Showing posts with label Highland Fling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Highland Fling. Show all posts

Monday, 16 June 2014

Panic training for the WHW Race

Thankfully it is not me I am referring to. It is Brother Calderwood.

The Highland Fling was somewhat of a wake up call on how his minimal training might have been enough to get him through the Fling, but not the West Highland Way Race.

So, did he then sensibly devise a training plan and pace himself? Pffft, did he heck. Panic training is what us Calderwoods do best!

So when he asked a couple of weeks ago if I fancied a long run on the West Highland Way. I, still high from finishing The Highland Fling, responded "sure, why not?".

That "long run" was 37 miles. Since it took me 2 weeks to be able to walk properly after the fling and 3 sports massages, I was a little dubious about knocking out that kind of mileage again. Especially when the only training I have done was bicep curls with a large glass of wine.

Our estimated time to complete was longer than our fling times. The train fare was double the cost of our fling entries; without any bottles of wine, t-shirts or baked potatoes. All in all it was not looking to be as much fun.

And it wasn't.

On race day adrenaline and sheer mental strength can get you through 53 miles. On a training run, you are relying on bullying from your brother, jelly beans and piri piri humus wraps. Wraps that you told your brother (who is completely adverse to any spices what-so-ever) were normal humus wraps, resulting in him nearly punching you in the face at the top of the devils staircase.

We got through it (Bridge Of Orchy to Fort William), but I feel this picture on the train home really summed me up at the end.

I need to seriously start thinking about doing some proper training if I am intending on running any 53 miles races or 37 mile training runs any time soon...ohh wait...I am my Brothers support runner for the WHW race.

Anyone up for a 37 mile training run and some piri piri humus wraps this weekend?

Looking strong...3 miles in.

Brother Calderwood looking strong coming out of Kinlochleven, post can of Irn Bru and packet of Salt and Vinegar Golden Wonders - food of champions.

Selfie - cos we are cool.


Saturday, 10 November 2012

Team GB and The Giant Scottish Midgie

Quite a while back, I signed to go down to the Olympics with some of the running gals - a flippant decision that turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.

And what weekend did we pick? SUPER SATURDAY!!!

The Scottish Midgie and Co (Alison Winship, Carol Anne Thomson, Me, Kathryn Pennel (The Midgie), Ryan Thomson, Jessica Oliver-Bell and Avril Mason) with the torch.

Equipped with a union jack scarf and some Team GB face stickers we were like tourists on steroids. I've worked and visited London millions of times (that's means "a lot" to the non weedgies), but an outsider would have thought I had never been out in public, let alone been to London before.

This was fuelled by Garscube's wonderful Alison Winship and Pitreavie's Kathryn Pennel.  So innocent and excitable, even when I was trying to be a miserable cow (which comes naturally to me), I couldn't help but get drawn into the their excitable aura. At times, I did think that perhaps we shouldn't be allowed out in public...

Especially when Ali, on more than one occasion, decided to fashion a piece of clothing out of a plastic bag and the fact that we were walking around with Kath dressed as a giant midgie...

But I had fun, and after a while, I no longer noticed the giant midgie... except when the antennae poked me in the eye... and when I had to sit beside her in an Italian restaurant. 

I won't dwell about the weekend, as it will only make me sad. But to summarise... we held the Olympic torch, met a gold medalist (& medal), met athletes, met ex athletes (Roger Black), met randoms, sent postcards with the "official" Olympic stamp, partied in Hyde park, screamed at Bradley Wiggins, screamed at McFly, screamed watching Jess, Mo and Gregg, screamed with what was left of our voices for Team GB (especially Freya) during the marathon, watched Andy Murray, watched the 100m on the train crammed round an ipad with strangers... I could go on and on and on about everything wonderful and eventful that was crammed into that weekend! A selection of pictures below:




It was truly inspiring...perhaps that's what they intended, as I handed over the credit card for some Team GB gear. Ohh well. Can bailiffs confiscate clothing?

Along with the Olympics, I was inspired by fellow Scottish athletes in the weeks that followed, namely the Scottish gals, Debbie Martin Consani and Sharon Law, who both did Scotland proud in the IAU 24 hour ultra running championships.

High on inspiration, I've now entered the Devil of the Highlands and Highland Fling races....and the West Highland Way Race - eeek!

Better get my (larger than normal) ass back running.

There's a midgie in my room...

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Dumbarton 10K - 44.15? Yes please!

SO, this is my first blog.  I have always said I would start one and after a year of injury the last couple weeks seem like a good place to start.

My name is Heather Calderwood, also known affectionately to some as "The Flying Pig".

A not-so-quick & boring synopsis of where I am today:

Like most runners I entered into the world of Ultra Marathons after being the WHW support runner for my brother in 2010 (22hr 22min).

After completing my first (and only) ultra in April 2011 - The Highland Fling (53 mile trail ultra marathon) where I debuted as 3rd Female in 9hr 42min and also took 3rd in Scottish Champs and UK Trail Champs - not bad eh?! I ran a 10k a week later with a friend, at around 7/8k I felt something around my inner thigh and inside knee. Despite progressively getting worse and worse, I of course, plodded on.

My leg deteriorated in the weeks following the 10k, to the point I was walking with a limp. Months of physio and a MRI scan revealed severe groin and hamstring injuries. So severe that despite months of not running, the areas were still showing severely inflamed and damaged in the scan. With a hip and pelvis also out of alignment these were unable to heal.

Banished from all exercise whilst things calmed down I effectively did nothing but ate junk food and drank red wine until February 2012 when I was given the O.K to start back training. Fling and WHW Goblet glory still a possibility I threw myself back into training.  Training runs with Craig, John Kennedy and David Gow meant there was A LOT of swearing, falling, tears, snotters, percy pigs and hot baths but...I was getting there! There would be no good times but it would be do-able. The Goblet looked to be within my sweaty grasp. 2 months of running I decided I had established enough of a base fitness to return to my running group.

1.5 weeks in and my leg felt "off" one Saturday morning run.  The following Monday night's 2 mile warm up was relegated to a walk back to the carpark and hitching a lift home. Emergency appointment at physio made and banished again for 8 weeks. Give or take some weeks, and empty bottles of wine, this roughly leaves me where I am today.

Dumbarton 10K - 44.15

Despite only being back for 4 weeks and swearing to take things easy, my brother beating my Highland fling time (not enough credit is given to sibling rivalry in the sporting world) and watching the Clydebank 10k was enough to reignite my racing fire and I promptly went home and entered the Dumbarton 10k.

I had a game plan of getting to 5k and feeling good. 5k came and went and I felt great. Brilliant. So executed the next part of plan which was to push the last 5k.  This is where my lack of fitness showed.  At the 8k point I was, what can only be described as, "done in". Nearly relegated to walking I realised that if I started to walk I may not be able to start running again, therefore had not choice but to slow down last 2k.

If my face wasn't already a deep purple, I am sure my cheeks would have went a shade of red with embarrassment at my amateur move to fly past people at 5/6k, who then appeared to sprint by me at 8/9k. Training point? Learning to pace myself...again.

Even with my slow final 2k, I crossed the line in 44.15 - DELIGHTED! Not near my PB (40.24) but personally I am delighted with this result!

Medal as proof :-) 

Before I broach on novel length - I think I'll leave my first post at that!