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Dyce Half – a huge surprise with 2nd female!

Well he is 6 weeks old and wow it just feels like one loonnnnggggg day!! I can’t really remember what it was like without Logan, nor can I imagine what life would be like without him now! He is changing every day; as I write this I don’t think he has smiled yet, but he is definitely recognising his parents, grabbing to the point he could break a necklace, and his cry is WAY louder than his size would lead you to believe…!

 

On the week he turned one month old, I fancied a challenge and – since Kyle was running a 40 miler on the Saturday and a 20 miler the Sunday in his build up to UTMB – I thought Logan and I would meet grandma, do a parkrun and have a day of shopping, lunch, coffee, etc…

 

Well, Saturday morning came and Logan had other plans. To be honest, it was the first time I had to change my plans last minute and my A-type personality freaked out! I know now this is something I will have to accept, but I was actually looking forward to my little challenge. We still managed the other stuff, but not being able to do something really got to me, and I was a diva for it.

 

I returned home from our Grandma/Mummy/Son date (?!) and before even asking how Kyle’s ridiculous 6.5 hour mountain run went, I moaned to him about my morning, to which he replied “Dyce Half’s tomorrow”. I was entered about 15minutes later.

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(Logan with his silver medal!)

Now, if you have a look at my Strava, you won’t see much running. BUT I have managed to some form of activity nearly every day, and the majority of my “workouts” (I won’t call them training sessions yet!) have been making the most of the shorter amount of time I now have available. For example, at a weekend when I would do a long cycle, I have instead been doing an hour on Zwift with some serious power output. For any cyclists reading, my last FTP test was the week Logan was born and was 266W, but I’d quite like to see where I’m at now.

Anyway, I thought I would be able to complete a half, albeit with some pain but just take it easy if it was too much.

The day even started different to usual, when I had my regular pre-race coffee after feeding my prince:

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(Emma just got engaged – in Rome! – hence the mug!)

When we got there, I saw so many friends I hadn’t seen in ages (pregnancy/newbie to motherhood is not conducive to much of a running social life), and I loved catching up with them:

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(So glad my brutha from anutha mutha is back running again – he is horrendous chat when not running..!) 

Of course, competitor kicked in as soon as the gun went off, and a sub 6.30 mile was a silly idea to start my day…

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Kerry Prise shot ahead and won in a massive PB, while I had a fun cat and mouse game with Ali Matthews over the first couple miles, then did a surge to try and catch a guy in front who was taller than me and could help me in the wind (Ali is teeny so I would never get any help there 😉 …!). My watch wasn’t set for laps, but I got to the half way mark on for about a 1.28 and it was downhill with a tailwind home, so I was just praying that would help me finish. I saw Kerry coming the other way about a minute from the turnaround (it was out and back) and she was cheering me on (she must not have been working hard enough..!).

 

Also, the volunteers at the aid stations were INCREDIBLE! To be called an inspiration and that no one could believe I was in 2nd place exactly one month after having a baby made me teary-eyed because I genuinely didn’t expect the sheer amount of compliments I received! So thank you, running community, for being so supportive and positive and kind!

 

Despite the final mile feeling horrendous, I decided to stop for a rest wee kiss from Logie Bear with about 400m to go which totally cheered me up!

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(Quite literally, Logie Bear – loved those faces waiting for me!)

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A wee lap of honour around the football (or rugby?) field, I went through the finish line in 1.27.45 (2nd female) with a huge smile on my face! A massive thanks to Dino for letting me do a race I will remember forever! And not just because the spread of food at the end was incredible 😉 And for Mum surprising me at the finish!

(Thanks for the photos, Irina! Logan got all the ladies that day!)

I think Logan either missed all his girlfriends when we headed back to the car, or he was embarassed that his parents made him wear a Winnie the Pooh outfit to all their friends that morning:

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(grumpy bear)

Well, the joke was on him because he later peed all over his attire and the only spares we had with us made him look like an old lady…:

 

I will say I didn’t sleep much for a couple nights afterwards (remember the pelvic girdle pain I have – well that didn’t magically go away, and racing on it made the aftermath worse than labour!). I was “sleeping” sitting up with an ice pack on my fairy. TMI? Deal with it, because I have to.

Anyway, on Saturday we go to Chamonix for our first family vacay (Grandma included, because I need a drinking buddy while Kyle runs 103miles with 10,000m of elevation (note: no typo there!) and Tom, because he is Kyle’s TRS brother) so please please please follow him and cheer him on! This is THE biggest race of his life, and I am already so proud of him because of all the training he has done in the lead up, all while working ridiculous hours and while being an amazing Daddy to Logie Bear! The race starts at 6pm on the 30th and he is in the elite field.

 

As for me, I don’t have any goals set as yet, but I still really love my challenges and getting workouts in, either before Kyle or Logan wake up, or when Kyle gets back from work. They really make me feel human, so I’ll keep doing that until sleep deprivation takes over!

 

Thanks again for all the tremendous support and hopefully the next post will be Kyle recapping on the best race of his career!

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Meet Logan!

Where does the time go?!! Logan Alexander Chase Greig is now 4 weeks’ old on Saturday!! He has changed our lives completely, and I already can’t remember what life was like before him. Apart from thinking I had WAY more time in the day!

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So let’s rewind to a couple weeks before he appeared; to the Portsoy 10km (because this is a sporting blog after all…!). Basically, I was 8.5ish months pregnant, was able to run about twice a week (pelvic girdle pain is horrendous) and was having serious FOMO re running (despite still swimming and cycling), so I asked Kyle if we could do it. He agreed provided I promised to take my time. Long story short, I started at the back, the competitiveness person I thought I had lost kicked in at the big hill in the middle, I started picking people off, and managed to negative split on a super-hot day to finish 3rd place overall female in a time of 43 minutes…! It wasn’t pretty, but I felt in control the whole way and loved being out there “racing” again! And the icing on the cake was that when we got home, I was surprised by my work friends at the door who whisked me away for a surprise BABY SHOWER!!!! I was not expecting it at all and it was a phenomenal day!!

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Ok so back to the important part; the baby.

I had been working from home that week, answering emails and menial admin tasks, but nothing big as my handover had been pretty thorough and my managers were amazing and wanted me to be relaxing come July, so I had a great time getting some fresh air (and a tan in the process!), swimming nearly every day, and finalising my “nesting” phase!

On the Friday (the day before), I swam 4km (tumble turns included!) and visited my friend Ange and her newborn for coffee, and did some gardening. Emma came round in the evening for a curry, and I decided to opt for a spicy one to see if that really does kick start labour (I am a korma girl usually!). We played the playstation and watched some stand up on Netflix, and she went off to pick up her partner Barry just before midnight (FYI that is the latest I had ever stayed up in pregnancy, but it was just such a fun chilled night!).

Fast forward 2 hours. Just after 2am, I wake up to a rush of water, run to the bathroom and immediately knew my waters had broke. I had to shout Kyle’s name three times before he awoke from his slumber and he was confused (no change there) and started googling how long it takes for contractions to start after your waters break. I think we both knew it could be a good day or so, but by the time he hit enter on the ipad, I was having my first contraction!! Animalistically, I picked the position of crounching in all fours as my go to, and just as I started getting ready to get my stuff together, I had another. I went to brush my teeth and got another one. They were less than 4 minutes apart. Kyle phoned the hospital (I had to go to Aberdeen because I am classed as high risk with all my health issues) but the midwife said as it was our first baby, I should just stay put for a couple hours then think about heading in. We ignored that advice and got straight into the car.

I couldn’t sit down in the car! Originally, I tried to get into a praying position, facing the rear window, but the seatbelt alert came on, so I had to strap up. I was leaning on my arm the whole way because any pressure in “that” area was torture. I also found peace in a lipbalm I grabbed as leaving the house, because I had remembered being told if I pack anything in my hospital bag, make sure it is lip balm… anyway, I used that as a stress ball (!) and grabbed it every time I had a contraction (which was now one per mile!). Let me tell you, Aberdeenshire really has some horrendous pot holes which are made all the more evident when you are in that amount of pain!

Kyle was incredible and in between each contraction, told me how excited he was and how much he loved me, but all I did was tell him to shut up. He also tried to hold my hand, and I threw it away! We even made a “push playlist” on Spotify (!) but that never got played. I had to be in complete silence while Kyle drove well over the speed limit to get us there on time!

As we arrived at the hospital, he ran to try and find me a wheelchair, while I was on all fours on the pavement. I then Walking Dead zombie walked my way through the hospital corridor (where I had another 2) and was found on the floor by a couple midwives, who guided me into the Triage unit to assess me.

Well, I was not able to lie on the bed, because as soon as I got there, I had to push! They couldn’t strap the monitors around my stomach (to check baby’s heart rate etc) because they were coming too frequently, but when they did “the check” it’s head was right there that they had to get me to a room asap!

And…less than half an hour after arriving at the hospital, at 4.08am, there he was! I had a wee bit of gas and air, but didn’t really like it, so just used Coach Lewis’ hypno-advice (I went to visit him a few weeks’ prior, as he is a GP by day (superhero coach by night) and has done multiple hypnobirthing sessions, so when I offered I thought I had nothing to lose!) and zoned out. I felt so calm yet powerful and what a rush of emotion when you have finished and you’re begging to find out the gender (it felt like an eternity before Kyle told me we had a boy!)!

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So the best achievement we have ever had to date is little Logan! He came on the 6th of the 7th, weighing 6lb7oz…so that’ll be easy to remember! So far he has slept right through the night, waking up once or twice for an hour or so (which we are told is great) but when he screams…he SCREAMS. He sees away milk like a rugby player on a night out and his facial expressions are HILARIOUS! He climbed a corbett at 10 days old at Lochnagar, and has been up Bennachie and some other nearby hills a couple times…he seems to be loving the trails just like his Daddy (not so much his Mummy!)!

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Logan, when [we make] you read this blog, you will realise [if you don’t already] that your parents are nutters, but we love you and can’t wait to take you along on all our adventures, and go along with you on your adventures! We look forward to seeing what you can achieve and are loving this journey so far!

 

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Mozart 100 – Take 2!

Salzburg last year was bitter sweet. It was a stunning place, the people were so friendly and welcoming, I was treated like a celebrity and the atmosphere of the race, and the race itself, was just unfaultable. However, I had a horrible injury, (I was opting for the expensive bus even 2 stops because it was so painful), I was still a “rookie” elite ultrarunner, Debbie couldn’t be at the finish as she was in Germany for her own pro race, and (although re-reading this, I don’t know why, but) I was slightly disappointed in just missing top 3 (the top 4 were separated by just 8 minutes!).

This year felt so different; there was the familiarity in staying at the same elite hotel, catching up with friends from last year, knowing my bearings around town, not having to haul around a bike box, and not being injured for once (apart from a forever-niggling piriformis)! Furthermore, this race was a B race as great preparation for the UTMB in only a couple of months, so there was less pressure on myself and all I wanted out of it was to gauge fitness and learn some lessons for August. It was a great tune up, given the distance, time on feet and elevation, and just to make it extra challenging, the gods above decided to make it 30+C!! For a pale ginger Scotsman it was not looking good for me to better last year’s result! Not to mention the field was incredibly stacked with Pau Kapell making an appearance (he won the entire UTWT series last year!).

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Instead of being intimidated or nervous, I took it in my stride (literally) and was more excited just to see where I was at and race for the last time as a child-less man. Although it was a nice feeling whenever it was getting tough, just thinking about next month being so satisfying and rewarding – no sh1tty race could define who I am as a person or future father, again relieving more pressure..!

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I arrived on Thursday in Vienna airport, got some lunch that I ate at a park near the train station (beautiful place!), chilled for an hour, and then got the train to Salzburg.

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I knew where the hotel was, so a ten minute walk later I was checking in, unpacking, and changing for a wee shakeout run. I was tired (it was a red eye flight from Edinburgh) but just excited to be there! The temperature was intense, but I prepared by hydrating and eating regularly. The elite’s meal was in the evening, so I headed there for another warm welcome from the organisers Claudia and Josef, and a delicious Austrian meal of pork and sauerkraut to kick start the event! I was sat with some phenomenal runners, but they were all so friendly and I actually felt like one of them!

After the meal and a couple of beers, I wandered back to the hotel with my new friends and tried to sleep for as long as possible! When I woke up on Friday, it was too hot to stay in the room! So I did another little jog, recced the “Stairway to Heaven”, took some selfies, and got an ice cream in the town square. Once the bib was picked up, the entertainment began and then an early night before awaking at 3am (not a typo) for the race.

The morning was relatively straightforward. The hotel put on a great carb heavy breakfast at 3am, and I headed to the start line about a mile away at 4am. The gun went off at 5am (I may or may not have had to sprint from the portapotty as my warm up…) and off we went.

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Starting off VERY conservatively, I was in about 40th place at 10km. Guys shot off at 6 minute miles and even at my 7ish minute miles I was so far back! We had a very long way to go. Run Seanie Run (my new Irish friend and social media celebrity I had had pizza with the previous night) ended up interviewing me at the 6 mile point just asking why the hell I was so far back, then admired my composure and off I went.

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From then on, as the temperatures soared, I continued to pick people off, take fuel every 20 minutes, and stop at every burn I could find to soak my cap and buff to trick my body into feeling cool. I think it worked, because I hadn’t prepared for just how insane this heat would be!

 

I also made the decision to bail out of using my new poles. For one, I hadn’t practiced enough, so would not be utilising them efficiently, but also, they were going to add weight that I didn’t need for 110km when I would be putting off using them. HOWEVER, if you have followed the Mozart 100 race on Facebook, you might have seen an “interesting” video of me with an “interesting” set of alternative poles which I did use going up one of the mental climbs towards the end… I’ll just leave this here… [A MUST WATCH!]

There was an additional climb added this year, higher than all the other climbs, and right at the end, and it really killed me! I was in 4th and was really tiring. A combination of heat and just how long I’d been running for had hit me, but I found that smiling was actually the game changer in making me feel better! Having banter with the volunteers (who were incredible!) really raised my spirits and kept me going! Also, I am very glad I recced the Stairway to Heaven because, after doing that monstrosity of a climb, the stairs really weren’t that bad as I had remembered (for those of you who are local, they were like the rocky part at the top of Bennachie).

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Coming into the town centre, I had settled for 5th place, but it turned out a Japanese guy took a wrong turn, missed the biggest summit completely, and came out ahead of me, and so was DQ’d! 4th again but in a much better place mentally and physically!

I did NOT end up in hospital this year and, instead, was treated to all you can eat food and beers in the town festival afterwards with my new ultrabuddies!

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Recovery since then has been some walking, stretching, one spin class and LOTS of eating and drinking. Thankfully, zero toenail issues or blisters (Salomon Ultra Pro is what I chose for my feet in case anyone is wondering about my shoes), and the chaffage was diminished in the shower afterwards by applying a further coating of Vaseline just in case…!

And when I landed back in Edinburgh and crashed and Best Man Mattie’s, I had a lovely surprise waiting for me at midnight!

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I have been very thankful Debs encouraged me to go – I had lost my mojo for a while with not being able to race as much, and having all the focus on one race, as well as forcing myself to train out of my comfort zone – at night time, for example – and really just wanting to spend time with Debbie. Luckily, she has been a phenomenal pregnant lady (she has not forced me to say this!) as she seems to still have so much energy (even at 36 weeks!), is training, or “exercising” herself, and has had no hormonal strops (any different to usual!). She has been motivating me to get out there as opposed to playing the P-card, but trust me I know I owe her so much when this baby comes and when I have finished (and hopefully smashed!) the UTMB!

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(My present from the organisers definitely brought a tear to my eye..!)

Another huge thanks must go to my coach Lewis Walker, who has been hugely instrumental in believing in my potential and although some lessons before UTMB, I must admit I am feeling much more confident that I can perform well in August!

It is such a great event and I would encourage anyone to do it! There are different distances for all abilities and I will definitely be back!

 

For anyone who wants to hear more about the race, please stay tuned for this week’s episode of Tartan Running Shorts!

 

 

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1 month to go and a wee project..!

We are beginning to see the finish line now…

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(When your baby box arrives in the post, the clock is ticking…!)

Things are beginning to calm down – the house seems well nested, the nursery is as complete as it can be, the shortlist of names is finished, and it is now a waiting game.

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(I have the BEST friends!)

I’ve stayed pretty active throughout which I think has helped massively. From what people are saying, I am very “neat” and, in a baggy jumper, I’m hardly showing. But I can assure you, I feel like a whale!

Walking upstairs is so difficult (you get out of breath so quickly!), walking is taking a lot longer, I have to really build up momentum in order to tumble turn in the water (BUT I am still managing…go me!), and reaching the bars on the bike is near impossible!

Weirdly, I was able to start back “running” about a month ago, but only every 2nd or 3rd day, and only on the treadmill or on trail. My pelvic pain doesn’t get any worse during and I have been cleared to do it as long as I am within myself and stop when it hurts. 99% of all sessions are now easy intensity, and just to make me feel human again

I have gained about 11kgs so far but I think (I’m hoping!) it’s predominantly in the stomach region. Low rise jeans can still button up, but I am committing to maternity leggings for the rest of my life…they are SO comfy!

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(Hitting a milestone…I am officially heavier than Kyle!)

I need at least 9 hours sleep now or I can’t function. I’ve never been a napper, but I am spending more time during the day lounging around than I used to. I’m also enjoying long baths and massages (I saw physio Helen for a while when I was in quite a bit of discomfort, but now Kyle is doing a splendid job!).

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(I am classed as high risk, so am being closely monitored…it will all be worth it soon! This was taken at about 32 weeks, and still in normal jeans!)

Food wise, I can be soooo hungry one minute, and uncomfortably full the next. I think it is all dependant on where the baby is sitting and it is pretty active so, depending on its position, it might be on my stomach (full) or far enough away (ravenous)?? Anyway, despite being healthy the last couple of months to make up for the initial 15ish weeks, I am now craving “beige” foods again unfortunately. Luckily, I can stomach fruit and veg now, unlike the early stages, but Pop Tarts (US-style, not the UK ones – they taste way healthier. S’mores are by far the best!) have made a comeback in my life.

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(When your caffeine intake is rationed, make it count)

I still REALLY miss a good glass of wine (New Zealand and Canada really spoiled me last year and turned me into a snob), but I have maintained only my one wee glass on my birthday! I have begged the fam to take some Champers into the ward after it’s born, and a potential compromise of sneaking some form of celebratory drink in a water bottle has been discussed…! 😉

Ok enough about boring preggers updates, and on to a little project I am working on, that I am super excited to talk about..!

 


 

Since my result at Challenge Almere last year, I had some FOMO, but then realised I am loving living through friends and other people doing awesome in their racing! I am enjoying reading about journeys to start lines, smashing PBs and reaching new performance levels.

 

That made me have a long chat with Kyle one night and – since he is doing SO WELL with his coaching – message us on the Kyle Runs and Deb Tris Facebook Page for more info on his services – he has encouraged me to give it a go!

 

We reckon with my achievements and experiences, for example:

 

 

These accolades – as well as being overly enthusiastic and passionate about most things (I wonder how many exclamation marks have been used throughout the lifetime of this blog?) – we feel, would make me a pretty good consultant!

 

As I will be busy looking after a new human life, I am looking to take on a small number of athletes and practice the “quality over quanitity” approach, beginning on maternity leave and beyond…! Whether it’s your first triathlon or cycling event, all the way up to if you want to do well in your AG in an Ironman, I think I can really help!

 

If you are interested please message the Facebook page, or email me at debbiehmoore@gmail.com

 

That’s enough from me, but if you listen to Kyle & Tom’s podcast, Tartan Running Shorts, you’ll know that Kyle is currently in Austria at the Mozart 100 race (last year he was 4th!)!! You can track him here (race number 20), and please please please send lots of good luck vibes his way!

 

xoxo

 

 

 

 

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A Moroccan Babymoon and entering the 3rd Trimester!

Today I am officially into the 3rd trimester (28 weeks)! Wish the next 12ish weeks would hurry up…!

How many weeks pregnant: 28

My guess on gender: A boy, until I went shopping with my sissy on Monday and she was talking about taking it out for cocktails on its 18th birthday…now I can imagine either!?

Kyle’s guess on gender: A boy, but only cause he keeps calling it a “he” by accident, and has now convinced himself!

Food aversions: I have gone off my porridge again!! Which sucks because it means I don’t fill myself up in the mornings, and I’ve hit the starving-all-the-time stage!!

Food cravings: Most things edible – I’m really into grapes just now, but I think that’s because they are really juicy and I am finding myself getting pretty dehydrated pretty easily at the moment.

Sleep: I am sleeping about 8-9 hours a night. I would prefer more but I get round to hitting the hay around 9.30pm, asleep about 10pm and then up at 6am. I don’t have the biggest stomach yet, so it is not uncomfortable for me to sleep on my back, or right side. I’m just going with the flow..!

When I feel my best: After a swim (I still don’t feel great in comparison to before during, just because I’m slower and less comfortable tumble turning – but still managing! – but after I feel like I got a total body stretch!), but if during, then it’s on the turbo, but sitting up because my tummy gets in the way. I should really move up my handlebars!

When I feel my worst: Walking – I have a pinched nerve in my back, as well as pelvic girdle pain AND an irritated glute mead, so running is impossible and I’m walking very uncomfortably. When pregnant, tendons around your pelvic area get loosened in preparation for childbirth and mine have just gone cray cray. I’m so just thankful I can do other forms of exercise to make me feel human, or I would go insane! I also feel pretty uncomfortable after a big meal – because my stomach is being taken up by a developing human, I get full pretty quickly, so little and often seems to be the key!

Biggest area of growth: My stomach is growing and growing. So weird!

Times I go to the bathroom during the night: Probably still the same as before – 3 or 4 times per night. But I’m going more just before bed eg 9.30pm-10pm. Maybe 3 times in that half an hour!

Belly button in or out? My belly button is neither an innie or outie. It’s more in than out but it’s so freaky I don’t like to look at it!

Wedding rings still fit? Yep! No swelling…yet!

Best moment of being pregnant so far: Feeling baby go mental with the kicks and punches!

Worst moment of being pregnant so far: Not too many complaints or issues from last update! I have more energy again but don’t like being starving more often, with no snacks around! I think the pain in my back/glute is worst just because it is constantly zapping and can be so sore! Worth it though 🙂

On my to-do list: People at work, and a couple of friends who have had babies (I don’t have very many, so am very grateful to you guys for helping!) have made me a spreadsheet with a shopping list of things I actually need, rather than what the shops tell you to buy, as well as a list I have combined with everyone’s advice and tips eg keeping the baby’s room at 18C, and bringing flip flops to the hospital! So I have worked my way through and all that is left to buy is car seat and nursery furniture (we have already bought an adorable cot bed, but the other stuff I’m still shopping around for). I am LOVING shopping for this baby, especially when Mum and Emma get involved…they are hilarious!

Training: If I hit 10 hours a week I’m happy. I wouldn’t call it training at all, but just exercise! When I feel good, I might shove on Zwift or a GCN video if tight for time on the bike, and likewise in the pool I’ll still join Chris for his sprint sets to make swimming exciting (whenever I’m by myself I just plod up and down with a lack of motivation to do any reps). When I’m feeling particularly sluggish, I have this 20minute pre-natal pilates routine memorised, so I can go and get a good stretch, particularly  in my hip and pelvic area, which makes me feel so much better afterwards! As much as I’d love to have some goals set for post-baby, I just have no idea how my body is going to react to childbirth, nor do I know if these injuries are going to magically disappear, so I don’t want to plan anything until I feel better (which sucks because I like goals!). BUT I also want the baby to come first so if training/racing takes a back seat for a while, who cares?!

If anyone has any advice or guidance, please let me know! Thanks for reading about my journey and I hope it can help with yours if you are going through the same 🙂

Right, on to our baby moon in Morocco, which happened the day after Kyle’s 100km smashfest! Apart from the 2 days at the beginning where his body was like WTF have you just done to me you A**HOLE, and he spent those days alone in the hotel with V&D (while I sunbathed managed to run to a pharmacy to spend £18(!!!) on anti-sickness meds), we explored Essaouria, the Atlas Mountains and finished off in Marrakech. A beautiful place (with a corrupt police force) and I loved every second…Kyle maybe only after he recovered 😉

A couple of spa days, lots of mint tea, runs for me (I was able to a couple weeks ago..), shopping, culture tours, tagines, and even a wee trip to their “theme park” (a cuter version of Codonas to be real). Spot the bump 😉

 

 

❤ ❤ ❤

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Anglo Celtic Plate 100km – British Champs 3rd place

My preparation for British 100k Championships was great to begin with – I was selected as a GB reserve for the upcoming World Trail Running Champs (read my account as 1st Brit at the 2017 championships 2 years ago) so being selected to represent Scotland at this might be my own chance this year to represent my country. However, life sort of got in the way; work was mental, Deb was hospitalised, I got a piriformis niggle, and basically lost my mojo for a while.

 After seeing a couple of different physios, and being given different exercises to help, I was a little nervous and disheartened, but my sessions were still proving I had speed, albeit if I lacked some endurance from missed runs.

In the week leading up to the race in Perth, I upped my hydration, increased the frequency of doing these exercises, ate (a little) better, and felt as prepared as I could be when we arrived in Perth the day before (which we also tied in with car shopping!).

Ok so pre-race dinner was an edible lasagne, followed by half decent apple pie and ice cream, and banter from fellow teammates and ultra GB legends James Stewart and Rob Turner at our table. Heated discussions over whether Ironmans are tougher than 24 hour runs had Debbie baffled (1 activity for a full day sounded way harder to the Greigs, but those skinny runners hate swimming…) meant I forgot all about my traditional pre-race beer! A pack of Jaffa Cakes as 2nd dessert did the trick instead.

After an interrupted (there was a wedding on in the hotel, and we were in the centre of town on a Saturday with thin walls) solid 7 hours of sleep, I got up about 4.30am. Debbie made my porridge with pb, banana and chia seeds, and coffee, then went off on her own wee run since she knows she doesn’t get any love/banter out of me a) at that time of day, and b) race morning.

When she got back, I was doing my stretches and she loaded up the car. We headed to the race just after 6.30am. It was raining and cold, and I decided I had 100km to warm up; I didn’t need to add any more to that, so saw no need to arrive any earlier! When we got to the Scotland tent, each athlete got their own part of the table for their support crew to sort out fuelling for the 7 hours of racing, so Debbie set up while I got my kit ready. In true K-Babe fashion, my bib was on the wrong way, so team manager Debbie (also an angel that day, so not to be mistaken for my Debbie) looked after me right as the organiser announced there was 1 minute to go to the start..!

 A quick team photo, a few good luck handshakes, shouting at my Debbie to get me a buff for the next lap (there were 42 in total – spoiler: it was less disgusting than anticipated) as I was stupidly underdressed for the rain and bitter wind, and the gun went off.

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Immediately, Rob and I took the lead. This was a little worrying considering I have gone out fast in the past and paid the consequences (I’m looking at you, Highland Fling). But I felt good, there was no pain in my butt (Debbie was away getting me a buff) and my glute was pain free, too 😉

We passed all the tents again after about 9 minutes, and were all waves and smiles. Fast forward that another 10 laps or so, the smiles turned to grimaces, then fast forward another 20 laps, and they were faces of pain and anger..!

I borrowed gloves from James (again, disorganised K-Babe strikes again), but never usually race in gloves, so discarded them after a few laps, but the buff stayed on for about a third of the race. I was ticking off about 6.25/mile pace (consistent sub 20min 5kms) and pulled away from Rob, but he stayed within 3-8 seconds that entire time. Unbeknown to me, I thought he was 3-8 minutes. D’oh!

I then hit a wee wobble, that I think might have been caused by stopping to pee at a tree, then surging to get back to the lead (that mile was still under 6.30, which was a rookie error). I also spent quite a while on a nutrition plan, for it to be neglected from lap 1. Because it was so cold, I didn’t feel I needed water until about lap 4, which meant everything got pushed, Debbie didn’t know what to feed me for the following lap, and rather than tell her what I would want in ~10mins time at the next lap, I got frustrated that she wasn’t a fortune teller thus didn’t provide me with the thing I wanted at that time.

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This was actually my first time trying out Maurten. I know what you’re thinking; why the hell didn’t you try it out in training, you imbecile? My answer – have you SEEN how much they charge for gels and drinks?! I was perfectly fine taking the risk, so as not to have to remortgage my house and sell my unborn child. What I didn’t know about it, was that not only is it very sweet, the actual drink is like cement mix, and has to constantly be shaken. I clearly wasn’t aware, so sipping it around the lap felt like water and then BOOM the cement mix hit, which was a struggle and also very sickly to digest. Instead of remembering this tip for the next bottle I was given, I would choose instead to get angry at Debbie for making my fuel too weak..!

Another lesson learned from the race: never shout at a pregnant person.

She was actually awesome – when she saw me fatiguing, she would shout key words of encouragement as I passed. One lap she told me to do it for Don Ritchie (1st Scot would receive a trophy in his honour), then on another lap she told me to do it for our baby, which literally made me well up and push harder.

 Don’t get me wrong – she also f***ed up when I was deep in a hole, after I’d fallen from 1st to 3rd place. She told me 4th was right behind me. I thought I’d blown it. 4th again. But no, I had actually lapped 4th and yes he was right behind me, but a lap behind.  

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Big Charles Harpur from Essex stormed through the field about 2/3 into the race and was nothing but encouraging. His performance was paced to perfection. Rob also smashed it, letting me go for a few laps, and just staying consistent while I wobbled around. When in 3rd, I genuinely felt like the Wolds Way disaster was going to hit me again, and I’d walk a 9 hour final marathon. I was so worried that I even threw off my Suunto watch, because I was too scared to know my pace.

It’s the most emotional ultra I have done to date. For the others, even if going in injured, I have relaxed the entire way and enjoyed the hard work in training paying off. Today was not that day. I just really wanted to win, and fought for the entire 6 hours and 54 minutes of that 100km. 3rd in the British Champs, 2nd in the Scottish Champs, and 1st Scottish Senior because Rob is an old man. That time also puts us top 3 lads on the GB all time list. I am 18th fastest 100ker in Great Britain, ever, according to the Run Britain rankings. 

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If you thought I was ugly during the race, you should have seen me at the finish! Charlie and Rob looked like they had just strutted down the catwalk by comparison. They had to hold me up for the pictures, with my parents in the background in case I fell backwards. Running hard on tarmac for that long really affected me!

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(A huge well done to the entire Scotland team – in particular my new buddies in Rob and James aswell as Al Higgins and Dave Ward – to the team managers Debbie Martin Consani and Val Macaulay for looking after us so well, and to the organisers and volunteers of the event who gave a ridiculous amount of time to make the event possible.)

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After losing all dignity when my Dad had to shower me, and a greasy McDonalds later, it was time for presentation, saying goodbye to Mum and Dad, and a 90min drive to Glasgow, it was holiday time! We were off to Morocco the following day for our Baby Moon and much needed downtime! Once again, a huge thank you for all your support and encouragement. It really keeps me going. And if you want to hear more, please subscribe to Tartan Running Shorts, the best running podcast in the world 😉

 

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Past Half Way…!

Yep, for those of you who don’t know, we are having a BABY!!!

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(yes Kyle thought the pic of the orangutan made us look like great parents for the announcement..!)

I am 21 weeks along and I am finding that every day is different..! I am tired a LOT more (goodbye 20+ hour training weeks, hello 10 hour sleeps) and the whole thing is an emotional rollercoaster, but we are so SUPER ECSTATIC are very grateful that it happened so quickly (I came off of the pill after feeling accomplished in Amsterdam!) and that the baby is healthy (I am classed as high risk because of my lung issues).

I am stealing this from another blog, because I have found reading and listening to people’s journeys so fascinating, and for any preggers gals or future mums, you can refer to my feelings, tips and goals and know you are not alone..!

How many weeks pregnant: 21(+2!)

My guess on gender: I can’t picture Kyle saying “I’m taking my son to football”, and he is pretty camp(!), so I’m going to go with a girl! But the more I think about how active it is, I have a suspicion it could be a boy….uh I have no idea!

Kyle’s guess on gender: He has no idea, either. He’ll just be thrilled if it comes out human…

Food aversions: Initially coffee and salad! Which SUCKED because I was seriously addicted to coffee (having become a coffee snob after our trip to NZ), and I do love a salad followed by dessert! Another favourite snack of mine was apples and pb, but I can only have pb in my porridge now (which was also avoided for 3 months).

More recently, I can stomach coffee but not until about 10am, I never “fancy” a salad, but I can have them now, but the worst one so far has been when I forced Kyle to eat on another couch, then brush his teeth twice, then wash his dressing gown, then just shower because I had given up hope, after having buffalo chicken wing ridge crisps with dip! I smelled it on him that entire night and kept waking up…!

Oh, and I also used to have a Pepsi Max almost daily after my lunch, but I haven’t had one all year! I have swapped to 7Up, or sparkling water mixed with diluting juice (because I really haven’t been wanting water, and I know that’s dangerous!).

Food cravings: Initially, it was anything with white carbs! Pizza, fresh white bread (especially if it was made into a tuna sandwich – which I later found out you are meant to reduce your intake of during pregnancy due to the mercury levels…ugh!). BUT, the main one was hot cross buns! There was one evening in January that I met Kyle after he was a guest speaker at some event, that on the drive home I demanded we stopped at the 24 hour Tesco to get them. Well, despite them being in the Westhill Tesco, they weren’t even baking them in what must be one of the biggest Tescos in the country, so I then demanded we drive to Westhill to get some. I then ate all six during the 20 minute journey back home…

I don’t crave sweets and chocolate like I used to; at the moment it is more salty, savoury snacks, but I never say no to chocolate!

Sleep: This is a weird one! I was relatively normal to about 14 weeks, when suddenly I physically couldn’t get out of bed at my usual 5.30am wake up, there was no way I could exercise in the morning, but then after a full day at work, I got home far too tired to do anything that I would just go to bed (with my hot cross buns), watching the Kardashians and feeling sorry for myself. For probably a full month, I would be lucky if I managed a lunchtime 40min swim and that was it! Which was mentally so frustrating because I was told you get your energy back in the 2nd trimester! I am still really tired by 7pm these days, but I am able to get up and at least spin the legs knowing I will be a zombie after work!

Another annoying thing about sleep is a now wake up bang on 10.30pm, 1.30am and 4am to pee! Before, I would need to go a couple times at night from all the water I drank, but now it seems regimented!

When I feel my best: Either after a swim (I feel that really stretches me out) although tumble turning is beginning to become uncomfortable, or a good cycle with intervals! I don’t go by power anymore, but maybe 3 minute efforts during a 40min turbo session makes me feel alive during the workout!

When I feel my worst: I feel my worst at the end of the day! I feel heavy, sluggish, cranky and exhausted! Again, if we’re talking about during a sport, I have to say running! My pelvis hurts quite a bit just now, so I have been told to stick to grass or treadmills every 2nd day, and I just feel really heavy and gasping for breath! If I hit a sub 8 minute mile I’m thrilled! I reckon I’m going about a minute a mile slower, and “sessions” hurt my pelvis too much! Which sucks because I crave fresh air, and Kyle won’t let me cycle outside without a marshal present, so I have started going for little walks…!

Biggest area of growth: My stomach! I have completely lost my waist, so now instead of an hourglass, I have wide swim shoulders, a big stomach, and cyclist legs #fail ! Although you can definitely tell in a swimsuit now, people at work are not convinced I’m past half way, so I’m hoping that’s a sign that I’ll be “all bump” – although my hot cross bun addiction isn’t assisting with this…! I did put on a significant amount of weight the first 3 months, because of the not so nice side effects, hardly any training at all, and eating all the carbs, but I haven’t gained too much since (but PLEASE tell me if I am turning into a whale!)

Belly button in or out? My belly button is a MASSIVE innie so I reckon it will take a while to pop out.

Wedding rings still fit? Yep! No swelling…yet! I swell a lot after long haul flights etc so I am positive I will get puffy towards the end!

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(Kyle’s Valentine’s day presents to me also included googles, a bike, and some running shoes for the baby! I may have cried a little..!)

Best moment of being pregnant so far: Telling Kyle! It was a Friday night and I cycled home from work, getting in a couple hours before him (typical he worked late on a day I really couldn’t wait to see him!). I told him I hadn’t waited for him, and that his dinner was in the oven. When he opened it he asked me why there was a bun in the oven…well after waiting what felt like an ETERNITY for that lightbulb moment (it is Kyle after all!), he just burst with excitement and tears of joy!! There were a lot of happy tears that evening!

Also the scans are just unbelievable. Mother nature is just incredible! Watching the baby cycle, plank, tumble turn inside me; seeing its brain and spine and heart beating…it’s just a miracle. And watching Kyle watch the screen and how excited he also gets just makes me melt!

Worst moment of being pregnant so far: When I ended up in hospital for 3 days in February with another PE scare. I had gone to the doctor for a couple of vaccines and the nurse asked how I was feeling. I had a tight chest that day (but I have had good days and bad days since the accident so I usually shrug them off), and she told the GP who called the hospital and they asked me to go in urgently for tests. These tests weren’t urgent and it was basically 24 hours of waiting, terrified, then tests, then a 2nd night and day of worrying why they needed a second opinion. Thankfully, they said there wasn’t anything new in my lungs, but the wait had me in bed the following 3 days hysterically crying after all the anxiety! I even broke down at work the first day I went back. It was such a horrific experience, because it wasn’t just me I was worried about this time. I also think I was overly positive in 2015 (that I HAD to survive and recover quickly) that I didn’t really get sad, so this time everything came flooding out!

Also, on a daily basis, I have to stab myself with Dalteparin – a blood thinner in syringe form – and, maybe 5 out of 7 days, it has me on the floor in agony. This is also due to my history with blood clots. So that’s not nice either.

On my to-do list: Not much! Obviously, this is my first baby, and also the first one in our families, so we have to buy everything and get advice from friends and family. It can get overwhelming but I prefer to think of it as exciting. One big must is a running buggy, but after covering John Lewis, Mothercare AND Mamas and Papas, there are none to try out in the Aberdeen area. If anyone has any recommendations PLEASE let us know!

Other than that, I have entered nothing and would prefer to play it by ear after the baby is born. I would love love LOVE to race at the end of 2019, just as a goal and not to chase PBs or places, but we have no crystal ball to tell us how much recovery time I’m going to need! But we know the first family holiday will be to watch Daddy smash the elite field at UTMB!!

Training: I’m only beginning to get some energy back, but my motivation is still pretty low (I never realised I need goals to train; at uni I only went to the gym to to fit into my LBD, but becoming an “athlete” again must have changed me!). Coach Lewis suggested I do a parkrun every month just for a fun workout, so you might see me at one now and again, but because it has been more painful that I had thought, running might have to take a back seat for a few months unfortunately.

Fortunately, cycling makes me feel good! I haven’t gone over 2 hours since finding out, because a) Kyle has shunned me to the garage unless I find a friend (although I have been cancelling on Espie due to being scared of the weather recently…sorry, James!), and b) I don’t want to, so I’m not gonna. I have nothing to prove and these next few months are time to calm down and just chill! I AM enjoying sessions less than an hour, where I throw in some intervals or sprints and get a good sweat on! They make me feel like my usual self more than anything else!

I am enjoying my lunch swims, because Chris is my lift there and he forces me to go! If it were just me going, I would choose not to, but because I know he’s going, I feel guilty if I miss it! Plus I have done a 180 with my sessions which has made it fun! Rather than my typical 30x100s on a 1.30 turnaround at lunchtime, I am joining Chris’ swim sets (he is a sprinter through and through) eg 16×25 on a 40 turnaround MAX, or 12×50 on a 50 turnaround MAX. Because I am only going fast for between 15 and 40 seconds each time (depending on stroke and distance), it has made it exciting and new! Although I tend to do these backstroke now because that’s the stroke that feels most comfortable, and I am noticing my lower half sinking a lot more in general, which has really slowed me down. Tumble turning is also getting slower because I have a wee bump in the way. As soon as I get pain from pushing off, I’ll start touch turning, but I am enjoying swimming as more of a stretch and therapy (with some fun sprints thrown in) and feel really good afterwards!

Another thing I am being urged to do by my physio is Pilates, because my hips are tight usually, so are even worse now! I don’t treat it as a workout, but it is quite nice to force myself to do in the evenings, when I am tight and groggy! It does make me feel better, so I’m going to try and force Kyle to join me, because we are both bad at neglecting the extra stuff!

Thanks for reading about my journey so far! For all you parents out there, please please PLEASE give us as much advice as possible! We are fascinated by some of the stuff we have heard so far, and are so excited to be parents! And any tips for getting through months 5-9+ are more than welcome! Pregnancy can be tough! Luckily, we have booked another babymoon (we have already been to Venice in January for a long weekend!) to keep me sane 😉 Morocco here we come..!

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