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Tallahassee Marathon – 1st female, 6 months after a baby!

Well hello there!

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(marathons can really take it out of you…)

I’m sorry it has taken so long… prior to Logan’s arrival, I figured he would nap all day and I could be a full time athlete with a spotless home and cooking extravagant exotic dishes on a daily basis. Boy, was I wrong!

What I did know from an early age was that I HAD to take my boys to Florida to make lots of memories as well as to take lots of photos of Logan in his infamous outfits (remember he was dressed as Winnie the Pooh at my 1st half marathon when he was 5 weeks old?).

A couple weeks after booking the holiday, Kyle shouts at me to tell me he has found a marathon the 2nd weekend we are there:

“Yeah, so?”

“Fancy it?”

“Absolutely not. Plus we have Logan, and no Grandma this time.

A couple hours’ later, we were entered and had organised a babysitter (don’t worry – numerous references, calls and a visit to their house was had in the lead up).

I must emphasise that we did not rest up, eat well etc the first week we were there. We walked probably 6+ miles each day around the parks/malls, drank copious goldfish bowl-sized glasses of margaritas, and ate our weight in buffalo chicken. What we did do was relax and just have fun with the race, which I genuinely believed really helped!

Prior to heading to Orlando, Lewis encouraged me to drop the cycling and swimming for a few weeks, just so I could get the mileage in order to complete the marathon (it was a tough experiment to get right, because too many miles would make my pelvis hurt, but too little meant no marathon), so I focused solely on running for maybe 4 weeks, topping out at 70 miles, including a 22 miler. Thankfully the weather wasn’t too bad before we left, so I could take Loges out in the buggy for hour+ runs, otherwise not sure I would have managed (he’s not the napping kind).

Anyway, race day came and we were both excited rather than nervous. It was a chance to see a new city, feel competitive again in a real race, and just see what we could do with no pressure. Lewis urged us to only give 90% so we could continue to train as opposed to taking a couple weeks’ off, which worked to a certain extent until both our bodies shut down and we were floored with a virus once we got home last weekend… so that coach tip also made us relax as we had no expectations.

A 7.30am start was great! Not up at a ridiculous time, but not taking up your full day! Everyone seemed really friendly and up for it, but the locals were all wearing loads of layers to keep on right up until the gun went off, whereas us Scotsmen were fine wearing the bare minimal while they played the national anthem.

The gun went off pretty soon after (can’t say either of us were ready for just how quickly after the national anthem it started), and off us marathoners went, along with the relay guys and the half marathoners (complicated to calculate where we were in the race!).

And man was it hilly! There wasn’t a flat stretch until 10km in, when the flat part was on a winding dog walkers path. You couldn’t use any momentum because of all the turns on those paths!

We didn’t hit a real flat until 12.5miles in, when we went around a lovely lake, which had a bridge we went over with actual ice on it! In Florida! My half way split was 1.28 which was a good number, I had been able to chat away until then (shout out to my new friend from Georgia!) but the hills did take it out of me, and a lack of gels/Gatorade at the stations were beginning to concern me (partly my fault because I wasn’t as loud as the Americans when shouting ahead to the volunteers with what I wanted!).

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(it got pretty lonely out there… pretty though!)

The 2nd half was MUCH flatter – along an old railway line (hello DSL!) – where I saw Kyle on the out and back section. I forced him to high 5 me but as he was nearly 3 miles ahead at this point, he was in a worse state than me! It did give us both a boost (I was worried his hip wouldn’t let him complete the full distance, and he was pretty shocked I was leading the women’s race!) and at that point I was thinking I had less than a lunch hour run to go. My mind turned from “oh geez this is such a long way to go” to “wow 10km is nothing”.

Mile 24 was the LONGEST mile of my life. I was consistently hitting 6.45s but was convinced this was a 9minute mile. When my watch beeped at 7.05 I was shocked, but at the same time made me realise if I stay with this nice rhythm and relax I might still break 3 hours.

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(why don’t pics ever show the hill – struggling up one of the last hills on the course)

With 1 mile to go I saw Kyle with Logan and Monica (THE nicest babysitter EVER!), made a joke to conceal my tears, and made my way up and down the final hill to finish in 2.58!!!! AND FIRST FEMALE!!! I won by 8 minutes and was told it was a new course record!

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(I love my support team!)

I know my potential is better than a 2.58, however, given my preparation, our action packed schedule while we were in Florida, the course itself, diet, lack of sleep, my pelvic issues and – of course – just Logan in general, I am beyond thrilled!

Icing on the cake was that Kyle’s hip held up and he was 2nd in 2.32, and that I was interviewed.

 

 

For abc news.

 

 

On Superbowl Sunday.

 

 

#lifegoals

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Link can be found here: https://www.wtxl.com/sports/new-tallahassee-marathon-winners-come-from-around-the-world 

Thanks as always for reading and once I get these Florida pics online, there will be a wordless post coming up next with lots of baby spam, but this can keep you going for now!

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Better Late than Never..!

When Logan was 5 weeks old, he went on his first plane to Geneva (he has now been on 6 planes!). Kyle had his A race of the year; the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc, or UTMB for short.

He qualified as an elite runner, through his epic performances last year, and had trained as hard as he could have in the lead up to the race, given he had a son either arriving imminently, or in his arms!

In the end, he started off conservatively and, where he would usually pick it up, he actually struggled in the altitude and super steep alpine gradients and finished 116th and about 6 hours later than anticipated..! There were 900 DNFs in those 30C conditions, but we were all really proud that he didnt give up, and continued his struggle right to the finish line, finishing in 30 hours. Logan met him a couple of times, there were a lot of tears, and it was such a memorable 1st family trip (with Grandma and TRS Tom, too!).

Beautiful sunshine, the best spa we have ever been to, overindulging in French onion soup, a visit up to a height of 3,842m, a gondola trip to Italy, a vertical km, paragliding, craft beer, Tour de France climbs, cycling to Switzerland, luge runs, track sessions, epic trail runs, a stunning outdoor pool, breathtaking scenery, a day at Lake Geneva, and feeling very out of place with all the thousands of people in lycra, it was a trip we will never forget..!

A HUGE thanks to Grandma for coming with us (a massive help with a newborn!), to Tom for flying out just for the race, and looking after Kyle for 30 hours, and to Out N About buggies, who – without them – we would have struggled to get around Chamonix and its trails (we just popped the car seat in the adaptors and off we went! And it was so easy at the airport to dismantle!). We can’t wait for Logan to be big enough to go running with it!

 

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Another HM, a Triathlon and my Pregnancy Experience

Geez time flies when you have a wee one consuming all your energy – I thought maternity leave was going to be a massive holiday!

When Logan was 10 weeks old, I managed another half marathon, and another 2nd place female overall! Crathes was a heck of a blustery day, so the conditions were a lot harder than when I did Dyce, but the time was relatively similar, so progress has been made! I went a 1.28 which I am super proud with, not just because of the conditions, but because Logan was wanting to play the entire night before (he was smiling and panting away for hours…) and also because I was feeding him right up until 2 minutes to the start! No warm up for me, but the car was parked really far away from the castle, so Kyle helped me look discreet by a bench in the gardens… (and of course a bunch of tourists decide to choose that area to linger around and take photos as I was going – typical!).

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( https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/sport/other/1843265/outstanding-crathes-castle-half-marathon-performance-sees-runner-cross-line-with-73-seconds-to-spare/?fbclid=IwAR2zTFUjI7PdNJm5jirjlG-P6KW4WhNBIbarW55UB6YO5ReuK0j7KzIZJQs )

Anyway, the following day I felt like I’d ran double the distance, but it was a lot of fun and I am loving challenging my body and essentially starting again and having new PBs! I still have the course record there, but I’m not sure I was even near it at the 12 mile mark yesterday, so don’t want to think like that! A massive well done to Kerry for another awesome 1st place, and to Kirsty and Fiona for babysitting Kyle and Logan while I was running!

The following week I had my first triathlon in over a year, and thought it apt to do it in the place I did my first ever triathlon, Huntly! I did one cycle outside on my TT bike in preparation, but the electric gears failed (I should have had it serviced after finding out I wouldn’t be riding for a while…) so the road bike it was! Thankfully, Total Endurance helped me massively with swapping over equipment on the day, as was Steve, the race organiser, who couldn’t have been nicer!

A sub-21 1500m swim (I’ll take that for only swimming up to 5km per week at the moment), a 1.02 40km cycle (I SUCKED on the hills but I have lived on a turbo for a year, and I was on a road bike), and a 42min 10km run (one or two brick runs plus not wanting to push the pelvis made for an enjoyable 10km that I may have even negative split!) made for a course record of 2.08 and a race I loved pushing myself in. And I had a smile on my face the whole way (Ok, apart from the swim…I need to train more!)!


I thought it might be a good idea now to write about my journey in pregnancy and the last 12 weeks after having a baby, sporting wise. Please note everyone is different and my experience seems to be very different to a lot of women (less than 2 hour labour, people at work not even realising I was pregnant etc etc) but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a walk in the park (or run, or cycle, or swim).

Oh, also, if you are a boy, you can stop reading now! Unless you are weirdly into this sort of stuff…! You can look at this cute picture instead:

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So I didn’t really feel the whole 3 trimesters thing. The first maybe 8 weeks all I had was a sore chest area. Then it was all about the next 8 weeks. They were the WORST! The smell of coffee was DISGUSTING (and continued to be gross unless it was in flat white form). I didn’t want ANY fruit or veg, or anything else that sounded remotely healthy. I wouldn’t say it was a craving, because I crave these every year, but hot cross buns was my jam. A six pack from Tesco bakery next to work was an almost daily meal. Anything doughy sounded amazing! Oh, and also anything cheesy. So I had a LOT of pizza! Weirdly, Kyle joined in on these meals (perhaps not indicative to good race performances for him either!) despite his previous loathing of my hot cross bun addiction…

I found adding Berocca to my morning routine definitely helped, as well as drinking lots of fruit juice (I was usually thirsty but also didn’t like the thought of water). I know fruit juice isn’t great with all the sugar and missing fibre, but it was the best I could do at the time. I also drank a lot of milk, usually in flat white or hot chocolate form.

After those horrible 16 weeks (the worst week I had was when Kyle did his Wolds Way race. I think we both had a terrible weekend that weekend! I was only a few weeks along but was so bloated and no normal clothes fit me. I also couldn’t eat anything as I felt too full). Present day me would tell 1st trimester me not to be too hard on herself. Big deal if you feel gross for a couple weeks: go for a walk, get some fresh air, eat what you feel like, have a bath, sleep more, and just wear some comfortable clothes.

After the horrible patch, I gradually enjoyed my fruit and veg again (still hated the sound of coffee but, being a caffeine addict, mornings were terrible!), and – although I didn’t weight myself until the final few weeks just out of curiosity more than anything else – I topped the scales at 70kg if you’re interested), I could tell I was looking a little better in my face and limbs, and my skin and hair was a bit healthier. I seemed to be getting lots of compliments, which was bizarre to take in considering how terrible I felt in the first 4 months!

I think Morocco also really helped! Some vitamin D, spa days, good wholesome food, and lots of rest really made me feel amazing!

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Ok so as for the “training” part… have a look on my Strava, but in short I tried to do something every day, even if it was a long hill walk while Kyle did hill reps (so we could high 5 lots!), or a 40 min swim (I did these most lunchtimes… Chris and Claire who I swim with every lunchtime at work encouraged me and made me want to go and have fun with them to break up my day!) Even if I went swimming in a lethargic mood, I knew I would at least get some banter and usually I ended up getting at least 2km in and going back to my desk in the afternoon feeling much MUCH better! Remember I couldn’t have coffee? The swim was my new drug!

If I physically couldn’t get out of bed earlier than I needed to for work, my swim was my workout, and I knew I could go back to bed after work having done something. If I could cycle in the morning, my go to was the GCN training videos on YouTube (if you haven’t seen them – check them out!). Because I wasn’t wanting to faff about loading Zwift (which is now my lifesaver post Logan!) at that time in the morning (and I didn’t want to know my power at that time, either!), these videos made me feel like I was training with people, so I pushed it more than if I were just pedalling away watching the Kardashians myself, and that also was a great way to start my day (again, since no coffee!).

Unfortunately, running was a no no. I had pretty bad pelvic girdle pain, which meant walking was sore, never mind turning it into a jog. I only ran when I felt ok, and it was always on the treadmill (much less impact than road, and I could stop when I wanted). IF the rare occasion came up when I thought “let’s give it a go”, I would usually do something like 10x1on/1off, and that would be enough for me to feel great. I never learned, because every day that I ran, I didn’t sleep at all, as lying down must have stretched the area that was already inflamed getting bigger in preparation for birth, and I had already spent most evenings sat up in bed, or giving up and going downstairs to drink a(nother) hot chocolate and play with the cat.

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Sitting at my desk also brought a lot of pain, so work kindly gave me a stand up desk and, in the days where I REALLY didn’t feel like swimming, or if I had a meeting (which happens quite a lot around lunchtimes…), there was a special room where I could go and I did a YouTube pilates video. For someone who never looks forward to pilates and yoga, I looked forward to doing this video as it really stretched me out!

To summarise, I listened to my body but I was lucky enough that, although I had girdle pain, I could still do STUFF. And I am someone who loves breaking a sweat every day to make me feel human, particularly if I am sat at a desk all day! Although I felt great in the last few weeks (I didn’t grow too much, I was still in normal clothes, and I managed to come 3rd at the Portsoy 10km..!), I still had my struggles, but did what I could to not get down about it (attempting a swim just to get out the office, eating what my body wanted, forcing vitamins in whatever form I could, getting fresh air, or admitting defeat when my mind and body told me to!).

Oh, and my most proud moment of pregnancy after the Portsoy race, is swimming 4km maybe 12 hours before going into labour, and managing to tumble turn off every wall…!

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If this has made zero sense to you (I feel I have just word vomited all my pregnancy feelings) please feel free to message me for any advice! I’m not sure I can help, but I know my comeback seems to be going quite well so far, and that people were quick to judge me when I was pregnant. One physio told me I was doing too much too close to due date that my body would be too tense and my abs wouldn’t want to “let go” of my baby, therefore my labour would be long and painful… it’s funny how many people have their opinions!

But anyway, if you listen to your body but try and do something every day (even just a stretch), I PROMISE you will feel much more like you!

 

 

 

 

 

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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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