am. When I first got the diagnosis and DQ explained that Barrathon was off I was adamant that I would be fine and I was quite nippy with him. It took me a few days to accept that he was completely right but I found it hard.

I am hopeful that the insoles help otherwise the trainers will need to be hung up. The bio man has recommended that I do not take part in aerobics, careful what swim strokes I do plus suggested that maybe I take up mountain biking again. However, I feel that I have not explored the runner in me yet. Plus I now have the incentive of securing that sponsorship deal.........

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Update from DQ

Geraldino is internet-less at the moment so, I have been asked to update the blog for those that desperate to pry into her life. Let's be honest, she isn't exactly prolific on the blogging front is she?

Anyway, things have not been great in Dino land. She had been experiencing a lot of pain in her foot and what sounded like shin splints type discomfort. She tried gritting her teeth and getting on with it but it was really too much for her and was really holding her back from making gains in stamina and fitness. So, she bit the bullet and went to see a Biomechanic. I love that title. Bio - mechanic. Am I the only one that comes over all sci-fi at the mention of Biomechanic? I digress. The Bio-technician (another good one!) looked her over for a while. Checked this and looked at that, and eventually came to the conclusion that she is deformed. She has the kness of a freak and weird toe joints. Not good.

The long and the short of it is that the Bio-boy reckons he can do some good and has cast her for orthotics. One's with a bit for the toes. He thinks that this should greatly improve the situation for her. I think as all runners would agree, there is nothing worse than having to run with pain and discomfort. It does not make for a good time out and is hardly going to make you want to go for another one anytime soon. All not very good at all when you are just starting out.

It should be about another two weeks before the inserts are going to be ready. In the mean time, herself has joined the gym at work and will be hitting the exercise bike, rowing machine etc. with great gusto from tomorrow onwards.

Of course, this all means that Troon and Barra are no more. It would be foolhardy for her to attempt these on almost no training at all. Any future outings in Race land will have to wait until the end of the year or, more probably, next year. She is hugely disappointed. I am sure that we can all sympathise as we have been there at some point or another.

So, Runner in the City is a walker for the next wee while. Here's hoping that the orthotics do the trick and that she will be back trooting along pretty soon.


Tuesday, 24 March 2009

running in another country

the beautiful country of Ireland. I accompanied Mark to Connemara for the weekend as he was running the ultra marathon and I was offered the chance of a weekend away involving a state of undress and lots of sweat.....

We flew to Dublin and hired a car and headed west. Unfortunately in the morning it was foggy so no scenery gawping but by the time we hit Galway the sun was shining. Due to the demand for accommodation we were staying in Clifden nearly an hour away from the hub of the race and staying above a sports shop..... what a find!!! Clifden is absolutely lovely and the B&B was fantastic. Gerry and Siobhan who owned the B&B and sports shop could not have been more lovely or helpful. We parked the car and headed to the nearest pub and sat outside in the sunshine drinking Guinness. A really nice way to spend the afternoon.

Mark was up early to get the bus to the start of the race and since he was running a few miles and therefore not around to play with for a while I decided to investigate a potential run for myself. An hour later following my sight seeing I went back to the B&B and put on the running gear. The scenery was beautiful and very pleasant but unfortunately the run was not so good. My right leg was very sore and I ended up running like an eejit with a dead leg. The passing cars must have thought i was a circus act who had escaped.

Following my disappointing run I got in the car to go and cheer on Mark at the finish. The finish was a great atmosphere with the announcer gentleman in top form. Mark and Michelle came in on 6hours 16 minutes which for a very tough 40 mile course was a great time.

On the night of the race we headed to the pub and met up with fellow WHWR family member Jeff. Lots of Guinness and good chat followed. Next day we drove back to Dublin airport and our lovely weekend came to an end.

I am heading to Belfast with work tomorrow so I am staying at Mark's so I can catch the red eye flight in the morning. So being by the beach I decided to head on out. Now the wind and rain was hitting off the window but I thought how bad can it be? well by the time i hit the beach I should have guessed by the fact no other runners were out. I could hardly run in a straight line and i suffered my first attack of ponytail whiplash. not only was i getting attacked by the bitter harsh rain but my hair was slapping me as hard as many a businessman has paid for in the red light district!!!! I only lasted 35 mins but there is only so much a princess can take....

Thursday, 19 March 2009

running in another city

well in a gym in another city. It would appear that I am bordering on what would seem to be a runner. I was away in Manchester with work overnight and I took my running gear and went to the nearby large chain gym that the hotel guests can use. Yes, I Geraldine, went to the gym in the spare time I had.

Plus despite a very long couple of days the first thing I did when I returned to the flat from the airport was putting on the washing machine so my running gear can be washed and ready for my run after work tomorrow night.

What is happening to me?

Monday, 16 March 2009

Woolie hats

so it would seem that the princess is out of fashion when it comes to running in Edinburgh. On Saturday and again after work today I went for a run on Queen's drive in Holyrood park and on both occasions I seemed to be the only runner not wearing a woolie hat!

No, I was the only one wearing shorts and a tee shirt. Everyone else was wearing leggings, at least two layers on top, gloves and of course a woolie hat.

It seems the ladies and gents of our fine capital only go out running in gear that anyone living in Alaska would be envious of. Of course there is also the technology behind the materials these runners are kitted out in. Two of the ladies out jogging that I passed had more scientifically advanced wicking, wind resistant and altitude adaptable outfits than the entire WHWR family members put together on race day!!!!

I am of course jealous to the core and I too wish I could purchase my running attire from Harvey Nic's but 2009 is the year of 'Money Better Spent.' So I will continue to run in my hardcore Glaswegian style of shorts and tee shirt!!

Talking of Money Better Spent I have just managed to secure accommodation for the Barrathon. Mark will be happy as it was getting to the stage of tent on the beach. Mark and I have agreed that when we go away for his races that he organises everything and vice versa. Well, considering that I turned up to the 5K with no race number, socks, trackie bottoms to keep warm in or any pre race nibbles I think Mark is more nervous about coming with me to Barrathon than I am about running it. Hey ho maybe all these miles I will rack up in training I will learn to focus the mind - then again.....

Monday, 9 March 2009

The next challenge..... going to be the Troon 10k on 6th May. This means I have 8 weeks to prepare. I have not put on a pair of trainers since my last race (get me sounding like a runner!) due to working away with work last week and putting in silly hours.

Now, I could have gone when I returned from my travels but my boiler decided to go in a huff with me for being away and packed in. This meant I returned to a cold flat and unable to run a hot bath. Of course I responded to this problem in a very mature and independent womanly fashion - I called my better half Mark (Coach DQ) and blubbed. Mark immediately put on his shoes and drove to Edinburgh to rescue me despite it being late at night and work the next day. He truly is a star!!

However, his rescue came at a price....I was driving home from the Strathaven Striders dance on the Saturday night!! The more I think about the situation the more I think there was calculated sabotage on my boiler as Subversive runner was also attending the same dance (for those who are not aware of the Subversive runner please see his blog via the link as he is a follower to this blog and all round top bloke!)

It was a great night and good to catch up with the Lovely Lee (please see her blog via follower link)It was also good to be exposed to a running club night out. In my previous life as a non runner I had runners down as people who were obsessed with trainers, timing themselves and only ingesting healthy foods - how wrong was I!!! The dance was a BYOB and it really was a bottle each! I really am beginning to wonder why I have not put on the trainers before now as I seem to share quite a few of the characteristics......

So 8 weeks ...10k...

I need to get the trainers back on and up the mileage. I am thinking to try and work on speed during the week with a distance run at the weekend. I live a short distance from Holyrood park so I think I will need to join the many runners that use that part of Edinburgh. However, this does make me a little nervous as being a non runner who has driven through that park on many occasions I will probably be subject to comments such as:

  • what is she wearing - those shorts with those legs...
  • she is not going very fast
  • she has colour on her cheeks a clown would be jealous of...
  • has she never heard of public transport
  • why oh why in this weather

I have of course never thought such things or never nearly missed the exit on the roundabout admiring the running technique of a fit, toned handsome runner with tanned, muscly legs.....

Anyway I will hopefully be able to blog more often as I now have Internet access in the flat however that does mean I have blog access 24 hours and post drinkies.....


Tuesday, 3 March 2009

And now, the other Geraldine

As we have all seen, Geraldine is now a runner who is focussed on her training etc.

However, some of us have had the privilige of being with the other Geraldine.

My favourite video of her. Taken 11:30pm 31st December 2008. Beach at Stoneybridge, South Uist. Enjoy. Coach DQ.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Princess crosses the finish line.... 34 mins so I am a happy princess and DQ is a proud coach

I started in the middle of the pack but even a few hundred metres in people were walking so i moved my way forward. I kept the head down and just ran and before I knew it i had ran uphill, outside and in the drizzle and at the 2km point after 12 mins. Prior to the race I thought I was being ambitious at a 50 min finish so i thought i better slow the pace and keep energy in reserve. So I slowed the pace and i did walk for a few metres at the 3km point but that was more to stretch out my left leg which was feeling a little tight.

I made it over the finish line in 34 minutes which is a lot faster than I expected and i wonder if I didn't look at my watch after the 2km would i have been able to get an even faster time. I do now feel like a runner and not because i have a race tee shirt and medal but because afterwards i am calculating how to improve performance and plan my next race!!!

Thanks to Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland for organising the race and thanks to everyone for all the support I have had for my first steps into running

Please see the attached photo which shows me and race merchanise that I have actually earned by running and not just timing other people running

Morning of the Race

Well, the day has finally arrived! I am just getting ready for the race which starts in just over a couple of hours time. I came through from Edinburgh on Friday night with my trainers and a selection of running gear items but I had the feeling I had forgotten something which I realised later was my Race number. Phone call to the Race organisers eventually stopped the flurry of calls regarding the logistics of retrieving the number from my Capital abode.

Last night Race prep started with an ale in true RAW (Marty, DQ and Pirate Boy) style but being as this my first Race I didn't make my way on to the Vino Tinto Collapso.

Now, I have to admit, I am nervous. I could write something stronger than nervous but will stick with that. Coach DQ is not impressed with my thoughts regarding final Race preparations. Apparently, what should I wear, should I get fake tan for my legs or what should I do if I trip are really not the typical running concerns that I should be having at this late stage.

So, time for a shower, final decision on outfit and then we are off to sunny Maybole, I WISH. Forecast is for heavy showers throughout the morning, but I don't care as I have waterproof mascara. I will complete this race either by running, walking or crawling. Dario would be proud.

Friday, 20 February 2009

starting to feel nervous

the 5km is only a week on Sunday and to my surprise i am starting to feel nervous. I think completing this 5km is more important to me than i thought it would be.

I managed a 5km again on the treadmill during the week but i went on the treadmill the next day i nearly faceplanted the treadmill as my left leg just went dead on me. i just hope my legs rise to the challenge on the day.

after the 5km i need to start my training for the half marathon i have signed up for July. It is on the Island of Barra which is just across the water from the Isle of South Uist where all my family are from. i am looking forward to the weekend and it will be a beautiful route to run but it is 13 miles with hills and constant wind in your race so i will need to nip the drinkies in the bud and step up the weekly mileage.

Monday, 16 February 2009

My St Valentines day treat on the WHW

For St Valentine’s day DQ took me out onto the West Highland Way. Although I am privileged to be on the WHWR committee and I have being involved with the race since 2002 I have never ventured onto the route. DQ showed me the meeting point at Drymen and we stopped at the pottery for a pot of tea and a scone. We then drove to Rowardennan and walked towards Balmaha from there. We walked about 3km which is not a long distance but it took quite a while as I kept being distracted by the pretty scenery and wondering off to explore. I even found a ball to play with. Mark has said that if I was an animal it would be a big daft friendly dog that would get its head stuck in fences trying to make friends with the birds. I am starting to accept that he might be right.

I suspect that DQ was starting to despair of my diversions off the route as he told me that there was rope hanging from a tree to stop the bears getting the food. Bears. Of course I doubted the validity of this claim so immediately contacted Dario, WHW guru, to confirm that DQ was winding me up. Dario advised that I hit him but DQ likes it when I get feisty so that was no use. Anyway, we eventually made it back to the car with no bear sightings.

At night I got taken for a lovely romantic meal so overall a great day.

Last week was a good week as I got to catch up with WHWR family members on Tuesday night. Thanks to everyone for words of support in my attempt to become a runner. The night was very informative for WHWR runners and non-runners. The talk from Dr Ellis was quite chilling as in my role as race control it is my responsibility to account for all runners from when the race starts at Milngavie so to hear what can go wrong was quite frightening. At the end of the day the race is a challenge and each runner is aware of the risks but it is hard not to worry and have a dread that something bad could happen.

The talk has also generated a lot of debate about pre race training and advice given. There are numerous approaches to training, running and recovering from the race and everyone just has to find what is best for them. The race attracts a variety of people who undertake the challenge for a range of reasons and I for one think that is one of the joys of being involved. As long as all runners report on time to checkpoints and give the girl at Kinlochleven Health Centre on the phone a smile and wave when they pass I am happy.

This week I have planned a few trips to the gym as it is not long until the 5km. I hope I can chop a few minutes time off on the treadmill to compensate for the delay when my poor uninitiated body hits the wild outdoors to go running.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

At last a positive blog from moi

I managed a full 5km on the treadmill yesterday. It took me 47 minutes but I am just chuffed that I now know that my body can survive that distance!!

I am starting to think I might be becoming a runner. Yesterday, a colleague asked me to do some work for them and I replied “sorry that will have to wait until tomorrow as I have to get my run in.” Yes, I Geraldine, put my run before my work and lo and behold the world did not stop spinning!!

My run did not start well as my legs were really aching and so much so that at 1.5km I dropped down to a walk. Now the Harvey Nic’s Geraldine would have thought stuff this and stopped but Runner Geraldine found herself annoyed at her body and thought come on you can do better than this. So I started to run again and soon I found the distance mounting up. Now I don’t know if all runners find this but I find that the slower I go the more it hurts so by actually put the treadmill speed up my legs started to feel better.

Anyway I was running along when I noticed I was coming up to 4.2 km which is the furthest I have been so far and I was still feeling okay so I continued on until 4.4km when I slowed to a walk as was pleased with getting as far as that. Then from somewhere I felt I still had a bit of a run I me so at 4.5km I pressed the increase speed button on the treadmill ended up running at a fair pace and just went for it until I got to 5km.

I am pleased that I have at least managed the distance. I am aware that I will need to factor in that when I hit outside that my time will increase but at least now I am convinced that I can make the finish line.

Last night that as soon as I got out the gym I called Coach DQ who was so relieved to finally hear me saying something positive about my running.

I am going back to the gym later on today as I can’t fit in a run tomorrow so I am going to attempt two days in a row. Even that last sentence demonstrates that I am turning into a runner as I am making sure I fit in the mileage for the week - I can feel the cocktails and designer shopping slipping further away in a haze of anti-blister socks and base layers…..

Friday, 6 February 2009

Not good

5km is 3 weeks on Sunday.

I am still running slower than a snail with a limp

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Running and Santa visting

Happy New Year everyone. Sorry it is has been a while since i updated this blog. Now, I would like to say that is because I have been too busy running but that is not the case. Sadly my training is not going well in fact so badly I am now signed up for the 5K on the 1st of March rather than the 10K.

The problem with my training was the festive season. I was too busy with lunches and buying pressies, then I came down the flu that was doing the rounds and then i was home in Uist for the New Year. I did manage a run on the beach in Uist and you can see the picture on this blog. However, despite the best of intentions I have not been at the gym much as I have changed jobs so busy settling in. No excuse as coach DQ would state and as always he is right.

Anyway, I am hoping to be fit enough for the 5K that I can at least manage a decent time . I just need to stop socialising. What I could do is misbehave in a bar in Edinburgh and get a ban then i would have no excuse not to go out running - of course i could always just exert some self control and say no to the glass of wine..and the 2nd....and the 3rd....

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