Running, Rocking and a Romantic day!

I start off with a short run on the morning of February 14th. What makes this unique is that not only was it ran on a busy romantic St. Valentines Day, but was a pre breakfast run. I had planned a nice surprise for my partner to attend a lovely dinner at a golf hotel and spa near Loch Lomond later that day.

We had already agreed to visit the home of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, near Helensburgh, an area I know all to well as I used to live there. That’s also the home of my best friend, who sadly is no longer with us. It was my first visit back through the town following his funeral in 2016. That’s what inspired me to write my first book, Davy’s Run. I needed to start the day with a clear head so it was up early and out a few miles before breakfast.

Running on an empty stomach has it’s advantages to a certain degree. I would often do this type of run if I were short of time in the morning or had breakfast pre arranged. In my opinion, I would recommend this only a few times and never run for over 30 minutes, as you’ll start to use depleted glycogen stores. “Glycogen is the name for stored glucose. Glycogen depletion happens when we run out of glycogen stores because of lack of food or intense exercise. Glycogen in the muscles can only be used by that muscle. Glycogen stored in the liver can be used throughout the body” Lisa @

My short run was 3.4 miles and was from where I live to the centre of town, via Western Road, which has a steady incline and back along Glasgow Road before heading back up the hill and home. With an average pace of 7:33/mi this wee run took just 25:40, so spot on in terms of my timings.

Once we got organised and the shock of going away for the evening had sunk in, we were on route over the Erskine Bridge and for me into familiar territory. We had planned this visit for months but never got around to doing it. When we arrived, the house itself is in the process of being renovated and is currently protected by a weather shield, to allow the old building to dry out. This is great because you get to see not only the historical interior of his work, but the outside features too. National Trust for Scotland – Hill House is where to find further information. 🏠

My next outing on the 16th February was the annual HillBilly 10k race, a fantastic event ran by Butterfly Events. It’s great to see so many runners (over 300) taking part in this cross country run. The weather was as to be expected for a February event but did brighten up during the run, with exceptional views of the waterfalls and Ayrshire landscapes. My time this year was quite surprisingly quicker that last year, 50:22 with an average pace of 8:11/mi.

Four days later I was back out running, following a short High Intensity Interval Training session the day before in the gym, lasting 30 mins. My run usually takes 24 mins or so to complete this particular route, depending on weather and fatigue. Much to my surprise I started to run up the hill at a reasonable pace, just to get quicker and maintain this throughout. With negative splits recorded, I managed a new PB for this 3 mile course, 21:11 with an average pace of 7:00/mi, getting back to my old self I guess.

Two days later and I welcomed the weekend with a visit to Dean Castle Country Park for the Saturday morning parkrun. Was great seeing familiar faces from the club (Ron’s Runners) once more – Mark, Bert, Wendy, Sylvia, Jennifer and Fiona. Was a cold muddy morning but equally ideal running conditions in the park. I started of running at a relatively relaxed pace and soon caught up with Sylvia and ran the route with her, having a great catch up. With a few hills to tackle, this 5k course took us 25 mins with an average pace of 8:15/mi. Afterwards it was off to to cafe for some well deserved coffee and catch up, well apart from Sylvia who was off to compete at the District Cross Country Championships, outstanding effort! 👏

Other that running, believe it or not, I did manage to take in a gig or two. Firstly on Friday night it was a visit to St. Luke’s in Glasgow to see an Australian band called Boy and Bear. Much to my surprise, they were really good and played a very heart warming set.

The following evening was more of a bigger scale with a trip to the SSE Hydro venue in Glasgow, this time to see the amazing Micheal Ball and Alfie Boe, supported by Johnny Mac and The Faithful. I was lucky enough to see Alfie Boe at the Invictus Games Big Show in Sheffield last year and like Saturday, was amazing. They played a varied set with music for all tastes, like Queen, John Farnham, The Greatest Show and ending the evening a Grease medley – absolutely fantastic!

I first saw Alfie Boe sing this at Sheffield with Invictus Games and may I say, truly incredible. Reminds me so much of losing Davy and gives me the inspiration I need to keep pushing on. Bring on 2020 and my latest challenge – 20 10k races this year. 👍🏃‍♂️💨


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