1389Hills and highlands

Hills and highlands

Our online ed Carys takes to the Scottish highlands for a 'no pain, no gain' boot camp and runs up and down Turkish hills as she trains for her first trail race.

Friday, 12 October, 2012

I’ve been a bit quiet on the blogging front of late as things at MR HQ, along with my running and race schedule have been rather busy.  

A wee trip to Scotland

  MR-online-ed-carys-matthewsEarlier last month, I flew to Scotland to take part in my first ever boot camp at the stunning Cameron House, Loch Lomond. With a backdrop of the Scottish Highlands it was hard to believe such an idyllic location is mere 20minute drive from Glasgow airport!   While I jumped at the chance of escaping London for a bit of fresh Scottish air and exercise I’ll admit I was a little apprehensive, as the commando conditioning boot camp by SOS Fitness prides itself on the ‘no pain, no gain’ school of thinking!   There was a bit of pain (not least getting up at 6am on a Saturday morning…) but the SOS Fitness instructors Steve and Paul and my fellow boot campers were so friendly and enthusiastic that I found myself enjoying every minute – well perhaps not the second kettlebell circuit… With a view of Lake Lomond and the Trossachs National Park in the background, the day boot camp, which involved a morning run around the Loch, a circuits and kettlebell class, a fitness assessment and fitness treasure hunt was incredible.   I will be doing a full review of the boot camp for our sister title Women’s Running magazine, however more about the camp, which launches this month, can be found here.  

Running on holiday

  MR-online-ed-carys-matthewsThe day after returning from Scotland I jetted off again – this time to Turkey for a short holiday. First in my suitcase, however was my trusty running kit, which I rarely travel without. Part of the reason I enjoy running on holiday is the chance it offers to explore a new area, as I find I come across things that I might not have if I wasn’t running. It also means an extra ice cream or cocktail can be enjoyed guilt free!   However, I found running in Turkey in September quite tough because of the heat, which was in the mid thirties most days (how terrible!), and the fact that it is a seriously hilly country! I did preserve though as the views made it worthwhile and returned home with newfound appreciation for flat London pavements!      

Hitting the trails

  I also had another new experience last month, when I took part in my first trail race; the Helly Hansen Beauty and the Beast. Held at the picturesque Stonor Park, Henley on Thames, I took part in the group marathon option with a brilliant team of Women’s Running contributors. Check out my race review in the December issue…  MR-online-ed-carys-matthews Finally, last weekend I took part in the Royal Parks Half Marathon. This was another beautifully located race, as the course looped through several the capital’s Royal Parks, as well as past Big Ben and Buckingham Palace.  The atmosphere was fantastic and I had the privilege of running with last year’s race mascot ‘Chester the Squirrel’ - aka Men’s Running editor Danny Coyle, albeit without the suit this year! Again, check out the December issue of WR to read the race review. Happy running! 

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