It was tricky indeed!

16 Jun

Ran 17 miles in the damp surroundings of Balerno and West Linton.  Finished off with 10 miles on the treadmill at the gym.  This makes it a 27 mile (split) run, taking me to 3 marathons for the week and 98 miles in total.  Ok, I missed the 100 mile mark, but the Simpson’s finished earlier than I thought, my math skills aren’t great, my toe was a wee bit sore, fancied a quick session in the sauna…  Excuses, Excuses!!  If you go to the video section you can see a wee snippet of the trail conditions today!


Today’s training…

16 Jun

Was going to hit the gym for a short session before the 30 mile run tomorrow.  However, having looked outside and seen that there is a torrent of water running down the street…  I’m going to hit the trails!  The wellie loving kid in me is coming out to play!

Marathon Blog 9

15 Jun


04/06/12 – Post Plymouth Half  

Feet don’t fail me now! A new mantra I have inherited from Sarah, my Plymouth half marathon partner. Certainly a much more PC version than another mantra I have been using that was stolen from Tony “Foos your legs!” Audenshaw. Sarah’s mantra will be used between the miles of 0 and 25. Then “F##k your legs” will come in to play from 25 to 36.5 miles! Yes, there is another big race on the way… The Speyside way 36.5 mile Ultra Marathon, 36.5 miles unaided in the hilly, scenic, torturous, hilly, picturesque, torturous, hilly, once in a lifetime, torturous, hilly hills of the Scottish Highlands… Did I mention it is hilly and torturous? 

The Plymouth half was the first time I have ever ran with anyone, even in training. Due to the electrical nature of modern hearing devices (bring back the hearing trumpet!), British weather and sweat doesn’t seem to get on with them. However, Siemens are now endorsing and supporting my marathon efforts over the next year and have supplied me with top of the range (expensive!) Aquaris hearing instruments. These are water proof and will withstand all the elements I’ll throw at them. Wind, rain, mud,sand, blood, sweat, tears, hilly torturous terrain… Well, Ok, they may not directly help with the torturous hills, but something has to!! I can’t thank Siemens enough for their support. A big shout goes out to Sarah too being my first running partner. She was a joy to run with! She did look at me slightly funny for finishing Plymouth Barefoot though! 

In my many training runs this month I’ve been thinking a lot about why we run (Was this me trying to convince myself to stop?!). In all seriousness, why do humans feel the need to gather in large numbers and run for 26.2 miles? 35’000 in London, 36’000 in Paris, and over 40’000 due to join me in Berlin in September! We may be the most advanced species on the planet, but this does seem genuinely insane! Also, now that we are getting better at it and more and more people are doing it, Ultra marathon running is becoming a mass participation event too! However, how many people start a race with the intention of winning? How many could ever dream of winning one? How many Olympic runners think they can win? So why do it? I myself, am so competitive that if my brother beat me at anything, I’d be so annoyed that I’d practice and practice until I knew I’d win. Hungry, Hungry hippo’s was a serious event in my books! 

So where am I going with all this? Well, my initial intention of running was for pure enjoyment, health and self achievement. No competitive strand attached, and I would retire from running in 2015. Well, all has changed. I want to win a race and I will not retire. Why the big change in heart? Well, just because I need to get my competitive edge back, it’s what made me who I was before falling ill with Wegener’s. I truly feel myself beginning to accept mediocrity, and that is just not me. Is it truly achievable? I honestly don’t know, but I’m going to give it one hell of a shot. It may take more than a couple of mantra’s to get me on the podium, but anything is possible. It just takes effort, determination and lots of torturous, hilly hills! Is this insane post run babbling, or a real statement of intent? Maybe a combination of both, but it is true reflection of my will to win. 

Next race is Dundee Running Adventure Marathon (DRAM!) on the 26th of July. Bring it on! 

P.S. Photo is myself and Sarah running in Plymouth. Guess which mile!! 

Marathon blog Number 8

15 Jun



In the last few weeks I have experienced many miles… long, short, painful and pleasing. Some on my feet, some in my car. All ticking the right box so far! Oh my, I’m a poet and I don’t know it! I wish I could speak in rhyme all the time! 

I met Tony Audenshaw… really nice guy, 
We had a wee drink, In a pub, it was dry. 
We posed for some photos, out on the trail, 
we even even agreed to talk by email. 

Tony ran Manchester the very next day, 
He ran very quick, I do have to say! 
It was miserably cold, all through the race. 
but Tony was on form and kept up good pace. 

I ran over 26.2 miles twice in the last week. 
Thankfully I washed, or I really would reek! 
I lost a few toenails, big ones and all. 
I hope just to keep one, or else I might fall. 

I moved to the capital, land of Salt and Sauce, 
Been out on the hills, It’s covered in moss. 
Good for the training not to get in a rut, 
I’d better be careful not to slip right up. 

I’ve never been a fan of Edinburgh City, 
In fact if I’m honest, I thought it was s#itty. 
I met someone sexy on last Friday night, 
I just changed my opinion to one of delight! 

I bid you farewell, I need to go drinking. 
But before I go, I have just been thinking… 
You people amaze me with your kind donations, 
I may even thank you with silly flirtations! 

I promise, no rhyming in the next edition!!! Will do a proper blog soon. 

Marathon Blog 7 – Update and amendments!

15 Jun


Here is blog number 7: 

It’s been a quiet few weeks from me on the blog front. Having completed the Rome marathon, my energies went into getting a promotion at work! Thankfully, it paid off and I am currently in the process of moving to Scotland’s capital, the land of “salt an’ sauce” (they have this on their chips instead of salt and vinegar!), Edinburgh! 

Excited about the big move, but trying to fit training and moving has been a nightmare. Also, I’ve unfortunately had to cancel my participation in the Fort William trail half-marathon due to work. What?!? I hear you say!!! Jamie cancelling a running event!?! It was hard to take, and I couldn’t do it without making plans for another event to make up for it. The good thing about my new plan is that gives me a reason to head back to the Highlands for a few days (Hopefully I’ll complete the run in one day though!). 

I have decided to take the plunge and participate in the Speyside Way Ultra – Marathon on the 25th of August. 35.5 miles with whisky tasting stations on route. Ok, that is a lie. No tasting stations, but no water stations either thoroughly enough! 35.5 miles self aided!! Wow, it’s going to be a toughie! If anyone wants to supply me with water and treats on route, I’d be delighted! Vegan friendly though!! 

Training has been great this month! Managed to rack up over 57 miles in 3 consecutive days, including a 29.7 mile run. 15 miles out and 14.7 miles back! I guess I must have been cutting the corners on the way back! My longest ever run, but good to know I could do it and even follow it up with a 17.5 and 10 mile run in the 2 days after. 

I hope to get my application sent off for the Speyside Ultra in the next few days. Hope there is still places Left!! 

PS. Pic is from finishing the Rome Marathon just after having literately rolled over the finish line! Got some funny looks for that! 

Marathon Blog 6 – Roma edition!

15 Jun



So a Scotsman, an Englishman, a Norwegian and a Frenchman are in an Irish pub in Rome discussing long distance running… No punchline! That’s exactly how my Rome marathon day ended, and what a day it was. 

I was aiming for 4 hours 30, and rocked up in 4:29.22 (and litirally rolled across the finish line!!). Delighted! Even pushed out 5 miles the day after, and 10 miles the day after that! As far as marathon tourism goes, this has to go down as the best yet. Paris was amazing, but Rome just taken the biscotti! Starting at the Colosseum was a sight to behold; where many a Gladiator had fought for their lives and Julius Cesar ruled mercilessly. It seems only fitting that Rome hosts a tough marathon. 

Cobbles… One thing the Romans didn’t get right. Great for building roads, not so great for running on. Definitely pain staking on the toenails (those of them that are still attached to my toes!). However, what they did get right was a truly beautiful city. Although it is my second visit to Rome, the sights are still something to behold. The Trevi fountain, the Spanish steps, the Vatican, the women!!!!! If only my Italian chat up lines were any good. “Just one Cornetto” didn’t exactly cut it! 

Every minute of every mile was a joy, and I can truly say I am made for running. There were times where it was tough, but thinking of every single person who had donated to the cause kept me going. It’s amazing how knowing that other people appreciate what you are doing inspires you so much, and it makes it so worth while. It’s a bit like pushing through the trials and tribulations of fighting Vasculitis, and knowing there is a finish line ahead. There is not a single person on the course willing you to fail. They are all cheering you on and willing you to keep strong. 

I hope that in some way, my crazy running is proof that nothing is impossible. I used to be an overweight, unhealthy, ill person. Now, I am a healthy and fit person that happens to have a passenger called Wegener’s Granulomatosis. 

Next up is Plymouth half marathon in June. I’m going to be running with a friend who is aiming to get a sub 2 hour half marathon. Will be a fun day and I’m looking forward to it. After that I’m going for a DRAM! Not the alcoholic type, the Dundee Running Adventure Marathon in July!! Going to be a very tough 26.2 miles in the Scorching Scottish summer. Trail shoes and Camelback at the ready! 

Thanks again to everyone. Next donation of £40 or more gets the last place on the tattoo. Come on! I need to get this tattoo started!!! 

PS. The pic is taken on the final 1/4 mile of the marathon. Woo! 

Marathon Blog 5

15 Jun


11/03/2012 – 7 days to Roma race day!  

So, only 7 days till the first Marathon of 2012… It’s been a long time coming and in some ways too long. My last marathon was way back in September and it feels like a long time ago! This is one of the reasons why I won’t be waiting so long until the next one!! Nope, not Berlin… A far more glamorous city. A city of discovery… a city with plenty of wildlife… a city that is pretty close to my home town of Montrose! Dundee Running Adventure Marathon, or DRAM for short. I like the occasional short along with a pint so this marathon/dram seems like a good idea. After 26.2 miles I can’t actually imagine a worse thing than a wee dram of whisky, but if needs must, I may take one for the team! 

What else has been happening? Well, I’ve entered the Plymouth half marathon on the 3rd of June 2012. Not exactly the closest run to Inverness, but one I will be running with a friend that I met doing the Marathon du Medoc. She is running in the Bath half Marathon today so all the best to Sarah! 

Training in the last week or so has been eventful and productive. In the lead up to a marathon distance run it is normal to shorten and decrease (taper) your running. For Rome I have done just that. In doing so I have neglected something – the need to carry certain things during my running sessions… 

So, it had been a long day at work and I drove out to the majestic (wine), (no advert honestly) Culbin forest and embarked upon a 9 mile run taking in the beauty of nature. Making sure to set my starting point on my GPS watch, I bounced along listening to a recently acquired running music compilation album About 7 miles in I thought it was about time to start planning my way back, so hit the buttons on my faithful GPS to send me home. 36 miles it said!!! No, no, no… Thankfully I was sensible enough to pick up a map of the forest before I set off. Unfortunately this map turned out to be a map advertising another forest with what looks like an interesting route! As much as I was intrigued by this new jaunt, I was still wondering how I how I was going to get back to my car. This has now become a regular running route for me, so despite the failure of my GPS I was still confident of navigating my way back. The last marker post I seen was number 6 so all I needed to do was turn right at number 3. Simples I thought! 

So boys and girls, this is why it is always important to carry spare batteries for a head torch! 




“Look how bright the moon is!” 



At this point I’d also began wishing I’d eaten a few more carrots this week! My eyes slowly adjusted to the moonlight and it was a slow trundle through the forest, but my memory served me well and made it back to the car. What did I learn from this? Never rely on compilation albums because it’s not easy to skip tracks when it’s pitch black! 

Going to have a lazy week this week, but looking forward to going back to Rome, but this time with my running shoes. It’s a beautiful city and the perfect place for a pasta party! Armed with my awesome bib number: 14455, I’m looking forward to a good run Look out for my post marathon musings soon.. 


PS. Photo is post head torch failure! 

Marathon Blog 4

15 Jun


29/02/2012 – 17 days to Roma race day!  

I really honestly think that my left socks have been hiding or destroying my right socks! I have countless running socks, however I have a growing number of left socks and a decreasing number of right socks! So much so I have lost the count of the number of banana foot runs I’ve had to partake in! 3 this week alone! 

Good news this week though… The big runs are all done for Rome marathon! Done a grand total of 60 miles between Friday and Monday, 17 miles being my biggest run. It was pretty uneventful in all honesty, but seemed pretty effortless apart from getting the energy to drag my sorry legs round Loch Morlich near Aviemore. Stunning views and fantastic weather for a long run! 

This year will see me run in a few more marathons than I first decided. Looks like I’m going to add in 2 or 3 more. Maybe a big long trail run too. Why?.. I hear you ask. February 2013 will see me undertaking an undoubtedly brilliant run around the beach! The beach, being a 160 mile non stop Ultra Marathon around the Egyptian white desert over 94 hours. Yup, it’s insane, but it’s been dream of mine to do an Ultra Marathon, and this one fits the bill. Anything greater than 26.2 miles is considered an Ultra, but I want to really push myself to the limits. This will certainly do that! 

The race is called the Ocean floor race, and is called so because it used to be covered by the Tethys ocean over 200 million years ago! The desert is a wonderland of over-sized mushrooms, kneeling camels, sitting ducks, dessert meringues, towering spires and insane runners… Well, not so many insane runners! I will be 1 of a maximum of 50 nut cases taking part in this event. There are still places if anyone fancies joining me? 

My runs in 2013 will be dedicated to the Lauren Currie Twilight Foundation. Any donation for this event will be greatly appreciated! You can read more here: 

This doesn’t stop my efforts for 2012 and increases the number of runs I will be participating in this year. Both charities are supporting me greatly and I hope you can support them both too. They are amazing people, running amazing charities, doing amazing things! I am in awe. 

Thanks you all again for all your support. 


PS. photo is me post Marathon du Paris 2009! Also, quick question… If I turn my left socks inside out, does that make them right socks? 

Marathon Blog 3

15 Jun


A big thanks to everyone who has donated, you’re in my thoughts during the runs!  

Here is blog number 2:  

19/02/2012 – 27 days to race day!  

So… Every eye was on me in the gym Saturday. Why were they looking at little old me? Was if for my running prowess? My dedication to 80 long minutes on the treadmill? Was it my brand new Vasculitis UK T-shirt? Unfortunately not… Note to self: If you are wearing headphones and not running outside in the middle of a forest, other people can hear you singing along with Frank Sinatra! Any chance of someone sending me a Vascultits UK balaclava so I can face the gym again?! 

It’s actually been a really good training week. The big run on Thursday came a little too soon after the Sunday run but was productive none the less. I managed 18 miles despite wanting to stop from mile 1, then followed it up with 6 miles on Friday morning. Saturday (apart from embarrassing myself), involved 5k on the treadmill going easy in in the morning, then 15k of treadmill interval training after work. 

Today was great fun! 15K total, running with 5k splits. Ran the first 5k in 19 min 57 seconds, followed by 5k in 23 min 53 seconds. Then after 1 or 5 Haribo sweeties (only pros use Haribo’s!) a final 5k in 24min 64 seconds. So happy to beat 25 minutes for the last 5k (please note: may have cheated slightly). 

This week should see me wind down a little bit. Going to work a little more on my core strength and more interval training. The long runs are going to start coming down in miles though! Woo yeah! 15 miles planned for next weekend in my home town of Montrose. It’s going to be a route I used a lot training for Paris Marathon in 2009, so a nostalgic run one could say! This week will also see an announcement as to making this challenge a wee bit tougher! Next weeks blog will undoubtedly reveal more! 

Thanks again for reading! 

PS. Pic is the Majestic Wine Marathon du Medoc Marathon team sporting our medals! Bring on Roma! 

Marathon Blog 2

15 Jun


13/02/2012 – 33 days to race day!

Wow, the days have really been flying past! Can’t believe the hard part of training is nearly over. Only one more long run before I’ll be hammering the streets of Rome.

This weeks training involved a 40 minute interval session, a 9k run on the treadmill, a split day with a (very early) morning 5k threshold run, a 10k easy run in the evening, an 18 mile run on Sunday and a 30 min easy warm down run.

The interval session was ok, shattered by the end, but completed it. The 9k treadmill run was meant to be a 10k run. Didn’t go so well! Every muscle, bone, joint (even my ebay beard!) was telling me to stop. So I did. I went into a mini strop and even slammed my locker door! “WHO STOLE MY LEGS?! THESE AREN’T MY LEGS!?” This was actually good therapy and a manoeuvre I’ll remember for future tenuous work outs! A day off was very much required!! Day off lasted until 00:20am when I zipped up my glow in the dark thermal man-suit and thrashed out a speedy 5k. Later that day was a 10k on the treadmill – none of this 9k nonsense and no lockers were hurt in the aftermath of this run!

Sunday was supposed to be an 18 mile, uneventful, easy run. It wasn’t 18 miles, it wasn’t uneventful and it wasn’t exactly easy. My plan was 9 miles out then run back the same route. Simple eh?

Well… it went so well that I missed a turn and ended up running 18.7 miles before I noticed that I wasn’t back home. Instead I was staring at a road sign telling me that I was 7 miles from home. To make matters worse I was due to be at work in 30 minutes time! Needless to say it didn’t take me long to realise that that wasn’t going to happen! Thankfully I had a mobile phone on me and gave my boss a phone let him in on my little predicament. The laughter was deafening! Next call was organising a taxi to come pick me up – “Can I have a taxi somewhere on the B9154 please? Just look out for a guy in running gear… Not running”

It was actually a really good run and I was delighted that I could have easily ran marathon distance that day.

21 miler coming up this week! BRING IT ON!

PS. The pic is after my last marathon. The marathon du Medoc was so hard it turned my hair green! Hope it happens again… I liked having green hair!