Hello! I’m Rhona and I’m the Red Wine Runner – welcome to my blog!
I’m a 20-something runner currently living in Stonehaven, Scotland with a passion for running and racing. In this blog you can read about my trials and tribulations as an amateur runner as I find my way in the world of running in Scotland on a constant quest to be the best athlete I can be.
During the day I work in for one of the largest and oldest Universities in Scotland. I love my job, but in January 2010 I decided I needed an outlet for stress and also a new hobby – and my journey to becoming a runner began. I ran my first race in May 2010 to raise money for Willow’s Animal Sanctuary, but in crossing the finish line that day I realised what my body could be capable of and wanted to do more; run faster, go further, train harder.
I secretly always admired distance athletes – I’ve always though it incredible what the human body can be capable of. In 2006 when I was living in Newcastle, England; I got caught up in the idea of signing up to do the Great North Run with some friends. I paid the fee, was lucky enough to get a place via the race ballot in February, and then promptly got on with trying to complete my Undergraduate degree. I put off the training again and again and again until it was too late, and on the race day itself in September I stayed at home, watching out of my bedroom window feeling pretty ashamed as the RAF Red Arrows did their iconic flyover as the race made it’s way over the Tyne Bridge.
I’m not a girl who holds on to regrets, but during those intervening 4 years I can confirm that failing to race in the Great North Run due to sheer apathy was my biggest regret. A big, fat, shameful regret which I rarely told anyone about. What it took me a while to realise is that I didn’t miss a once in a lifetime experience, I just didn’t take advantage of an opportunity that presented itself to me at the time. I decided that the experience of running a half marathon is still available to me whilst I can propel myself forwards and that there is nothing stopping me taking advantage of that other than my original flaw – apathy.
After running my first 10k race I confirmed what I had always thought all along – that racing is actually great fun! I wanted to do more, and soon, but found myself scheduled for a toenail removal operation in the Summer, which put a stop to any lofty ambitions. After healing for three months I could finally start running without the bulky dressings and for the first time in my life – without the pain of ingrown toenails! This seemed like a good catalyst for change, and at the start of November 2010 I took a jump towards a new goal by signing up for the Great Scottish Run in September 2011 – a half marathon which takes place in Glasgow.
Throughout 2011 I found my ambitions stretching further and further. By the end of 2011 I had completed five 5ks, three 10ks, two 8 mile trail races, one 10 mile race, five Half Marathons and one Marathon – Loch Ness. At the start of the year I would have never dreamed I could be capable of so much – I truly learned what I was made of, and one important life lesson: Impossible is nothing.
In 2012 I improved my times in all distances and also completed my first Ultramarathon at the D33 in March. 2013 is going to be another year of new challenges as I train for the Hoka Highland Fling, a 53 mile ultra on the West Highland Way in April. You can read about the rest of my 2013 goals and race schedule on my RACES page.
At the end of 2012 I decided to join a running club and am now a proud member of Stonehaven Running Club.