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mushroom asks: Well done on MOTM - there'll be banners on the sides of the buses! My question - is it more important to look good at the start or finish of a race, and any tips for doing so?

Bintmcskint says: Thank you, Mr Shroom. I'd love a bus banner :-)
Hmmmm...I'm not sure I look good at either but let's give this question some proper consideration.
Looking fast/fit at the start of the race is useful even if you're not a speedy racing snake. It freaks out other runners who are doing that thing we all do where we check everybody else out and mentally tick off everyone we think we can beat (that's not just me, right?)
Looking good as in looking sexy is a whole other ball game. Those tiny lycra shorts that make your bum look like two puppies trying to escape from a sack are a great technique for making men run behind you and forget that they are actually in a race at all.

How you look at the end of the race doesn't matter as long as you are smiling. The sweatier, muddier, more knackered, the better :-)
So, in conclusion...it is best to look good at the start of a race.
My advice to you, sir, is get yourself some tiny shorts and bat those eyelashes. You know it makes sense.
Discovery Dave asks: Hurrah! Very well deserved.

Ideally, what would you use to apply brushing wax to a door? (And where would be a good place to look for a suitable buffing implement?)


Bintmcskint says: Ha! I see what you've done there.
I would ideally use a topless man hunk to apply the brushing wax to the door for me. He would use a suitable brush for the task.
Buffing implement?
Let me think......
The aforementioned topless man hunk will be my buffing implement but I have no idea where to find one. Possibly hiding behind the unwaxed door.
The Mighty Fleecy asks: Hello and many gazillion congratulations to our most magnificent 700er and Sharktopus tamer! If you were to have a motto in life, what would it be?

Bintmcskint says: You know what? I thought about writing something silly in here like “Live for today, for tomorrow you might drown in porridge” but then I thought, “No. Be serious. WTAF is a serious woman and probably really wants to know”
So, in all seriousness, and cheesy though it is, I'd say “Feel the fear and do it anyway. And smile. It's supposed to be fun” :-)
LazyDaisy asks: Congrats Bint! Have you always been a super-speedy runner? Have you built up your running stamina from winning egg and spoon races at school, or did you suddenly discover as an adult that you could run fast for mile and miles and miles?

Bintmcskint says: Thanks, LD.
No, not at all. I ran cross country and 800m and 1500m for my school at the tender age of 13 but then discovered boys, lamb and mint sauce crisps, and roller disco. I have remained a staunch fan of all three.
Didn't run for anything other than a bus until I turned 40 and it's only in the last couple of years (after a fellow Fetchie told me I was faster than I thought) that things have fallen into place.
I love running, me. Bloody love it.
Molesy asks: Finish line pictures; is anything other than an ARF a sign of lack of commitment?

Bintmcskint says: I feel like I should say, of course, anything other than an ARF is unacceptable, but I like a finish line photo with a big feck off smile. We're supposed to love what we're doing, after all. The only distance I cannot manage this at is a 5K. 5K is ARF all the way.
You do have an awesome ARF, by the way :-)
Dooogs asks: Hey, bintle, and well done (Sharktopus for MOTM next?). What single book should be in every good, running-friendly bookshop? (apart from a sentient book that flaps angrily at lift-pissers and bookscase-turdhiders)

Bintmcskint says: Can I have two? I would say Run Less Run Faster and The Art of Running Faster (you see the theme there). Both books have given me something to take away and use to improve my running. I don't follow either to the letter. I just take what works for me but I actively recommend them both to customers.
As for the miscreants you mention, I'd love a vicious guardbook that attacked piss and poo merchants on sight.
I was gutted that the lift-pisser fled the scene before I caught him.
We have a regular homeless guy who once...erm...decorated the men's cubicle and I had to clean that up. I am reminded of that every time I see him and it makes me feel a little bit sick.
If I ever meet the person who did the baseball shaped and sized turd on the busy central stairs, I think I would have to shake them by the hand (followed by dipping my hands in pure concentrated Domestos). That must have hurt like hell!
Ninky Nonk asks: Fantastically well done on motm, and congratulations. You obviously love to run so my question is what do you love most - the first or last mile of run?

Bintmcskint says: Thank you, NN, you speedy son of a gun :-)
I do love running. I really do.
This question made me think a lot and it really depends on the run and whether or not it's a race but in general.....
I love that first mile, finding your legs (not literally), testing how you feel (again not literally. That would probably require a chum), working your body through that initial feeling of “Whoa! What? You expect me to run?”

The last mile of a race is always welcome (with the exception of Hellrunner which I always wish would go on just a little bit longer :-)) Knowing that the effort will end soon and you can have a nice sit down and a cup of tea.
I'll tell you what mile I hate though. Mile 8. Without exception. It's a bastard.
Johnny Blaze asks: What proportion of your life do you estimate is spent on a bus? And where do you normally sit? And what if somebody bonkers sits next to you?

Bintmcskint says: I've worked it out and it's 7% on a week where I don't run commute at all. That's a lot. And has made me frown a little bit, if I'm honest.

I like to sit upstairs on the passenger side about 5 seats back (though will mix it up a bit either on a whim or through necessity)
Bonkers people sit next to me all the time. I'm a bonkers people magnet. They come in all shapes and sizes. If smelly hat man (it's him that smells not the hat) sits next to me, it is usually because there is somebody sitting in his favourite seat at the front. This is not good as there is nowhere for me to move to and I don't want to seem impolite so I spend the next hour breathing through my mouth.
I once had to literally climb over a very large man who was fast asleep and snoring next to me. No amount of “Excuse me” or violent shaking woke him and we were rapidly approaching my stop. He already had a footprint on his trouser leg so I clearly wasn't the first to ascend his North Face.
The only time I have moved was when Boris Karloff man with the balaclava sat next to me and his opening gambit was “Hello Darlin', are you going all the way, fnar fnar”
Still it keeps the Mundane Thread lively.
The Terminator asks: Congratulations Bint, have one on me, what are you drinking a. before race, b. during race and c. after race?

Bintmcskint says: Thanks, Terminator. That's mighty generous of you.
Before a race I like a large mug of coffee (milk, no sugar) and a bottle of lucozade or SIS electrolyte drink (other sports drinks are available).
During? Possibly water and/or more electrolyte stuff depending on the length of said race.
After a race all bets are off.
5k-HM – water and more electrolytes
Marathon and beyond requires a bottle of full fat coke. And then beer. Ice cold beer.
Star asks: Congratulations - when are you going to get round to opening your seaside b&b that offers guided runs, massages and home baking :-)

Bintmcskint says: Oh Star...just as soon as I win the lottery or find myself a rich, incredibly elderly lover.
It will be in Cornwall and will also have llamas.
And the topless hunk who waxes the doors will do the massages.

And we shall run and eat cake :-)
RRR-CAZ asks: Fully deserved What is your best/favourite running event with or without sharktopus

Bintmcskint says: I think The Serpentine New Year's Day 10k takes the prize.
Fast, PB-tastic course, loads of slightly hungover Fetchies and beer afterwards. There is no better start to the New Year and I work Christmas Eve and Boxing Day every year so that I can run it.
Sombrero asks: Many congratulations. As you know, you are one of my favourite fetchies. What's your favourite type of fish?

Bintmcskint says: Thank you, Som :-)
That would depend very much on the occasion or what the fish is for.
All time favourite fish would be the shark. Sharks totally rock. I'd like to be a shark. It would be awesome. Swimming, eating stuff, having my own theme tune....
To eat, I like a nice, grilled sea bass.
To look at in a tank in the corner of the room, I'd plump for a school of neon tetras, darting about being tiny and gorgeous and brightly coloured.
For a good night out, I'm guessing sardines know where the party's at. Life's just one big hen party with those suckers.
As a potential spouse, maybe a Perch. Solid and reliable. He'd probably look after me though I might need to hang out with the topless dude who waxes the doors if it gets a little too dull in the Bint/Perch household.
J*C asks: Congratulations if you had to choose one would you rather have an elephants trunk or a giraffes neck and why:)

Bintmcskint says: Definitely a giraffe's neck. I am a proper short-arse so it would be good to be able to reach things without having to climb precariously on the kitchen work surfaces. It would also be good to go to a live gig and actually be able to see the band.
Getting a cold would be a bit rubbish. A sore throat wouldn't be any fun but it would still be preferable to a trunk full of snot.
Pompey Paul asks: Well done Bint on MOTM, very well deserved for all your amazing running improvements and motivation to others. My question is, to date what is your favourite ever race and why? Am I allowed another question? Well here goes anyway, why do you love mud and getting dirty so much?

Bintmcskint says: Thank you, PP :-)
I've kind of answered the favoruite race thing in RRR's question so let's concnetrate on the second question. I have to be honest and say I have no idea why I love mud so much. There's just something really satisfying to me about finishing a run covered in filth and, on occasion, soaked to the skin. It makes me grin.
It's probably one of the reasons I was good at cross country as a kid. None of the other girls seemed to be up for running through puddles and mud. I relished it (in particular the section that went through the pig farm!) and thus won by default. Maybe that's it. I'm still a big kid at heart :-)
Hills of Death (HOD) asks: Congratulations gorgeous girl well deserved ;-) Marthons or Ultras

Bintmcskint says: *blushes*
Thank you, Mr HOD :-)
Oh dear Lord, I could never choose. Not between marathons and ultras or 5k, 10k, 10 miles, half marathons. I love them all for different reasons and wouldn't want to ever stop trying to get faster or run further.

And that's without my plans to have another go at triathlon :-)
Life is just one big, fun-sized challenge as far as I can see. Bring it on!
Columba asks: Congratulations, Bintonabus - or off the bus, for that matter. My question is: Why the tutu?

Bintmcskint says: The tutu was an accident really. I'd agreed to do Hellrunner dressed as Where's Wally and I was hunting for an outfit on the delightfully named Girly Night Out website when I spotted the tutu. I'd never ever worn a tutu. Even as a small child. My hopes of tutu-wearing as a career were dashed when my Mum made me wear a pair of fluffy slippers off Wigan market to my very first ballet and tap class just in case I didn't like it. She was right...I didn't like it. Mainly because all the other kids pointed and laughed at my fluffy slippers. It is particularly galling as I have been told as an adult that I have ballet dancer's toes. I'm not sure this is a compliment.
Anyway, I digress (which is unusual for me).

I loved that tutu but it got a bit muddy and I had to throw it away.
Bru-Bru asks: What made you choose that particular profile photo?

Bintmcskint says: Now see, you're making me think there's something wrong with it and I need to change it. Is it because it makes me look like a giant turkey? Is that it?
I'd always used a picture of Maggie from the Simpsons until Hepburn took that photo of me. It's from Hellrunner 2011 and it just makes me smile :-)
But, really, should I change it? Does it make my bum look big?
PaulaMc asks: Are you going to change your name to Ultrabint, Ultrabintmcskint, or BintUltraMcSkintOnABus?

Bintmcskint says: I quite fancy UltraBus :-)
Max71 asks: Sweet Fecking Jesus.... so proud of my old running partner. I miss you...does this mean I've got to get faster for us to start running together again? Do you remember the Ironman Plan? Are you doing Hellrunner this year? Is that a silly question? Viking Coastal Marathon 2014. Enter it. fast, flat and PB. Have you been to the Sylvan Post yet? (Good burgers) When are we going for a bike ride? I know how bloody hard you worked for this. During 2012 (The year of no marathons) were you even a little bit tempted sometimes to just go fuck it, and enter one?

Bintmcskint says: You don't need to run faster, we just need to be more organised :-)
I do remember the Ironman plan and it's still there in the back of my mind. I turn 50 in 2016 so I think that might be my birthday present to myself (though who knows what other challenges might rear their ugly heads before then!)
Yes I am doing Hellrunner but Hell Up North and dressed as Vegas Elvis.
Yes it is a silly question. You know I love it.
Which day are you doing of Viking? Sat or Sun? And does it count towards GFA for VLM?
I have not yet been in Sylvan Post but I love a good burger, me, so thanks for the recommendation.
Whenever you like for the bike ride – though I have no winter tyres and no mudguards.
And, yes, during the year of no marathons I had one major wobble. About 4 weeks before Brighton you mentioned you had a place going....you temptress! :-P
GimmeMedals asks: Hearty congratulations so very well deserved as a person spending much time on a bus a sofa or a bookshop who clearly has an adoration of books does it irritate you when peeps can't be bovvered to use the written form of the english language correctly and what would you like to do to the scruffy scumbos who leave bits of their insides in your bookshop

Bintmcskint says: I'm actually not as much of a grammar Nazi as you might expect though I do have pet hates. That said, when I'm looking through CVs I do reject those that are badly spelt or that have dodgy grammar. As for the "customers" who pee and poo...I would gladly insert a large print, hardback edition of War and Peace into the relevant bodily orifice. Sideways.
Zehnderboy asks: Hoorah to the mighty Bint - Could you let us know what running achievement you are most proud of

Bintmcskint says: Oh wow! There are so many to choose from but I think the first time I went sub 25 mins for a 5kwas pretty special for me. And also my 1:43 PB at Royal Parks Half last year. I blubbed and laughed like a loon at the poor woman trying to hand me a medal.
Cog Noscensme AHA asks: Congratulations and thanks for the blogging. Its great! My question is "Why do you think some people like running and some people hate it?"

Bintmcskint says: Thank you! I should blog more. I really should. I love it. I'm sure there will be one post my first Ultra on 6th October.
I don't know why anyone wouldn't love running. Maybe it's a question of sticking to it when the going gets tough so you come out the other side utterly in love with it. Like a long relationship?
Or maybe it isn't that complicated. Maybe it's just horses for courses.
buttscratcher asks: Welldone on motm would you rather be attacked by one horse sized duck or a dozen duck sized horses

Bintmcskint says: This has caused much discussion in the Bint household.
The obvious answer would seem to be a dozen duck sized horses but I'm not so sure.
A horse sized duck would be terrifying, tis true. That giant beak, deafening quack and the ability to fly and poo on you from a great height.
The duck-sized horses would be smaller but could gang up and trample you with their tiny, yet hard, hooves. Their pint sized voiceboxes would make for high-pitched whinnying that would be harsh on the ear drums.
Definitely the horse-sized duck. I could out run it with it's clumsy webbed feet and, if it came at me from the air, I would run onto a frozen pond and laugh as it tried to land.
FML asks: What is Sharktopus favourite book? and does he use Ronseal? Sorry 2 questions but you know how important this knowledge is required by the 700 thread

Bintmcskint says: Sadly Sharktopus has never learned to read. He's a bit touchy about it so we don't mention it. He does like a good bedtime story though and is a big fan of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. He has eaten several copies already.
He doesn't use Ronseal. He has no need for such frivolities.
Sunbed Athlete asks: Sir Ben Ainslie or Andy Murray for SPOTY???
Well done on MOTM :)


Bintmcskint says: Ooh, interesting. My heart says Murray as I love my tennis. Sir Ben is pretty awesome though.
Decisions, decisions.
I'll stick with Andy.
Winded asks: Where is a bus is the best place to sit?

Bintmcskint says: Upstairs, five rows back on the passenger side by the window. There is better 3G reception so I can post on the Mundane Thread, it's usually far enough away from the tinny music coming from the back of the bus and far enough away from the front for me not to be able to smell smelly hat man.
WeimaRunner asks: Well done You! Other than racing and then partying with your fellow 700'er's, what would your ideal day consist of?

Bintmcskint says: Thank you, WR :-) Nice, new bike, by the way! My ideal day would be spent somewhere by the sea. Coffee in bed good and early (I like early mornings - means you can pack more into the day ahead) then up and out for a hilly, muddy run or race. Hot shower and a spot of lunch then maybe an afternoon on the beach, swimming in the sea or lazing about in the sun with a good book. Or failing that, a walk in the woods. Or a bike ride. Then a lovely, chilled evening with good food (seafood would be nice) and a decent bottle of red. :-)
MissChappo asks: Congrats Mrs! How do you stay self disciplined?

Bintmcskint says: *waves* Hello! Long time no see!
I haven't always been like this. It's only in the last 2 years or so that I've gotten really focussed. I'm trying to think about what changed and I think I suddenly realised that if I wanted to run faster then I needed to make a concerted effort to do speedwork and eat less bad stuff and run with good form and as I got faster I just got more determined. It's amazing what suddenly coming 3rd in your age group at Serpentine LFOTM does for your confidence. It gets easier. Really it does. I guess I know that if I really want something then I have to put the effort in and when it's something I love this much then, usually, it's easy to stay self-disicplined.
Just don't show me cheesecake :-)
Wriggling Snake asks: How many buses a year do you catch? Do you think about running whilst on the bus or buses whilst running? What is you favourite numbered bus? What colour bus gets your juices flowing the most :-)? Do you think weekly or montly bus passes are best? Aren't stagecoach average? Well done by the way.

Bintmcskint says: Probably about 370, I reckon, if you take into account holidays and the days when I run or take the train as a special treat. I do actually think about running when I'm on the bus. I imagine running alongside the bus. I do this on train and coach journeys too. Is that weird? I do think about the bus when I am run-commuting. If there is a bus outside work when I leave then I take the registration number. This is leftover from a couple of years ago when one of my targets for the year was to beat the bus home. I always beat the bus now but, if I see a 176 as I am approaching home, I check the registration in case I need to put in a sprint finish to Sainsburys bus stop. Is that weird?
The bus I get every day is the 176 but my favourite bus is the 300 in Cornwall which is an open top bus does a circular route between Penzance and St Ives. Sit upstairs on a windy, rainy day. Brilliant!
I like a big, red bus best :-)
I have an Oyster card and use pay as you go.
And yes, Stagecoach are distinctly average.
mad4it asks: Well done Bintmcskint on MOTM what's your favourite coping mechanism to get through the harder runs when it's not so good?

Bintmcskint says: Thank you :-)
Interesting question. And it turns out I'm not totally sure what I do other than have a whinge then try and HTFU. I do try to have a positive mental attitude and, when that fails me, I try and concentrate on form. I tell myself I am “tall and rangy and relaxed” (stolen from the Julian Goater book mentioned above - it seems to work from me even though, at 5ft 3”, the last thing I am is tall and rangy) and, for long runs, I make sure I'm thinking about just one mile at a time.
I do think it's important to Train Smart though and know when to call it a day, curtail your run, change your schedule or not run at all. This is something I've only really got the hang of in the last 6 months.
If all else fails...there's always the earworm to distract me. I have a nice line in earworms :-)
Look at that, it turns out I do know what I do.
HappyG(rrr) asks: Congrats. I'm obviously not in with the bus joke. Must get over to 700 thread! I think you've had some success with Furman based training. How did you find it and where do you think speedwork fits into training, both for "normal runners" and for crazy long things like ultras? Well done again. :-)G

Bintmcskint says: The bus thing is from the Mundane Thread. Let's just say I spend a lot of time on buses :-)
I'm a big fan of Furman. 2012 saw me PB at every distance from 5k to Half Marathon sticking to the Furman plan and paces (though alternating intervals one week with hill reps the next – I love hills, me)
It worked for the marathon too, though I found the long run paces way too quick. I could keep the pace up but was starting to get injured so I stuck to pace for tempo and intervals then just ran the LSRs properly slow.

As for Ultras, I guess I will find out on 6th October when I run Downs Link as my first Ultra. I made up my own schedule based on a mix of Furman (for intervals and tempo) and weekly back to back long runs based on an ultra schedule off the internet. I would really miss speedwork if I didn't do it.
Iwant to run further and I want to run faster :-)
Night-owl asks: Congratulations Bint. If you were to write a book (if you haven't already done so) what would it be about?

Bintmcskint says: I have never written a book but if I did it would be about a band of tiny pirates that live in your carpet and sail about your house using dental floss for their ship's rigging and toenail clippings for cutlasses.
Perfect Organism asks: Bint, do you ever run any races in Brighton? It would be good to actually meet you over a well deserved post race beer!

Bintmcskint says: I like Brighton. I like racing. I like beer. You will be the first to know next time I am racing in your neck of the woods.
Of course, you could always come along to to the 700 social at Hell Up North. All you need is a love of mud, an Elvis outfit and a sense of humour.
Enthusiastic! asks: Congratulations to you, amazing one :) Let's go on holiday - I'm paying - perhaps we might run a race if I can slow you down a bit. Where would you like to go? x

Bintmcskint says: Oooh...yes, please. Take me to the Grand Canyon. I want to run it.
runnersworld.com
And then I want to fly over it in a helicopter. And sit and look at it in awe.
And drive off the edge of it in a green 1966 Ford Thunderbird convertible.
Phoenix Lesley asks: Well done. What are your 3 most favourite books ? And do you ever listen to audio books when you run or is that even more blasphemous than a kindle ?

Bintmcskint says: I know this sounds weird for someone who works in a bookshop but I don't actually have an all time favourite book. Films, yes (Thelma and Louise, Jaws, Singin' in the Rain, Duck Soup) but books, no. I'm constantly finding new books to fall in love with and, whilst I remember past books fondly for whatever reason (they made me laugh, they made me cry, they opened my eyes, they changed my life), that thrill of discovery makes it difficult to pick a favourite and stay faithful to one.

*realises she is a book whore*
I don't listen to anything when I run but, when I ran with Dean Karnazes (yes, working in a bookshop has some interesting perks :-) ) he said that he gets through his really long runs by listening to audio books.
And, for the record, e-readers per se aren't blasphemous. There is room for both physical books and e-books and, when my bag is weighed down with 3 hefty tomes because I can't decide which to read, then an e-reader would come in handy. For bookshops to survive they need to embrace technology and change. But I love books. I love the feel of them, the smell of them, the rustle of the pages and the satisfying crunch of breaking the spine. The world would be a much poorer place without them.

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2012
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2011
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2010
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2009
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