The New Challenges

In 2012 Tracey and I embarked on a series of challenges to raise money for The Haemophilia Society. We had great fun doing it and both felt very fit. So, as we both were slogging up the Mound in the Edinburgh 10 mile run recently, we remarked on how unfit we both were compared to then!

And so Two Tackle Three was resurrected!

Two Tackle Three Take Two (AKA 2T3T2) will see us take on three new challenges each which are crazier and tougher than the first three (although Ventoux was quite tough). We will raise money for an Edinburgh Charity called The Yard. The Yard is a purpose built indoor and outdoor adventure playground for children and young people with disabilities.

Tracey and I have a few links with this amazing facility. One being it has close links with the Childhood Practice Team at Edinburgh College and the second being my late husband, Alistair was involved in providing the yard with their cut down working traffic light, through the BBC Children in Need project, The Big Build.

So Tracey's challenges are -

St Mary Loch Standard Distance Triathlon, Aberfeldy Half Ironman, Glencoe Half Marathon.

And Jane's are -

Windermere Half Marathon, The Moonwalk and the Glencoe Marathon.

We will also be taking part in a variety of other events in preparation for our big challenges.

Our blog will make a welcome return, so you can keep up with our training antics! So please keep up to date. We will let you know soon how you can sponsor us to raise a shed load of cash for The Yard.

Jane and Tracey (Team 2T3T2)

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Good morning!

It's 8 am and I'm sitting sipping coffee before heading out for the half marathon at Glen Coe. Jane and Hazel have already left, having got up at stupid o'clock and off for the bus to take them to the start of their marathon. It's freezing cold but promises to be a lovely day up here. Best of luck to Jane and Hazel. ...that's one tough marathon they are doing!!

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Two sleeps to go....

After depositing Rhona in a very muddy field in Cumbria (Red Bull Foxhound) with her trusty steed (mountain bike) I whizzed back up the M6 to Hazel who was waiting in the house for me.

We talked all night and then got down to the important business of packing for our adventure (Rhona said we were both having adventures this weekend!). What a lot of stuff we are going to have to take with us in case we get lost, hurt or just tired. There are numerous items of clothing, food, water, survival bags, gloves, hats, whistles..... I'll hardly be able to lift the bag never mind cart it up over the Devil's Staircase! But my little pile of stuff has now grown to a huge one and is all strewn over my room at this current moment.

So how about my nerves, I'm sure they will reappear but for the moment they are tucked away behind excitement and I just can't wait to get on the road tomorrow for Fort William.

More to come tomorrow. Don't worry, be happy :)

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Nerves and sleepless nights....

Tracey has been very good and blogged her summer of events, I have been not so good at doing that. But I have been training very hard for what may end up one of the hardest running challenges I have taken on so far in my running life.

I have been up and down mountains in the Lake District and in Borders and Edinburgh. I have slogged through muddy bogs, trudged up and down rocky trails in sunshine and in rain and tripped over many a tree root on the way. I have completed several races on the road to Glencoe, the most favourite being the Derwentwater Trail Race a few weeks ago.

My Glencoe Marathon journey began in July with a hills bootcamp in Keswick. Every day I headed up a different hill. Then I began the arduous task of hill reps and hill runs. Very slowly I felt myself become stronger on the hills. I'm still not fast, but that doesn't seem to matter on the hills, enjoying the outdoors, the views, the endorphins, makes the hard work seem worth it. My wee pal, Kobi has been with me on most of my runs. We have summited many hills with a wee seat at the top to take in the views. He really has been the best hill running companion. I only wish he could come with me to Glencoe.

In May I ran the Keswick half Marathon and the Windermere Half Marathon, neither particularly spectacular times but as always brilliant events. In June, Rhona and I completed the Edinburgh Moonwalk. An odd experience but a real achievement. At the time I felt that doing the moonwalk had somehow interfered with my run training, I felt slower. But as I have found on the hills this summer that early stamina training has really helped, I am much stronger than I would have been had I not done that. As the summer moved on. I spent many gorgeous, hot sunny runs up in the Pentland Hills, building my long Sunday run from 15 miles to 18 miles to 19 miles to 20 miles finishing with a hard 19 mile run at Glentress last weekend which saw me take in 6 huge hills. Other than doing more hills and more miles I'm not sure what else i can do. That's it, I'm out of training time.

I am absolutely in love with hill running. I have hardly stepped foot on the tarmac this summer. I have grown to love the feeling of soggy feet, achy calf muscles, burning thighs. It is a bit of a love hate relationship, I'm not particularly good at running up hills but I love the view from the top and the real sense of achievement once I get to the top. Coming to the end of the 10 miles in Keswick a few weeks ago after wading through huge muddle puddles in the Brundleholm woods, and sloshing through the Glendeterra bogs and then scaling the path through the Skiddaw Forrest onto the side of Skiddaw, I was surprised to find myself disappointed that it was nearly over and that I was heading down onto the slopes of Latrigg and winding my way back to the park and the finish line. I don't think I have ever felt like that with a road race. There is just something magical, playful about being on the fells that makes it much more fun than running on the road. And despite it being very uphill, it is actually much easier than pounding away on the roads.

So here I am 4am on Wednesday morning, 5 days away from the start line in Glencoe. With my best pal Hazel, and my other best pal, Tracey, we will all head to Fort William to conquer the Glencoe Gathering. Hazel and I will plod our way back towards Glen Nevis, having conquered the Devil's staircase and will pick up Tracey at Kinlochleven for the Half Marathon (no mean feat either, plenty big hills in that section too). It has been a long time since the marathon created so many nerves for me. Which is good, the marathon is not something to be taken on lightly and when it gets to the point where you wake up on the morning of the marathon and just get up with no nerves it is time to crank up the challenge, and blooming heck this is going to be a challenge. I have nerves like I haven't felt for a long time, to the point it has woken me up this morning! I'm good with those nerves though, they remind me I am alive, and that I can still be challenged way out of my comfort zone.

I have absolutely no idea how long it is going to take me on Sunday, but I know that regardless of how long it takes, I will feel absolutely amazing on Sunday evening (once we make it back - which may well be a challenge in itself).

I can't sleep with the building excitement and nerves, my mind is going over and over what I need to take, what needs to go in my rucksack. How many pairs of socks should I put in my bag, what food will I need, how much water should I carry, will I need suncream, midge spray or waterproofs? So many things to think about. This is why I keep entering these daft challenges, much better to be kept awake at night with the excitement of a race than the stress of life, don't you think?

So at some point tomorrow I am going for a short run, to ease the itchy legs. To remind myself how to put one foot in front of the other. The hamstring stretches will continue all week, trying desperately to ease out those tight hamstrings from a  summer of running up hills. And the anticipation will build.

I can't wait, I'm very excited, which is an amazing feeling. Haven't felt like this since the London Marathon in 2011. Bring it on Glencoe! Chuck what you can at me. JaneyM is coming to get you!!!!!!

If you are inspired by any of this nonsense then please consider sponsoring Tracey and I to support the Yard in Edinburgh. Thank you to those who have already done so. (see hyperlink on the side bar)

don't worry, be happy


Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Swamp Monsters Defeated!

It's taken a few days to recover from the weekend but I (at last) managed to overcome my irrational fear of open water swimming for long enough to complete the standard  (Olympic ) distance Triathlon at Loch Ore. I was so nervous about the swim after the Great Triathlon Disaster of 2016 at St Mary's Loch. But I was also extremely determined. I didn't even think about the 25 mile cycle or the 6 mile run ,  just wanted to complete the swim. And complete it I did! In a record time of 34:55 that's a whole 3 minutes faster than I have ever done before for that distance (1.5 km).Delighted with myself I jumped on the bike for a not too bad time, and let's just say to call it a 'run' would be over optimistic! But that doesn't matter. ...I completed it .....and I wasn't last!!

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Difficult decisions. .....

Those of you who know me, know how stubborn I am! So making this decision has been really difficult for me. I have had to withdraw from the Aberfeldy Half Ironman in August. Several reasons for this but mainly due to having a couple of setbacks in training which means I just won't be confident enough in my fitness to complete the distance safely. This is a huge disappointment to me as I normally have the mental strength to 'get over myself and just do it" . This year I've just run out of time to get the miles in before the event and I just don't feel ready. If there is one thing I know about these endurance events it is you need to respect the distance. However,   I need to beat the inner demons I call the swamp monsters though. So instead of Aberfeldy I'll be entering another standard distance Triathlon instead. Then I have a 70 mile cycle in Sept followed by the Half Marathon in Glen Coe in Oct plenty to keep me busy!

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

First Challenge Finished!

I have now almost recovered from the St Mary's Loch Standard Triathlon. I did finish but technically didn't 'complete' the whole distance. Unfortunately and frustratingly 'the fear' won on Sunday morning. I started the swim but just couldn't concentrate and get into any sort of rhythm, and it was sooooo cold in their I just knew I couldn't do two laps. I managed one (750m) but my 'mind over matter' strategy just ran out of steam. So I had to get out. Looking back I am so disappointed with myself, but at the time I just couldn't. I was still able to carry on with the bike and run though.  As soon as I clipped myself into those pedals all was well with the world once more! 25 miles cycled round a very hilly route which took in the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway in the lashing rain! I really enjoyed it in an stingy rain mud splattered way! 1 hour 53 ...a great time for me. Then it was off the bike and onto the  6 mile run. This was all off road. Normally at the end of a triathlon the run is fairly flat. ...not this one! Muddy,  squelchy, rocky, uppy, downy. ...over a few styles.....proper cross country running! Was very cold and wet by the time I finished....but I did finish. Mixed emotions.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

'Night before' nerves!

Tomorrow is the first of my 'big' challenges, the St Mary's Loch Standard Triathlon. I hate that it's called 'standard' there's nothing standard about swimming 1500 m in open water then struggling to get out of your wetsuit without falling over then jumping on your bike for 40k  (in the rain tomorrow ) and then running 10k. But for me it's not just about increasing the distances it's the overwhelming sense of dread I have about getting in the water! I have a fear....a fear, which those who don't have, don't get....there are THINGS in open one knows what they are or what they'll do to you but they are there! I call them swamp monsters. When I put my head under the water I don't want to see anything, if I see something, pond weed, another swimmers foot, my own bubbles. ...I just freak.....I know there is nothing there and I know I can swim the distance but I'm still scared! So tomorrow's challenge is more mental than physical, even though it will be a tough four hours. I just need to keep my sanity for 45 mins whilst in the water and "it'll be fine"....Won't it Jane?