Health and fitness

Auchenblae and Drumlithie Loop

I really miss the scenery around Banchory but days like today remind me that it’s not so bad being back in the Mearns. Taking full advantage of a flex day from work I was up nice and early and left Stonehaven heading out towards Auchenblae.  I had vague the vague intention of going all the way through to Auchenblae but really I wasn’t sure I’d be bothered and my main focus was getting a good ride in and hopefully stumbling across a tearoom or some kind of cake along the way.

I’d been out this way at the weekend for a 17 miler just to get used to being on the bike again and like then I swung off the Auchenblae road at Carmont Station to head towards Drumlithie. The road from Carmont Station features a nice wee hill that’s probably the steepest part of the ride but is over before you know it, so nothing to worry about.  The reward is some stunning views over the Mearns, which today features a large number of wind turbines. I stopped to take a couple of snaps then pressed on to Drumlithie in the gorgeous spring sunshine.

When we were looking at houses last year we almost put an offer on a place in Drumlithie and part of me still wishes we had. The wee village was looking its best today, but I’m happy to be home in Stonehaven. After a quick pitstop at the village shop I pressed on through the hills of Glenbervie, intending now just to meet back up with the Auchenblae road and head for home.  However I hadn’t been checking my location or where the turnoff might have been and a short while later I came over a small hill to see Auchenblae golf course ahead of me with the village itself nestling behind it.

Coasting through the village I came to the Old Post Office tearoom – score! This proved to be a popular cake stop with a plethora of road bikes parked round the back of the restaurant. It seems there was a club ride had popped in past to refuel after tackling the Cairn O’Mount, rather them than me.  After chatting to them for a minute I sat down and tucked into a massive piece of pecan pie. That’s what my whole morning had built up to.  Wonderful.

I didn’t hang around too long though. Wanting to be home for lunch and then make the most of the fine weather with a walk to the harbour in the afternoon, so I left on my bike just as another bunch wheeled into the car park.  I almost made it to Stonehaven when I stopped at Tewel to take another photo and the Cairn O’Mount crew puffed past me with cries of “No Mercy!” and a friendly wave. Damn them. I’d been keeping an eye behind me for any sign of them and thought I’d made it without being caught after I had a small headstart.  Not that I’m competitive in any way…

Just under 27 miles in total as I unclipped back at home. Not a bad morning’s work. That’s a third of the daily total I’ll be doing in August at Ride The North so I’m quite happy that I can build up to that distance over the next few months. Now for a pint.

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Health and fitness

Back in the swing of things

Since my daughter was born I’ve not done much running, cycling or anything really. For the most part I’ve just been too tired to care about exercise or when I get home from work I’d rather help with Chloe than go out for an hour, missing what little time I have with her.

However I can see my waistline slowly getting squidgy and my jeans are getting tighter again so needs must. Besides that I’m also committed to doing Ride The North – a 170 mile bike ride from Inverness to Stonehaven over two days in August so I have to get fit again!

Today I made the most of the fine spring weather and went for a wee run up to Dunnottar Castle. I’ve run up to the war memorial a couple of times but not gone the full distance to the castle yet. Well I couldn’t have picked a better night for it. The weather was stunning and the castle, the bay and Stonehaven all looked beautiful in the setting sun (see the photo at the top of this page for proof).

It was pretty tiring though. I can tell I’ve not done much running since last year! The path from the memorial to the castle was a lot hillier than it looks but that’s a good thing, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. I think I’ll be using this route a lot over the summer.

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Health and fitness

Two races, two PBs

The racing season is firmly upon us now and after missing most of it last year through injury I’ve already been busy with two races under my belt and another couple fast approaching! My plan for the year is to concentrate on the half marathon so in May I ran what intend to be my only 10k of the year – the City of Aberdeen Baker Hughes 10k. If I could get under 50 minutes I’d have a new PB and can put the 10k to bed for the year. Then in June it was over to Skye for the first of a handful of half marathons on what I was assured was a very hilly course. Progress, not PBs was the aim here. A good run was all I wanted. Continue reading “Two races, two PBs”

Health and fitness

Running 2014

I’ve not posted anything about my running for a long time. To be fair, I’ve not posted much at all for a long time! Forgive me. One of the reasons for that is that I’ve been pretty busy with my day job and I’ve not found much time or inclination to come up with blog posts. Sad times.

Anyway, last year’s running season was greatly hampered by a chronic knee injury (Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome) which hugely limited my mileage in the first half of the year and it wasn’t until the end of summer that I was anywhere close to normal again. I only entered one proper race all year, a 10k near Forres which although it got me a new PB it fell short of getting me under the 50 minute mark for the first time. Continue reading “Running 2014”

Health and fitness

My first road bike

Merida Ride Lite
I’ve suffered with a painful knee injury since September which has seriously limited my running this year. The unfortunate side effect of an injury which means you can no longer do your preferred form of exercise, especially for someone who enjoys food as much as I do, sadly predictable. Continue reading “My first road bike”

Health and fitness

Running year so far

The main reason I’ve not been posting to the blog as often as in the past is that I’ve been incredibly busy this year. Between wedding planning, work (something that sadly gets in the way of fun all too often) and various other commitments I haven’t been able to find the time to come up with interesting blog posts. One thing that’s been taking up a huge amount of my time this year is running.

Now I’ve posted about fitness and running before but I thought I’d go into a bit more with this post and go over some of the training and events I’ve done this year. Continue reading “Running year so far”

Health and fitness, Snapshots

Punishment and reward

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On saturday I was up bright and early to take part in the 5k parkrun race at Aberdeen beach. Despite the bitter cold making for a very frosty route, it was a beautiful clear morning and I was very happy with a time of 26 minutes. Not bad for my first time at the race and something to build on for the next time.

Later on as a reward for my efforts we nipped over to Buchanan’s for lunch. For the second time I was thwarted in my plan to try their awesome looking meat hotpots by them switching to a chicken pot for that day’s menu. Instead I went for a ragout of chestnuts, mushrooms, aubergine and haricot beans. This was one if the most delicious veggie dishes I’ve ever had! Very rich and filling. If I ever turn my back on meat I’d be happy knowing I could eat food like this.