Since I have been hyping this weekend’s half-marathon more than I should have, I owe you an equally engrossing recap, however I fear the video I posted just the other day sums up the experience in a wind-tousled nutshell.
Picture it- Sunday, April 14, light breaks through a cloudy sky, Reia and Buffy ask themselves- how can rain be vertical and horizontal at the same time? It is impossible, but in Edinburgh our fearless twosome soon realize it is happening before their sleep-encrusted eyes.
Out the door they head, Reia dressed like a true runner in her Falke gear and Buffy like a adopt-a-highway trash collector- hi-vis yellow. Followed closely by Ben- support crew and official photographer of our backs.
Exhausted by the time they arrive at the starting line- curses you hills, Reia and Buffy attempt to stay warm by jogging in place, hopping from one ice-blocked foot to the other and giggling about the male racers relieving themselves in the Queen’s well-trimmed hedges.
Finding themselves in corral 8 meant they had to wait an additional 10 minutes before they would even step foot over the starting line. When it happened, they were good to go- passing people at a steady rate. They even saw the sun for a minute or two.
They pass the first band- trying to play and sing through the wind, they pass the second- Reia continues to give Buffy updates on their pace. Buffy gets annoyed and tells Reia she doesn’t care. Reia keeps checking her watch- they are seaside now along the promenade in Portobello (Buffy has been here before). Support Crew member Ben is supposed to me them there- he is no where to be found.
Out of Porty, they head to Duddingston and tackle the first hill. They crush it. Nice work Reia and Buffy. Due to prior injuries, the runners pull over to stretch and respond to a text from Support Crew Ben.
Hill Two- again taken down by the girls. Nearing a flat area they speed up- Reia still checks her watch. Buffy gets excited, it’s Ben, he is cute and wet. He takes photos- later Buffy realizes they are unflattering and she questions her running style. They don’t stop, they keep putting one foot in front of another.
Another hill, this time, the hill wins. Walking a bit helps the runners relax. Once at the top it is smooth sailing down through Holyrood Park. Reia checks her watch- she says ‘Oh we only have 5 miles to go’, Buffy says ‘huh?’. Reia does not realize they had just passed the 10 km marker and for a brief moment Reia thinks a half marathon is only 12 miles. In their cupcake-fill dreams. A major mental bummer for these two.
Up though Grassmarket, the rain has stopped and they see a rainbow, one of the benefits of living in a rainy land. There is another hill, this one is a slight incline which Reia and Buffy think they can take, they were wrong, because then they turn the corner and bam another short-steep number that makes Reia’s tendonitis go crazy and Buffy’s quads and hammies squeal.
By the Meadows now, they are excited for two reasons- only three miles to go and Support Crew Ben is going to be there with friends Sarah and James. Buffy’s phone rings, Buffy answers, it is Ben tell her where to look. Posters are held up, more pictures of backs are taken as Reia and Buffy wave and run by.
The pace has slowed- Reia knows this because she is still looking at her watch. They are conscious they need to stick with the blue pacer balloon to beat Buffy’s mother-in-law’s time from her last half marathon which she did on a flat course in perfect windless and rainless conditions. Maintaining her athletic superiority over her 61 year old mother-in-law is important to Buffy, less so to Reia.
They reach the top of The Mound- the shouts of you are almost done do not help- especially when shouted by people with cigarettes in their mouths. Down The Mound- ouch-down hills hurt by this point. Through the National Galleries- Reia is getting the best, most-painful tour of the Scottish Capital.
Through the Princes Street Gradens and past the Scott Monument, this halfie is winding down. Up to the Royal Mile, the home stretch, man, would they ever arrive at the end, Buffy was trying to motivate Reia using old sayings from her days as a cross-country runner- Pain is Temporary, Pride is Forver, Running is 90% Mental and 10% Physical and Pain is Weakness Leaving the Body- sayings even 16-year-old Buffy never beleived- sorry Mrs Gavic (Buffy’s cross country and track coach).
Support Crew Ben had made it to the finish line to get additional photos, hand in hand our heroines crossed the finish line. They collected their medals and feasted on bananas at the post-race banquet. Too cold to concentrate, they left before they found where they could collect their finisher technical t-shirts.
The official time posted after showers, scrambled eggs and naps was 2.17.16.
High-five Reia and Buffy!
HALFIE… Rock n Roll Half Marathon- Edinburgh- Here is the video- the sound quality is poor and for this I apologise, but it also shows how unbelievably horrendous the weather was. We finished in 2.17.16- not bad we think and truthfully we do not care what you think! Plus there were hills- quite a lot of them.
Ben went above and beyond, he cycled to several points on the course to support us. Our pals Sarah and James also popped out in the wind and rain to hold a sign and clap as we ran by the Meadows.
More photos to come!
Over the next few months Ben and I are registered to compete in several sports events.
APRIL 14: I have finished the Rock n Roll half marathon this weekend.
APRIL 20: Ben is racing in the Tour de Lauder, his first ever cycling race- he has been training up a storm. I will be there and hopefully get to see him cross the finish line. I am going as a volunteer for Chest Heart Stroke Scotland.
JUNE 23: When in Vancouver for work- run the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon- sure why not- a great way to explore the coast.
AUGUST 10-11: A sporty-surprise for Ben’s birthday- so excited for this one- the one clue- can you pop?
Check back for the mile-by-mile recap of all this sporty fun.
LISTEN UP… This weekend I, along with my pal Reia, will be running the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Edinburgh. This is our second halfie together, you might recall the time we ran the one in Paris last year. I will only make two pre-excuses- Reia has tendonitis and I have not been running as much I should have been since I proudly ran my 80 miles during my trip.
Our goal- best my mother-in-law’s last half marathon time of 2:18. Can we do it? I am hoping so, but Sue is a serious athlete and a very regular runner with her club, Bushfield Joggers.
Enjoy this weekend’s mix! If you are on Spotify, listen here, if not, what is stopping you, it is easy- even I can do it.
Remember my post a few weeks ago about running, well to help spur me on, I set a RunKeeper personal goal to cover 80 miles while I was hopping from hotel gym to hotel gym and I am pleased to report I completed the goal miles, they were capped off by a 10 milers at the LaLit Hotel in New Delhi.
After visiting a total of eight hotel gyms on this trip, I was most impressed by the following:
- Mexico City- clean, good equipment, refreshing orange slice-infused water for post-workout refreshment. A wide-range of T.V. channels on the equipment. Dirty Dancing, yes please…
- Mumbai- bright and airy, full bottles of water and an on-site instructor to assistant when needed. Some frustrating non-atheletes- texting and talking on the phone on the neighbouring treadmills.
- Bogota- practically new, not a lot of equipment and no real space to stretch. Was empty and led to the pool, a nice place to relax post run.
- New Delhi- treadmills right in front of the mirrors, never a good thing.
- Bangalore- this is the hottest hotel gym I have ever experienced, on the plus side, no one is ever there. I stayed at this hotel last February and May, so I know of what I speak.
- Sao Paulo- this is was good one- my first Portuguese spinning class and a fair number of running machines- drawback, you had to pay- 5 pounds a time.
- Sao Paulo- I had to change hotels, just fine and in defence of this one, I only had time to squeeze in a 30 minute run.
- Santiago- worst ever, had to pay, only two treadmills and an oven on the 18th floor.
The key will be keeping this up now I am back in Edinburgh, with no gym just a few floors away, can I do it? I expect yes- that halfie is not going to run itself.
I am hoping by posting this, I am reinvigorated for my upcoming three weeks away.
In parallel to my working, I need to get some serious running done, I am registered for the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon on April 14. My friend Reia (of Paris semi-marathon fame) will be popping to EDI for a few days to make memories and run- hopefully in that order.
According to Runkeeper, Reia is crushing her training, while I am just about smushing mine with my pinky toe (read, not running enough). As I travel from Mexico to Colombia to Chile to Brazil to India, these hotel gyms and I are going to get to know each other- watch out treadmills- I have a halfie to accomplish!
I have been feeling sporty since taking it up a notch pre-Thailand and some of these items could keep me going strong into 2013.
1. Motivating films like Breaking Away should help to motivate.
2. Are you exercising hard enough? Confirm your suspicions with a watch and heart rate monitor.
3. Try the classic Chariots of Fire with Scottish legend Eric Liddell and the beaches of St. Andrews to keep you interested. The music is okay too.
4. Glass is better in the form of a sleek water bottle- easier to clean and more sanitary, plus bright hues that will get people talking around the bubbler.
5. Jamming out, keeping track of your miles, carrying keys and bus fare all in a handy arm band- don’t make my mistake- comes in multiple sizes!
6. Toasty and stylish as you huff and puff through cold winter runs.
7. My sister-in-law rides a fixie- I want to be like her- here is a cool (medium) budget version, if you buy in pounds (plus these bikes were founded in London). Again with the colours.
9. You can never have too many pairs of running tights- as long as they are OPAQUE!
10. Sure regular socks will do, but get a grip with Pilates socks.
11. Though we don’t live in the mountains anymore, these snowshoes would do the trick if we make in back to Grenoble this winter.
12. I have been looking for an easier to pack running shoe- fun colours as well (I am into this).
RUNNING… If you have never been running in Paris, you should go. It is a great way to see the city, more and more French people are hitting the pavement (or so it seemed).
Reia and I went for two runs over the weekend, an easy 5-miler on Saturday and then a sight-scenic 10 mile jaunt on Sunday. After being running partners for 9 months (then we moved to Edinburgh), we have a fantastic rhythm and can solve our mini-problems and those of the world in our heart-pumping miles together.
Reia will not be able to join me for the Paris half-marathon in March, but I think I am still going to compete. Where are your favorite places to run?
I did it- I completed the Chest Heart Heart Stroke Road Block Run this weekend. Six miles of running, studded with obstacles and rocky trails. Cheered on by Ben and his mini-fleet of volunteers. There were some enthusiastic participants and some tough feats of strength.
The most difficult for me was the obstacle where Ben was stationed- climbing through multiple skips, with slanted sides, which were dusty and rusty. Ben was laughing the entire time I was trying to get out. Luckily someone came through and led by example and I escaped my skips and then passed this guy on the way to the finish and dare I say- crushed him.
All in, I crossed the finish line in about an hour, I think this is respectable considering the various challenges and having to wait my turn. Thanks CHSS for a great day.
(The first obstacle- the second hardest)
(Ben’s station- in the orange hat, so cute and official)
(I did not receive the same treatment)
(This one was pretty fun- the benefits of running with a team- single tear (I was on my own))
A big thank you to my awesome sponsors! I raised 75 pounds for CHSS. To Audrey, Ben, Mom and Aunt Kim, whoop-whoop!
There might be a few more of these in my future!
Photos thanks to Flashmunki- the kilted photographers!
I chatted with my brother John today and he said my blog was getting a bit light. He even said we might be getting into a rut- oh no- worst.fear.ever. I had better go out this instant and shave my head, get a piercing, a tattoo or hop on the train and head to Glasgow.
Actually I have been thinking about getting Ben’s initials tattooed on the back of my neck, under my hairline- a good idea?
Well say goodbye to my rut Johnners!
First up- I have registered to participate in Chest Heart Stroke Scotland’s (CHSS) Road Block Run. CHSS is where Ben works. Ben will not be running on September 23, he is going to be a course marshall and be laughing at me as I crawl, jump, slide and embarrass myself over ten kilometres. There are a variety of obstacles which I will need to conquer as I am complete the 10 km run around Arthur’s Seat.
As this is a run for charity, you can sponsor me for the cause- my goal is to raise 40 pounds. You can log onto my JustGiving page and make your contribution. CHSS and I really appreciate it.
REMEMBER… The charity run, I did in June.
Thank you to Noods, Diana, Mom and Ben for sponsoring me for the Race for Life. I raised the 50 pounds I had set out to raise. Nice.
On June 18, I completed the 10km along with about 4000 other runners, joggers and walkers. It was another wet morning, I was soaked before arriving at Holyrood Park. It was an inspiration to see all the women out running against women’s cancer. I almost choked up a few times when I saw women my age running for their husbands.
(These are some of the walkers…)
(A bit of post race mud)
(Done! A good cause)
Thanks for all the support.