Conquering Stuff.

First off, I need to say an almighty congratulations to my incredible coach and dear friend, Jonathan Pain (off of Painless Performance Strength and Conditioning) for completing the Celtman! Extreme Scottish Triathlon. Rated as the world’s second toughest tri. He tirelessly programs for, coaches and nurtures his scarily huge client base while training hard to reach his own goals. A proper inspiration.

It may be no Celtman, but today I ran up a hill. Not a terribly big hill, but a hill. And technically I walked it but it was basically a cliff face and it was muddy and my stomach wanted to not be inside my body. Brian and I entered the Benarty Trail Race after stumbling on the finish of it last year during a training ride for Aberfeldy, and I was excited when my good pal Katherine and her hubby Greig entered too. We had a lovely morning soaking up the bizarre fife gala day atmosphere and the rain began just as the race did.

I went out too hard. Way too hard, but somehow managed to keep my km’s “comfortably” below 6mins. I say “comfortably” because my legs felt great by my tummy was absolutely trying to make a break for freedom and I had a stitch in my liver (shut up. It felt like my actual liver) for the last 5 of 7km.


See? not a massive climb, but it basically felt like death was coming. I didn’t track HR on my forerunner but my Vivoactive clocked 182bpm as max.

The race finishes beside the giant pit-wheel and, despite feeling like I was very much last for most of the race, was DELIGHTED to find out I wasn’t even CLOSE to last. The first time Brian and I recce’d the route, I ran it in 53 minutes. So to finish in a smidge over 45 is a great improvement!

The race cost a staggering £8 (yeah you read that right) to enter. Timing was provided by PB Timing and we even got medals. Such a fantastic and popular event.

benarty bling

In other, more endurance-related news…. After MUCH deliberation and a gentle bit of cajoling from my amphibious pal IronPugsley,  I decided to push my boundaries a bit with swimming.

Last year, at Great Scottish Swim, I did well. VERY well. Without even trying. I remember checking results after my wave. I noticed, for the mile swim, that I was 154th, and seeing as there were only 300 in my wave I was happy being average having not trained at all and having swam a bit of breast stroke to enjoy the view and, quite literally, taking a kick to the right tit.


It wasn’t until I did a bit of searching that I realised I was 154th OVERALL. Out of over 1000 people who did the 1 mile. I had planned to train, and I mean REALLY train and maybe come in the top 10 of my age group instead of the top 20.


Instead I have come over all mental and entered the Great Scottish Swim 5k. A swim which IP kicked in the face last year (but not sans incident…) and a distance which fills me with more fear than ANY event I’ve taken part in so far. 5000m in open water is a long, long way.

I am a swimmer. I have always BEEN a swimmer. Swimming doesn’t scare me, it makes me excited and giddy. Give me an hour in a pool over any other sporting event any day. But…. 5000m in a rubber suit in a loch filled with sharks, swan shit and stuff-you-can’t-see-till-your-hand-touches-it is a pretty terrifying thought.

But what exactly is the point in taking part in these things if I don’t push myself a little from time to time? If I ever want to reach my goal of becoming IronBean, I’m going to have to do a bit more of the “going a long way”.

I’ve even had to tick A Box to say I shall take this seriously and that I will finish in under 2 hours.

No pressure, then…


Probably time I got to a pool and did a bit of proper training…


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