Monday, 19 October 2009

The Tale of an Old Speckled Hen

What a weekend!
This weekend The Pirate and I had the pleasure of supporting the WHW Runner on his 24hr Race at Tooting Bec in London.

I somehow rendered my self support by default. My bairns and I have been in London since last Friday, having taken over the Pirates gaff for our October holidays. A whirlwind week of touristy type activities and loads of together time topped off by staying up all night, outside, in the freezing cold of SW17.

We collected the WHW Runner from the airport unscathed. Having completed the 40 minute journey in merely 20!! Our Subversive Fireman sure knows how to operate the gas pedal and just as well the 1.25l bad boy goes like shit off a shovel.
Return to Chez Waterman at a more leisurely pace to feed and water our precious visitor.

Mrs Beattie had had enlightened me into the …… of WHW Runner. She advised that "The night before the race he may be tempted to have 'just one' toast to old friends. He is incapable of 'just one' so abstinence is the best approach. I'm sure his old friend would understand."
So me and you-know-who had his share, hic.
We had a rummage through his gear and had a chat about he style of encouragement he preferred. Transpires he’s a softly softly type character. Thankfully he didn’t have Corned Beef in his corner as "get a move on you soft cock blouse” widney have gone down too well!
You-know-who missed this important team meeting as the boxing was on the telly ;-)

Have some decent kip, although I have had my fair share of it during the week. Quite a few long lies for me. You can bank sleep, right? Then up bright and breezy. Pirate boy has promised WHW Runner some scrambled eggs for brekkie. But he is nowhere to be seen. I locate him upstairs on the computer blogging in his pants…… if only Ian had seen him. Good job he didn’t. The start of Subversive Supporting me thinks.

Our runner is psyched up, primed like a coiled spring. The Pirate has his head in the glory hole of a cupboard under the stairs looking for his tent! An essential piece of kit for our duties. Poor Ian was like a cat on a hot tin roof. He must have wondered why oh why he had accepted this offer of help.

Finally make it out the door and hit the road only 10 minutes behind schedule. Arrive at the track with loads of time to spare though. WHW Runner registers, and we set up camp. It becomes evident that we really should have prepared a little more. While all those around us set up their comfy tents, reclining camp chairs, gazebos, tables etc we make do with a bench nicked from the other end of the track, a 20 year old unwashed doss bag an a table still at Southwark fire training establishment. Welcome to the world of Subversive Support.

And they’re off.
Despite the pedigree of some of the other runners, we were (apparently) the only support crew counting laps. We had been advised to do this by Fiona Rennie. This is a bloody stressful exercise. You really cant take your eye off the ball. Ian had a posties red lacky band round his finger and each lap he clocked he moved it down a finger. This allowed us to take a split every 5 laps.
Factor in my nosiness in getting to know the other supporters and whoops, did we miss him?? My wee lassie came into her own, keeping a wee eye out for our man.
The Pirate was in his element blogging and taking pictures of puke.

I’ll not go into the technicalities of track running. Basically its 4 hours one way, change and 4 hours back the way you came.
The time passed incredibly quickly. Although it was extremely cold. A factor that would scupper a few runners later in the night.

Brian McIntosh and his wee smasher Eilidh came along to offer support. It was great to finally meet them. That wean shows some promise on the track and she’s not event two!

Our man planned to drink every 20 mins, eat every 2 hours and change socks every 6 hours.
It was pretty hard to keep track of how closely he was keeping to the plan coz the feed table was a third of the track away from us and they had lots of tempting goodies on offer.

Main meals were provided, however the MacWatermans opted for a fish supper. Aw man, it was superb. The waft of salt n vinegar must have tormented the runners. Not as much as the BBQ one of the teams enjoyed ?!?
Did I mention a wee glass of wine? Well, yes, we had a small refreshment. Just for medicinal purposes you understand. Internal central heating was required, and red wine is an excellent choice. I had a nice bottle of ale on offer for our runner should he fancy a wee snifter. He told me once of a race where they offer you a half of whisky before hitting a particularly steep hill. So there was method in my madness. Sadly the contents remained in the bottle for the duration.

WHW Runner knocked out the laps and although off his gold medal goal he seemed content to crack on. Words of wisdom and encouragement from WHW family members perked him up no end. But it was occasional blethers with Mrs B which had the biggest impact. It takes just one sentence from someone who knows you better than you know yourself to give you that wee lift. In that respect the Pirate and I were rendered useless.

10.30pm. The wine kicked in and the Pirate took to his bed. I’m a night time person so the weans and I were happy to be on duty ’til 2am.
It was right at this point that our man announced that he wanted his feet tended too in 4 laps time. The Pirate could not be roused, oh shit. I think I bluffed it as our man changed his mind.
He was beginning to struggle a bit. Fatigue, cold and a tendency to puke anything and everything he took onboard. This caused a bit of a frenzy as Hannah and I jogged back and fore across the track to keep an eye on his welfare. A discussion as to whether we should ring Mrs B, pros’, con’s, should we wake the Pirate….. Aucht, the pressure!! Had a word with Alan Young, who offered our man the benefit of his wisdom. Adrian chipped in when the puking was at it’s worst. He was gonna chuck it!!! No way. I couldn’t let Mrs B trust me with her man and then I go and fail her and him. What to do??? Mrs B saves the day and lifts his spirits again. He plans to run 3 and walk 1 and this plan works for a time. He begins to pink up again and looks and sounds much better.

But he’s sneaky. Some time later he announces “that’s it I’m doing 250 laps then I’m done”
I told him it was his call. I had cajoled, encouraged and ever so slightly bullied to the point where I could see he had made his decision, and he was happy with it.

I was gutted for him. But I could see that he was done. The decision me made was logical. 250 laps, 100km in 12:28:22 was some achievement.
I woke the Pirate and broke the news. His words to me, “I go for a wee sleep and look what happens” go figure.

It was a perishing cold night. The cloud cover we had all day had cleared to reveal a star studded sky. Far too cold to walk and not waste precious energy just keeping warm. To do this for another 11 hours would be crazy, and possibly medically dangerous.
One young fella was suffering really badly from dehydration and affects of the cold. He had a support crew on hand and still succumbed. I know there were a number of runners participating without support as all food etc is provided. And while I know that Adrian and his team kept a very close eye on all runners I’m glad we were there for our man.

Supporting on a track event looks on the surface like a walk in the park. Well it AINT!! Its bloody hard work. Dave said himself that he would have struggled if he was on his own with Ian.
But Team Beattie gave it their all.
Well done Ian. You made the right decision at the right time. We are very proud of Our Man.

Ps. And what of t he bottle of Old Speckled Hen?
Packed as hand luggage, the attendant at Heathrow offered the WHW Runner 3 options.

1, Recover his hold luggage and store for later.
2, Hand it over for them to dispose (aye right)
3, Drink it…

So she shows him where to sit, and appears with a cup and a bottle opener. Result.
All’s well that ends well.

Mrs Mac x

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Time for a Plan

Wow, I didn't mean to leave it so long since my last post.

I have been running quite well lately and while not eventful would have definitely deserved a mention.

However, I was involved in an incident that I cant go into at the moment, that has kind of taken over my thoughts on what sort of society we live in. A society where a a woman; in obvious distress as a result of the action of another is left to fend for herself while they (society) busy themselves with texting their mate, reading the paper or other such mundane tasks. Anything to avoid involving themselves in the situation unfolding before them.

I have been in London since Friday night. It's not been the most relaxing October break as other domestic issues have contributed to my current state of fuckedupness.

Children are having a ball though. Yesterday we spent the day at the Science museum.....and still didn't manage to see it all. FREE entry is always a draw to a canny Scot, but this place is awesome. I even heard my Lanky 15 1/2 year old laughing, and I saw him smile on more than one occasion. I have photographic evidence but that'll need to wait 'til I find the wire for my camera, doh!

My focus now lies solely on Ian Beatties epic adventure at the weekend. The Pirate and I intend to support our socks off and Ian will reach his gold medal goal of 500 laps (200km) I have been formulating spreadsheets like it's going out of fashion, with a little help from Fiona Rennie & Pauline Walker. One thing I diddn't consider was the amount of miles WE'LL cover!!!

Ian arrives tomorrow evening. the Waterman household; already full to bursting will flex at the seams. I can assure any worried reader (Ally) that Mr Beattie will have a bed to himself and not be made to top n tail with any of the weans!!
We are assured of a mystery guest for the day; a man of much education, who I have yet to meet. It's gonna be one helluva 24hrs. Keep an eye on Ian's 24hr blog for updates. We, the Luddites will attempt to keep you posted.

Mrs Mac x

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Off Road, On Road ???

I’ve been sticking to Tomo's prescription and by Jove I think it’s starting to pay dividends. To be honest I’ve forgotten the prescribed formula I’m supposed to follow but I’m managing to get out the door four times a week. I know that i'm supposed to do one ‘long’ run of up to 10 miles. Yeh yeh I know….. piece of piss.
Well not for me, I aint no natural runner. Stick a pair of white jim jams on me and wrap a black belt around my waist and I’ll have ye. But running, pah that’s hard work man!

Saturday saw me and the Pirate lollop round Horton Country Park. We were a bit short of time coz we were meeting the Downies in London Town for luncheon. I reckoned though that I had four or five in me. Eek not so. I think I may have eaten something too rich and spent the whole run bursting for the loo. The Pirate informs me it was only three. Bugger! It was faster than normal, so I guess that was good.

Tuesday short of time again. Weans home alone. Half an hour of running up and down the hills at Strathaven’s War memorial. Some guy and his dug kept me company. Well, he blethered on the phone while the wide mouthed slabber chopped mut chased me up and down the steps.

Last night I fancied something a little longer. The Glassford Loop. Home to Sawney Bean and the like. It’s not a place to stop too long. As it’s getting dark early again I took a chance coz I got home early from work.
I headed up passed the ROAD CLOSED sign. Well, I running, not driving it’ll be fine. Uh oh, slight mistake. Bloody road workers ACTUALLY working on the road and after 5pm too!! WTF. The road was all chopped up, I ran for about a mile on scallpings. That horrible unstable stuff they use to resurface the road.

Oi hen, keep to the right. They’ve sprayed the ither side.

Christ almighty it was strange. Like running off road, ON the road. Then a good bit. A brand spanking new section of fresh laid tar macadam. Virgin road. And I was the first EVER person to run on it. That gave me a wee buzz.

So no country park running for me this weekend :-(
I’m meeting up with my mate during the day Saturday and planning a long run wi ma Maw on Sunday. Although, as I type the wind is howling down the chimney and it’s lashing with rain. Winter has arrived in Sunny Strathaven. Give me Ashtead any day.

The Lanky boy son of mine still has a want to join the Army. I am still ‘supporting’ him but tried to get him to watch the Wounded documentary that was on TV the other night. He missed it but I watched both episodes back to back. All credit to the two young lads featured, as the injuries they sustained where utterly horrendous. The Pirate lives very close to Headley Court where the lads received their rehabilitation. He commented on seeing a young fella being wheeled round the town by his girlfriend in his chair. The boy, not more than 20 had lost both arms and legs.
Do the Army accept boys who wear glasses?
Mrs Mac x