Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Meadows Marathon 2014

I've been in hibernation. Unlike a bear though, I have continued eating. Cue the following conversation with one of my wee ones:
Child: I want my mum to have twenty babies
Me: Oh, that's a lot of babies
Child: Are you having a baby?
Me: No
Child: I think that you are
Me: Oh, why do you think that?
Child: Because you have a big tummy
Me: Do you think so?
Child comes over to me and touches my tummy
Child: Yes, it's a big tummy. Are you going to have ten boys and ten girls?
There's a high chance that this kid will be a doctor when he grows up and I would then like to remind him of his incorrect diagnosis.
I was (and still am) in serious need of a kick up my well fed Beyonce. With a Sunday off work, a birthday to celebrate and the Meadows Marathon at my doorstep, the kicking was calling. 
Students like a good sleep in so the marathon didn't start until 11am. My motivation for watching lectures* was low so I didn't fancy doing that during the morning. Being wasteful with time feels awful so I wanted to do something before the late start. So I ran up Corstorphine Hill. Genius. 
* Actually a worker, with a wee bit of study on the side. I did watch the six hours of lectures after the marathon. Commitment. 
Quick shower, shoe change and jog down the road to slip in before registration closed. Cheeky wee coffee, braids in, body slam with Donald. Donald? If I'd know he was running I would have entered weeks ago. You just can't get that kind of chat often enough. 

Donald, world famous everywhere

Possibly running with ten boys and ten girls on board

The race started late. Students. I could have done with an extra bathroom trip. There's a giant tiger floating about. Note to self, avoid that. Or tackle it. Grrr. 
The half marathon started at the same time and they were running seven laps. Luckily, I teach children how to solve math problems so I can work out that I need to run 14. I do need to count my own laps though. Better keep the daydreaming to a minimum. Two years ago I ran the half with Scott and then continued on with the full myself. There were hoards of numptys and zebras running that year. This year, it doesn't look too bad. 

I'm not really sure what to do with my legs or arms. The arms thing isn't a major deal since we're running but the legs thing is less than ideal. I've been told that running is like riding a bike, in that you never forget how to do it. Recently, I've acquired a bike for commuting purposes (for when I am not on the train as my running got too slow) and I can tell you that I am rubbish. With the extra weight on my bottom region, that is quite surprising. Suggestions for a name are welcome. Not a name for my bottom, one for my bike.

How do I do this?

There's a Glenmore 24 t-shirt floating about. It's an ultrarunning magnet for me. It's my almost-namesake Anni Johnstone. Obviously a top lady. Then I jog a lap with her partner Grahame through the halfway mark. I am going too fast. Quick calculation of even splits has me running a three-minute pb. Oh dear, this second half might just be a bit of a flop.  

Scott's out looking like a dude in sunglasses and handing me food. It's lunchtime people. As the half marathon runners finish, the field diminishes and there's an odd bunch of us straggling on. Gotta fake fresh though. There's a lady who has been running laps at the same pace as me but due to my preferred turtle starting speed she is an estimated few minutes ahead.  You can see other runners constantly as along with being a lapped race there is also a bit of double-backing on the course and each time we come through the start/finish line we pass each other going in opposite directions. She's going to have to speed up or I'll pass her. Darn it.
Nearly four years ago I met Norm. He likes to go on boozy weekends in Europe with his pal Ally to try the local beer. Or run marathons. I can't remember which one they tell the wives. Scott and I have had the pleasure of going away with them twice. There's a bit of competition between the two of them as to who has the most 'tour' wins. While it's not nice to brag, I've had two pretty easy wins. However, back in their younger, lighter days they both ran 3:16 marathons. I am still a reasonable amount off this and didn't plan targeting their downfall until the next international tour. However, I am currently on for beating their pbs. Ally is quite humble about the situation but Norm sure does like to wave the time about in my face. And to that I think 'bring it on big fella.' And I run. I power out a couple of laps. I spare the leading lady and myself any misery by overtaking politely but quickly and visualise Norm's laughing face in my head. He is currently running the Transgrancanaria and he's going down. 

Middlemeadow Walk
Each lap I run as if it is my last. There must be about three to go. Scott's worked out that I am running a lot faster than planned. Excellent, as he's well cold yet still wearing the sunglasses unnecessarily. Running up Corstorphine Hill was perhaps a little bit of overkill. Hopefully the sore legs tomorrow will teach me a lesson about the importance of remaining active even if my time won't. Thank all the marshals on the final lap. They are a half and half split between extremely energetic and extremely bored. The intermittent reinforcement is exciting. The final wee incline up Middlemeadow Walk and over the cobbles is undesirable. 
Not enough evidence for Norm
Scott: Wow, you ran a pb
Me: I beat Norm!
Scott: What?
Me: I beat Norm. His pb is 3:16. I need to text him.
Scott: Let's get you inside
Norm doesn't recognise my time as there is not an official photo. I look forward to proving myself at the next international.
I now have a broken toe. The day after the marathon I had a minor trampolining accident which got a little dramatized. I did manage to stop a child from smashing a guitar through a tv though. He's since smashed the guitar through a window, breaking both. Four weeks later we are slowly on the mend. I can wear three pairs of shoes now and don't need to battle with placing my foot on a pillow at the bottom of the bed. I can now run slowly on flat, even terrain. This meant I should enter the Glasgow to Edinburgh canal race. Obviously. And I'm really looking forward to plodding along in my little bubble this weekend.


  1. Congrats on the PB x
    :-D I love your reports!

  2. So... untrained and a wee bit off your game, getting a little bit fat (highly doubtful, but 20 whole babies worth of stomach-podginess sounds frankly scary - all of the photos seem to hide it well), knocked out a quick hill run beforehand, ran a further few miles across town to do the race, start at "turtle speed", and you STILL run a 3:14 marathon PB? Oh Antonia, I wish you weren't such a lovely person, because it would be marvellous to be able to hate you. x

    1. Lovely?! You clearly haven't tried to get me to share food :)


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