Running, food and free samples

Let’s start with running. I’ve had two more good runs after my Kilpatricks run with Cammie on Saturday.

Sunday – early morning run on the Braes

As I was on my own for my 2hr run I decided to listen to a couple of podcasts to keep me company. The first one was the latest whwrace episode I did with James Stewart. I always enjoy listening to them after I’ve recored the interview as during the interview I’m often thinking about the next question and don’t take in all the answer!

James was excellent with lots of helpful advice and thoughts about his running. One of things I took away was he said in reply to a question about his favourite training session that he enjoys his long runs but Paul Giblin, his coach, gets him to have harder efforts within the long run. So as I listened I tried to push harder for a couple of miles within my 11 mile run.

Once I’d finished that podcast I listened to episode of the Trail Runner Nation. I was really interested in it as it was an interview with Nicky Spinks with the title ‘What is Fell Running?’

It was so funny listening to Nicky trying to explain to a couple of Americans what running in the fells is all about. There were so many terms that Nicky had to explain to them.

It certainly kept me entertained for a good hour or so as I ran round the Gleniffer Braes. I would recommend a listen.

Monday – run after work at Whitelee Windfarm

At the last Glee Club Stan was telling Jamie Aarons and I about the windfarm and how good it is for running. Jamie said that she often works near there and would I be interested in a run one night after work.

So when Jamie sent me a text last week saying she was going to be there on Monday night and would I like to join her I replied yes! Normally I would be running with Kilbarchan on a Monday night but as it is the National Cross Country on Saturday I had decided to have an easier run instead so it fitted in well.

We met just after 3.30pm in the car park. Jamie had taken her dogs Pirate and Hope for a walk to check whether Pirate could join us as he had been limping a bit. In the end she decided to leave Pirate in the car and just take Hope.

There is a 8 mile loop around one of the reservoirs so that was the route we took.


It was pretty obvious as soon as we got out of our cars why they built a windfarm here!  It was very windy and as we were doing a loop we had the wind on our backs which was great and straight in our faces which wasn’t quite so great especially when it coincided with a hill!

We paused for a photo half way round. We really enjoyed our loop and I will certainly be back for more. There are almost 200 turbines so plenty of miles to be run.


We timed it just about right as it started to rain quite heavily as we finished so it was good to get in a warm car and drive home. Thanks for the invite and company Jamie.

Food – homemade sweet potato brownie

During my interview with James Stewart he mentioned that his neighbour makes an amazing sweet potato brownie. Amanda Hamilton asked for the recipe so when George Houston posted it on Facebook I decided to have a go, with Katrina’s help, to make it.

Here is our attempt …


It is delicious even if doesn’t look too great on this photo. It is nice and soft with all the fruit so hopefully will be something tasty to eat on long runs.

For anyone interested here is the recipe from George Houston …

Bake a sweet potato (bigger the better, particularly if you are fuelling an ultra demon like James) for an hour or until it is nice and soft. Take the skin off and put the potato in a bowl – mash it up along with 100g of soft dark brown sugar until it is blended together. Then add 100g of plain flour and a teaspoon of baking powder and mix thoroughly. Add two eggs and mix those in well and then add your choice of dried fruit – I use mixed fruit or sultanas and raisins. Then add chopped walnuts (measurement – a good “wad”) and then melt 100g of good Dark chocolate (80%+ cocoa) – mix in well and then I grate in the rind of a full orange and mix it in too. Chuck it in an oven at 200ish for 25-30 minutes and then take them into your next door neighbour. That’s what I do anyway – enjoy!!

Free Samples

I think my blog must have been put on a list or something as over the past couple of weeks I’ve a few people contacting me offering me gear to try out or books to read so watch out for some reviews coming soon.

I can never say no to something free!!

Posted in Food, Gleniffer Braes | 1 Comment

Video of Kilpatricks Run

This morning Cammie and I did a run on the Kilpatrick Hills. Instead of a report I took some video clips.

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Three speed sessions this week

With the National Cross Country coming soon and then the Inverness Half Marathon two weeks later I wanted to work on my speed this week. I know ‘speed’ is a relative term but for me I’m talking about getting my heart rate higher and running as fast as I can!

Monday – Hill Reps with the Club

Our normal Monday Fartlek session is on the flat either on the cycle track or on the trail behind the ON-X centre but every now and then Donald puts in a hill session. This week was one of those sessions.

Our normal hill was out of action so we ran 2.5 miles past Asda to a suitably tough hill and did 10 reps. Each rep was 0.18 mile and I really felt it! There were 6 of us and I was hanging on at the back.

In my defence I had missed the last 2 weeks and I had run over 30 miles over the weekend! I think we all found it a tough session but I’m sure it did us good!!


On numbers 5 & 6 I tried to go off a little more conservatively but I couldn’t pick it up so decided to start just ahead of the other 5 and hang on as best I could as they went past!

My heart graph shows the effort of the 10 hill reps!


Wednesday – Lunchtime Tempo Run

I was based in another school on Wednesday at the other side of Pollok Park so I was able to do my normal run but starting and finishing in the different place.

The plan was 1 mile easy, 2 miles at tempo pace, 1 mile easy, 2 miles at tempo pace and a final cool down mile.

I was working pretty hard and happy with my effort. The second mile of the second tempo effort included a lot of uphill!


Thursday – Cross Country practise

Last year Brian Graham gave me his cross country spikes because he felt he wasn’t going to doing anymore cross country. So I was keen to try them out before the National Cross Country.



I stopped at Brodie Park on my way home from work having changed into my running gear before I left as I didn’t fancy running the half mile on road in the spikes!

I did a warm up loop which is just over a mile and then 4 more loops. Each loop has two uphills and two downhills so I decided to mix things up a bit.

On the second and forth laps I pushed hard on the uphills and took it easy on the downhills. Then on the third and fifth laps I took it easy on the uphills and pushed hard on the downhills.

The spikes were great and gave me a lot more grip than my Sketchers but that’s to be expected.

My plans for the weekend are a run on the Kilpatricks on Saturday with Cammie and then on Sunday either to do a run on the Braes or take part in our club cross country race. At the moment I’m favouring the latter but I’ll see how I feel after Saturday’s run!

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Glee Club Run – Kinlochard

Katrina, Cammie & I left Paisley at 7.45am to drive to Aberfoyle and then Kinlochard to join the Glee Club for latest Glee Club Run. We are enjoying running with this group as it gives us some new routes to run on and catch up with friends and make new friends.

I took a photo of the group before we set off. There were 22 of us and 6 dogs.


There were two options for the run. Both options ran the first 9 miles or so together and then option 1 would be to basically head back the same way making just over 20 miles. Option 2 was to head along Loch Arklet to Inversnaid to make a loop totalling about 27 miles.

I knew I would find to resist the longer route so planned to do that if there were enough runners wanting to go the extra miles.


We ran the route anticlockwise. It started with a steep climb and then headed north west along Loch Chon. The views all the way round were excellent. I ran with various folks finding out about Audrey’s recent marathons in the desert and the antarctic.

I also had a good chat with Jamie and Stan as we climbed the long hill to the start of the loop at the top of the run (for those doing the and back option).




When we reached the top of the hill we stopped for a few minutes to let everyone catch up. It was good to see that everyone had someone to run with and there was plenty of chat going on …. even on the up hills!




After this photo we ran a few more miles together before reaching the point where we would divide for option 1 or 2.


Five of us, Susan, Paul, Andy, Donald and I opted for the extra loop. I ran the next few miles with Susan who I hadn’t met before. Susan is doing the West Highland Way race for the first time this year and has recently come across the podcasts that I do.

I was encouraging Susan to aim for a sub 20hr time as I think she is well capable of doing doing that based on her Fling (9.45) and just how well she was running today. I look forward to seeing how she gets on!

The views of the Arrochar Alps in front of us were superb so I took a photo!



As we dropped down to Inversnaid we stopped at a bench which gave a lovely view of the Loch and the mountains. So I couldn’t resist a selfie.


We ran down the West Highland Way route south for a couple of miles before leaving the West Highland Way route and heading up a very steep hill. I know this road well from Matt’s 18 miles loop from Rowardennan that I’ve ran a few times.

The profile of the whole route shows how steep it is!


The weather had been quite mild for the majority of the day but once we reached the top of this climb it was a lot colder especially with the wind chill.

So it was good to head back down to warmer temperature. I was really pleased with how I was running. I felt pretty strong throughout the whole run.

For the final 5 miles we picked up the pace to around 8:15 mins per mile and I was hanging on a little but still kept up!


We finished the 27.41 miles in 5:26:38 which I was more than happy with. Cammie & Katrina had also had a great run. They stopped for a coffee and cake half way with Stan and then ran strongly all the way back to the car.

They had driven to Aberfoyle in our car so I got a lift from Andy. We met up at McGregor’s cafe were I had a very welcome hot chocolate before driving home.

This morning I went out for an easy run just to turn my legs over. My legs did feel a bit heavy but it has been a good week after an easy week last week. I’m glad to report that my knee is completely fine so it’s all good!

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Back on track

My knee continued to be sore for a few days so I didn’t run on Thursday or Saturday as planned but it felt okay to run on Monday.

Monday – 9 miles run with Katrina and Tracey

I didn’t want to do the club speed session as I was still a little concerned about how my knee would react. Katrina and Tracey were also happy to have a run from home so we set off just before 5pm.

The plan was to do a 5 miles loop and if my knee felt okay we would all do another smaller loop but it gave me the option to stop.

After about 4 miles I decided my knee was coping alright so we extended the loop and ran just over 9 miles. Once I’d stopped and had a shower my knee was sore again and I wondered whether I really should have rested it a couple more days.

I decided to put an ice pack on it and hey presto it felt so much better almost immediately and it has got better day by day.

I think I must have jarred it going over Conic Hill but I’m pleased that it wasn’t anything too serious.

Wednesday – Tempo Run after work

As my knee was feeling so much better I decided to push the pace a bit and try a tempo run. I went back to my 1 mile easy, 1 mile at tempo pace times 3. The speed wasn’t too great compared to a couple of weeks ago but I was more than happy with the effort!


There was only the slightest twinge from my knee and once again an ice pack sorted it out.

Thursday – Lunchtime run with Jonny

My good friend and work colleague Jonny was keen to join me for a run around Pollok Park. We did the off road version and Jonny showed me a new route into the park which involved a good hill effort and run through the forest.


We both really enjoyed the run and the opportunity to catch up on various bits of news. Over the last few years we have run a lot together while Jonny was joining me in the ultra races but now he has decided to take a break we’ve not been out for runs as much. Hopefully this will be a regular run.

I was really pleased to note that my knee feels completely fine now especially as we are joining the Glee Club tomorrow for a run starting at Kinlochard.

Posted in Easy run, Pollok Park Loop, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Easy week but a slight set back

This week was always going to be an easy week after four good solid weeks of training. I woke on Monday with a slight pain on my right knee. It wasn’t too bad so I ran in the evening.

I didn’t want to do the Fartlek session but as Katrina and Tracey were going I decided to get a lift with them and run home along the cycle track from the On-X Centre.

As I started my knee felt sore but seemed to ease off as I went on so I hoped that would be it. On Tuesday it was still  a bit sore but I convinced myself it was getting easier so decided to try it out on Wednesday lunchtime.

The first couple of miles were quite sore and I was running with a bit of a limp but again seemed to ease off as I ran. I completed the 5.65 miles and again hoped it would feel better the next day.

I woke up today and it was really sore. The pain is just below the knee cap. There is no swelling and it feels like internal bruising. I had something similar last year when I tripped over a child in one of my schools and fell heavily on my knee.

This time I don’t remember banging it but I did slip a couple of times going over Conic Hill on Sunday so I wonder whether I stretched it then.

Last time it took a few days to recover and it was fine so I hoping it is the same this time. I decided not to run today and I’m going to reassess over the next few days.

I’m glad it is my easy week and I’m not tempted to run again on it. Hopefully it will be fine by Saturday but if not I’ll leave it until Monday.

Posted in Easy run, Injury | 1 Comment

Review of January 2017

I was keen to have a good solid month of training to start the year and I’m pleased to report that I have achieved that.

I ran a total of 220.25 miles running 5 times a week. Here are some stats.






I’m expecting February to be a fair few miles less than January as I’m going to concentrate on a bit more speed work as I build up to the National Cross Country on Saturday 25th February and the Inverness Half Marathon on Sunday 12th March.

I have heard tonight that I have a place in the Devil o’ the Highlands Race on Saturday 5th August. So I’ll be going for my third ‘Triple Crown.’




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