Crathes half marathon 2014

Time: 2:48:11 (It felt like double that)

Medal: Yes

IMG_20140920_134239OK, so you can maybe guess from my time, but basically, this whole race kind of went to shit, and I had a feeling, much like Romeo before Capulet’s party, that something was going to go very, very wrong.  My reasons for this included:

1.) I was running under someone else’s number.  The only other time I have done this is when I paid for my entry to the Garioch half in 2013, and I was one of the few entries lost when they changed their system for taking entries.  The early bird does not always catch the worm, and I ran as ‘Jon Bell’.  Anyway, I forgot to enter Crathes, but one of Ronnie’s friends could no longer run, and she offered up her entry to me.  I felt shady as hell giving a false name at registration, and convinced myself the karma gods would strike me down with a heart attack.  I pushed this to the back of my mind.

2.) A stolen fork.  The weekend prior to Crathes, I ran Glenmore 12, but in the frenzy of preparation, I forgot to pack any utensils to cook with.  Because of this, when I dined out with Elaine and Rob on Friday night, I slipped the fork I had used into my bag with the intention of returning the fork on the way back to Aberdeen after the race.  Well, I had 4 beers for breakfast on Sunday before we left, so my brain was a little foggy, and I forgot.  That fork is still burning a hole in my conscience, and I plan on sending it back with an apology note.  I’m so badass.

I’m going to keep this brief, because I’m in the middle of moving right now, and because I don’t really want to dwell on this experience for any longer than I have to, but essentially I don’t think I allowed myself enough time to rest after Glenmore.  I started running with Suzy at a comfortable pace.  I got to mile 4 and my knee was hurting quite a lot.  I stopped several times to stretch it off, massage anything around my knee, curse my faulty body, whatever – to no avail.  By mile 7, I urged Suzy to go ahead, and began the long, slow, death march to the finish line.  It hurt.  I was cold.  At the sight of a familiar face along the course I burst into tears, like a little girl.  It sucked.

You guys, looks at my new windows.  I'd be jealous too.

You guys, looks at my new windows. I’d be jealous too.

By the time I crossed the finish line, most people had left, and I could barely bend my leg.

The course hasn’t changed since previous years (2012, 2013), but the medal continues to improve.  This year’s t-shirt was green.

The End.


The one positive I can take away from the day is that I ran into an old workmate, Iain, who is now a firefighter.  He and one of his colleagues were running in full uniform as a practice run for November, when they will be running New York marathon for charity.  They remained in high spirits, despite the added bonus of running in a portable sauna, and if you want to donate, you can do so HERE.  They passed me and Suzy a couple of miles in, and finished somewhere around the 2:18 mark.  They will definitely earn a few cold beers after New York, that’s for sure.

I had to steal this picture from Facebook because they had left by the time I finished.

I had to steal this picture from Facebook because they had left by the time I finished.


19 thoughts on “Crathes half marathon 2014

    • Ha! I tried to DNF, but the two young girls who were marshaling looked at me like I was an alien and asked if I wanted anything to eat in case I was tired. They said the sweeper van would pick up marshals after the last runner finished, so it would be quicker to walk. I was cold. I chose to walk.
      As for not writing about it – that was sorely tempting, especially as my name is nowhere to evidence that I even took part. But with Loch Ness hanging in the balance next weekend, it’ll make it easier to explain a DNS if I explain that I’m already injured. My glass is half empty today…

  1. Hey MS, I too am training for NYC which I forgot how exhausting training for a marathon can be. Rest assured I will look out for these lovely looking fire fighters!

    Just remember that in the running world it can’t be Christmas every day – some of my team mates keep telling me!

    We all love following your blog – team New Balance, London, Ontario.

    • Aw, thanks. 🙂 I do know I’ve been pretty lucky staying injury free for so long, and hopefully the knee improves in time for Loch Ness next weekend.

      He (firefighter) told me that they’re getting a lift to the start in a firetruck, lights flashing and everything (which he said was a bit cringey, but hey ho). If you pass then, tell them Rachel says “there’s no bush to dive into out here!”. It’ll freak him right out! Enjoy NY – it’s on my bucket list, for sure, but it won’t happen anytime soon. 🙂

  2. Everyone’s got that bruiser of a race, a beatdown of such monumental proportions that it makes you wonder how you could ever enjoy such baseless masochism. I remember commenting on your 12-hour race on the encouraging lack of pain or injuries — looks like they were just a little delayed in rearing their ugly heads. It sucks when you don’t realize the world is throwing you a bone — it’s happened several times to me. Alas.

    But you got through it, regardless, and that’s worth something. Time to rest up, give your legs a little sabbatical before the next paid battery.

    • Enforced rest is all-systems-go. In fact, we’re on day 8, and counting. Looks like I’ll be at Loch Ness supporting instead of running this weekend, which is disappointing, but if it means I make it to the start line of Amsterdam, I’m willing to be sensible. I don’t think I’ve ever had this much rest since my last operation!

      I do count myself lucky that any niggle I’ve ever had, while worrying at the time, has never amounted to anything particularly serious, so I guess sitting on the bench for one race is not too shabby. Doesn’t make it any less frustrating though…

  3. Hey, what you call a bad day I call great planning… if you’re going to have a sub-par performance, do it as someone else! The next fitness-related multi-millionaire will be the person who invents one of those handy “Men In Black” memory-erasure gadgets to help us forget days like this. Hope that both knee and psyche heal quickly…

    • Well, the fact that my name would be in no way attached to my performance was possibly the only positive thing about finishing. I didn’t even care about the medal.

      Thanks for the well-wishes. Another week of rest should (hopefully) do the trick.

  4. I wondered what had happened to you. This was my first half marathon. Thought I recognised you from your blog whilst you were doing some stretching at the second water station and I kept on waiting for you to pass by me. Then saw you struggling at the finish line. Was totally confused not to see your name on the results page when I’d heard shouts of “Rachel” at the end of the race. All makes sense now!!

    Glad you are putting your feet up for a wee while.

      • Thanks. It wasn’t too bad actually. Did the Ballater 10 miler at the end of July and thought that was worse.

        Nope; don’t think you’re one to blend in!

  5. Awww, must have missed you, and I was looking out for anyone I recognised from this and other local runners blogs but drew a blank. Otherwise I’d have said ‘Hi’. Unless you started right at the back of the pack I must have run past you at some stage too. Like Kim this was my first Half and I managed it round in 2hr 16 and some seconds. I had been hoping for something quicker but at 46yrs old, only managing to get up to 10miles in training due to time constraints, having had a rotten cold before the race so I didn’t run at all for a week and a half immediately before it, meant I was happy to even finish (last 3 miles were 50/50 run/walk). Love the race t-shirt too, much nicer than Balmoral or Baker Hughes ones.

    • Well done on your first half – a very respectable time, especially under your circumstances. We started somewhere in the middle, so it’s likely that you passed me at some point, but I kept myself out of the way and probably had one of those ‘do not speak to me’ faces on for a while.

      And the t-shirt is always a good one. I wasn’t sure about the green, but it’s grown on me. Still haven’t managed to wear it yet though – too soon! 😛

  6. Well done on the race, even with all the bad karma you thought you had going! I can barely walk/run two miles, I am awe of anyone who does marathon type stuff. Love your new windows, I love stained glass and craftsman houses, but have neither! First time visiting you here, so nice to meet you!

    • Thanks for reading! Marathons were always in that ‘maybe someday’ realm until a few years ago – I’m pretty sure everyone starts there. I can remember when I could barely last 10 minutes on a treadmill!

      And I may have mentioned this, like, a kajillion times in the last few weeks, but I do love those windows. Maybe a little too much.

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