Friday, October 26, 2012

Scotland, Marathon, and Short Vacation!

Well, I've been on modules the last two weeks, which consists of 11 hour days, Monday - Thursday with a half day on Friday.  Needless to say, my brain is pretty full at the moment, but that is a post for another day...still processing.


I need to post about the marathon at Loch Ness.
Scotland is a lovely, lovely place, first of all, and I was sad we only had a weekend to visit.  It is on my list of a place to spend more time at, once I get the chance.
First stop was Edinburgh (pronounced Edin- burrow), which was about a 5 hour drive on Friday night after Sagar got off work.  We spent a bit of Saturday late morning/early afternoon in the city, where we found a pub and I had a solid pre-race meal of Haggis.  Haggis is essentially a sort-of dry meatloaf that is famous in Scotland.  It was pretty tasty.  I also had a pre-race pint of a local brew, as you can see in the picture...

This is Haggis

Proof that Sagar does like the GPS/map feature on my phone. :) Though he will say he doesn't....

Government building in Edinburgh

Sagar checking out some cool monument thing in Edinburgh

Me and Amy (me with stupid face...)
 After picking up Amy, my running partner from WMG, from Edinburgh (she had come up earlier with other friends), we continued onto Inverness.  Unfortunately, though I had done most of my marathon training with Amy and was planning on running the marathon with her, she had hurt her foot and was just coming along to watch.  She was an awesome cheerleader to have!
We got to Inverness on Saturday evening, where we met up with an old friend of mine, Andy, who I knew from my days back at Ball State.  Andy and I had several math classes together and if it weren't for him, I might not have passed differential equations!  He was working in Poland over the summer (You can read about that in his blog) and came to visit me on the way back home, run the 10k at Inverness with Sagar, and to travel around the UK a bit.  Anyway, the four of us headed out to explore Inverness, which was quite a large city (I didn't realize it would be!) and find some dinner.  We went to bed quite early, because, even though the races didn't start until 10am and 10:45am (marathon and 10k, respectively) we had to be bussed to the start line.  My bus left at 7:45 am.  After nearly an hour and 45 minutes on the bus, I reached the start line with minutes to spare before the start of the marathon.  The weather could not have been better, cool, yet sunny.  It was absolutely beautiful.  I would say that even though this course ended up being the hardest I've ever run, it was also the most beautiful one.
The marathon went like most others.  There was a nasty hill around mile 5 that I probably ran too hard.  Then there was a series of hills starting about about mile 19 and lasting until mile 21.  There was one point where I negotiated with myself that if I saw one more hill I was walking- but I didn't give up and ran the whole time. (NO STOPS!!  NO WALKING!!)
I got to the last mile (was pretty tired at this point) and Amy, Sagar and Andy were all waiting for me.  Sagar had decided to run the last mile with me in his green man suit.  It was incredibly helpful, considering how tired I was...
The last mile

Me, Sagar and Andy after the race.  Sagar and Andy had run the 10k

I get a bit silly towards the end...also, my legs stop working properly. Good to see the ambulance there just in case...though I didn't need it.
Afterwards, we enjoyed some free food and got in the car to start the drive home.  Sagar had to be at work at 7am the next morning.  It was an 8 hour drive.  He did most of the driving back, though I did drive for about 2 hours to give him a bit of a break.
He does the driving.  :)
The next day, I was walking a bit like a cross between John Wayne and C3PO.  Andy and I decided to travel somewhere close, so I took him to Stratford-upon-Avon, which is a quick bus ride away and has all the Shakespeare stuff.  (Again, he has got some good pictures of his visit on his blog)  The next morning, we rented a car and drove down to the south coast of the UK, to a city called Brighton.  Here we saw the Royal Pavilion, which was a cool mansion built by King George a few centuries ago.  We weren't allowed to take pictures inside, but I did get some neat ones outside.  The weather in Brighton was very...British.  It was cold and windy, so on Wednesday afternoon, we headed to London.  Here, we had plans to go on the Eye and visit Buckingham Palace.  Both very cool experiences I haven't done before, despite my many visits to London.  It was all very fun!
Andy, on the pier at Brighton.  

I'm on a beach!

The outside of the Royal Pavilion

Inside the art museum in Brighton

I liked how this picture turned out of Big Ben

In the London Eye.

Waiting to go into Buckingham Palace
So, that in a nutshell brings me current to the beginning of October....
I have much more to blog about, but I think I will save that for another post.
Happy Halloween, everyone!

1 comment:

  1. I agree that Scotland is a wonderful place. When I was there, the weather was also magically lovely for the UK, too, so that definitely helped. Lol. I do remember Inverness as being really nice. Heather and I toured Inverness Castle while we were there--it was the site where Macbeth killed Duncan in the play, so that's kind of fun. Anywho...

    Does the London Eye still cost like 30 pounds? It had just been built when I was there the first time, and that's how much it was. Needless to say, we didn't go. Justin and I didn't even try to check it out when we were there in March...