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.