"I'll hae nae hauf-way hoose but aye be whaur extremes meet..." Hugh McDiarmid

Wednesday, 19 December 2012


so my main idea for fundraising during the race is starting to come together...

I had thought ages ago that I would like to do something in each stopover to encourage folk to donate to my charities and generally raise their profiles all around the world. my biggest worry was that they were too UK based to get foreign donations, but each charity I am supporting is dealing with stuff that happens everywhere and as most of the world is online, they all have online profiles which offer support and information regardless of location. 

the world is becoming smaller :D

when I moved to Oman I started doing triathlon. this has been the first time I have had the luxury of staying in one place for any length of time and I found lots of sport to do. I am in no way fast - I did my first sprint triathlon on a mountain bike - I just enjoy it. this has led on to doing open water swimming and a lot of running. this was my weakest discipline and it is definitely getting easier. I am even starting to enjoy it! I have now done two half marathons - Abu Dhabi was my first in 2:25 and the Muscat road runners winter series half I finished in 2:19 - I hope my times continue to get faster.

on the race, we have around 15 stopovers spread over the year we are at sea. obviously while we are sailing, I will be working hard but not getting any running or swimming (insha'allah!) in. this will be all good core stuff on board, which I am working on just now with crossfit. it is definitely helping - it knocked 6 minutes off my half marathon time!

I've decided I would like to do something in each stopover. either a 10km run, open water swim or sprint triathlon. this is going to need a lot of organisation and support. I won't have access to a bike so I'll need to hire one for each sprint tri, also I won't have a wetsuit and chances are I may need one for a swim somewhere...

I am struggling to come up with a name to join it all up. my mate reckons I should call it 'watch claire die' but I think my mum may have some objection to that one. I can't think of anything catchy and to be honest, I'm wracking my brains thinking who would sponsor me and how to sell it. this race is teaching me all sorts!

anyway, I am off to mess around on a boat this morning. I am going to try to keep this more up to date, as I only have 5 months left in Oman and 7 months before we leave!

Saturday, 8 December 2012

'hello?' *looks around with torch*

ah, it has been a while since I have typed here. whoops.

well I did the Abu Dhabi half marathon a month ago :D

me and my running buddy Caroline drove across, got quite lost trying to cross into UAE and eventually arrived to our posh hotel on Yas Island to discover some of the Formula 1 teams were still testing the cars after the grand prix the week before. the noise is indescribable. especially when your balcony opens out over the course. I dread to think how much our room cost the previous week...

we collected our race packs and went out for tea and a bit of shopping. we were both quite tired from the drive and the prospect of getting out of bed at 0530 the next morning meant we (sensibly) had an early night. not like us!

it was still dark when we walked from the hotel to the Yas Forum where the start and finish was. I was quite terrified and poor Caroline had a job on her hands getting me to the start line...

we soon settled into our pace on this lovely flat course. once we got onto the long straight road, ferrari world didn't seem to be getting any closer. eventually it did and suddenly we were at 16km. we both felt pretty good having run at a steady pace until then. at 17km I 'bonked' and slowed down a lot. I took the gu gel I had stashed around 14km but it was a bit too late. the last 4km was torture. by 19km I was running 5 lamp posts and walking 1 just to break it up. my lower back hurt and I could barely swing my legs to run.

we finished in 2hours 25minutes. I was a bit disappointed but it was my first half marathon, so the next one will be faster :D

also, I have started to do crossfit 3 times a week. this will increase my power for clipper and also help my running. the problems I was having in the latter stages of the half all stem from having quite a weak core, so there is a lot of work to be done there, but it will be really good for me. I have done a few long runs since the half and I am slowly getting quicker and my stamina is building.

hilariously, I have had to learn to skip for crossfit. I'm not sure if I ever skipped as a child. I much preferred climbing (and falling out of) trees and playing in the quarry. I am really crap at it. I have been given a skipping rope which I am supposed to practice with at home...

we have a mad week at work this week with the opera simon boccanegra going in at the moment. I have one day off on friday and I am planning to run the muscat road runners winter series half marathon. I must be mad.

I am very excited because I will be back in scotland for hogmanay!!! I land in glasgow at dinner time, collect my sister and head to my parents. there I will probably wear all my clothes - it's sub zero and snowing most of the time it seems - and drink beer. I can't wait. it's not a long trip, only 9 days. we have a mid-season break :) I will have to update a load of kit when I get back and before the season re-starts, so I can't take too much time off.

then hopefully it's just a short five months until the end of my contract here, and time to head home to concentrate on clipper.

plans are afoot for some fundraising events while I'm on the race, but I'm trying to get a sponsor for these so I'll have to wait and see...

thanks for reading, and please remember to sponsor me on virgin money giving :D