Red Wine Runner

A Scottish Running Blog

As another year comes to pass.

Hello, running friends. It’s been a while hasn’t it? 2011 has come to a close without a great deal of chat over here at Redwinerunner, but I can assure you that things are getting back to normal and you can look forward to some more frequent posting from now on. I left you with great promises of taking part in the Marcothon; unfortunately I have to report that my attempts to complete it failed quite early on, as life got in the way and I found myself unable to find sufficient balance. I did however enjoy some festive running, including a Christmas Eve Parkrun and a lovely deserted five miles on Christmas morning which set me up for the day perfectly.

Finishing Christmas Eve Parkrun - 27m 30s photo: Carolyn Milne

It’s been a difficult and stressful month for personal reasons which have no place here, which is why running and the blog had to take the back burner for a while. When things in life get particularly hard, hobbies and social activities can be amongst the first things to fall by the wayside as we struggle to keep our heads above the proverbial water. After a couple of weeks without running my anxiety levels were through the roof, I was stressed to the high heavens and to be perfectly honest I was close to breaking point…until I put my running shoes back on and went for a damn run.

Running has brought me many tangible things to my life; fitness, achievement, friends, medals; all wonderful things for which I am very grateful. But it’s the benefits to my mental wellbeing which matter the most to me when I put on my running shoes. For me it’s an escape, it’s freedom, it’s just me and the road, all problems are left at the front door when I leave it. I find that the still world comes alive in new ways when I pass it in motion on a run; solutions to current problems present themselves all of a sudden, and my fears become minimised. I become a better version of myself, a version which I can only attempt to clutch at in day to day life as I get through the day thinking of the moment I can turn on my Garmin and get back into that world. When people ask me why I run, I usually give them a fairly conventional answer – fitness, achievement, friends, medals – but the truth is that it fixes me. It keeps me going, it keeps me moving forwards, it is a light for me in dark places when all other lights go out.

This has got a bit heavy; please humour me as I wear my heart on my sleeve. If you’re a runner then perhaps you’re nodding in agreement; I know I’m not the first person to realise this. So in 2012 I want to put even more of myself into my passion, I want to have the courage to give it my all, to push past my mental boundaries and to never be afraid to keep trying to be the best runner I can be. Here are my goals:

  • A sub-25 minute 5k
    With regularly attending Parkruns every Saturday I expect to achieve this by Spring. My current PB is 27:02
  • A sub-50 minute 10k
    Like last year, my big 10k PB attempt will be at the Baker Hughes 10k on the 20th May
  • A sub-2 hour Half Marathon
    I don’t expect to do this before the summer due to other goals, but something to keep trying for as Half Marathon is still my favourite distance.
  • A 4:3X Marathon
    This was my original marathon goal for Loch Ness Marathon which I failed to achieve. I plan to do another Autumn marathon and would love to have a successful marathon experience without injury this time. I think this is probably the most intimidating goal of the list, I still haven’t forgotten the pain of my injuries.
  • Complete my first Ultramarathon
    Yesterday I signed up for the D33 Ultra which takes place in Aberdeen on the 17th of March. Last year I came to see the finish – this year i’ll be on the starting line.
  • Smile at more runners whilst out running
    Well why not? A smile goes a long way, if more people smiled at strangers then the world would be a happier place. Pay it forward.

My first race of the year will be the RAF Kinloss to RAF Lossiemouth Half Marathon on the 19th of February, following that will be the D33. I’m currently writing my training plan which I’ll be sharing with you soon; for now, let’s take a look back at 2011 in pictures.

January - Running Shop XC series - Haddo House 3 miler

February - Running Shop XC series - Balgownie 3 miler

March - RunGarioch 10k

April - RunBalmoral 10k

April - Graeme Cooper Memorial Race

May - Baker Hughes 10k

June - Supporting Mike at the West Highland Way Race

June - the Ythan Challenge

July - My first half marathon, Stonehaven

July - My 2nd Half Marathon, Dundee

July - my first Fetch Mile

July - My 3rd Half Marathon, Dyce

September - My 4th Half Marathon, the Great Scottish Run

October - My first Marathon, Loch Ness

November - my fifth Half Marathon, Fraserburgh


December - Christmas Eve Parkrun

Here’s to happy running in 2012 to all!



  1. Yep , runners will understand all to well. You’ve had an amazing running year but 2012 will be better . All the best with your goals . btw i’ve been trying to get to do Kinloss 2 Lossie for the last 3 years as i used to live in Kinloss. 🙂

  2. Yep, running’s healed a lot of my sore places this year too. Have a fabulous 2012.

  3. Congratulations on a great year. You’ve come a long way!

    All the best for 2012 …. I look forward to following your progress as you seek to tick off each goal.

  4. Well done on all your 2011 achievements and Good Luck for 2012.

  5. Fantastic year Rhona! Well done on all your races this year and on your achievements so far. Here’s to another belter for you in 2012 and hope to say hi at the D33.

    Colin 🙂

  6. I managed to get my 5km time down to about 21.5 mins with the judicious application of some interval training around the Meadows in Edinburgh. I don’t know of a place in Aberdeen that would have a similarly useful set of paths, but the plan as explained to me in the mists of time was:

    30 minute session.
    Plan a loop of X length (Meadows had an array of paths which conveniently worked out to be 200m, 400m, 800m, 1km and 1.2km).
    At time = 0, go, and run a “lap” of your chosen loop. Run at “faster-than-5km-race-pace”. Stop at end of lap, note lap time but keep watch running. Rest until…
    At time = 6mins – start 2nd lap, complete as before. Lap time should be within 5 seconds of 1st lap time.
    At time = 12 / 18/ 24 mins – start 3rd / 4th / 5th laps. All laps (1-5) to be within ~5 seconds of each other – consistency is the aim.

    Doing that once a week for a few weeks before my 2nd 5km definitely contributed to my improvement – I went from ~25min to 21.5min! Not sure how it’ll fit in with your training plan for other events though.

  7. Great blog Rhona and what a wonderful way to capture a year of remarkable running! There is is in glorious technicolour – and you did it! Fabulous! Here’s to a 2012 that tops even that. Look forward to following you – in the ether anyway! Love and tweety hugs. :-)x

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