MdS challenge 2017

A challenge of the self


December 2015

50k reached

Another milestone achieved.

Over the weekend I have clocked up my first 50k. a 33.8k run on the Saturday and a 16.2k on the following day.
The back to back plan is certainly keeping me busy.

I’m reasonably happy with my performance, however, I have to admit, I did have to walk some (about 1.5k overall) of the longer run.
The preceding 3 x 6k runs mid week and achieving a PB on the Tuesday, and then again on the Wednesday (a further 20seconds off), left my legs knowing they had done some good workouts.
However, pleased that I managed to reduce my time on the long route by 6-7minutes.

I still haven’t managed to figure out a good eating regime, not, type of food. This also led to fatigue during my run. I am happy to say, that my intake of fluids has been dealt with since I purchased my running vest.
The two 500ml soft bottles are excellent. I use fill one with water only, and the other I place in a SiS caffeine/electrolyte tab which seems to do the trick.
No more black toenails 🙂

Looking at the performances, and the distance, I would like to think I am going to achieve the 55mile event in April close to my predicted time. I guess though, time will tell.


Hey there,

I’m now somewhere coming up to my first six months into running (based on my logs) and all of this “running around” seems to be paying off.

I’m the type that likes to follow plans, when such things as a massive challenge like the MdS is considered. So, it is no surprise that the interval training sessions, 3 x weekly runs during work hours, evening runs, back to back weekend runs have started to show an decrease in my mid week running times.

I stopped my watch and the time recorded was 26min 18secs….PHEW!
I knew David & I had gone out hard, as my max HR was at 178 (185 the previous day) and my avg HR was sitting at 164. David completed it faster than me and further shaved off another 20seconds.

I had a look at the first time I ran the route (one of a few we have arranged), and it didn’t come as a shock that my time was 32:00 for what is a hill ridden 6k. I was however, surprised to see that my time from running the same route yesterday (16/12/15), I had knocked almost 5mins 30 seconds off the time.IMG_4680

What was also surprising was, the previous day, we had gone out hard too and hit a PB on times. I wasn’t expecting that we would then go out the next day, and smash that time.

So, all in all happy with the way training is going so far. lots more miles to do.

Knowing I’ve got a rest day tomorrow and then a 22mile on Saturday then a back to back 10mile on Sunday (at race pace for the long run), we shall see how well my optimistic view is after that.

I leave you with a poem. I felt ‘inspired’ after my run today.. what can I say lol.


Pass me a snorkel


The past few days have been…. challenging. Extremely windy and the rain, boy the rain has lashed it down at times.

Listening to the news, and looking across the country you won’t find it hard to see and hear about the plight of thousands who have had their homes decimated by floods.

One too must not forget those who are outside training in ‘THAT’.

As I’m going to be away for the weekend, and I’m on my ‘easy week’, my schedule is being altered. Meaning I’ve got to put the miles in during the week. Therefore, I’ve been returning home after work, sticking on the running gear and going out for a run.
Yesterday evening (Wednesday 9th Dec) saw me go out with an additional layer(s) on. A waterproof jacket and I also decided to put on my ‘classic’ long Ronhill running trousers.

The wind was howling and the rain, for that moment, seemed not to be too bad. I set off before 20:00Hrs wanting to complete 10 miles, regardless of what the weather was doing.

The first few miles were good, albeit my legs were getting tired from the previous days of running. Something I’m just going to have to get used to!
Three miles in, the heavens opened and coupled with the ferocious wind, it was quite a handful.

However, I kept going and it made me focus on my breathing and cadence. I was running on a bridle path which undulates along for a straight(ish) mile. It was covered in numerous puddles and mud. My feet were wet already so I didn’t even bother trying to ‘dodge’ any more puddles.
This can be tricky anyways running at night.


I had my headtorch on full beam and also had with me a small LED hand torch. I actually don’t mind the combination and it works well as you can point the hand torch where ever you wish to check out things in the distance, etc.

So, onwards I went and decided to curtail my 10 miles into a shorter distance, although not knowing exactly what the mileage would be. I had reconfigured my route and decided to run twice around Townhill Loch as a finish to the run.

As I neared the diverge to the loch circuit track, the wind had picked up but that didn’t deter me at all. However, on reaching the turning point halfway along, and now heading West, the rain came down like a bucket of water for every step. My illumination was having a hard job trying to cut through the, almost horizontal rain. At times I could barely see 2m in front of me.

This was lap one! Just great. Another lap of this 1mile loch circuit then a mile and a half to finish. Culminating in an eventual total of just short of 10k.
The second lap was horrendous. The wind and rain stayed all the way though and at times I questioned my sanity. However, not long after that thought, it spurred me on to run ‘faster’ to get out of this as soon as I could. I discovered later that this philosophy worked. I had run the 1 mile circuit around the loch 20secs faster than my previous run.

I don’t think I’ve actually ever been wetter. Not even in a swimming pool!

Eventually the end of the run was in sight. I turned out of the loch circuit and headed up, what would be a very wet and muddy rise out of the country park. My usual run includes this route and I knew what was to come. However, on reaching this is was enjoying a new river of very cold water cascading down the single file path i was going to be running up. Glorious!
No matter, it got done! Very slippy, very wet and tiring.

wet run
The end of the run sees a rise out to the towns limits for approx 1k and then a turn back home which, gladly is mostly down.

With every step i could hear and feel the water in my shoes trying to escape but me, and my feet weren’t going to let a little water get the better of us. Afterall, its a good job skin is waterproof!

turning for home, through a staggered fence, my right foot caught a patch of very wet grass and how I didn’t fall on my face, I have no idea. My right hand reached out to prop me up. Fingers dug into the grass, and somehow, I bounced back up to an upright position and kept on running.

Wet, cold but strangely warm and obviously enriched that I, not like most of the population who had chosen rightly that going out was foolhardy, had completed almost 6 miles in some terrible weather.

I wasn’t bothered about the time of the run. I was happy to finish. Something that I may come to accept in runs/time to come.

Willing mind, tired body

So… I’ve just completed my 5th week of my 50 mile training plan.
The week just past has seen three 6k runs (Tue, Wed, Fri) an 8.5 mile run on Saturday & the long run (21 miles) on Sunday.

My mid week runs, from work, are turning out to be at a good pace. things are starting to feel ‘easier’ up the hills but still puffing whilst trying to keep the pace & HR where they need to be. However, that said, it’s obviously paying dividends as I managed a PB on the last 6k run 🙂

Having missed my usual slot on a Thursday, due to working pressures, I had to run on my rest day and knew that this might have an affect on my weekend.

Saturday saw a violent storm pass through. Winds of 5o-60mph or more with rain to match. This run was going to be ‘fun’.
I had already decided my route and set off to cover the 8.5 mile course.
It was wet under foot right from the house but, wet feet don’t bother me too much. It’s a welcome feeling sometimes, whilst pushing on, to step deliberately into puddles.
Wind was the major factor on this run. Every time I headed West, I was blasted with severe gales, forcing me to push through whilst trying to keep a good pace.
Run over…. 1Hr 10mins with a 10k time under 50mins. Happy enough.

Recovered reasonably well. Used the foam roller and a bit of stretching to assist with relaxing for the run on Sunday.

Accompanying me on the Sunday run would be Stefan. Stefan has, in the past, ran the Caledonian Challenge. A 54 mile race across some beautiful parts of Scotland taking in parts of the West Highland Way. All to be done in less than 24Hrs. So, I knew that Stefan would be able to complete this with me.
However, Stefan is currently studying and exams, and preparation have led to a recent downturn in his running. He stated (during the run) he “hadn’t done this kind of distance for, at least, 2 months.”
No matter, it was good to have the company.

Knowing that we would have a break in the recent ‘unsettled’ weather, I had picked a route that would provide some cover, should the wind and rain return.
Setting of at 08:00, the route saw us take in a large section of running through Blairadam forest on our return home.

One thing I have found, all of the ‘other stuff’ you have to do whilst training to run ‘long’ mileage. Planning is key! Making time to know where you need to hit your targets, route planning, food choices, correct clothing, etc. It all takes time, and planning.

The route chosen would see us run part of a previous run but it involves a steady climb up to the top of Loch Glow, some 9k away from the house.
This is the bit, I knew I would feel on my legs due to previous days events.
I wasn’t wrong. However, we kept a reasonable pace (8:40 per mile) and it wasn’t too long before we were heading across the top, and down.

Slightly after the 10 mile mark, the turning point into the bottom of Blairadam forest was in sight. We decided that food was needed and decided to walk for a bit and replenish.

This was the point I knew my legs were getting tired, and, importantly, I knew that a lot of this next part was UP. Ah well.. no pain, no gain. Or so I’ve heard.
After a quick ‘late breakfast’ we started on our winding path to the forest. Even small inclines were telling my legs to stop. I did as much as I could but ended up walking up inclines I would normally run up.

On reaching the forest path, wet feet were the order of the next few miles. But again, it was a welcome affect on the feet. A silver lining 🙂

Steady progress was made through the forest albeit at a more relaxed pace (10:40 per mile).
After a detour, we ended up coming out of the forest at a different point than thought. And, combined with the fact we had just added another mile on to the run, we decided that running back the same road would be better for time constraints.
20miles adjusted

The route back saw a few inclines but, crucially, most of it was down hill. Both Stefan and myself wanted to ensure that we hit the 20mile mark under 3Hrs 30mins and, we did. With a time of 3Hrs 26mins we were happy to complete another extra mile to make a round number.

My mind nearing the end was definitely up for doing more. However, my body wasn’t. I was looking forward to my rest day, the following day. I would certainly need it.

So, all in all, another milestone achieved, i.e. a combined distance over the weekend of more than a marathon. Not the fastest time but completed.

Thanks Stefan for the company & banter, as always.

Onwards to an easy week 🙂

The REAL fun starts now..

It was with eager anticipation I sat in front of my computer at work today (01/12/15). Knowing I had minutes to wait for registration to open.

To ensure that this was as smooth, and as quick a process as possible, I had already completed the pre-entry registration a week ago.

09:58… I clicked the link. Needless to say “registration isn’t open yet” appeared on the screen. I waited, and, waited for those two minutes to tick by. As soon as my watch said 10:00 I refreshed the page and got taken straight into my account.
I completed the fields and checked the necessary boxes, and pressed continue. Now for the biggie…. £500 registration fee! It certainly makes sure you want to do it!
Card number entered, security entered, confirm pressed….. and a nervous wait.

I couldn’t believe it. No sooner I had pressed confirm, I had a screen showing me I had a CONFIRMED PLACE for the 2017 MdS.

I wasn’t sure how to think for a good few minutes. It happened all too quickly.
Now, the reality has set in. The miles are just going to get more. The dedication to complete my quest is now in earnest.

15 months until I stand on the start line of the 2017 MdS. The excitement is almost palpable now.

MdS 2017 confirmation
MdS 2017 confirmation

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