Balmoral and Me

Balmoral and Me

I'm writing this post in the hope of encouraging those who're currently working through their nine weeks of the fantastic NHS C25k program.

One year ago, on Saturday 23 April 2016, NO-ONE was more surprised than I was (and that's saying something because a LOT of people were VERY surprised!) when I did the Balmoral 5k. The bottom two photos in my wee collage here are of that day.

I had finished the C25k with my Week Nine Run 3 run just the night before. At that point I had told everyone that I wasn't ready for the event which I had registered for months before and that I definitely wasn't going to do it...

But after my graduation run I must have been high on endorphins and thought I would just lay out my kit in case I decided to go for it. But I probably wasn't going to do it... I wouldn't set my alarm, though, not to put myself under any pressure. If I woke up in time to drive the hour an a half or so, that would be fine. But I probably wasn't going to do it...

In the morning I woke up to beautiful sunshine and thought, "Well, AnneDroid, you enjoy a road trip. You could just go and see. And your friends are running in the 10k later in the day so you could always just cheer them on. You can still back out when you get there". So I possibly wasn't going to do it...

I got to Braemar with bags of time to spare so went into a cafe for coffee and breakfast, still not sure what I was going to do but thinking that I possibly WAS going to do it...

And then I got to Balmoral Estate and thought that I probably was going to do it.

No-one there knew me. My friends wouldn't be coming till later for their 10k event and I had told them I wasn't coming. And I could always walk the whole thing. And it wouldn't matter if I was last. In fact I definitely was going to do it.

And that was what happened. I didn't run all of it, but I ran most of it. I was slow but I wasn't last. And when my chums arrived they were surprised to see me there with my medal round my neck. :)

This year, on Saturday 22 April 2017, I joined the three uninjured ones in the 10k. Again I was slow but I wasn't last. And I've got another medal.

I struggled with every single session of C25k, although I managed not to have to repeat a week.

This is all a long roundabout way of saying, "If I can do it, anyone can". Including you, Dear Reader.

Other run report details for those who might do Balmoral some time:

1) It's fun to run past the windows of Balmoral Castle, although I don't think they should put the blinds down. I wanted to look in. :)

2) It's a beautiful part of the world. Really beautiful. :)

3) It can be chilly. Last year it was snowing while I ran, and I was so cold while I was waiting for my friends to run their race that I thought I might cry. I paid a fortune for a plate of stovies and didn't know whether to eat them or plunge my hands in to try to warm them up. :)

4) The 10k has a big hill in it. :( But then that means you get to go fast down the other side. :)

5) My time for the 10k was 1 hour 11 minutes and 10 seconds. The winner's time was 32 minutes 45 seconds.


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36 Replies

  • Brilliant, Anne! I just remembered how I love stovies - we used to have them with skirlie. I would definitely eat them, not wear them 😄

  • They are comfort food!

  • Very inspirational, what a lovely story! You've really shown some serious perseverance and determination there, I'm super impressed. Also I agree withou about the environment, although I've never been to Braemar before. I lived in Edinburgh for a couple of years and can't tell you how much I miss Scotland (all except the weather!)...

  • Come back then! We have plenty of room on Scotland. :)

  • I wish, but it doesn't look like that's about to happen anytime soon...

  • Good on you!!

  • Thanks, Your Ancientness. :)

  • Lovely story, AnneD. Huge congratulations. What are stoves btw?

  • Stovies

  • Lizzi59 Stovies are delicious, that's what they are. There are many varieties and everyone swears theirs is the right one.

  • Funny, although I grew up in Glasgow and was surrounded by traditional Scottish cuisine (no really!), my only reference to Stovies was when reading 'Oor Wullie' and 'The Broons'!

    Unfortunately, as I am on a restricted calorie regime, and cutting down on carbs, I won't be sampling Stovies anytime soon.

    Sure they are just the job for a snowy and hilly post run reward Mmmmm..... :)

  • Yes, they're not the lowest calorie option in the world (like most of traditional Scottish cuisine...)!

  • Ooooh, that sounds tasty!

  • Brilliant post AnneDroid . Lovely photos!

  • Thanks Millsie-J . I like them too. :)

  • Well done Anne you must have caught that running bug good and proper!😆

  • I still hate it sometimes while I'm doing it. Except downhill bits - I always love them! And I love it the minute I'm finished. :)

  • Brilliant post - and well done on your run, too!☺

  • Thanks Sandraj39 . :)

  • Fantastic xxx

  • Thanks newrunner56 . :)

  • Been waiting to her your run report from Balmoral & a bonus to get two!

    Imagine them having the blinds down - tut tut!

    Great photos, great report, great run:)

  • Thanks Davoda . How are you? Are you back to being "match-fit" yet?

  • No 😞 Every few days I try to run a few steps to see, but I just can't. I can however walk without a limp & a bit faster & cycle, so it's getting better, just exceptionally slowly.

    I had thought I had a grade 2 strain & would recover within 3 weeks, I've now accepted it's a grade 3 and is going to take at least 6 weeks. (I'm already at week 5, so nearly there😉!)

    I've pulled out of the two 10ks I'd entered in May and now volunteer every Sat at Parkrun - which I'm loving doing! Everyone should volunteer it's brilliant😀

  • That's rough. What a shame. I'm glad you're seeing progress but it's a shame about the May events. I haven't registered for the Callander one that we spoke about because I had a couple of weeks when I was feeling a bit rubbish. I might have a look and see if there are still places though but it's a shame I won't be running with you (or behind you which was more likely)!

  • A friend was telling me they usually do keep some spaces for the last minute. She & I have both had to withdraw, so that's at least 2! I'm hoping to do it in October....

    Yes it's a shame, it would have been fun to do it with you. Never mind - next time.

  • Fab post Anne, you've done so so well in your first year, I can't wait to read all about your second one! And that's a great collection of photos - love them 😊

  • Thank you, Your Highness. I guess the rate of progress is inevitably slower in the second year but hopefully I will still make some improvement. :)

  • Such a lovely, inspirational story, AnneDroid! I *loved* how you had to give yourself options all the way to the start line. :D And well done you for not opting out.

  • I think I was trying to trick myself into it. Running sometimes involves silly wee strategies like that, I find. :)


  • I love those capitals and full stops. I feel loved and appreciated. :)

    My only regret about my running journey is that I wasn't on the forum when I graduated and so missed out on one of those McFitty party-type-comments. :)

  • Amazing going, Anne well done.

  • Thanks Maddee_6333 . :)

  • Great story AnneDroid. Love the stages you went through, gentle self-deception and gradual steps towards, and finally achieving your goal. Tactics which I employ all the time :)

    Just about to start Week 4 and although 5k seems so far off, I am looking at possibilities for when I graduate. Your tale is a real inspiration.

    Thanks for sharing it.

  • You're welcome. Glad to have encouraged you. :)

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