Thursday, 25 December 2008

Christmas Day

Santa brought the Running Potter this. Having laboured through 'The Wind up Bird Chronicle' without much enjoyment (by the same author) it may seem strange to hear that I am delighted with it! I've only had chance to read the first few pages but I love it already. Haruki has hit so many nails on the head already, and clarified many thoughts I didn't realise I already had about running.

I can't wait to read more. Within the Foreword 'Suffering is optional' is the golden line. "A gentleman shouldn't go on about what he does to stay fit". he does though and it's a great set of thoughts and ponders, well worth sharing.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Christmas Eve

Arrived at my parents house in Cheshire yesterday so no running. Rory wanted to run with me today so we just went for a short slow run to stretch our legs. It's all country lanes around here, I will try and find a map for a later post.
The children are very excited that Santa is on his way.

Happy Christmas to you all xx

3.17m approx 30mins

Monday, 22 December 2008

Steady with ipod

Nipped out for an 8 mile run this evening. It was a drizzly dull night and the windows were twinkling with Fairy lights, Santa's and Christmas trees.

It was a nice steady run with ipod.

It was too dark by the time I set out to do the planned WHW route alone so I stuck tot the streets. Stockiemuir, Mosshead Rd, Milngavie Rd, Milngavie centre, Station, Strathblane rd, Rugby club, Milngavie Rd, Boclair, Rannoch, Maryhill Rd, Milngavie Rd, Roman Rd, Drymen Rd, Ski club Stockiemuir. As I approached the house I couls see that I was .25m short of the 8m mark so I did once round the block to make it up:-)


Sunday, 21 December 2008

Santa Race '08

Today was the Club Santa Race.

It's a handicap race which allows everyone the chance to do well!

In the Junior race we had 14 in total, not bad considering it is a busy time for everyone and it was a pretty wet and blustery day.

They all set off at their staggered start times along Maxwell Avenue, then we relocated to the top of the Porsche garage hill to look out for the leader as they appeared round the corner.

It's only a 2k race so the wait was not that long. It was Lucie who appeared first followed by Greg Martin. It worked out well as Lucie was delighted with her GIANT trophy that she will keep for the year, (She spent last night polishing it!) and Greg got the presidents prize of a voucher to spend. (A good result for his mum Carol, Adam one of her other sons won the trophy last year and she was rather looking forward to having a bit of space on the mantle piece!)

The fastest runner was Alastair Stanley who completed in an amazing 7:27!

I had not planned to stop for the senior race as past experience told me that the kids would be really cold after their race and want to go home but they were all keen to stay and watch the adult race. I was delighted to take part, although I was a little underdressed having not planned for it.

It is a rather surreal sight for the residents of Westerton and the drivers along the switch back. A host of running Santas, red suits flapping. Not to mention the heavily pregnant Mary and Joseph (Deb and Marco). And yes that is Fairyfit Dave of Thursday night hill running expeditions! It's quite a hilly course which really makes you work. I only got caught by the fast guys in the last 100 yards, having expected to be overtaken by the 2nd mile.

Mary won the race, and the giant Turkey!

I don't make the adult section of the club very often now a days so it was good to see them all back at the guide hut for some mulled wine and mince pies.


Saturday, 20 December 2008


Ran 4.2 miles this morning with Robert. It was a slow pace out and back along the WHW.
As we returned to Clober Carpark I spotted a large group of runners approaching. Scanning the faces I wondered if it was the WHW race gang...then Marco sprang out from the mass of faces and confirmed my guess.

I was pretty jealous not to heading off with them on their 24 mile out and back to Drymen. Maybe they will let me tag along in the new year!

Thursday, 18 December 2008

It's all downhill from here!

Another Thursday night spent scrambling up Cochno.

This time we went straight up to the top.

We began our run with a rather traumatic account of Fiona outdoors mammogram. (Which she had had today.) She is threatening to make it the first post on her new blog so I will leave her to tell you all about that. But by the time Superfit Dave and I set out we felt we had experienced the whole thing with her and thus were equally traumatised!

As we stepped out of the car it was torrential sleet and it looked to be a real battle of a run. Fortunately it eased off as we scrambled through the first field. Images of battle axe nurses (of ample bosom) tugging at Fiona outdoors' less than ample bosom were soon replaced by the concentration, needed to stay upright.

Flying Robin was also there making it look easy.....

I don't seem to be getting any better at running up hills but I will persevere. It's still worth it to see the view over Glasgow from the top, the twinkling stars in the sky and the joy of knowing 'It's all down hill from here'


I was glad Alex won the x factor. I know I have Rufus' version on the blog...but the version by

Jeff Buckley is easily the best of the lot. No contest.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Just Do it

Spent the day procrastinating about when to run...packed up an order or two, futtered about. I was torn between getting work done so I could enjoy my run after, or running so I could work without worrying about fitting my run in before the kids got home.

In the end I dashed out at 2 30pm for a quick 3m run of the Tesco loop. Once I was out there it was bliss, it was pouring down and the wind was strong.

I could have quite happily carried on but didn't want the kids waiting on the doorstep so had to stick to 3. Is it just me who wastes so much time 'getting round' to running when I really should 'just do it'? (not meant to be an ad for Nike)


Oh and here's the new head lamp!

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Kids Fun session

Had promised the kids a fun session tonight. It was raining and much fun can one have?

I gathered a bit of equipment and we played a few 'games' in the empty car park. They seemed to love the skipping...even the boys, some of them better than the girls. The 'ladder' totally confused them. We found a couple of big bits of chalk in the bag so we drew out a couple of Hopscotches and did them.

Unfortunately Jo the yoga teacher (and friend) is ill so no yoga....I should have stayed home and done a session myself but ended up in Costco Christmas shopping instead!

My new head torch arrived...:-) but the battery pack was split so I've had to send it back:-(. I had also ordered a running jacket for Cody's stocking from start fitness. It arrived...I decided to check it before wrapping it and it turned out to be ronhill running tracksters!! Seems I'm not the only confused and bewildered at this time of year!

Hope the Jacket arrives before Santa!

Monday, 15 December 2008

5k with the boys

Last week was the last swim session of the year so I squeezed a 5k in while Lucie was at her violin class which is exactly half an hour. Rory and Cody did a grand job of keeping me company. It's about as far as I would expect Cody to run and he did really well, Rory was chomping at the bit to run ahead but I made him stick with the pack;-)

Russell Dr-gully-Thompson Dr-Kilmardinny Av-Milngavie Rd-Canniesburn Toll-Drymen-Ralston Rd-Russell Dr

Oh Christmas Tree.

Cody and our christmas tree. What a pair!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Fly fishing for Football?

Following the excitement of yesterday and a few more glasses of wine I was slow to rise this morning. I had left the car in the West End and therefore planned a route to collect said vehicle.

It was a dull day about 1 degree, good running conditions.

I opted for a route through Clydebank then along Dumbarton Rd and the old railway track to the car.

Given that my weekend run is usually more 'Off road' and quite scenic, it was quite a change. Less picturesque in the pretty sense but in many ways just as interesting. Here's what caught my eye.

The unofficial emblem of Glasgow, the huge towering cranes that are remnants of the once thriving shipbuilding industry along the Clyde.

This Titian Crane is one of only four remaining along the Clyde. It's 150 foot and was built in 1907. It became a category A listed structure in 2005 and opened to the public in 2007....100years old!

Following the demolition of Clydebank make room for houses, I had been wondering where it had been relocated. My question was answered as I ran along Dumbarton Rd, a big modern building by the river has appeared. At this point the planes seem close enough to reach up and touch as they descend into Glasgow airport just across the Clyde.

The less manicured sights of Yoker. I took the old railway track from Clydebank to Broomhill. The local graffiti artists had been out. A little more practice needed before we can claim to have our own Banksy.

Rather liked this little gathering of ariel lifts.

The best yet. Blow this picture up and you will see that this guy is actually fly fishing...think he was hoping to catch a football? A bizarre sight was practicing his 'single arm' or on really good acid? (I admit that all I know about Fly fishing is an association with J.R. Hartley and the yellow pages!)

The end of the railway track. A view across MacHargs and the Clyde to BAE.

Finally I did a loop of Victoria park to make my run up to 10 miles. A bit of a blast from the past as I used to spend many days wondering round this park when the kids were babies!

10m 1:27

Saturday, 13 December 2008

4m & a Pink Limo

Today I pushed myself round the 4m route to Canniesburn toll and back. I am feeling much better and the roads were wet rather than slippery!
George Square

In the afternoon I was invited to join Lucie at a friends 11th birthday party (as moral support in times of embarrassment) My friend Linda had arranged a pink Limo-hummer- to cruise 9 Tweenagers round the city, followed by dinner in Papperinos, in Celebration of her daughters birthday. What a laugh we had. The overly sweet sparkling (champagne)wine was all ours while the girls sipped an even sweeter non alcoholic look alike. We were very grateful for the blackened glass saving our street cred from bottoming right out.
The girls had no such worries, as they screamed excitedly out of the windows at the passing pedestrians, Rihanna and Girls aloud on full volume to generate more attention! Oh Joy. They all piled out for pictures in George Sq. How christmassey it was.

Route-Stockiemuir-Milngavie rd -Drymen-Manse rd-Thompson Dr-Kilmardinny Loch-Stockiemuir

Friday, 12 December 2008

More slush

Ran with Daisy along the usual West Highland Way route. It was a miserable morning. it had snowed a little in the night but by the time we woke up it had dissolved to little more than slush. The sky was dull and cloudy.
It was slushy enough to get wet, cold and soggy. Listened to my ipod, the 3m felt as though they were over before they'd begun.

Been doing a bit more yoga this week...I am determined to get my hamstrings stretchier! Don't think I'll ever achieve the splits though!


Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Jack Frost

It was a beautiful winter morning, once the kids were packed off to school I decided to test my recovery progress and try a slightly a longer run-rather than reps.

It was pretty slippy underfoot, all the pavements glittering white and sparkly following a fresh visit from Jack Frost. I'll blame him for the rubbish pace:-)

I did a route that took me round the reservoir which as always delivered some stunning views. The clear reflections in the water and sprawling City below never fail to impress.

I was so glad to be out and felt ok endurance wise..just slow. I can't seem to get my legs moving at the speed I want them to go! Tips welcome!

Route The Wedge, Clober, Round the Reservoir,Drumclog carpark-Mugdock,Last half mile of WHW, Clober, the wedge.


Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Yoga and Kids

Did the usual Yoga this morning but had to rush off afterwards to the school Christmas concert.

After being forced to cancel last weeks kids session due to icy conditions we were pleased to go ahead tonight with the planned sessions. I took my pack out for a 3m run. It was frosty in parts but we managed to stay on our feet.

Congratulations were in order for catriona Greaves who won the U13 west District Cross Country at Irvine last Saturday. Fantastic.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Back out there

Well it's taken a whole week of croacking and coughing to reach the point that I have felt I could get my running shoes on again.

I went out this morning for a 3 mile test run and felt ok. Not great but not too bad either. I took Daisy and we did the first 1.5m of the WHW from Clober, my trusted 3m recovery route. No garmin just the ipod.

3m- approx 26mins

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Winter Wonderland

Woke to a good covering of snow today much to the delight of the kids. So magical. I can almost hear sleigh bells!

Throat still felt swollen and throat like broken glass but went along to yoga. It was a good session and although Jo said she had worked us hard I felt more focused and the session flew by.

Afterwards I took Daisy out for a walk round the Loch in the snow, she just loves it.

Monday, 1 December 2008


I was feeling a bit better and felt an easy run while the kids were swimming was the way to go. It was -1 so I wrapped up warm and set off.

I altered my route slightly to try and get the 3m loop without having to add the extra bit on at the end...with success.

I ran down Clouston St which was where I dwelt in Glasgow shortly after I left Dundee...although the road has been chopped in half (bollards) and it's now more like a car park, it was nostalgic running along....thinking of how I had, at one time, staggered, walked, ambled along that same pavement many times. (I never ran anywhere back then so last night was a first!)

It was good to be out after a weekend off. I took it easy and at the time felt much better for it. Later on in the evening my throat felt raw again though...probably would have done so without the running so I am happy I got out.

Route Cleveden High-Winton Dr-Bellshaugh Rd-Kirklee Rd-Clouston St-QMD-Byres Rd-Highburgh Rd-Cleveden.


Sunday, 30 November 2008

Dumbartonshire x country Champs


I have been unwell this weekend with a nasty cold rendering me well wrapped and stationary. It was the kids who were out in force in the freezing cold and Mud that is the Dumbartonshire x country championships held in Kirky.

I was stationed inside with the laptop. Given the mind numbing task of sorting the results. The less said about that the better!

I have been sent photographic evidence of the little stars though who were out in the field running their little legs off! Cody managed to loose his shoe at the top of the last hill but still managed to complete the race in 7th position in the U11's (shoeless...... beat that Marco:-)

Rory was third Garscube U13 home and made up the 2nd team, Well done to Alistair Stanley who was 1st overall and Fraiser Knox who was 2nd Garscuber home.

The girls did well too with Rebecca, Nicola and Lucie making 3rd girls team.

Lucie, Rebecca & Lindsay.

It's one of the toughest cross countries around, but I would still have rather been running it (yeah right:-))It felt like a bit of a marathon doing the results!

The adults teams did really well too getting 1st male and female teams.

Friday, 28 November 2008

MOM- my song for Debs

This is a song for my friend Debs who is expecting her 1st baby in January. Song dedications and soundtracks for the birth have already been posted. This is just a wee song that was sent to me today. All I can really say to Debs is:- even though you think you will never say these will!!!!;-)

The Mom Song from Northland Video on Vimeo.

Thursday, 27 November 2008


I was out with Superfit Dave again tonight navigating the route up to the Trigg point whose number I always forget.

This time though I took along Fiona outdoors with me. Miss adventure journo herself!

Earlier in the evening it had been thundering and the rain had been raining so we knew to expect some soggy conditions.

Fiona outdoors sped ahead effortlessly with Superfit Dave straight up the hill. (Although she did slip on the same fallen tree I had a week or two ago!) I gasped and gulped my way up, just keeping them in my sights.

It was 1 degree when we set off and the flooded tracks were laden with freezing water. Once you get the first foot wetting over the rest are rather refreshing though.

It's a steep climb up, my Achilles were quite painful as they stretched out with every step. Initially it was sleeting but the sleet soon turned to thick white snow flakes.

It was a great relief when I joined the other two at the top for the rewarding view. There was low cloud hovering above us and the City, quite a dramatic scene as we looked out.

Heading over the top to return by the alternative route before we started getting cold we ploughed through the collecting Snow. At times it was quite hard to see. The snow was whipping past horizontally like big, pure white ribbons. Visible only in the circle of my headlamp. It felt like quite an extreme run at that point.

My Solomon x trainers didn't cope well with the descent. Both Fiona outdoors and I were slipping around quite a bit. Superfit Dave however expertly picked out the route with not a slip or a slide, causing Fiona Outdoors to thoroughly examine and try on his Jalas Champions at the end. I suspect that even with a pair of them on I would still be slipping around!

Still never one to miss an opportunity for kit I will be adding them to my kit wish list!:-)

Fiona Outdoors had brought us both new sport drink to try. I am not really a fan of sports drinks and usually just stick to water mixed with fruit juice so I was a bit sceptical. One swig and I was sold though. It's called 'Taut isotonic' and it's tag is that it's an all 'natural sports drink' I recommend to those of you who don't want all that extra stuff!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Picture Game

Fellow Blogger Alexandra posted the 'Picture Game'on her blog.

The idea being that you post the fourth picture from the fourth folder on your hard drive.

This is mine.

The fourth folder is titled '2006' The fourth folder in that is titled 'Cornwall' and this is the fourth picture.

It is my oldest son Rory catching a wave in (yes you guessed it) Cornwall.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Monday 3

Did my usual easy 3 while the kids were in swimming.

I ate really late on and consequently had a stitch until 2.6 miles were under my belt. it was therefore slow but not easy. It's ages since I had a stitch. I only really got into the run when I had to stop to pick the kids up from their class.

3m 27.22min

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Slip Slidin' along the Allander Water

I didn't run till later today. It was a lovely crisp winter morning. There had been a light covering of snow, but it quickly turned to slush.

Having missed the boat with the early run, I eventually made an arrangement with Colin to run at 3.

He is building up his mileage so we planned to take it slow. We ended up running along the Allander water. It was a great run although it was so muddy we slipped and slid the whole way, both of us fell at one point or other but managed not to end up in the river!

The sun was beginning to set and the sky looked fantastic. As we navigated our way along the path.

Route. Stockiemuir,Milngavie Rd,Rugby club, Allander water path, Garscube roundabout, Maryhill rd, Milngavie Rd, Kilmardinny Loch, Stockiemuir Ave.

Approx 9.5m -1h30m

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Champagne Fueled 4

I was at a charity selling even for Marie Curie today. In short a 'Ladies Lunch' at the Raddisson. This is an event I do every I am not one of the said 'ladies' I am a seller of wares.

It is an ok way to spend a few hours, I usually get a stand next to my friend Paula who makes the most lovely jewellery. We chat and accept the odd glass of champagne;-)

As a result, by the time I got home I had consumed 2 glasses of champagne, a glass of Red and a glass of white and it was only 5pm. Having learnt the hard way not to do handstands after a few glasses of wine I was a bit dubious about running after such, but I went out anyway just for a little run.

On my way up Drymen Rd I was convinced some of the local youth had gotten hold of some bargain boxes of fireworks as there was a real explosion of rockets shootin' up from the station. As I got reached the road I could see I was mistaken, it was a stretch hummer Limo with a firework display coming out of its boot!! Who says Bearsden IS classy?

I am sure it wasn't the champagne but no one else seems to have seen it.

4.34m 32:55

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Cochno the RIGHT way!

Superfit Dave,The Professor and the Flying Robin. (He always seems to get there first!) (sorry about the photo quality it was pretty dark!)

I was out with the Clydeside orienteers again this evening.

Superfit Dave was along to show Professor Steve and I the error of our ways and iron out a few wrong turns!

It was a lovely clear night, although in parts it was so windy I though I might have been in the Isle of Man. There were five of us in total.

It was less exciting actually being able to see but it was good to see where we had gone wrong! When we reached to the top it was clear that we hadn't actually reached the 'top! We had reached a false top a few foot short of the True top! This in turn had thrown The Professor into confusion as the directions just didn't add up from there!

We did retrace our steps of a fortnight ago, before continuing on, the right way! Everyone wanted to see what we had done!

It was a great run. The descent was exhilarating. That's the bit I really enjoy. I think it's because by then your lungs are open and it feels like you're ready for anything!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Tesco Loop backwards.

Did the Tesco Loop tonight with Colin.

We did a reasonably steady pace, and managed to avoid falling into the Allander river as we navigated Lennox Park in the Dark! We ran it the other way tonight, down past the rugby club, and back through the park. It's slightly more up than down when tackled this way round!

Stockiemuir Ave, Mosshead Rd, Milngavie Rd, Strathblane Rd, Milngavie Sation, Tesco, Lennox Park, Milngavie Rd. Mosshead Rd, Stockiemuir Ave.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Mugdock to Drymen

Ran with Karen and Ian again today.

We started from Mugdock and ran out to Drymen.

Crossing the Blane Water with Dumgoyne in the background (above)


View over Loch Lomond and surrounding mountains

It was a crystal clear day and quite mild.

We headed out over the moor which was particularly muddy due to the bucket loads of rain we've been having. After descending the ridge we picked up the WHW at the Carbeth huts. From there we followed the route into Drymen.

It was a great run and we really worked hard up the hills before the drop down to the car (which we had deposited there first thing!) I think even Ian took a moments pause during the climb or it could be that I had fallen far enough behind to be out of earshot:-) Most of the time he must have been breathing through his ears!

11,1m approx 1h50m

Saturday, 15 November 2008

East Dunbartonshire Schools Cross-Country League

I had the great pleasure of seeing Paul Weller last night. Wish I could see him all over again tonight!! Only I would take stilts, had limited vision but somehow it didn't matter too much as he has such presence. It's the third time I have seen him (although the last two were in the 90's!) and he is consistently brilliant.

Rebecca,Lucie and Hannah

It felt very early this morning when we had to be in Kirky for 8:45.

Glad to say the weather was not Dreich. It stayed dry. The kids were however sliding around in the mud. Not many of them had spikes. Although only there in a parent capacity there was a good turn out and the winners of the P5/6 girls and the P7 boys races were both Garscubers, so well done to Fraser and Catriona.

P7 line up

Rory was the only P7 competing for his school and Lucie showed a great improvement coming in halfway up the field. Cody (P4) sneaked into the P5/6 race and did really well coming in near the front.

Cody in blue

We were all fair jeelit (sorry I couldn't resist given my recent research!) by the time Rory had raced.

To raise my own temperature while the kids hogged the shower I went out for a 4m run when we got back. I was aiming to take the 1st and 4th mile easy and try and keep the middle to at 7:30 pace or below. For some reason my garmin lost the plot but as I know the route I am pretty sure i achieved the goal! I reached the 3m point at 22:30. Knowing that the first mile was about 8mm that puts the middle two well above pace.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Dreich day the that it Stephen?

I was going to run with my friend Carol this morning but woke feeling as though I have a cold coming on so opted out and just went for an easy 3 recovery. It is quite mild (luckily since the boiler is still not fixed) but very dreich, as they say up here. A good day not to be a Lollipop man.

Tesco loop

3.1m 27:29

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Boiler Trouble

To cut a long story short today started with a bit of drama! I had called the gas repair man out as it had come to my attention that there was leak coming from our boiler. That is after all what they're there for and the reason we pay a small fortune each month to British gas!

It took me a wee while to persuade the guy to take the front off the unit to investigate the leak. He seemed to be from the school of...if it's working OK don't touch it. Eventually he did. The whole thing was rusted and wet....the boiler is only 4 years old) After coming up with a few comments about condensation he found the leak, touched it and the whole thing burst...all over the place. Our basement (which is a living space) was soon an inch deep in dirty water. Found the leak then?

Given that they have serviced this boiler since it was installed and have never once taken the front off to spot this problem I think the 'homecare' service stinks!

Now the bit that really gets me is that no mater what cover you have they always want more cash out of you. Rather than fix it (which would involve ordering a part-of course) they are now telling us we should get a combi boiler and they will knock money off...yeah right that will bring the bill in at only a few thousand then! grrrrr Still waiting from them to phone back with the deal they want to offer us! Meanwhile we have no heating.

Ok you can start reading again now I've got that off my chest!

Maybe this is a poor excuse but by the time I headed out for my reps session I was less then perky!

Fortunately as I ran down to the loch I came across my pal Val. she's a newbie runner and I have been encouraging her to get out and get running. She took my suggestion to meet me down at the loch for an introduction to the joys of 'reps'!

I had done a couple of them before she arrived...still feeling heavy legged and slow. The yoga still echoing around my limbs!

She did 200m reps and while I did the 1000's setting off at the same time.

I did two more and then did one final 200 with Val to time her. Will need to get her to blog next so we can see how she found the intro session!

4x1000 4:17, 4:15, 4:15, 4:15
1 x 200

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Lest we forget

Junior Time Trial

The kids session tonight was a 2k time trial. 53 kids turned up. 52 kids ran. 51 kids finished! The fastest time was 7:57 and the last runner clocked in at 14:53 just showing the range of ability we have spread across the group.

It was good fun and made a bit of a difference to the regular sessions. It's good to see all the packs running together now and then.

Monday, 10 November 2008


Kelvin Grove Art Galleries and Museums..end of mile 2

Totally lost my drive yesterday and missed my long run. Opted to stay in and drink coffee and eat cake. Well we all need to do that sometimes!

Still I really felt it today, lethargy seems to breed more lethargy!

I dropped the kids off at swimming and forced myself to take a longer route. Not just the usual 3. It was a very wintry night, howling winds, rain etc..By mile 3 I was wondering who had put lead in my shoes as it felt much harder than usual. The wind was pretty strong and somehow always in my face. I really felt like I had taken weeks off...not just one day.

I guess I have been taking things easy lately and I guess this is the result! Lazy legs! Anyway, I dragged myself round the planned route. Feeling quite pleased with myself for doing it, despite the temptation to skip the session and read a book in the warmth of the changing rooms!

While I love the whole mountainous, countryside, middle of no-where, fresh air thing there are times when city running is good. I do quite like running past fantastic architecture and perversely I enjoy the blended aromas encountered as you pass takeaways, pubs and that warm idling taxi's (Jo Malone take note!) I even enjoy the challenge of getting across the road without breaking pace or getting run over. A feat that often requires use of all the senses to achieve smoothly and safely!

Hope it was enough to lift me from the lack of motivation I have felt creeping up on me lately!

Cleveden Secondary-Grt Western Rd-Bank Street-Kelvin walkway-Sauchiehall St-Dumbarton Rd-Crow Rd-Anniesland Cross-Great Western Rd-Cleveden.

6m-50 mins

Saturday, 8 November 2008

4 easy

Ran down to Canniesburn toll and back with Colin. Gartconnell, Drymen, Milngavie Rd, Mosshead rd.
Lots of chat. Dark, wet, mild.
4m 34mins

Thursday, 6 November 2008

City Glow


Spent too long in the car yesterday. I therefore couldn't wait to get out on the hills again. I was feeling pretty tired by the time I arrived at Steve's house (the meeting point) but knew that this was just what I needed.

It turned out to be just the two of us. Super fit Dave was in Birmingham. Deciding to do Cochno Hills we set off. I was aware that Steve has done this run plenty of times so didn't think twice about it..I didn't even take my garmin!

As we climbed the early stages of the hill I realised that we weren't going to see the Glasgow Fireworks scheduled to take place. The cloud was low and we were ascending into a wet misty fog.

We decided to go for the 'lower' of the hills, giving us a slightly longer run (apparently). I had not done this route before, but given that we weren't going to see anything from the top it made little difference.

We huffed and puffed our way to the top. It was incredibly wet and slushy. My Achilles was really feeling the constant stretching in the later sections.

We didn't spend long on the top. Just long enough to hear the big nothingness that you get on foggy, dark nights. Steve led the way down. A particularly steep and craggy bit of hill. It wasn't till we had reached a huge bog that he casually admitted..."I don't actually recognise any of this!"

Now I wasn't about to panic, not at this stage. I mean how lost could we be!

We changed direction and came across the lake..this should have been good. Steve decided we should follow the lake edge to the causeway. This would have been fine but I was sure it was in the other direction.

By now my thoughts were turning to possible actions:

Plan A

Call Mountain Rescue or just call Marco Direct. Did I have his number...sure Debs would give it to me! Hmmmm then the explanations as to why I was on the top of a 'hill' (do they even rescue you from hills or only proper 'mountains?') with no survival gear, no garmin (why oh why when I hardly ever even do a road run without it!!)
At least I had taken my phone.

Plan B

I call Dave in Birmingham, he knows these hills like the back of his hand, but would he be able to identify our position from a picture of this particular rock I was stood on?

Plan C

Think hard and follow our noses.... for a bit longer anyway.

Other more amusing thoughts were flickering through my mind which I can't say I entertained for long. They were more along the lines of . Lost. American Werewolf in London. Blair Witch Project. Two fools on a hill top in the fog at night. (OK I made that one up!)

So, after a while of traversing the Loch I suggested we switch our head lamps off, just to see if we could see anything through the mist. As our eyes became used to the darkness we could just make out the silhouette of the hill we had been at the top of. With little else in the way of ideas I suggested we climb back up and see if we could work our bearings out from there.

Lights back on we climbed again, upon reaching the top we killed the beams once more to see if we could see anything other than fog. At first it was just pure whiteness, Steve was hankering to go off in the direction I was sure we had just come from. I was beginning to feel cold now as the sweat of the climb was cooling and the air was chilly. Gaining confidence in my gut feelings I became sure I could make out an orange glow percolating through the fog to one side, in the other direction. I was sure this was the light pollution from the city. We took that option and headed downwards again.

To my relief we hit a track which started to become more familiar. My visions of attempting to build a bivouac in the marshy Cochno hills were happily discarded.

We made it back to the car in no time.

It's amazing how quickly you can become disorientated in such circumstances, once doubts start to creep in and you loose confidence in your direction it doesn't matter if you're only 100 meters away from where you need to be. We were never far off the trail but if it hadn't been for the Glasgow glow we could have been up there for a lot longer.

From now I will always take an extra layer, charged Garmin and my phone. No matter how experienced my companions are!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Flow, Yoga, Flow.

I was going to try and find something to post from you tube. The aim was to give you an idea of what we were doing today in Yoga. I failed.

Yoga Flow. There's lots like it but I would be deceiving you if I put any of the you tube entries up on here. I now know what the goal is!!

So Yoga Flow. Not sure I am ever going to get to the flowing stage...more like Yoga-ish! All about conserving energy and remaining calm, Jo thinks we need this in the run up to Christmas. We had cool music throughout the practice (rather than just the relaxation) and it was certainly a bit different to the usual class. We were all a bit spaced out afterwards and had I been driving I would probably have been in no fit state to leave. A coffee later and I returned to my usual state of heightened awareness;-)

It was still tough though and I feel as though I have a whole new set of challenges....just when I thought I was making progress with the Ashtanga. We will be coming back to that though so no worries.

Took the kids for a 5k run this evening. They ran brilliantly running 7.5-7.15mm in the sections i let them. We do have to stop at all the lights and wait for the green man which slows things down a bit though. We went out of the main gate, down to canniesburn, up the switchback to the crossing, back down and along Drymen Rd, West Chapleton ave, Milngavie Rd and back.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Swimming 3

Ran while the kids swam. Did the same route as last time. Cleveden High School-Grt Western Rd-Byres Rd-Highburgh Rd-back up to Cleveden. To make it exactly 3 it's necessary to carry on up the hill to the roundabout and back...since I had time to kill I did it, not because I am completely obsessed with exact mileage or anything anal like that!

Anyway it was a pleasant run. I met up with a fellow runner, well he was a rugby player actually, we chatted our way down the Grt Western Rd before I broke off. I really enjoyed running down Byres Rd, much more than I ever enjoy walking down it! It's feeling very christmasey a the moment and is bound to get more so as the weeks go by. Can't wait to see all the Christmas trees in the windows.

3m -24mins
Photo credit: Alcluith

Sunday, 2 November 2008


Despite an early night, when the alarm went off this morning, I could have quite happily have stayed in bed. The curtains were closed, the room dark, I was so warm and snugly.

Thanks to the limits of a full bladder I needed to move and what a good job I did. When I opened the bedroom door it was like that moment in 'The wizard of Oz' when everything goes technicolor!. The Sun was pushing into every corner of the house, even through the bathroom, wibbly window I could see it was a brilliant blue sky. So inviting. I looked out over the hills and got out there as soon as I could!

I ran along the pipe line that is a deceptively hilly bit of track between Strathblane and Killearn. It is littered with amazing views and on a day like today you can enjoy the mountainous views...some which had snow on the top. I met Karen and Ian, it was the first time I had met Karen's friend Ian and boy can he talk...up hills, down hills makes no difference to him:-) It was no time at all before we had 8 miles in the bag. 1:14 which was fine given the gates and hills and relaxed chatting pace.
Ian and I at the end of the run.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Garscube Interschools x-country league event 1

Today was the first of the 'Interschools x country' league events up at Mugdock. I was one of 3 first aiders along with Marco and Tristan.

So Jeremy could bring the kids up a bit later I opted to run up to's only about 3-4m and although a wee bit of a climb I figured it would be a replacement weekend run...killing 2 birds with one stone!

It was a perfect day for the race...bright and cold. Not too muddy (some required or it's not a true x country experience for the kids;-)) AS I started the climb up into Mugdock my lungs were straining against the cold and I was practically walking up the steps..The gloves and snood came off and the zips came down.

When I arrived I found that I was one of the ' LAST RUNNERS', JD and I were to alternate.

As is normal with kids they sprint for the 1st 200meters then stop with stitches! This was to be expected but by the time i got to my second 2.2k lap with the S1's I was worried that I couldn't keep up...they just disappeared away around the corner-so fast! Pitying parents along the way were actually cheering me on, and chuckling to far behind with the 'LAST RUNNER' bib on, like that was necessary! By the time we got to the stock fields there was one girl who was in trouble. Firstly it seemed it was just a stitch but when she became feint and dizzy, hardly able to say her name or stand up, it was apparent she was not capable of walking back. Fortunately we were near the Khyber car park so we radioed for her dad to bring the car round.

Once in the warmth of the car, with a few sips of Lucozade inside her, she was fine...just highlights the need for fueling up.

By this time the last runner was back so I returned to the start...watched the last race before collecting my reward.

A bacon roll and hot chocolate. Yum.

Friday, 31 October 2008


Did the Tesco loop 3 miler today. Didn't take my garmin but it was around 24mins. I was out pretty early ant the frost had been out so it was the first really wintery run. Slippin' around all over the place. it was a beautiful crisp day though so no complaints there.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

3miles and a birthday

Nipped out for a swift 3 today as it was Lucie's 10th birthday and wanted the evening free.

Did the Tesco Loop in 24mins, I have to admit it felt more like a chore, but I was glad I did it.

We went to Sauchiehall St Pizza Express (Lucie's choice) she was mainly looking forward to the Bambinoccino at the end! the service was fab and the waiters all sang happy birthday to her:-)

We then ended up in a second showing of HSM3!! (I confess I love it as much as she does.)

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Firefighter Fit

Had yoga this morning. At the start of the class my focus was was a bit better by the end! I am sitting out of the shoulder stands at the moment but still working hard on everything else. Still can't get up into the headstand (the proper yoga way) I have begun practicing handstands against the wall, which according to Noddy is the best way to get good core strength (which will help with the headstands) and along the way get 'Firefighter Fit!'. It is bloody hard! Not to mention the rest of the need for a gym though which suits me fine. It's surprising how many of the excercises in this book are similar to the yoga poses and actions.

Not many junior coaches at the club tonight so I sent pack B out with A to do some 400m reps and took pack D. I am really liking working with these kids they are such a laugh. We did some short hills followed by a few school type drills/games in the car park. making use of the domes and dishes.