Red Wine Runner

A Scottish Running Blog

Category: Life (page 1 of 26)

Parkrun – Donate your time | Alzheimer’s Research UK

Santa Forgot – Alzheimer’s Research UK

Have you seen the new advert from Alzheimer’s Research UK? If not, sit down for two minutes and have a wee watch of this:

I first saw this advert at work, and had to take a little more than two minutes to compose myself afterwards. It is extremely hard for me to watch, as like too many families my own has been directly affected by the cruelty of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Christmas wasn’t as magical as it used to be. Someone was missing; tucked away. He began to mix up presents and muddle names. He seemed sad, distant, and afraid.

This month marks nine years since my maternal Grandmother slipped away, just a few days before Christmas. My family is extremely compact, and this hit our small number very hard. Nothing was ever the same again.

I struggle to find the words to articulate clearly how traumatic the few months between discovery, diagnosis and passing were, but if you’ve experienced it then you’ll know and if you haven’t, then I dearly hope you never have to.

 

If Santa had a disease, research could find a way to fix it.

I get a bizarre myriad of press releases landing in my inbox every day now; ranging from the irrelevant to the utterly bizarre, every so often something pops up which is truly worth talking about. RedWineRunner is just over six years old and there’s a lot of you out there reading this, so I’d like to take the opportunity to signal boost this campaign which is so very close to my heart. Do you run? Are you a parkrunner? Do you live near a town where there is a parkrun? If so, then listen up.

Parkrunners encouraged to ‘Donate Your Time’ for Alzheimer’s research this Christmas

Alzheimer's UK

The fundraising campaign Donate Your Time is being launched as a result of the public’s overwhelming response to the charity’s Christmas advert, Santa Forgot, which has now been viewed more than six million times. The animation has taken social media by storm with #SantaForgot trending on Twitter as dozens of celebrities spread the word, including the animation’s narrator, Stephen Fry.

Over the four weekends of December, anyone participating in parkrun, which provides free, timed 5km runs across the UK, will have the opportunity to convert their finish time into a one-off donation to Alzheimer’s Research UK, parkrun’s official charity partner. The money raised will help fund vital research into treatments and prevention of dementia.

To donate, parkrunners can simply click on the link in their results email after any parkrun from Saturday 3rd December until Christmas Eve, or go to www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/donateyourtime. On the website there is an option to halve or double the donation, or to donate an amount of your own choosing.

Kenneth Foreman, Sporting Events Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Alzheimer’s Research UK is on a mission to defeat dementia. We need each and every parkrunner to help us change the lives of those living with the condition by taking part in Donate Your Time this Christmas.”

Alzheimer's Research UK Freya PArkrun

Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Santa Forgot is centred around the character of a young girl called Freya, in a world where the magic of Christmas has been lost because Santa is living with the effects of dementia and no longer visits children across the world on Christmas Eve.

The film highlights the varied symptoms and social isolation of dementia and raises awareness that the diseases that cause it, most commonly Alzheimer’s, strike indiscriminately and really can affect anyone – even Santa. On learning about Santa’s condition, Freya travels to the North Pole. She offers her own support and re-mobilises the redundant elves as researchers, explaining her belief that ‘if Santa has a disease, ‘research can find a way to fix it’.

dyt-infograpgic-2016

I would like to encourage you to donate your time this weekend if you can, or donate whatever you can afford. December is always an expensive month, but I think most of us at some point think about what we can do to be charitable as well as indulge in the season’s frivolities.

Back in 2007, for me the idea of running was a comedy concept. Normal people didn’t run; we couldn’t run races – that was just for the “RUNNERS” in London on television each April, or those annoying, sporty girls at school. Who could be bothered to keep fit anyway? I thought that was for losers. I had other concerns.

Now, 2007 feels like another lifetime ago. My Granma never knew me as a runner; she was always staunchly, unwaveringly proud of whatever I achieved back then, but I wish she could have known about this huge part of my life. What would she say if I could tell her that I once ran 95 miles non-stop? That I ran the whole West Highland Way in one go?

My Grampa is still with us. The first mile of the D33 goes past the end of their road in Aberdeen, and every year he comes down to wave to all the runners as we start, and then he comes back around 5 hours later to wave at me as I finish and give me Merchant Navy-style abuse for keeping him out waiting and not being quicker. I wish she could be there too.

This weekend I will be donating my time after a visit to Stonehaven parkrun, and I’d love to hear about it if you choose to donate your time to fight Alzheimer’s as well.

Granma

For Doreen Hastie; 1926 – 2007.

Online Nutrition Programmes – I Tried One And I Hated It

Over the last six years, RedWineRunner has tracked many aspects of my journey towards becoming a runner (and my recent apparent journey away from it), but one thing I have rarely touched upon is my diet. Some bloggers make what they eat a huge focus of their content, but I’ve never really felt like this was something which I wanted to share with my readers. What you eat is very personal, and what you eat when you’re training for multiple ultramarathons becomes in turns random, horrifying, and very specific to the individual. To that end, I never really wanted to get into that discussion in a public forum and inadvertently encourage even more of the uninvited scrutiny which sometimes landed in my inbox regarding my training. Today however, I’ve written a post about some diet and weight stuff which is a real change from the norm. It’s a bit of an essay, but I’ll try and add in some gifs to lighten the mood from time to time. Read on for a bit of back story, and my experiences in using an online nutrition programme.

High Mileage = Hungry

Over the last few years I’ve benefited from a useful side-effect of consistent high mileage, which was that I never had to worry about my weight. I know I could have spent a lot more of my time paying greater attention to what I was fueling my miles with, but in the end it didn’t seem to matter as my running improved continuously and my body stayed the same happy size. Delving into sports nutrition is a complex science and ultimately, a life choice. As far as I see it, if you want to reap the full benefit from the changes you make, you can’t really go half in. Of course there are aspects of balance, but when I do something I tend to want to completely immerse myself in it. In recent years that lifestyle has been ‘ultramarathon dustbin’: What’s that? You can’t outrun a bad diet? Aye ok pal; watch me.

What happened next of course has sold a lot of books – I stopped most of the running but didn’t stop the eating, and consequently got a bit fat. Then I decided I didn’t want to be fat any more, so began looking for a solution.

diet-gif

The slightly longer story is of course that I trained for and completed my 2015 goal race, then quite rightly took a period of recovery which neatly aligned with the last three months of my MSc. I was at home alone writing up my thesis, submitted it and then went travelling for a bit. Hoorah! Holiday time! Then I came back to earth with a bump and stayed crumpled into the ground during the entire 8 months I was unemployed, whilst living my isolated life in a small village. You’d have thought with all that time on my hands I would have been taking advantage of the opportunity to get in the shape on my life and become a full-time fitness blogger or something, but that’s not quite how long term unemployment works for most people, I’m afraid. I was lonely and very sad, often not coming into contact with anyone other than Kynon for days at a time. Exercise only helps to lighten the mood if you’re capable of actually getting out of bed in the first place, you see…

Chapter Two of the tale saw me move to Edinburgh in June for a job (yay!) without Kynon (boo) and try and figure out a new peripatetic lifestyle between Edinburgh during the week and Stonehaven at the weekends, a two and a half hour train journey with my husband and cat stuck at the wrong end of it (boooo). Despite walking a 6 mile round-trip to work most days and doing a couple of runs a week, there was no magic return to svelte fitness. Whilst this was a definite step in the right direction, oddly it was no replacement for my previous consistent high mileage routine. The only real consistencies seen to this day are consistently high cortisol levels and consistently high alcohol and calorie consumption at the weekends – easily enough problems to de-rail the healthiest of Monday-Thursdays.

Towards the end of the summer I also found myself in the snowballing situation of:

I ran less so I got larger <=> being larger makes it difficult and unenjoyable to run, so I run less <=> because I run less I stay larger <=> LARGE. 

I also had one of those lightbulb moments when I was looking at my holiday pictures, where I saw a picture of me taken from behind unawares and didn’t actually recognise the back side of myself because I was so huge. That was good; it was a classic un-ignoreable sign that I was really ready to make some changes to my diet because that was the only option I had left to alter the above cycle into:

I eat sensibly to become  lighter <=> being lighter makes it easier to run <=> I run more and l’m lighter and faster <=> happy

SPOILER ALERT: It’s nearly December, I’m still huge, and I’ve only ran 12 miles in November.

giphy-6

Let’s get to the point, shall we?

I decided I needed some guidance with my eating and was willing to pay for it. I knew what worked for me before because I never needed to think about eating and I’d never eaten specifically for long-term weight-loss before. I figured I had become desperate enough to place a monetary value on this, so paid £28 to join an Online Nutrition Programme which I had heard others talking about positively online.

There are obviously a lot of snake oil salesmen out there on the internet but this company and their ethos really seemed to suit me – the sample plan available to view looked exciting and satisfying, and there were options to sub out meals if life got in the way of the plan. A specifically vegetarian plan was available and all meals were supplied with recipes a week in advance. They are health-focused and advocate lifestyle change that you can stick with rather than drastic alterations and I liked their focus on fat loss over weight. At £28 for four weeks it seemed a reasonable starter investment, and I decided that even if I didn’t want to stick with a monthly £28 subscription,  I would have a month’s worth of meals for reference.

Sounds great, right? So what on earth went wrong?

1. It was nowhere near as bespoke as I expected

After completing an extensive questionnaire upon signing up, where I detailed my lifestyle and goals, I was excited for my first weekly plan to arrive in my inbox. I was disappointed to see that it was clearly a generic plan designed for a non-active person with exercise tips such as ‘Why not try jogging today?’. I am also quite aware that I am no nutritionist, but the portioning was seemingly tiny for a reasonably active person. There was also a ban on snacks – not eating between my teeny lunch at 1pm and getting in from running at 8pm seemed unrealistic and challenging. I logged back into my account to send an email to query this, and saw that all my information had been wiped from the questionnaire apart from the first lines of every box. Aha! A technical error! They just didn’t know about my lifestyle and goals…!

Well, not quite. Something that isn’t mentioned on the website is that the basic monthly plan is not suitable for runners or people who are already active – of course, this could all be fixed for me if I signed up for the next level up, which was the same price weekly as I paid for my month. The website error was never addressed. I started to feel pretty stupid for signing up.

2. Many of the choices just didn’t make sense to me

When I asked if it would be ok to have my usual pre-run snack – such as a handful of almonds or dried apricots, or a banana, or some oatcakes with peanut butter; a sugar-filled processed cereal bar was suggested instead. You could have up to four cups of tea with one sugar a day, but no strong coffee. The bare bones of one meal was stated to be “No carbs, beans, or pulses”, but then the suggested recipe was for a bean-based soup – I’m guessing this was a grammatical error, but that is not helpful information on a plan that I am paying for.

3. I didn’t like the extra advice packed up with the plan

There was a half A4 of advice and little tips and tricks for mind-setting each week, but some of the advice clashed hugely with my general approach to a happy life. A lot of it was quite sensible, but some pearls of wisdom were seriously WTF. Is falling foul of this why I’ve put on weight? I don’t know, but if losing weight means I need to think in these ways, then I think I’d rather be fat and happy:  If you can’t overcome a craving, have it instead of a meal or offset it with exercise <- I feel this is enabling a really unhealthy relationship with food. Eat your dinner on a side plate to make it look bigger <- Sorry, but I don’t want to be an orthorexic Healthy Living Bloggers/Instagrammer… Empty your house of all food that isn’t on your plan at the start  <- No. I refuse to waste food when others go hungry. Become a person who doesn’t think about food in between meals and treat food only as fuel for the body <- This would give me a very sad life.

There was also a Facebook group which I just couldn’t get on board with. I could see that a lot of people gained a lot of support and advice from it, but I didn’t enjoy reading the weekly weigh-in threads and the constant navel-gazing (sometimes literally). I also did not enjoy reading people slagging off their friends and family’s choices (no matter how daft) behind the door of the closed group, or people sharing tweets or articles which did not agree with the programme and encouraging dog-piling. I just found it all to be the kind of dialogue which I really don’t want to be a part of; that is not how I build myself up.

4. In the end, my life is so messed up right now that it just wasn’t sustainable

I probably could have made it work, even if I did ignore all the odd advice and daft online conversation, the meal ideas and recipes themselves were good and I think if I doubled some of the portions on run/gym days and added healthy snacks, then it would lay a good foundation. However, here are some more excuses:
– I just didn’t have the time or energy to cook different meals each night – the way I get around this now I live and cook like a single person again, is to make huge pots of healthy food and freeze portions for quick, healthy meals I don’t have to think about.
I’m lodging in someone else’s house  during the week and I have to fit my cooking around their cooking too, as well as cope without my own cooking implements and not make a mess.
I found it very expensive – my weekly food costs doubled when I bought everything for the plan, which is not something I could easily absorb. Batch cooking works for more than one reason for me – I can make 6 portions of lentil dhal for about £2.50. That would get me two avocados, or one bottle of unhomogenised milk for my weekly meal plan and that’s it. The plan claimed to save money by planning ahead, but maybe these people have never been truly broke.
– I found I wasted food – Living between two houses meant I was left with lots of unused ingredients in the fridge over the weekend when I would be in Stonehaven. Taking a half full litre carton of Greek yogurt and a half empty bottle of your fancy milk along with a selection of half used vegetables in a carrier bag on a packed rush hour train is never going to end well. The alternative is to buy smaller packets which are less economical, buy more stuff in Stonehaven (which won’t get finished), or just leave it in the fridge until Monday and cross my fingers.

So how do I wrap this up?

The long and short of it was in the TL;dr at the top – it’s the end of November and my jeans are still tight and I’m still bigger and slower that I would like. I thought that by handing control over my diet to someone else, it would take the stress out of healthy weightloss, but it turned out the opposite was true. I don’t think diet plans are for me right now, and I can’t afford the cost of a one-on-one nutritionist. I’ll do my best to stick with what I know, and just keep clinging on to hope of improvement. The key areas I need to fix are keeping my snacks whole foods and unsugary, not going wild on food at the weekend, and trying to cut back on the booze. With Christmas coming up, this will be a hoot!

giphy-5

However, I do feel I am making progress somewhere. I’ve joined a gym again and am on week three of consistent training which is a baby step, but one step further than I’ve gone for some time. It is as clear to me as it will be is to those that can read between the lines here, that there are wider issues affecting the trajectory of straight-forward progress, but as long as I keep trying again every time I fail, then I’m not actually failing. I’ll get there.

fall-down

Have you ever tried an online nutrition plan?

Will you attempt to balance healthy living with the festive season, or enjoy a couple of weeks of indulgence?

Past, Present, and Future

Where I’ve Been

  • I ran the Speyside Way Ultra at the end of August and I finished in 7th Senior Female in 7hr 14m 6s. It was really, really hot, and I was kind of under-trained. It should not have been as hard as it was, but I was really pleased with how I paced it. I had a major wobble at about 25 miles, but then I got angry at myself and passed around 20 people in the last 10 miles. Still got it.

speyside way ultra 2016

  • I went to Ibiza for two weeks with Kynon. I sat on a beach and read for two weeks straight which was magnificent. We went to see Faithless one night which was the most expensive fun I’ve ever had; £36 for two rum and cokes in the club was ludicrous, but £30 for two cocktails at Cafe Del Mar earlier on as the sun went down was worth every penny.

cafe del mar

  • I did some stat crunching the other day and I realised I’ve now ran 23 marathons or ultramarathons, and 93 races in total. This blows my mind a little. I don’t feel like I’ve ever run over 10k right now.

Where I am

  • I’m still failing hard  every time I try and get back into training consistently. My peripatetic lifestyle between Edinburgh and Stonehaven throws constant challenges at me, and to a certain extent, I’ve let myself become a victim of my own circumstances. It is a seemingly endless battle which saps a lot of my strength.
  • I’ve only ran 731 miles this year. I have no races booked and this is a huge contributer to my current feelings of a loss of sense of self. Running used to be a huge part of my life, and now it’s just…not.
  • I’ve got kind of…fat. My body shape has changed a lot since I basically stopped being a runner, and it’s pretty distressing. A lot of my clothes aren’t fitting comfortably, including my active wear, and running feels different when you’re heavier. Things rub, shake, and jiggle, and it feels like you’re swimming through treacle. I’m trying to train using someone else’s body.
  • I get to live with this beast during the week though – have a picture of Central Scotland’s fluffiest cat to break up the self loathing a bit:

gracie

  • I still love my new job, and embrace the challenges it offers. They’ve recently introduced a flexible working policy, which has allowed me to start running at lunchtime. This works well for me, because when I get home, I am devoid of energy or motivation to do anything other than flop…like tonight. I work within a mile of this lovely canal though:

union-canal

  • I still haven’t joined a running club. I know I should, but I’m actually questioning whether I’m fit enough to survive a training session at the moment. I miss running with other people. I try and run with my friends in Stonehaven when I’m up at the weekends, but I always end up drinking too much to be out running early with them, or indeed, at all. Since Kynon and I only see each other at the weekends and I only see Stonehaven every other week, the pressure to burn brighter for shorter is real. Work hard, party hard…but where has train hard gone?

Where I’m Going

  • I know where I’m not going – I’ve received rejections from both the Tokyo and London Marathon ballots, so that clears up some decisions about Spring 2017. Kynon and I are going to enter the Chicago ballot as well when it opens soon though – sooner or later I have to get a place for something…
  • I know I have to bring some kind of structure into my running life if I’m to salvage anything from the last few years of running. Goals need to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-specific.
  • I’m starting with micro-goals: I live near Blackford Hill and use the steep steps on the West side to train. I want to be able to run all the way from the bonfire pit at the bottom to the bench at the top by Christmas. At the moment I can run about half – right up until the point where the stairs get really steep.
  • I have to enter some races and I have to fully commit to them. In the first half of 2017 I want to run the D33 and the Glasgow to Edinburgh Ultra, in preparation for a new race, the Tyne Trail Ultra – a 93 mile run from the source of the Tyne to Tynemouth. I went to University in Newcastle, so this race will great for me, but I’m hesitant to enter just yet. One step at a time for now is perhaps wise.
  • In the second half of 2017, I want to run the Devil o’ the Highlands again, and the Glenmore 12 hour again. I must mark the opening dates in my diary, if only to ‘unfollow’ the Facebook groups after entering, in order to get away from the circus of daft questions and poor grammar…
  • I have to find a way to lose this extra weight, and I’m hoping that regular training will shift it. I’ve been ‘hoping’ that for the last year though and it’s not enough. I turned 32 the other day and never have I been more aware of how quickly middle-aged spread sets in as soon as you eat anything nice. I had birthday cake three times last week and a pizza on my birthday, and I feel like I need to start wearing scrubs to work as my jeans are cutting me in half.

That’s all I’ve got for now; just some small nuggets of insight into my current life. It’s always hard to post a blog after a big break;  I never know where to start or what to say. It’s been over two months since my last post and I rarely have the time nor the inclination to write much these days, but since I’m still paying for my hosting and I’ve just renewed my domains, I should really make it more of a priority. It’s unfortunate that much of my new job is creating, strategising, and analysing content, so coming home at night to do it all again makes this bit of fun into a bus-man’s holiday.

I’ve also fallen out of love with blogging in general… I’ve given up reading most of the blogs I’ve been following for the last few years as they have all swung largely in the same direction of courting brands to gain the coveted crown of the word ‘Influencer’ in their social media biographies. There are a handful of blogs out there who I still enjoy reading regularly and who consistently produce high quality visual and written content, either with brand partnership or otherwise, but in general I am exhausted with the saturation of partnerships, sponsorships, and ambassadorships, and the general need to stop and document every single training run with a selection of self-timered pictures of you looking like a very serious runner. I just don’t really want to to read about that any more.

However, I don’t want to stop writing Red Wine Runner as I like to have a record of my own experiences at races, and it’s nice to share that with others sometimes. On the other hand, it’s beginning to make me rather uncomfortable the amount of times people come up to me in public and want to talk to me about this blog. I can vaguely handle it at races, but in the last couple of months I’ve had some particularly odd encounters in non-running situations, and a couple of my SRC clubmates got asked if they were me whilst they were at races recently. I guess it may be too late to get that particular genie back in the bottle, but for the record; I can be a rather awkward penguin at times offline, and I can find dealing with strangers without context pretty challenging. Also, I am nearly 6ft tall with neon red hair – I’m not short with dark hair, or Canadian. So there’s that too. Finally, don’t ever pull your car over next to a runner out by themselves and ask if they’re Red Wine Runner, regardless of how much you think they are or not. Because that’s creepy as hell, and you’re an asshole if you do that.

a-very-angry-penguin source

I wanted to finish with a Socially Awkward Penguin meme, but I’m not in the mood for a lawsuit with Getty. Please enjoy this Very Angry Penguin instead, and consider it my reaction if I get kerb crawled again.

Edinburgh Life

It’s Sunday afternoon, and I’m writing this from my couch in Stonehaven with day two of the Olympics playing on television in the background. I should be basking in a post-run glow,  having just completed my last long run before the Speyside Way Ultra, but instead I’m feeling a little queasy and quite frankly, a little traumatised, after suffering a great disagreement with some food I ate last night. I thought I’d take this rare opportunity of spare time to write a catch-up post and attempt to compensate for my inconsistent blogging of late.

edinburgh castle

Life in Edinburgh

I’ve been living in Edinburgh for a little over two months now and have settled in to my new job well. I work in the city centre and have been enjoying walking three miles to and from work every day, exploring the opportunities that my new location has on offer, and soaking up the amazing atmosphere which Edinburgh is famous for. It is not without its challenges however, and now that initial sheen of excitement of living a new city has worn off,  working through various issues is testing my patience at times.

forth road bridge

The biggest frustration is that I am still living in Edinburgh by myself; I’m not sure that I’ve mentioned that here, but Kynon is still working in Aberdeen and living in Stonehaven with Saskia. I get the train down to Edinburgh at 6am on a Monday and arrive back in Stonehaven at 9pm on a Friday. It is a tiresome lifestyle which has presented considerable barriers to truly settling into my new city and making new friends. After commuting, work, and training has been done, there is no time to do anything else but eat and go to bed.

edinburgh

That makes me sound very disciplined, but as anyone who might follow my Strava account would know,  I’ve not been running all that much!  So far for me, 2016 has been the summer of bugs… the first two weeks I was in Edinburgh I had a nasty cold with a cough that took ages to shake, and then a couple of weeks after that I caught another cold which turned into a chest infection which took two weeks to clear. It has been so frustrating and I feel like my fitness has really taken a hit with a lack of consistent training.

Speyside Way Ultra Training

My ‘goal’ race this summer is the Speyside Way, and I’d been hoping to train strongly over the summer in hope of being able to claim a huge PB. Last year I ran it conservatively as I ran the Fare Challenge the next day, so there is a big chunk to come off my time. However, my training has been severely impacted by having two periods of illness, and has lost all sense of direction. I had written a plan for myself to include speed and hills each week as well as an easy run and a back-to-back at the weekend, but I’ve been lucky to complete even half of my scheduled sessions and there has certainly been no speedwork to speak of.

In terms of long runs this summer, Kynon and I ran to Musselburgh and back one Saturday for a 20 mile run, but I had to bail at 14.5 miles due to my chest infection.

edinburgh

We had a successful 24 mile run from Stonehaven to Aberdeen via Drumoak.

edinburgh

We attempted a Pentland Skyline run (16 miles) in lieu of the Fort William Marathon (*more on that below) but ended up cutting the route short at 4.5 miles because it was just.so.damn.hard and I wasn’t coping with the massive elevation. In total the run came in at about 8.5 miles in two and a half hours. I was so disappointed and embarrassed – the route just chewed me up and spat me out, and provided a sharp reminder of what poor shape I’m in right now.

pentland skyline

And then there was today’s planned 20 miles on road, which has just not happened. Thankfully, after 15 ultramarathon finishes, I am blessed with the kind of daft confidence which means I know I will still complete the race, but I didn’t want to just ‘complete’ this one. I will give it everything I’ve got, but I suspect my performance may not be anything to write home about. I finished in 7 hours and 4 minutes last year; I was hoping to take an hour off my time and perhaps even duck under 6 hours…

* Unfortunately I was unable to use my place in the Fort William Marathon because of accommodation difficulties, and big issues with transport. I have no car down in Edinburgh and ScotRail ever so kindly were striking on the day of the race. There was really no way to make it work, so I had to email my apologies and DNS the race 🙁

Where do I go from here?

I feel like a bit of a lost at the moment, as I have done for much of the last year. It is very hard not to compare myself to where I was X months ago and long to be that thinner, faster version of myself. After 8 months of unemployment, I’ve not been in a good place mentally or physically for quite a while and I need to recognise that coming back from that cannot happen overnight. I know I’m going in the right direction with a new job and a new career, but it really doesn’t help that the circumstances under which that is happening means I am living apart from my husband and all that is dear to me. It is making it really hard to move on when I’ve still got one foot stuck in a different city, but that’s just how it has to be right now.

Obviously Edinburgh offers a wealth of fitness opportunities and I have been paying attention to what is happening, even if I haven’t trying anything new yet. I have chosen a running club to try out however I haven’t made it along to a session yet due to my colds, but I think this week might be the week I’m ready to put my brave pants on and go and meet some new runners. Also this week and throughout the rest of August, the Edinburgh Lululemon store is running free lunchtime fitness classes to celebrate the festival. I work just around the corner so it’s a perfect location, and doing something a bit different (like Piloxing or Voga!) will be fun.

There is also the crazy concept that is ‘Project Awesome‘. A free fitness class on top of Calton Hill every Wednesday morning…at 6:30am. I really like the idea but I just can’t see how I can make it work with that early start. My Achilles heel in fitness is my hatred of early mornings – in fact, if only I could train myself to do my running before work (perhaps even running to work) then I could free up my evenings to enjoy Edinburgh a bit more. I’ve said a few times – I wish I could clone myself so I could join an evening class or a musical group, and still keep up my (meagre attempts at) training, but the only way around that is to embrace early morning exercise…

To conclude; I’m not really sure what I’m doing next, but I know I’m looking forward to Speyside in two weeks and I’m beginning to think about 2017 races too. Preliminary thoughts are perhaps a repeat of 2014, with a D33/Fling/Cateran build up to the Great Glen Ultra, with hopefully a road marathon in there too. I’ve entered both London and Tokyo Marathon ballots, so when the inevitable rejections come through for them, then I will look at some other options around Europe for marathon fun.

edinburgh

Have you ever had to live and work apart from your partner?
Are you an early morning runner? 
Have you entered any 2017 races yet?

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