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)

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


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