Thursday, 22 June 2017

Race Report Benbecula Half Marathon Saturday 3rd June

Hello everyone

Hope you are all well? & enjoying our summer spell. It's been pretty hot here since last week but turning cooler again today.

Sorry it has taken me so long to write this post, but at last here is my race report from my trip to Benbecula.

Some of you will know & some of you won't, that my family moved up to the Outer Hebrides when I was a teenager, this was for my Dad's job, but my folks loved it so much they bought a house & stayed.

When I started running in 2010, I always thought of running the Benbecula half marathon.

As I got older, got a job & had a family of my own, my trips home became less frequent - usually once a year.

In 2016 when Mum was the most ill, I was home 6 or 7 times & ran every time I was home, often on the beach. Benbecula became my favourite place to run, the air is so clear & the sky so vast.

From a previous post you may recall that I had to withdraw from every race I entered in the first half of 2016 so whilst I would have loved to have run the half in 2016 - it just wasn't possible. When Mum died at the end of the year & I was carrying on with my run streak - it was one of my regrets that she had never seen me run. One if my biggest fans & so supportive.
Below is the text message she sent me the night before GNR in Sept 2016.

So I decided this year would be the year. I had quite a bit of apprehension prior to signing up, I had never entered such a small event - last few years circa 60 finishers & I knew there was a very real possibility I would be last....but after some thought I came to the conclusion it wasn't about the time & I took the plunge & signed up......

Friday 2nd June
Mr S, Little Miss Bug & I headed off to Glasgow & flew to Benbecula. Bug was so super excited - especially to see her cousins & Chloe the dog.
We visited my Dad & then Andy took us to The Dark Island Hotel where we were staying, but drove us round the course route on the way. This allayed my fears about where I was going & getting lost! Andy had marshalled with the coastguard the previous year so he was the perfect guide. Thank you. I do remember thinking in the car 'Oh Sh!t - that's a long way' & 'Oh it's not as flat as I thought' LOL

After a trip to the beach, a lovely meal in the hotel & collecting my race number.
Number 17 - how appropriate :-)




It was time for an early night.

Saturday 3rd June Race Day

An 11am start meant we didn't have to be up too early & the start at the school right beside the hotel meant not far to go.

After breakfast & getting ready it was time to head over.

The school was busy with runners, volunteers & supporters. I also saw my german teacher from school Phillip Harding who had his motorbike & was the on course mobile marshall. He was fantastic out on the course - so lovely to see him &b get the encouragement at several points from a familiar face.

2 other runners came up & spoke to me asking if I had run this before & sharing stories - it was nice hearing I wasn't the only one with apprehensions & thoughts of being last.

My English teacher Liz Dorian was also running. This is one of the things of a small place - everyone knows everyone.

No chip timing

No start pens

No portaloos - lovely facilities in the school

No road closures

No course time limit

Just before 11 Mr S & Bug headed up to beyond the start line to cheer for me.......totally loved Bug's cheering 'Come on Mummy'

I'd not been running particularly well pre race & in fact most days in the week before thought I had the wrong legs.....

It was a pretty fast start & before I knew it I could see my sister's house, just about a mile from the start & OMG there they were my very own cheer squad complete with tshirts.
Looking at my garmin told me I was going faster than I planned or expected but it felt good so I decided to stick with it.

The runners quickly spread out & I had expected that this would be a pretty solitary run but I ended up in a little group of 3, Douglas just ahead of me & Sara just behind me. I'd met Sara at the start & we'd had some run chat & it sounded like we were about the same pace.

At about 4 miles Sara started to drop back a little.

I reached the 6 mile mark considerably faster than anticipated so much so that my cheer squad were just arriving & had barely got out the car.

We'd had a tail wind till that point but at the turn right, it was now a pretty blustery head wind, but I was still smiling & loving every minute.


I was running really strong, still maintaining a pace I hadn't seen in weeks & feeling good. I passed Douglas about 6.5 miles.

My cheer squad also passed me in the car, shouting out the windows.

I saw them again just a wee bit further down the road at the war memorial & again before 9 miles I think. I'm pretty certain it's this support that had me running so strong but relaxed & smiling.

About 9 miles I caught up with & overtook another 3 runners.

At 11 miles I started to slow a little & felt a little tired but I knew there wasn't far to go. Seeing Amy & the girls at the turn into Creagorry & Phillip Harding was just the boost I needed. At that point Douglas overtook me.

The last mile back up to Linaclate seemed the longest but in the distance I could see the finish flag so I gritted my teeth & kept going, looking at my watch told me I was well ahead of the 2.30 - 2.40 finish I'd predicted. Just enough left for a final sprint with my inspirational sister & my lovely nieces cheering me on. Unfortunately & this is my fault Mr S & Bug arrived after I was done.

Finished in 2:23:38.

Tired, emotional, ecstatic.

My medal was put round my neck & I was given a banana & a mars bars & had a cup of juice.
 
There was a fabulous spread of soup, sandwiches & homemade cakes for the runners though I didn't have any (just can't eat immediately post race) it looked amazing.
I saw Sara at the end too & she'd run a good race too finishing a few minutes after me.....& neither of us were last as we predicted....not that it mattered.

Looking at the results there were 77 runners & 7 walkers -  a fantastic turn out.

The weather was kinder than expected as it had been forecast to rain.

Would I recommend it?......ABSOLUTELY 100%......
The volunteers, the marshalls, the ambulance, coastguard, runners & supporters - everyone was just incredible. I don't have a negative word to say at all. This is without a doubt my favourite event ever.
The most well organised, friendly, beautiful half marathon I have ever taken part in and though it cost a lot in terms of travel & accommodation for a race fee of £14 & a free swim included - incredible value for money


Would I do it again?....YES YES YES

Back to the hotel to clean up & then visited my Dad who was so incredibly proud off me.....next time Dad - you'll be out there cheering.

Then a very enjoyable evening with Andy, Amy, Andy's parents & the cousins having fun together.

Another early night....joys of a family room.

Sunday 4th June

A leisurely morning & a mile recovery run on the beach before heading home on the afternoon flight.
THANK YOU
As always loads of Thanks yous
Mr S & Little Miss Bug, My Dad, My Sis, Andy, Sue & Simon, The girly gang. Mum & Dad S. My awesome little running family, friends, colleagues & just everyone who helped, supported & encouraged me.

But the biggest Thank you to the person who should have been there but couldn't be physically - My Mum, such an inspiration, with me every step of the way, always in my heart.

So through the tears, this has been as emotional to write 2.5 weeks later as it was on the day, I'll sign off for now.

Lots of Love to all of you
Fudgey xxxx






Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Race Report Edinburgh Marathon Festival 5km Saturday 27th May

Hello everyone

Last weekend was a big one in Edinburgh, with the Edinburgh Marathon Festival. I think there are now about 9 events.
Saturday 5km & 10km & Kids races
Sunday half marathon, marathon & relay.

Having done the half marathon & the marathon twice, this year I had signed up for the 5km - in my quest to conquer Arthur's Seat this year.

It was a hot day on Saturday as I headed into Edinburgh for an 11am start.

Stupidly I didn't look at the race details & didn't realise that everything was centred round Dynamic earth, rather than in Holyrood Park like most events there. Lesson #1 - read the details lol

Unusually I had come in by myself, Mr S & Bug were joining me later for the kids km, so I had to drop my bag & find the toilets before the race.....

The bag drop....an area on the grass. Massive queue of people picking up bags from the 10km, then discovered from another runner that we could drop bags for the 5k at the other end. Additional security we'd been told about.......none. I didn't see a single bag being checked.

Jogged round to the area near the start to wait for the toilets......5 minutes before the start had to abandon that idea. Not enough portaloos again Great run. Lesson #2 - leave more time than you think you need!

Joined my start area & at 11am the race started......
went off too fast in first half km, needed a wee & it was really hot & humid :-(
so I really struggled up that f&@king hill, & my head was totally not in the right place.

The course was quite congested & other runners were stopping & walking too due to the weather conditions, which made it hard to get momentum too.
2km into 5km doesn't give you a lot of time to get your head together but I've run Arthur's seat plenty of times & I know I can run 5km no problem so I gave it everything to smash out the last 3km....& just look at that recovery & those Strava PRs :-)
I managed to just sneak in a second quicker than The Great Winter Run 35 minutes 12 seconds.
Not the run I had hoped for but with a few days post race to reflect.....Lesson #3 - I'm stronger physically & mentally than I think.
Finish area was really well organised & great goody bag as always. Nice to see that the organisers had listened to feedback from previous years regarding the generic medal & have added a trinket for each distance.
Then I met up with Mr S & Bug for the kids km.
Fabulous to see a massive turnout for this event for age 4-6, 1km accompanied.
Little Miss Bug was amazing, she ran for about 750m & then walked a bit but I had to carry her most of the last 100m as it started to rain & I think she was a little overwhelmed.
The support for the kids races was phenomenal with spectators lining the course. Little Miss Bug definitely worked the crowd, waving & smiling at everyone.

Would I recommend it?......MAYBE......

 I was disappointed yet again by the lack of race support round the start area, the baggage area on the grass & the lack of toilets, the km markers on the 5km also put some runners off as the 5 & 10k had slightly different starts so there were 2 sets of markers. But the finish area was really well organised this year, no bottle neck like previous events. The hub in Dynamic Earth was really good & the kids races were amazing.

Would I do it again?.....MAYBE.....I'm thinking of getting a relay team together next year.
So another weekend.....another medal for the collection. I have a few now!
& a lovely glass of my favourite Chateau Neuf du Pape to celebrate

Thanks for reading, I'll be back again soon.......

Lots of love
Fudgey xxxx

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Fudgey's 17 for 17 Update

Hello everyone,

Since my last post about my 17 for 17 on 9th March, I've been adding to the bling collection so thought I'd give you all an update.

You'll also see a newly updated blog header - Thank you to Mr S.

#9 Gung Ho Seriously Fun 5k 13th May
A fun filled 5k with 10 inflatable obstacles with some great people. Read my blog post here
Thank you to Mr S for entertaining little Miss Bug while I was out having fun.
 
#10 Virtual Runner May Fun Run (any distance) 1st - 14th May
I left this one till the last day (14th May) & wasn't sure whether to attempt a fast mile, a 5k or a longer distance, so just decided to go out & see what happened......
A post Emily 5k P.B of 31:45
20% of entry fee to Friends of PICU
 
#11 Virtual Runner May Triathlon 1st - 31st May
My first virtual triathlon completed on 17th May @ my gym
Swim 400m, Bike 10km, Run 2.5km
Completed in 48:45 but overall including transitions 56 minutes
Absolutely delighted as I'd set a target of an hour
 
#12 Edinburgh Marathon Festival 5km 27th May


 
35 minutes 12 seconds.....watch for a blog post on this later this week
#13 Virtual Runner Run 22 for Solidarity #runformanchester 27th May - 3rd June
1.9 miles completed today (28th May) in 22 minutes.
A hot & humid day but kit on & 11 minutes out & back, it may be a few weeks before I receive this medal but it's one I'm proud to be able to add to my collection.
 
Upcoming / In progress events 
 
#14 Awesome Virtual Running May 100 Mile Challenge
100 Miles during the month of May.
I've been running an average of 80 miles a month so decided to try & push myself in May, maybe not my brightest idea with so many events in May & a low mileage second week due to illness but I find myself at 28th May with 3 days left & currently on 88 miles......
 
#15 Benbecula Half Marathon
This is going to be a hugely emotional one but I'm looking forward to it - hope the weather & the midgies are kind. This also kick starts my official 16 week marathon training.
 
So I hear you say 15/17 already......I know......it just kind of happened!
 
It slows down from here though, as I say #15 starts my marathon training, but then that is the focus....& I have my eye on a marathon PB this year...crosses fingers & toes.....a marathon is a long way.
 
#16 Virtual Runner Wonder Runner July distance challenge
 
#17 Loch Ness Marathon (September)
 
Will I stop there, possibly not, but we'll see.
 
I'll leave it there for tonight, but I promise an update on EMF later this week
 
Take Care everyone
Lots of Love
Fudgey xxxxx
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Gung-Ho Seriously Fun 5k

Hello everyone 

Another weekend Another event! 

This one is down to my lovely friend Lyndsey who emailed a group of us way back on 13th February about this 5k with inflatable obstacles.
 
On 8th March 7 of us from work (Me, Lyndsey, Helen, Zoe, Katrina, Lynne & Patricia) and Lyndsey's sister all signed up. 
Some of Lyndsey's friends also signed up later so it was quite a wee gang by the time 13th May came round.

I wasn't too concerned about the running but the 10 inflatable obstacles terrified me!
You can see some examples on the Gung-Ho website here.

On Saturday morning it was absolutely chucking it down as I headed off into Edinburgh to meet everyone. 
Thankfully it had stopped raining by the time we got to The Meadows but was grey & damp but we were all excited & nervous about what lay ahead.

We were also joined by Zoe's support /cheer / photography team, Luke & Eric. Thank you so much Luke for some cracking photos.

While we were waiting for our start time 11.15, Patricia finished her 5k, she had the biggest smile on her face. This was her first event since she had her little girl. Massive well done xx

About 11.10 we were called to the warm up area for a cheesy warm up hosted by Pure Gym.

11.15 we were in the start area & we were in the first group to set off. They were staggering the start in about groups of 15 to 20.
After the first obstacle there was a bit of a run to the next one, we ended up naturally falling into 3 groups, loosely on running pace /ability....Zoe & I, followed by Lyndsey, her sister Sarah & friends & then Helen, Lynne & Katrina.
The first 5 obstacles weren't too bad and Zoe &! I seemed to quite a bit ahead of the rest of our group....but then it got tough.
We came to an obstacle which had massive queues & we were about 15 - 20 minutes waiting then probably 10 minutes getting over. I knew with my little legs I'd never jump it so I got one of the race crew to let me use his hands to put my foot into & the other at the top to take my hands & pull me up.....only to get to the top to discover the same again though slightly less steep.

Seemed to be quite a bit of running after that.

Then we got to the 10 foot wall, this was also really difficult, although it had holes in it, it was impossible to get a grip, I managed to get about a third of the way up and again the friendly race crew took my hands and helped me pull myself the rest of the way up. People were trying to climb down the other side but again almost impossible to hold on but I decided to just throw myself over.

Then a massive obstacle that involved climbing and bouncing... I was doing great till I lost momentum in the middle & fell in a puddle in a dip. Absolutely soaked to the skin. Again helped out by the race crew & by Zoe.
"Yes....I'm completely soaking wet now"
Then onto the final obstacle the slide or the castle jump. I wanted to do the slide....again a bit of a queue but this moved quite quickly....

The slide was simply awesome :-) including the foam at the bottom. The girl who came down fast after me managed to take me out at the back on the knees & I ended up flat on my back in the foam, covered head to toe.... I was completely ok, in fact it's the most I have laughed in ages.



At the finish area we got our headbands & t-shirts. 

As Zoe and I finished first I was able to get my bag from the bag drop and get video clips of the rest of the gang on the slide.

I think it's safe to safe we all had a brilliant time.
 
Would I recommend it?......YES
Only thing they could do with is somewhere to change....journey home in wet clothes meant I got a bit cold.
It was also a bit pricey by comparison to other running events but definitely worth it so if you have the chance book as soon as you can to take advantage of the early bird prices.

Would I do it again?.....YES YES YES

I also completed my Virtual Runner May fun run on Sunday with 5k & another 19 seconds off my time.

And I've completed my Virtual Runner May Triathlon today.

Next up Edinburgh Marathon Festival 5k....Arthur's Seat!

Thanks for reading 
 
Lots of love
Fudgey xxxxx
 

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Fudgey's 17 for 17

Hello everyone

As promised a post about this year's challenge, I'm sure most of you know what it is....the title kind if gives it away, but I'll fill you in on the details & background so far.

After a tough year last year, I was determined to do something a little special, especially in memory of my mum. I've found it hard to grieve & for me the way to cope is to do something positive & continue to make my Mum proud of the girl she made.

After my 7th London Marathon rejection in October 2016, I had already signed up for the Loch Ness Marathon - Thanks Rachael Welby. This will be my 4th marathon & whilst it's a huge commitment & challenge to run 26.2 miles, it didn't seem enough lol.

Inspired by Iain Opray's 16 for 16 (16 events in 2016) & Life & Lifting's 30 for 30 (30 events for her 30th birthday year), the idea of 17 for 17 started to emerge.
I think the first person I mentioned this to was my lovely friend Lyndsey Esland who then told her husband James who apparently thinks I'm a badass! Thanks James.


And so the idea of 17 for 17 began. But how to fit in 17 events logistically whilst being a full time working mummy & wife?

There is now a whole new world of Virtual events, offering all kinds of 'races' with amazing medals & you can usually complete these at a time, place & pace that suits you. So far most of my virtual events have been with Virtual Runner UK, & I have done one with Virtual Pace Series & signed up for one each with Full Medal Runs & Awesome Virtual Running Events. 
I also have a number of traditional organised events. Check out my upcoming events page to see what is scheduled.

So here we are at March 9th & I 've collected a bit of a bling collection so far.

#1 The Great Winter Run 5k 7th January 
35 minutes 13 seconds

#2Virtual Runner Resolution Run 1st - 8th January
Distance challenge over those dates 25.75km (16 miles)
20% of entry fee to The Cure Parkinson's Trust
 
Girls Run the world Runuary
Run everyday in January

#3 Virtual Runner Love you to the Moon & back February 
Distance challenge over month of February 164.3km (102 miles)
20% of entry fee to Count the Kicks

#4 Virtual Pace Series International Women's Day 8th March (4th - 11th March)
Either 10k or 10 miles
Unfortunately just before my chest infection but managed to get 10km done

Virtual Event Conqueror events Route 66 - Team Unicorn 
A team challenge to cover the 2,280 miles of Route 66
We smashed it, finishing as first team on 22nd March having started January 1st
Thank you Jo Gennari for asking me to be part of this.

#5 Kilomathon (13.1km) 9th April
1 hour 28 minutes 51 seconds

#6 Great Edinburgh Run (10 miles) 23rd April
New PB! by 3 minutes 41 seconds!
1 hour 52 minutes 7 seconds
 
Lands End to John O'Groats Virtual Race (605 miles)
I'm not including this in my 2017 challenge, though most of the miles have come this year.
Started 10th January 2016 & finally finished it 23rd April 2017
For a number of reasons my running fell apart a bit in the first part of 2016 but you can see I've totally turned it around....
Totally geeky  stats
Jan to Sept 2016: 109.7 miles
Oct to Dec 2016: 178.8 miles
Jan to 23 April 2017: 316.5 miles
 

#7 Virtual Runner Give a girl the right shoes challenge April 
Complete a marathon (26.2 miles) during month of April 125.4km (78 miles)
20% of entry fee to Wish upon a Star

#8 Virtual Runner May the fourth be with you Falcon 5k
A slow plod pre PT session & work on 4th May 36 minutes 33 seconds 
20% of entry fee to Clic Sargent
 
And I'm still somehow running everyday...Day 221 today
 
I'll try not to leave to too long till my next post, I'm hoping the rest of May will deliver another 4 medals so watch this space
 
Take Care Everyone
Lots of Love
Fudgey xxx
 
PS: Photos of my medal collection are on my facebook page



Tuesday, 25 April 2017

The Fudgey Blog is back

Well hello everyone!

Yes it's been a while I know....not far off 2 years....but I'm back & going to attempt to get my blogging going again.

So where to start?


After the Edinburgh marathon in May 2015, my running mojo kind of did a runner. I was working on a big project at work & being a wife, mum, sister, daughter... You all know the many hats we all wear. Life just got in the way & me time was a bit lacking.

Some of you may also know that my Mum was very ill & there were many trips home in 2016. I also spent a few months visiting The Spinal rehabilitation unit in Glasgow most weekends. 

There were plenty of smiles & laughter too. One of the highlights was our summer trip to Benbecula & especially the day trip to Stornoway in the happy bus Me, my Sis, 4 girls & Robbie 😂




In 2016 I entered both the Kilomathon & The Great Edinburgh Run but had to withdraw from both due to illness. I spent most of 2016 with a cough, cold, chest infection or virus but stubbornly tried to keep going and never took time to recover. 



I'd also been successful in getting a ballot place for The Great North Run in September....


5 weeks before GNR I really didn't know if i'd make it to the start line but on the 8th August I took the decision that I was taking back control & not only was I making the start line I was finishing too even if I had to walk the entire 13.1 miles. I'd had a cough again since July though & just couldn't get rid of it but I wasn't withdrawing from another race.


11th September Great North Run... I did it! Personal worst time 2 hours 55 minutes & 39 seconds. But i did it & raised over £500 for the British Lung Foundation & Spinal Injuries Scotland.



A few weeks rest after GNR & then I decided to do the Ron Hill Runtober challenge....basically run every day in October. I set myself a goal of a mile or 15 minutes each day.

I refound my focus & my love of running & a great group of like minded running crazies. This was definitely the beginning of the Fudgey comeback.... Though I maybe didn't realise this at the time.


On 2nd October I ran 5k in 41 minutes 17 seconds...well had to start somewhere but a long way from my pre baby form...something to work on

I also received my 7th London Marathon Ballot result....NO again :-(


10th October... Entered Loch Ness Marathon in September 2017


In November I was finally diagnosed with asthma...but that's not holding me back. I also finally got rid of the cough I'd had since July!


1st November...with Runtober complete...what to do? Keep going a bit longer....might aim for 50 days


1st December....still running....might aim for 75 days


14th December....75 days done.....might aim for 100 days

At the end of December my Mum died, quite suddenly & though we all knew she wouldn't get better it came a little unexpectedly but quickly & peacefully at the end of a good day for her.

I still ran every day through this really difficult time, it helped a lot & I know my Mum would have encouraged me to keep going. Thank you to everyone for their love & support.





January 2017.... A crazy idea started to form...17 events in 2017?

And that's the subject of my next blog post.

Please bear with me while I give my poorly neglected blog some care & maintenance and I hope you'll keep following me 


Lots of Love
Fudgey xxx