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After a crazy busy summer, business is finally starting to quieten down and I've had time to start planning some exciting winter adventures!
First up is another weekend away with the Eigg Run Club. After a summer of very little running, I've recently had more time to fit in some trail runs with the group and we've decided it's time for another challenge... We all loved the Road to the Isles Half Marathon (and will be returning next April for round 2) but since we spend so much time running on trails here on the island, we felt our next race should be a trail run. Enter the Glentress Winter Half Marathon! The race takes place at the Glentress Forest in the Scottish Borders and incorporates sections of the black graded MTB trail, so it should be pretty fun!
There's a good amount of elevation so along with my longer runs, I'm still including a couple of hill sprint workouts each week. I tend to do these early in the morning before I start work; early mornings are just wonderful on the island, especially now the sun is rising later. The island is absolutely silent, bar bird song and the odd sheep baa, and watching the sun come up (as I'm dry heaving by the side of the hill) is very special. I always finish my workouts completely invigorated and ready for the day ahead.
As the days get colder, I'm more and more grateful for the relationship I have with Sealskinz. Current favourite products for running include the Skull Cap (perfect for keeping my mane of hair out of my eyes, mouth and nose) and the Stretch Fleece Nano Gloves.
My second winter adventure is one I absolutely can't wait for! I've planned a cycle touring trip through the Outer Hebrides and Skye. Owain and I are going to cycle through 11 islands in the archipelago covering 330 miles. I haven't even added up the elevation for fear of scaring myself!
This year we invested in a number of Giant/Liv hybrid bikes for our hire fleet and we want to really test them (and ourselves) out so instead of taking our personal bikes, we're going to use two of our fleet bikes and really put them through their paces.
Of course, it's winter and it's Scotland. The weather is going to be a challenge, not only for us personally, trying to cycle 60 miles into a 60mph headwind, but in terms of logistics. A number of the islands are connected by causeways but we are reliant on ferries for a few of the island hops, including getting on and off Eigg. We're really excited to see how the adventure unfolds and whether we can beat the notorious Hebridean winter weather. After Christmas, we'll start looking for a weather window and as soon as we see a break in the wind and rain, we'll pack our panniers and head off for adventure!
Oh, and in the meantime, there's just the small matter of me becoming qualified as a Personal Trainer! I became a Level 2 Fitness Instructor earlier in the year and next month I'm leaving the island for a few weeks to complete my Level 3 course. Who's up for a winter boot camp in the rain?!