Tag: race

End Of Month Report (Iain)

My plan for May was not to have any mileage goals but instead complete a number of events:

  • Helensborough 10K – I was hoping I’d get under 45 minutes for one of my 10K’s this month. I surprised myself by managing it in the first race. Link here
  • Bealach Na Ba Race 44 mile race (with the aim to do the climb twice) – My aim was to beat Andrew but he beat me due to a puncture. We didn’t do the climb twice due to the puncture. Link here
  • Loch Leven half marathon – the aim was to beat Andrew but he beat me easily! I was happy with my time so I can’t complain…too much. Link here 
  • Antonine Trail Race 10k – great race. I’ll sign up for the half marathon when it becomes available. Link here
  • Caledonian Etape 81 mile bike  – My aim was to beat Andrew but he cheated 🙂 Link here 
  • Dumbarton 10K – I didn’t make it to this race which I think is the second time I’ve entered it but not made it to the start line.
  • Shettleston 10K – Last race of the month. I was tired and hungover but my time was okay. Link here 

The theme of the month was “My aim was to beat Andrew but….”

Thankfully, despite these losses, the Todd Championship is still close. It’s currently 4-3 to Andrew. Overall, I enjoyed the races and got PB’s for the biking so it was a good month.

My plan for June is not to have a plan. Iron Man Edinburgh is the next goal (at the start of July) so I’ll concentrate on keeping everything ticking over so that I’m fit and healthy.

I also don’t want to let Andrew know what my plan for this month is to ensure I win! I have a secret idea….

Here’s a selection of photos from May. If you want to see more then follow me on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/twinbikerun/

Loch Leven Half Marathon 2017 (Iain)

Scottish Athletics bans the use of headphones during road races.  This is a major issue to me because, instead of listening to music, I have to listen to Andrew’s chat.

This is his “banter” from Saturday’s Loch Leven half marathon.

He spots a tree – “Look there’s a tree!”

He spots a hill – “Look there’s a hill!”

He spots a sheep – “Look there’s a cow!”

Animal recognition isn’t one of his strong points.

Quite frankly, after his umpteenth, “Look there’s a ….” I was quite happy to let him run off. So, at mile 9, I decreased my speed and let him go ahead.

He thinks he ran off because I was tired. Yes – I was tired of his chat!

Bealach Na Ba (Iain)

The Bealach Na Ba sportive was the first bike race I entered. It was 2007 and I’d read about the event in the Glasgow Herald.

“The Bealach Na Ba road is engineered similarly to roads through the great mountain passes in the Alps, with very tight hairpin bends that switch back and forth up the hillside and gradients that approach 20%. It boasts the greatest ascent of any road climb in the UK, rising from sea level at Applecross to 626 metres”

It captured my imagination. It looked like a great challenge. I convinced Andrew to join me.

There was one issue – we didn’t know anything about bikes or sportives. There was a second issue  – we didn’t know that we didn’t know anything about bikes or sportives!

Therefore, I turned up at the start line unaware that I was under-prepared. Unfortunately, Andrew didn’t make it to the start as he had the flu. He did volunteer to drive a van round the course and check on how I was doing.

Every other rider had a road bike. I had a mountain bike. I thought all bikes were the same. They aren’t! The race started. Everyone else raced off. I was soon last. I realised why road bikes are called road bikes. It’s because they’re good on roads. D’OH!

The other riders wore skin tight lycra and their bikes had water bottles. I wore shorts, a hill walking waterproof jacket, and I had a backpack filled with food and a 2L bottle of water.

The other riders had trained. I rode one long ride of…. 30 minutes.

I’m proud to say I made it to the top of Bealach Na Ba. I wasn’t even the last rider up it. Although I did have to walk quite a lot.. I dropped out of the race as soon as I made it down the other side. I was knackered. Thankfully, Andrew was there, so I got a lift back to the start.

We weren’t going to let Bealach Na Ba defeat us so, five years later, Andrew and I went back. This time I’d learnt my lesson. I didn’t use a mountain bike….I used a hybrid! I thought it was the same as a road bike just with different handlebars. It wasn’t. It takes the slowness of a mountain bike and combines it with the looks of a road bike to make something that’s not good on roads or mountains!

We made it round the course although we were virtually the last to finish. All I remember about the event is the endless up and down road from Applecross to Sheildaig. My legs were so tired by the end I had to walk some of the small climbs. That section is much harder than the actual Bealach climb.

So, to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of our first race we went back to do it again. This time I learnt my lesson. I used a road bike – I didn’t have to walk once!

End Of Month Report: April (Iain)

My plan for April was:
– The Dirty Reiver race (you can read about it here
– Bike (on average) 110 miles a week – I managed 129
– Run (on average) 16 miles a week – I managed 16.3
– Do yoga at least once a week – done!
– Swim twice a week – I failed. I managed three swims in a month. I need to do better!
– Plaster the hall. I phoned a man and he’s doing it next week 🙂

I’m happy with how April went. I had a two weeks vacation. I call it a Scottish compass holiday because, by the end of it, I’d visited the north, south, east and west of Scotland!

In the north, I visited Findhorn. A very spiritual community of hippies with eco-homes. I found this book – “Your Pet’s Past Lives & How They Can Heal You”.

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I have so many questions:
– does my cat have nine past lives?
– Was my cat a cat in a previous life? If not, is being a cat a punishment or a reward for past behavior?
– how can my cat heal me? He seems pretty lazy and selfish. I suspect he’s planning to kill me.
– the author is a whale whisperer??? What are whales saying ? And how do you whisper underwater?

and WHO BELIEVES THIS TOSH?

In the south I visited the Garden of Cosmic Speculation. A wonderful garden that’s only open once a year. One of the grass mounds in looks like an ass which meant they needed this sign:

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Which is a motto I live my life by.

In the east I biked from Edinburgh back to my home in Lennoxtown. On the way I passed this sign:

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How many people get shot in Falkirk that’ve had to put a sign up telling them not to?!

And, in the west, I went home to Stornoway. I visited the Callanish Stones. They were much more redder whiter and pointy-er than I remember.

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My Plan for May is not to have any mileage goals as I’ve got loads of events to do:
– Helensborough 10K run
– Antonine Trail Race 10k run
– Dumbarton 10K run
– Shettleston 10K run (which despite the name isn’t in shettleston!)
– Caledonian Etape 81 mile bike race.
– Bealach Na Ba Race 44 mile race (with the aim to do the climb twice)

Here’s a selection of photos from April. If you want to see more then follow me on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/imacivertodd/

Alloa Half Marathon (Iain)

I ran last year’s Alloa half marathon in 1 hour 41 minutes. This year, I completed it in 1 hour 46 minutes. Five minutes slower! What went wrong? What is the difference between this year and last?

It’s Andrew’s fault! This was the first time I’d ran the race alongside him. In previous years I’d run it by myself.

The main difference is that Andrew chats to me as we runs. After listening to him throughout the race  I can conclusively say that not only is his chat boring but it also has a drag effect of 23 seconds per mile 🙂

The race was enjoyable but I was tired after biking a lot during the week. I’d not have been any quicker even without the Andrew Drag Effect .

The highlight of the run was spotting this guy

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“Leven Las Vegas” is the best name for a running club in Scotland. I can claim this because I’ve just spent ten minutes trawling through club names on the Scottish Athletics website. Most clubs are very boringly named. I’m looking at you <insert name of town here> running club. Which is what most seem to be called.

So, next year at Alloa, I want to see some clubs raise their name game and wear club vests with a bit of personality.

Here’s some sugeestions

The Skyes the limit running club

The Perth, wind and fire running club

The Tain green bottles sitting on a wall running club

I could do this all day!

The Clydebank robbers running club

The Kinlochleven on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again running club

Ok – I’ll stop now! 🙂

 

 

Race report – Alloa Alloa (Andrew)

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Listen carefully, I will say this only once: I’ve never wanted to run the Alloa half marathon. Two reasons:

  1. There’s a five mile long straight.
  2. There’s a five mile long straight!

(Except for 50 metre kink in the middle where you run down a street then run up it again).

I like drunk running, the kind that doesn’t involve any straight lines. I like scary movie running, the kind that promises a surprise around every corner. I don’t want to see where I’m going for the next half an hour as I move forward in a long line of other people all going in the same direction. That’s not running, that’s high energy queueing.

This year I had no choice. I had to run the Alloa half marathon because the race I wanted to run – the Balloch to Clydebank half marathon  last weekend – was cancelled due to construction work at the finish line. I had to run something in March and this was the next race on.

Iain’s run it before. His description wasn’t promising.

“See that five mile stretch?”

“Yes.”

“It’s horrible when it’s straight into the wind – also it’s hillier than you think.”

“I thought it was flat?”

“It’s not.”

“Damn.”

And he was right. The race isn’t flat, the first three miles are uphill, the tenth mile features a long climb to a roundabout. Even the flat section is a slight rise. It wasn’t fun. Not as a first race. Not when the Balloch to Clydebank half is largely down hill and breaks you in gently to the year.

On the plus side. The race is very well organised with water stations roughly every two miles and roads closed and traffic managed so that it feels like you’re on a closed course.

It’s also very popular with nearly 3,000 runners. We had to queue to get into Alloa. And not a high energy queue, we had to queue bumper to bumper as runners tried to get to the start on time.

It was the same story on the way out. Not that it’s a surprise that people would queue to get out of Alloa. It’s the kind of town that inspires people to leave…

Despite heavy legs and a couple of breaks to stretch off a tight back, I was pleased with my time. 1 hour 47 minutes – 1 hour 48 if you include the time it took to switch off Strava, which I don’t… 🙂

For a first race, and a thought that I wasn’t running that fast, it turned out to be faster than I expected. I only checked my time on the last mile and was surprised it was just over 1 hour 40 minutes and not closer to 1 hour 50 minutes.

A good start even if Iain did win after running off when I stopped for an energy gel at seven miles. Energy gel breaks don’t count for time, do they? If not, I’m sure I won…

Finally, a warning…

I spotted on the Alloa website a warning that anyone wearing headphones would not be covered by insurance and that headphone wearers ran at their own risk. When I was on my own I switched on a podcast and I have a warning too. Don’t listen to Russell Brand’s Under The Skin podcast about politics, economics and social theory when running. Big words don’t make you run faster

Feb 12th – Kirkintilloch 12.5K (Iain)

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The Kirkintilloch 12.5k is an “undulating” course – 12 hills in 12 KM. I prefer to call it a course with 12 downhills in 12 KM’s. That sounds less fearsome. Similarly, Mount Everest sounds better when described as a long walk down.

This should have been the first race of the year against Andrew.The winner of the event receives one point in the Todd Championship (TC)- the annual competition to find who’s the best Todd. I’ve won the last two editions. If you win the World Cup three times you get to keep it. If I beat Andrew three times do I get to keep him?

I’m not sure where I’d put him. He’s a bit too big to fit in a trophy cabinet. I’d have to stuff him and use him as a coat rack.

Unfortunately, the showdown was a non-event. Andrew pulled out due to a “life threatening” case of the tickle-y cough. A terrible disease that only Andrew gets, strangely its always at its tickliest on a race day….

Due to his forfeit I now have a 1-0 lead in this year’s TC. He asked for a medical exemption but that’s what a loser would ask for. The rules of the competition quite clearly state “If both name’s are on the starting list then its a TC event. Even if one Todd fails to start!”

The rules also say “Stop your excuses Andrew! Man up!”

I might have made up the last rule.

Last year I did the race in  1 hr 3 minutes. This year my aim was to finish in under an hour. I finished in 59:55. Job done…just!