Thursday, 31 December 2009

New year training camp - day 3

New Years eve in Canada, tough day

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Training camp day 2

Update from day 2 of the winter training camp in Canada, TIRED

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

The Video Diaries

Santa brought me a fancy new ipod for christmas which happens to include a cool high res video camera. As my ipod is with me on most training sessions from now on i'll be taking little videos during my sets (especially if there is a good view) to let you all see what goes down.

Here are two from today, day 1 of my new year training camp

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Training Camp

Clothes have been laid out, training kit accounted for, adaptors, ipod chargers, cameras, nutrition, trainers and gloves all packed away...all I have to do now is zip up my bag and head to the airport.

Tomorrow I'm heading to my favourite place on the planet (Canada) and my adopted home for a winter break with my family and 12 days of hard training. It is a cracking place to train and I had a great 2 week heavy block there in the summer which put me in good stead for the rest of the season. There will be no riding as the roads are pretty snowy but plenty of XC skiing, swimming, gym work, running and yoga to keep me more than occupied for 2 weeks.

I'll be staying about 2 hours north of Vancouver for most of it in the ski resort of Whistler, host resort of the 2010 Winter Olympics in 2 months time.

I have been heading across since I was about 8 and its a truly beautiful place, below are some awesome pictures I've captured over the past few winters and some of the reasons why I love it so much.

Hope everyone has a great New Year

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas

Would like to wish everyone a happy Christmas and a safe New Year. I hope 2010 will be a great year for everyone.

The past 12 months have gone insanely fast on my end, I vividly remember last winter training hard in Vancouver. This time next year I'll be doing the same again.

I've already thanked everyone for a great season and first part of winter training, its been a tough 3 months but support has been amazing and I can't wait for next year.

Flying out to Canada on Monday for a 2 week New Year training camp, will post again with some more pictures once I land. No doubt it will be beautiful, they have had over 22 feet of snow in 8 weeks! A lot of snow running, swimming, gym work and cross country skiing to come I think.

Have an awesome Christmas!


PS. Here are some pictures from the last 2 weeks of snowy training in Scotland

This is how I occupy myself when I'm not training, studying, eating or sleeping. OK not quite but it was an afternoon project, 68 chocolate fudge bars later and you have yourself the best Christmas present ever!
Unfortunately it collapsed soon after this picture was taken...
...I am an engineer...honest

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Everyone's allowed a hero

It's official

My bedroom is now a shrine to Lance.

Gotta get your inspiration from somewhere...

Monday, 14 December 2009

Matters of the mind

It took me 4,500m to warm up this morning.

Granted it has been a long two weeks and with Uni stresses mounting up plus a whole weekend at -5degrees training has been tough. But still, I thought taking well over an hour to warm up in an early morning pool set was a tad ridiculous.

Back in the day (...about 5 years ago) we used to do some pretty long warm ups during heavy training, but at the most 2500m. So I took it as a sign that I was indeed feeling the effects of heavy winter work, nothing I can't hopefully handle though.

The important part for me was that the length I realised that I had finally warmed up I got myself refocused and managed to start reapplying some speed. I continued to then have a good set and finished up feeling much better than when I had started. It is very easy to convince yourself you're feeling rubbish and that it's OK to take the set, day, week, month easy. I don't argue the fact that if you are truly not 100% it is definitely OK to take it steady for a while, the hard part is however once you are back to normal being able to get back to it...and quickly.

Annnyway this lead on to a discussion after the session between Coach Stuart and myself about Tiger Woods and his exploits...on and off the course so to speak. It has been very easy over the past few weeks with all of the gossip emerging about Tiger's private life to jump to conclusions and quite easily decide that maybe he just wasn't the person we all thought he was ...

...but does it not deserve a little more thought? He has until the last year or so it seems lead an exemplary life. A true role model, amazing athlete, philanthropist and spokesperson. Someone who has re energised the game of golf and in the process become the single most well paid sportsperson in history. Does his behaviour of late not seem a little odd?

Certainly I found myself jumping to the conclusion that he simply was just a slime bag in disguise, seeing the revelations it was pretty easy to think that. However does it not seem odd that after a life of success and happiness he suddenly throws it all away in a year of cheating and disrespect?

There is clearly something wrong underneath the surface, his actions blatantly point to that. His unhappiness, anxiety, depression...whatever it may be, needs to be addressed. He needs help and support, probably from the people who currently wish to give him none of the above.

He has alienated his wife and family, the most important people in his life and the only ones who can truly make him happy again. I hope they stick together as a family and pull through, he is a great athlete, man and role model to a generation of aspiring golfers, sportsmen and people. I just hope the public can forgive him and he will return a happier, stronger and better person.

All the best Tiger.


PS. Supporter of the month goes to Mr Neil Gilles, my most devoted reader! Thanks for the support Neil and hopefully you'll give in to peer pressure and complete your first triathlon next year, you've got it in the bag already.

PPS. Here are some training pictures from the past week
3.5 hours in the cold and all that's left is an orange flavoured slushy
Out riding with Rob Foietta
Frozen countryside

Front of the S2 covered in ice

2.30pm sunset

Me looking decidedly grizzly after a few hours in -2! :)

Friday, 4 December 2009

3km Mum

Just a quick post tonight, almost missing out on the start of our celebration dinner!

Celebration is definitely in order today, my mum, after a 25 year hiatus returned to racing this afternoon with a cracking 3km road race at the beach in Aberdeen.

Around this time last year after 20 years of working hard looking after 3 crazy kids she decided to get back into the gym with the goal of being stronger, lighter on her feet and maybe able to keep up with me and dad a bit more on the morning dog walks. She started out on a full programme after the new year and by the summer was feeling a lot better for her efforts, in late October she went for her first run in 25 years. Since then she has ventured out a few more times but no serious run work of yet.

Out of the blue last week when I said I'd be doing the Aberdeen 3km beach run next Friday she jumped (with a little bit of persuasion) at the idea and decided to come along and race. Today however we found out (from the results from last months race) that the field was in general pretty fast (average time of 12 minutes [40min 10km pace]) and I figured she'd decide against the idea. She picked herself up though and even at the prospect of finishing last she was still adamant that she'd take part.

For me it was awesome to see my mum with so much courage in a sporting event. I've been doing this my whole life so know all about nerves and being in too deep, it took a lot for mum to want to race today and I was proud even before she started running.

I had promised that once I finished I'd run back along the course and finish the race with her. I had a good run and finished in 5th but I didn't waste any time and immediately ran back across the line (in the wrong direction) to find my mum! I spotted her pink jacket about 800m back down the path and quickly caught up to her.

She was running alongside another beginner racer and they were really pushing each other on. I did my best to shout encouragement while running alongside and she came across the line in 18 minutes and 13 seconds. Her goal was for under 20mins so she did awesome.

I've never been so proud of my mum in my whole life,

A great feeling :)

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

November in pictures

Realised today I documented the month of November very well this year with the help of my digital camera.

I wont write a big long post tonight but will just show you 15 or so of the pictures that help describe how November went. Thanks to all my training partners throughout the month, Lewis and Kimberly for our killer ride a few Sundays ago, Dad for trailing out with me at least twice a week on some random session and Robbie for that killer run a few weeks back.

Already in December...should be a good month!

November in pictures:

Mountain biking in the dark, Pitfichie forest

Stopped at a junction near Knockburn, 3 degrees, out riding with dad

More mtbing, getting dark this time, beautiful view over towards Alford, very windy!

Lewis Murchie ascending the Cairn O Mount

View of the sunset

Feugh Waterfalls, Banchory, Scotland

River Dee sunset, Durris, Scotland

View over Alford from the top of Pitfichie forest

A CRAZY big sheep

Lewis Murchie, Myself and Kimberly Preston

Kimberly, Myself and Lewis after the ride

Out mtbing with Robbie Simpson

Pete Patterson looking mean in the dark, mtbing at night, woo

Dad getting ready to head out on the Cervelo's

Myself and Robbie Simpson after a mornings training

Annnnd finally, the most christmasy truck you will ever see!

Monday, 23 November 2009

Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop

There are many phrases, all harking to the same sound; keep at it, one step at a time, day in day out, you can...

But it all comes down to the same principle...

Work hard, very hard in fact.

Do the very best you can each day and don't let things get to you. If you stick at it for long enough, through the crap and the rubbish and all the associated aches and will pay off.

It might be in a year or it might be in ten, no one can tell you when. But what you can know for sure is it will pay off, down the line, probably when you least expect it.

...And it will all be worth it, a million times over.

Quite a simple principle really, just keep your head down and don't give up.

How putting it into words can make it sound so easy!

Now of course I am relating this to sport but it goes for everything across the board, it's just I'm learning these lessons through my sport, I am very grateful for that. It takes a medium to learn lessons through and sport is a great are to learn about life. I feel as if I am only a few miles into the marathon, but my legs are feeling good and the sun is out. If I keep it up it might end up being a good run.

As they step at a time.

OK that is my weekly cliche fix over with, it's healthy for me to get it out.

I'm at the end of a few tough months well and truly into the winter. The sun set today before 4 and it's definitely chilly outside, I've ventured out on more than one training session in the past few weeks in my terrifying winter balaclava...

Definitely gives the members of the public a good scare when I storm past.

Anyway I was meant to be writing about my weekend.

I received an email a few months ago from a local runner, Robbie Simpson, of Banchory (10 miles away). Rob's 18 and is already a very well established mountain runner. Of a similar mentality to my own, there's no way to beat the big guys unless you get out there and race them. So he's been out racing the big boys over the past year and hasn't done too badly at all. Top 20 at Junior World Champs in the summer plus a hoard of other top 5 and top 10 results in Senior events all over during the past 12 months.

He also bagged himself a spot on the Saab Salomon Outdoor Team, pretty jealous as Salomon have some wicked cool shoes, you can check out the team page here

Annnyway, as most of you know my running is still in its development the crazy part of my brain thought it would be fun to head out with him on a training run, 1.5 hours, off road, up hills. Luckily he is a cool dude so I quickly forgot about the sore legs and we had a blast, bashing around the hills and sliding all over the trails. Damn those mountain runners can storm downhill.

Afterwards we headed out on the MTBs for a recovery spin, I even had another ninja mtb skills moment (for a quick refresher on my previous mtb exploits see reference link here ) where I managed to skid, drop the bike and launch myself off all in the same millisecond...landing miraculously on my feet a few yards down the path. Good times.

Anyway, the next day Rob entered and won a local trail race...while I was still nursing the sore ankle and quad from the day before. Damn Crazy Runners

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Great Scots

It's been a while since I last blogged, a week has gone past and another 7 or so tough days under my ever bulging belt!

One day at a time as they say.

Anyways, I am just about to head off to bed for good nights sleep before my last morning swim set of the week and my mind started wondering. I am from and have been brought up in a tiny little country, but size aside it has been one of the greatest in history.

There is a cracking show on channel 3 right now highlighting some of the greatest Scot's in history, over the past few weeks I've been watching intently and taking a few notes along the way. Here's a very summarised list of my favourites:

Sir Alexander Flemming
-Discovered Penicillin and single handedly forged the way of modern medicine. Nobel Prize winner

Joseph Lister
-The father of modern surgery, introduced the idea of sterile surgery

James Clerk Maxwell
- Formulated the electromagnetic theory and fundamentally changed the world of physics

Andrew Carnegie
- Led the US into its Steel Building glory days, in today's money would be the richest man on the planet ($100billion) and was one of the most significant philanthropists in history

John Logie Baird
-Demonstrated the first working television, invented colour television and in 1928 showed the first ever high definition pictures

Robert Burns
-One of the worlds greatest ever poets

Alexander Graham Bell
-Inventor of the telephone

Sir William Wallace
-Kicked the English's butts

Robert the Bruce
-Kick the English's butts


The list goes on and on so I just chose my few favourites, quite an inspiring bunch. I guess what I wanted to say was that even if you are from a little country, high in the north sea with the crappiest weather ever seen and more rain than the rain forest it doesn't take a lot to take one step away from the crowd and do something special. The guys I've mentioned tonight are some of the most influential people in history and all they did was work hard and never give up.

A lot can be said for our small little country and a lot can be said for giving whatever you choose to do a darn good shot.


Thursday, 12 November 2009

Important questions


This is the end of a tough day, in the middle of a tough week, during a tough month etc etc ... you get the picture.

No day is easy but today was pretty rough, a very early morning, hard 2 hours in the pool...ride in the afternoon then a hard run set tonight. Doesn't sound too insane but along with the rest of the week, the racing of last weekend and the new strength & conditioning programme my legs are wrecked, eyes are tired and I still have quite a few more days to go before a day off and a sleep in.

May sound like a grumble but its the exact opposite, you have to do your best to feed of all the tough stuff just as much as you can easily feed off the good days. So after a tough morning I manned up and got on with it. By the time my run set finished tonight (in the pouring rain) I was buzzing :)

Days of highs and lows are not uncommon and if you can get through them there's no big celebration...its just the alarm going off at 5am again for another day. Quite a playboy life!

Annnnyway, I've had quite a few very good and important questions asked of me over this past week and during the last few days I've had a good chance to think them over.

This past weekend a very well respected swimming coach and old friend of mine sat me down and asked me some good questions relating to the past 10 years I've been racing. He's known me since I was 12 so has seen me grow up, it meant a lot to sit back down with him as an adult and chat about growing up as an athlete.

Q: Mike if there was one thing you were allowed to go back to your 14 year old self and share, in the knowledge you have now as a senior athlete, what would it be?

A: Ahh, I mean there would be a thousand things I'd want to say. I'd want to warn myself of the ups and downs, remind myself of the goals and the commitment...but really all of those things are there to be discovered, dealt with along the way and in turn make you a stronger person and athlete at the end of the tunnel. So much of what I know now could have helped in training and racing as a teenager, maybe I would have been more positive, more confident in myself but again what you are now is a direct result of what has happened in the past. You wouldn't want to go messing with things that could have a negative effect in later years.

(Once I had thought about it for a while I came up with a good answer though)

I guess if I had to tell myself one thing it would be this: Give 100% everyday, every training session is just as important as the last, be it a steady or max effort set. In races give 100%, you WILL not die, it may feel like you are about to but trust me (my younger self) you wont.

I know full well I could have been told that every day as a 14 year old and I still would never have done it. Life is too busy, things are happening very quickly and the little big things in sport get pushed to the side. I was given so much awesome advice and constant daily reminders about what I should be doing and most of the time I didn't listen.

Without all those reminders though, without the nagging and being yelled at. Without NOT listening and learning the hard way I would never have made it this far...and I would never be as determined as I currently am now, sitting in my bed, writing past my bedtime...and feeling guilty for it.

The question I was asked allowed me to rethink some of the things I've gone through in the past and what has shaped the path I'm currently on.

The moral of the story?

Think about the past, rethink, analyse. But don't wish it had turned out differently, it's what made you what you are today and trust me, that's not a bad thing at all.


Sunday, 8 November 2009

Mitchel Trophy 2009


I would be lying if I said I wasn't tired, but I would also be lying if I said I didn't have a complete blast this weekend.

I left swimming almost 3 years ago and it was great to be back in the pool once again, something I said I would do. This years Mitchel Trophy had a great turn out with the best of Scottish swimming showing up, great to see old friends, both swimmers and coaches. Times have changed since I was 15 but this weekends event was one of the funnest I've ever been at.

I was racing 200, 400 and 1500 across the 2 days, all of them in direct competition with the younger guys from the City of Aberdeen Swim Team. I've been training with them since the summer and have seen some of the great work they've been doing in the pool, we had been giving each other some serious banter running up to this weekend and it looked like there would be some good races.

The 1500m on Saturday morning was the big one, both Euan Inglis and Stuart Mcintosh (COAST Performance squad swimmers) were in the same race and both were more than happy to show me how the full time swimmers would deal with the triathlete. Euan has put down some pretty serious training recently and backed it up with a 16.20 long course at the end of the summer, I have no trouble saying he kicked my butt yesterday and threw down a very impressive first 400m (4.06) taking him to a 15.47. Swift.

Stuart didn't hang around either and even though I kept him honest through the first 800m he put a good 17 seconds into my over the last 600! Not shabby at all. 16.30.

Both those guys have some good swimming in front of them over the next few years and I hope we can train well together over the winter. I see a lot of my old self in them so it was great to see them both do well this weekend.

Mike's 1500. 16.47 (59, 2.04, 4.17)

The 200 later on yesterday was a lot more competitive. I may not have the high end speed of a swimmer I can still rip out a fast 200 for sure...especially when the heat is on! Euan and Stuart were both in the race before me so I got a chance to check out the competition. Euan smashed home in 1.58.04 and Stuart in 2.00.60. Off I went. Good first 100, decent to 150 but then I turned on the turbo legs and brought it home hard, was really happy with a 1.58.4

400 today was more of the same, except this time I took it out a little hard. I had just watched Stuart bring it home in a 4.10 so I pulled out all the stops to try and beat him. Managed to lead the race over the first 50 and stayed in near enough the lead until the 200 mark. Then Euan put on the turbo's and took off, leaving me pushing hard over the final 8 lengths. 4.11, not bad for an old triathlete :)

In all Euan took me down in all 3 races and Stuart in 2 of the 3. They did a good job but it's not over, they're gonna have to keep training hard if they want to beat me again in the spring!

Time for a good sleep and a recov day tomorrow. Then back to heavy training...for triathlon.


Thursday, 5 November 2009

Pre Mitchell Trophy

OK guys, we're two days out from comeback central.

I've officially been out of the water for over 1000 days, missed just over 900 training sessions (compared to that if I had still be swimming full time) but in the time since I've ridden thousands of km's on my bike, raced at World Champs, raced in NY, London, Vancouver, been on the odd run and matured as an athlete too.

I left my goggles and cap at the Scottish Short Course Nationals just under 3 years ago swearing it wouldn't be the last time I raced, even though I have raced a lot since for some reason this weekend feels more significant than maybe it should. The Mitchell Trophy is a classic competition in Scottish Swimming and it was one of my first ever meets over 10 years ago. Unfortunately it was shelved in 2007 ... that is, until now!

It will be the first time the competition has been held further north in Inverness, 3 hours away in one of the fastest short course pools around, the Aquadome. I set a few records there back in the day and in fact the last time I swam a 1500m in the pool there I managed to set a record that I think is still standing. That coupled with the fact that the last time I raced at the Mitchell Trophy in 2005, I won the 1500m which is definitely making this weekend a little more exciting for me than maybe it should be.

For the record I have no chance, there are some great guys racing this weekend, a few who I'm training with at COAST. I hope they have a good weekend as they are training like maniacs...with me usually followed a few meters behind, and will no doubt do well.

I'm also swimming the 200m and 400m freestyle so I have many chances to redeem myself over the two days in case the COAST guys kick my butt.

That said with only 6 weeks of winter training in me at 4 swim sets a week I am no doubt way off the form I once had in the water a few years back. I'm a little bit older, a little bit slower but a lot less afraid of that 1500m than I used to be let's see how it goes.


ps. some historical Mitchell Trophy race results.

2005 (16 yrs old)
1st 1500m free: 16.16.29 (1.00.05, 2.04, 4.13, 8.37)
4th 200m free: 1.56.92 (55.63)
5th 400m free: 4.09.83 (last 100m in a 1.01 =])

2004 (15)
3rd 1500m free: 16.30
3rd 400m free: 4.10
4th 200m free: 2.00.57

2003 (14)
2nd 200m free
2nd 100m fly
2nd 200m fly
2nd 200m back
3rd 100m free
3rd 100m back

Think my results from this weekend will look a little different!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

You wish you had a camera

Sometimes you do something that is such a combination of luck and mad skills that it should have been caught on film.

My poor blue land rover broke a few days ago (see knackered prop shaft) so it was parked up across town getting fixed. Today then I was stuck at home with no transport.
Luckily though at around 2 I got a welcomed call from the 4x4 centre (about 12km away) who had done a rapid job repairing the beast and it was ready to go. How to get across?


It's been raining heavily in Scotland for the past 2 weeks so the bike paths are a mess, this however seemed fun so I kitted up and headed out on my bike. About 8km of the journey is on an old railway line (that the Queen used to travel on) that takes me from my house all the way into town to Duthie Park. As you approach the park though it gets pretty congested so you constantly have to dodge delinquents, pensioners and dog walkers ... an acquired skill.

There is a sharp downhill right hand 90 degree bend just before the end of the path that takes you down into the park itself. As I was approaching I saw 2 huge people (5ft5 and 250+lbs) out for a crawl and quickly had to make a I slow down (again) and wait to be let past, or do I keep on at full pelt (30kph) and try and squeeze by. I chose the latter option and kept on at full speed, dodged right JUST missing the elbow of woman #1 and managed to squeeze by ... though chased by a torrent of foul mouthed abuse from the two characters.

Having not thought this through properly I was then still at full speed but now FAR too close to the sharp downhill fact I was already on the downhill. This meant 1 thing, RACING TURN. Now, a full speed racing turn is one thing, in the dry on a Cervelo with Zipps. BUT pulling off a racing turn at 30kph on a mountain bike on a slippy path covered in leaves...going downhill is quite another.

It turned out pretty much the only way it was going to. I flicked the bike left, dropped my right knee and pushed the bike across the path towards the apex of the turn. Immediately I knew I had done a bad thing, my back wheel decided to start a race with my front wheel...the "who can end up in the park first" race.

With the back of the bike quickly moving towards where the front should have been something amazing happened. In the split second when I would normally have just gone "oh, I'm going to fall again" I had an epiphany. Suddenly I was no longer the unsure biker of old, in that split second I became some sort of ninja rider. My right foot was coming off of the pedal, my front brake was being applied, my weight was shifting, I was no longer out of control, this was awesome I thought.

It only got better though, due to the slipperiness of the leaves on the path, my quick decision making which had instigated a masterful save of my impending bike crash had turned from a cleverly planned manoeuvre into a freestyle bike trick! My bike should technically have come to a stop facing side-on half way down the hill with my right foot on the ground - uphill of the bike. BUT NO! In my ninja-esk manoeuvre the bike continued to rotate around the front wheel and the back just kept on spinning. Before I knew it I was still in the saddle facing back up the hill, right foot still on the ground (pivot point!), but we kept on moving until I finally came to a stop facing back down the hill. A FULL 360.

By this point I was screaming in a fit of joy hoping some unsuspecting film crew who were about to film a short documentary had managed to catch it all on camera. Unfortunately there were no cameramen in sight, so I quickly looked around. The two irate and overweight walkers were still slowly approaching...probably still shouting and cursing me for my earlier overtaking trick, when I span around and gave them a look which said "aaaaaah did you see that!?" ...

...unfortunately they had. Instead of appreciating it for what a combo of luck, leaf positioning and skill it had been they somehow perceived it as some kind of celebration dance for the earlier manoeuvre and near miss I had pulled off in passing them. It just seemed to make them even more mad and their earlier waddle had now turned into an almost walk...time to make a quick exit I thought.

Very very fun though, put a smile on my face for an hour or two.

After that I made my way to the car garage and recovered my car, its back in the driveway and it feels good to be with a mode of transport again.


It's amazing how easily you get used to luxuries, a car, ipod, laptop etc. My laptop also broke last week (motherboard) so it is also being repaired...or if the PC World Insurance policy is any good...replaced. But just as you feel lost without your item you very quickly get used to coping without it.

Humans were not meant to be reliant on mobile phones, google or xbox360, we were meant to be outside, working hard or inside thinking hard. Happily, most of my days consist of quite a few hours outside (and in a pool) working hard with an equal number inside thinking. Very often my brain struggles with the thoughts, some are too complex and require more understanding, others just struggle due to long days. Even more often my body struggles with the hard work of training, some sessions are testing, pushing new limits and building new fitness. Others though are just tough because I'm tired, mentally and physically.

Being tired though is an amazing feeling, it makes everything seem better. Warm water, clean clothes, food, bedtime or just 5 minutes to relax all seem better when you are worn out.

If you look at the news these days, read the papers or even just listen in on peoples conversations at work, on the bus or in the shops it seems as if maybe people need to get back to basics and appreciate the simple things once more. Something that tests you physically or mentally WILL tire you out, it maybe wont be fun at first but the simple rewards in day to day life it might bring about are worth it a million times over.
Humans are meant for hard work and challenge, so we might as well try it out.

Personally I'm wrecked after all those insane bike tricks today!


Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Horror movies, the Panther and a smashed old lady


What a day. I forgot how Scotland's weather can go from one extreme to another in hours, we've just had a week or so of stunning winter weather, 15 degrees and sunny, very very rare this far north.

Weeelll this all changed today, winds picked up over night and a massive rain storm moved in. According to the met office it's due to stick around at least until early next week, but today alone we had 70mm of rain.

The rainiest place in the ENTIRE WORLD only gets an average of 32.5mm a it was pretty nuts here today. Luckily my huge blue truck proved a worthy match for the weather and could be seen storming through road floods in the afternoon, sending gallons of water high into the air...and over the nice people on the pavement :)

An afternoon run/evening bike was on the cards for the day, with the evening session being my weekly indoor trainer set (so no wet riding today thankfully). I headed to the Lonehead forest at the top of Bieldside for my afternoon run set, having never ran there before I was pretty excited to see what the terrain was like.

I left the house around 4pm just as it was starting to get pretty dark and the rain was turning on the taps. I should have realised at this point that my outfit was slightly intimidating but I'll leave that description for later...

I did my best to warm up before I left so when I arrived in the car park I got straight to it, headed right into the trees. There was a pretty clear path setup so I just followed the markers and didn't pay too much attention to the surroundings. Before I knew it I was right in the centre of the forest and trust me, it was creepy. The trees were super dense so no light was being let in, both from above and around, so when you looked out into the trees it was just black, I really should have had my headlight on. It definitely resembled a horror movie one point I was a little scared, thinking a crazy dude would run out of the trees at any moment. But I would quickly find out it wasn't me that had to be scared...

I started doing the main part of my run set which involved some shorter fast efforts, the forest was pretty bumpy so some reps were uphill, some on the flat and some sent me shooting down the path on pretty slippy descents. Trust me I didn't think anyone else would be out on the trails walking today, I was pretty confident I was alone.

My outfit.

In hindsight I looked like a murderer, full black compression top with black gloves and a full winter balaclava covering my whole face...except my eyes. So here I was, shooting along at full pelt, covered in rain and mud, head to toe in black with a BALACLAVA on and I find myself starting to slip as I run down a small hill. Well just as I get to the bottom I almost lose my footing and let out a quick shout "ahhh".

I'm laughing even as I write, because then to my surprise I almost run head on into couple out walking along but frozen solid in the middle of the path looking like they are about to be killed!

Imagine the sight, they're just out for a nice walk when all of a sudden they see this maniac running at full speed down the hill with this intense look on his face wearing all black, black gloves and a balaclava...who then as he approaches proceeds to shout!

Oh dear. It took me a while to realise why they looked so scared, but once I did I had a good laugh...then got on with the rest of my run, training like a panther as usual.

Got home, a good stretch, quick snack, showered off, compression socks then ready for the trainer set. The last week in this first block of harder Wednesday night trainer efforts so was a good hour or so of work, rocking the LIVESTRONG kit too, represent :]

Once I finished I had unclipped from the Cervelo and proceeded to swing my back leg over the saddle. In a fit of joy I decided to swipe at a figurine of an old lady with my shoe and knocked her straight off the shelf ...smashing into a million bits. Let's hope my mum doesn't read my blog eh!


Muddy Muddy Muddy

I was even freaking myself out!

Unhappy legs

Happy legs

Quick stop at the painting to pay my respects

Setting up the S2

Rocking out the main set

My main set stare, straight ahead, no distractions

Head down @120RPM!