Thunder Run 2014 – 1/3

Earlier in the year I was asked if I would join a team of 8 runners to do a 24 hour run at the end of July. There wasn’t much more detail except it was a 10k loop, you camped there and someone from the team was on the route at all times. I thought, why not? It’ll be fun.

Eileen, her husband Mark and I travelled down to just north of Birmingham on Friday night, and stayed in a premiere in the night before the event started. We had a good breakfast on the Saturday morning, then travelled the rest of the way to the camp site on Saturday.

Clyde came along to be our mascot.

We got there quite early and it was already scorching got. After we set up camp, and before we started Mike who organised the entry to the event sorted an order that we’d run in:
– Mike
– Lorn
– Billy
– Eileen
– Al
– Susan
– Mark
– Sarah Jane

It meant if we all ran around an hour, I’d likely get a very hot run, a dark run and an early morning run as the sun came up.

I was second to go for the thunder run. Who knows what the temperature was but it was hot that’s for sure. I was taking the baton from mike, who was the first runner. He thundered home in around 53 minutes I think. I ate bits and pieces before I left (banana, oat bar and something else) and had a couple of gels with me.

We’d had a good breakfast at the hotel, two coffees and plenty of water. It took around 15 minutes to walk from camp to the start line, so I wandered up at around 1230. I saw mike come in and shouted his name loud. He saw me and the changeover was efficient. I thought I’d try to keep my heart rate below 165 most of the way, but with the heat and the unknown terrain it was a bit of an unknown.

It was roasting at the start line, and I was seriously concerned that my cape would melt in the heat. ;-) as I was waiting for mike, I saw a guy come in after about 45-50 mins. In the heat he looked very disorientated and I’ll. he ended up being carried away by an ambulance.

Mike came in just after 53 minutes… And then it was my turn.

At around 1pm, I started off with a nice girl, safe, steady and easy ish pace. I started chatting to her and found out she was a triathlete and she was going to do 2 laps this time around. She ran ahead of me on the uphills and I caught her on the downhills. I ran all the way. And it was good to see the route in daylight. I remember noticing the downhills: 1.2 miles, 2.4, 3.2, 4.2, 4.5, 5.2 I think.

Miles 1 and 2 seemed to take forever. Where was the water? Dry mouth, even though I’d been drinking all morning. Through Forrest trail, I was trying to be careful and allowing myself to fly down the hills, arms out. On the open and grass it was HOT and I just tried to jeep going. 5k in about 30 mins. Water at last. I stopped and had two cups and drenched myself with a sponge. Relief. I really thin they could have done with more water stations on the route.

My heart rate was high, 165 and I kept trying to bring it down. 4 miles through Forrest again, I got a few cheers and started to feel strong at last. I took a caffeine gel and powered on. I hadn’t taken my iPod on the first one but I thought it’d be a good idea to wear it in one ear for any more runs I did.

Just before 8k / 5 miles the route opened up into a grass path looking over the countryside. I made a conscious effort to take it all in. Head up, look around. It wasn’t as pretty as Scotland, but it’d do. I started to go down hill again carefully concentrating on where my feet were going.

Just after the 8k mark, I was running down the hill near our camp and heard everyone shouting my name. I high fives the kids, and it all spurred me on. I knew I only had about a mile or so to go.

Switch back a few times and I caught the woman I’d run with at the start again. Heart rate 170… I chatted with her and wished her well for her 2nd Lap and her triathlon she’d mentioned earlier. She pulled me up the last hill, hot on her heels. Heart rate 180. Ouch. Not nice!

I saw some runners going uphill again and I dreaded that I might need to do it again. But I took a left, passed the woman and kept going, strongly down to the transition area / start line.

Run 1: too hot! 58 mins, avg HR 165, max HR 180, Garmin Training Effect 4.8.

I found my handover Billy easily enough, and got my bottle of water from him before he started his run. Plenty of water and I think I went back to the camp. It’s all a but of a blur. I’d decided I wouldn’t go for a shower after my first run and instead lay in the front of one of the hot shaded tents.

I had a £20 note in my pocket and got a berry smoothie as I didn’t feel like eating anything but it seemed like a good nutritious option.

I wanted to get back to camp and sleep but I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep so when I got back, I just rested and tried to relax and recover. The tents were way too hot to sleep in. A bit more food, more water and I was peeing again. I must have peed 50 times. Lol.

I took a couple of neurofen, and tried to relax. I was taking everything slowly and noticed I was feeling the heat.

I had some bloks for a sugar hit and went to see if I could get Eileen after her run. I had more water, more pees, and got Eileen after her run. I helped her back to camp and tried to get her to drink and eat. Later on I had a good burger, a banana and more water. First run done! :-)

Look out for my posts about runs 2 and 3 and the rest of the event soon… :-)

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My medals!

At long last, I’ve finally managed to hang all of my medals up.

I’ve been allowed to out them on a kind of hidden wall in a corner in the spare room, but they’ll be in full view when I’m working out, and next to a mirror (perhaps an optical illusion might make it seem like I’ve got double the amount I do?). So that will do.

There are 23 in total. I didn’t get a medal for the Southside Six last year, but it’s finely etched on my mind (especially the finish!).

Here are the events I did to receive the top row of medals:

- Bellahouston Big Fun Run 5k – Oct 2009
– Glasgow Women’s 10k – May 2009
– Glasgow Santa Dash 5k – Dec 2009

- Balloch to Clydebank Half Marathon – March 2010
– Glasgow Women’s 10k – May 2010 (dressed as the Wolf).
– Mighty Deerstalker – March 2010
– Great Scottish Run Half Marathon (dressed as Super Girl) – Sept 2010 – Wick Sprint Triathlon – Aug 2010

- Balloch to Clydebank Half Marathon – March 2011
– Lochaber Marathon – Apr 2011 (3:40)
– Glasgow Women’s 10k – May 2011 (PB 44:14)
– Great Scottish Run – Sept 2011

And here’s my more recent medals:

- Chicago Half Marathon – Sept 2011

- D33 Ultramarathon – March 2012
– West Highland Way Walk – May 2012
– Great Scottish Run 2012 – Sept 2012

- Glasgow Women’s 10k – May 2013 (pacing 50 mins)
– Mull of Kintyre Half Marathon – May 2013
– Barrathon Half Marathon – June 2013 (3rd in age group!)

- Glasgow Women’s 10k – May 2014 (pacing 50 mins)
– Belfast Marathon – May 2014 (3:32)
– Isle of Skye Half Marathon – June 2014 (PB 1:38:07)
– Thunder Run 24 – July 2014.

I didn’t get a medal for my (unofficial) marathon PB of 3:28, but it was my Glasgow Marathon PB and that’ll do me. :-)

Note there’s room for another row of medals too. 3-5 races a year. It’s nice to see all of my medals finally up. :-D

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We got Susan Partirdge’s water bottle!

Whilst we were running out loops of park down in England … some rather talented athletes were running a couple of loops around Glasgow today for the Commonwealth Games Marathon.

I missed it, but Fit Girl recorded it in our TV and went out to see the race as it passed close to our house.

It was nice to see them all running along the routes I follow and knowing where the ups and downs are. Here’s the birds eye view of the exit at Pollok Park (where I do a good 8 or 9 mile run from mine). :-)

After I came back from the event, I put my feet up and watched the marathon unfold. Both the mend and women’s race. What great races the Australians had! But if they’re used to running in the heat I was running in on Saturday, no wonder they did so well in the rainy and cool climate of Glasgow.

First female scot home was Susan Partridge on sixth place. Fit Girl got a good picture of her when she passed on Govan Road.

Just after she drank from that bottle she threw it towards Fit Girl and she picked it up. Now we have a real souvenir from the Games!

I wonder if it will make me run faster? (Although I ain’t running anywhere soon!). ;-) Thanks to Fit Girl for not only taping the marathon, but filming quite a few of them pass, taking their photos and getting Susan’s bottle!

As a nice wee surprise I bought Fit Girl and I tickets to see the Closing Ceremony on the 3rd August as a surprise!! We’re both really excited!

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Thunder Run 24 – done!

We did it! The Thunder Run 24 – 24 laps of a 10k route, 24 times (between 8 of us). I’ll post a more detailed set of posts with pictures soon.

I ran at 1pm – too hot!
9pm – too dark!
And 5:30am – just right!

We all had a great time and worked well as a team. :-) I ran to my heart rate most of the time and pushed it to the max. Sore feet (like after the half, the arches of my feet), a bit pink (sun), and tired through lack of sleep, but apart from that I’m ok.

I think I’ll need a week to recover! (Clyde enjoyed himself too). ;-)

Look out for some posts in the next week to hear how it went and to see some pics. :-)

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Clyde is on his travels!

Clyde just passed the Scottish border and is on his way to be the mascot at the 24 hour THUNDER RUN near Birmingham!

I think he’s enjoying the gear stick just a little too much.

We should get to our hotel tonight at around 930, then bed and up early for breakfast and a final 1.5 hour drive to the event. We’re going to set up camp with our team of 8 runners, then the event will start at 12 noon until 12 on Sunday.

He’s catching done shut eye whilst he can! Eeeek! (I might too!)

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hee hee – Glasgow’s FAQs


This one was good too – Commonwealth Games opening ceremony funny tweets :-) –

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Wk29 into Wk30

What a strange week this has been. Freakishly hot weather, plus so much excitement and buzz all over Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games. I feel very lucky to be where I am both in terms of living where I do in Glasgow and working at the BBC. :-)

On Monday I was in the big tent watching Ken Bruce on Radio 2 – I may have made my step mum jealous ;-) – Simple Minds, Paloma Faith and Rebecca Adlington.

I started that day off with and early morning 5 mile run. Two days after I have blood but I was feeling ok. A nice easy run.

Then on Tuesday we had a team lunch outside in the sun. Nice and relaxing, then up on the Ferris wheel for some fun.

On Tuesday I did my own strength session in the morning, then at night I ran 2 miles to the gym, did our first ‘Lift It’ session and ran 2 miles home.

Wednesday, the BBC breakfast team starting going out live from this recently built temporary building / studio. I walk past it every day and every day the path is getting busier and busier.

I had a bit of a sore throat when i woke up on Wednesday. It sometimes happens after I give blood. But it seems to have not got any worse. I was a little sore from strength too but ok.

Rest day for me and the amazing and funny opening ceremony that night. Great fun (and a bit of a late night for me! -11:30ish – not enough sleep!)

Thursday was a good day in work, I got plenty done. I passed Ken Bruce, but didn’t have the courage to stop him for a pic and an autograph for my step mum. I will though – maybe Monday when he’s in the tent again (I know some of the production team).

I met one of my coaching clients on Thursday morning. She’s had a refocus on what she’s eating, and lost 5lbs last week, it’s all queuing well. We did a nasty hill session before breakfast. Then I went out at lunchtime and ran to George square to go to the official merchandise shop. Another rather hot 2 miles there and even hotter (it seemed) 2 miles back. Glasgow was buzzing and I counted 67 volunteers!

I got a few goodies and presents from the shop and had another lateish night watching the swimming.

Now it’s the day we travel down to Birmingham for the Thunder Run 24. We’re leaving early to mid afternoon and hopefully I’ll get an early night tonight. I still have some packing to do, but today will be another rest day ahead of tomorrow. :-)

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