Fetcheveryone Member of the Month

Each winner receives a £100 ADVANCE PERFORMANCE voucher

Interview with Nywanda

Ted asks: Many congratulations N. I of course don't know you from Adam so, tell me 3 things about yourself I should know?

Nywanda says: Cheers. There's nothing to tell really. I try and look on the bright side of life (although this view is not always immediately apparent to me) but I do believe laughter is the best medicine. I'm pragmatic under duress; sometimes you're Erchie and sometimes you're only Erchie's dog. I'm spiritual but not necessarily religious- I think if you have faith in yourself, give hope to others and act charitably, then good things will eventually happen. On a less serious note: I try not to drink alcohol, I seek out and wear bright running gear, I am constantly reading and re-reading at least 4 books at any given time (usually a mix of horror/sci-fi, running, technical manual and vertigo comics). At the moment it's the Magic of Believing (Claude Bristol), re-reading Bounce (Syed), Corrosion enigneering (Fontana) and Antediluvian Tales by Poppy Z Brite
BigChiefRunningBore asks: Running bug bears? (in 200 words or less)

Nywanda says: Runners with BO; I know you want to stay cool but wear some frikkin deoderant, race spectators who smoke at the event, folk who let their dogs jump, bark, growl at runners and then qualify this by laughing and stating that they're only playing, folk who don't clear up after their dogs cos the poop has been done in the forest, races which state a cut off but then open the roads before the designated time or ones which pack up before the last runner's through. Did I mention the BO? Yip, that's probably it. Please accept my refund of 98 words
Marchbanks asks: Congratulations!!

What 3 things motivate you the most?

Nywanda says: Cheers. I am mostly motivated by fear and anger and inspired by talent and misfortune. The fear that I might end up like my older relatives with bad circulation/ borderline amputation, angina, heart attack and by-pass surgeries if I don't look after myself now. Anger at people, friends, family members throwing their health away through booze, cigarettes, food abuse, stress at work and wantig to set an example. I am motivated and inspired by people like Mick n Phil, Binks, (The Mighty) Smout, Motherduck (there are many others and has included almost everyone on here at one time or another) and my favourite F35 age-category comrades who show what can be done: Becca7, Mrs Shanksi, Thistle., Debstir and my bestest running buddy Claramac. There are a LOT of very good F35s on here honestly, the list could go on and on Mrs Winkle, The Scribbler, Sarahwelshy, RMO3B..... :-)
The Duckinator asks: When you first made the 'deen fetch mile thread did you think the mile event and the thread would become as popular as they are?

(also I thought you mentioned something about sharing the winnings between us all ;))

Nywanda says: Are they popular? :-) You never know how these things will go and tbh, I set things up initially for purely selfish reasons cos I wanted to run a timed mile. However, after the first event it seemed like a really good fun thing to do and of course, I met loads of nice people. It's great to see everyone improving at each event but really, we should try and get down to the Stirling event at some point too...if only to get you some more strong opposition! The thread is busier than I could have imagined- cos we're a chatty lot and it's a good mix of running, moaning,social and emotional. Maybe we should have our own TV daytime slot?
As for sharing the winnings, ahem, I might let you look at my new gear at the next mile. That is all.
Sharkie asks: Well deserved and about time too. Top girl! You mentioned somewhere that you did a bit of jumping once upon a time... so what exactly was your sporting history pre this distance running incarnation? And could you ever be tempted by the fast twitch side of things again?

Nywanda says: Cheers Aunty Sharkie. I have blogged about some of my earlier races and the relative disasters they were. I started competing in athletics when I moved to the town from the farm - before that I just ran for fun and to make sure I got maximum time out on the farm playing, sprinting home with seconds to spare before I'd be grounded! I used to do the county pentathlon which in those days was 3 field/2 track or vice versa. I usually did discus, shot and HJ and then 2 from 100,200 or 1500m. I got better results from 3 field as less folk did the throwing events and I was OK at picking up technical stuff. I avoided LJ as I could never find a way of biting the sand without face planting or winding myself. I wasn't quite fast enough over 100m although I did make the county and district relay teams twice. I was pretty sh*t at XC, always made the team and succeeded more through size rather than speed. Also, I knew how to push myself back then and would collapse with white lips over the line! I guess all kids do. I was also a victim of being a generalist; I was in every school team apart from the swim team, so between badminton (national level), hockey (junior, senior and county teams), netball, football and athletics, I was a busy bee. Try to understand though- I was not very good at any one thing, it was team playing and versatility which caused my honour role to look so prolific. It all fell apart after the divorce; I swapped athletics for music (playing and watching) not boys/drinking or smoking (that came later). I could be tempted back to sprinting if I ever got my BMI below 22......but there's a fat chance of that ;-) I also have nightmares about those nylon running pants, the ones which could get ladders in em. Improving at our local Fetch mile is about as close as I'll get for now.
HappyG(rrr) asks: Oooh, many congrats Ny. Is that Bennachie in your picture? Oh, that's not my question. Errr, right question, question... What is/would be your dream race, assuming you had time and money to get there and to train as much as you wanted to do it? Congrats again! :-)G

Nywanda says: Cheers. That IS Mither Tap from the Bennachie range in the pic- this was taken 3rd January 2010 (Before Fetch). I was so chuffed to be out in the snow, no hangover, jogging around the forest. I had no idea that one day I'd attempt to race round the entire peak. I didn't do too well but at least I tried (and I'll be better next year).

My dream race would probably be to run Point Spencer, Alaska to Cape Horn or something equally mad and long. In the real world, the classics like UTMB or Everest base camp races and more obscure stuff like The Falklands Islands Marathon all hold my interest. I'll definitely do something to landmark my 40th. OH is edging towards Monaco paddock passes but I'm thinking more along the lines of MdS - I'll see how I go with the longer distances next year.
flip asks: How much Military traing have you had ;-)

Nywanda says: I learned from the best - Bill Murray and Harold Ramis in Stripes, Goldie Hawn in Private Benjamin, Gomer Pyle in FMJ. Plus I was a Baden Powell Trefoil holder and highly decorated in the Girl Guides, so that's fairly militia oriented. Do you think this will help for ultramarathoning?
swittle asks: How can I develop a never-say-die approach like yours?

Nywanda says: Hey, I thought you already had one?! I'm not sure if I do, it's probably just stubborness and bloody-mindedness...this-hill-will-NOT-beat-me, no hill, not today, sorry, you WILL pass under my feet. Someone said recently that I tend to humanise things, so routes and terrain do get told that they WILL be beaten! It's partly stupidity and I just dont think that you can develop "idiocy".
Angus Clydesdale asks: Rrrrraaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrgh. GET IN!! What's your favourite sweetie comfort food? (And when are you going to start triathlon training?).

Nywanda says: Raaaaar backatcha. Comfort food now is Granny Smith Green apples and these replaced Double Deckers, Toffee Crisps or anything with praline or truffle. Green triangles? Mines! Anyone caught eating the green T quality street at Xmas gets battered.
Triathlons...jeez this is a long overdue target. Put me down for MPH next year as I'll be doing a lot more cycling with my cycle to work scheme purchase. I fear getting back on the bike though as I'm short odds on a mid-forest bike-fly incident! My swimming is not bad but I'd welcome some training if you're available. Mates rates now of course
RFJ asks: At last, a much deserved MOTM.... well done...

Now for the big question.... Having been your diet buddy and vice verca... forgetting the diet what would be your favorite meal, tipple and treat?

Well done again, very much deserved xx

Nywanda says: Cheers and thank you for beng my DB (I might need to employ you again).
It's weird, I don't think of food as a reward anymore so for pure taste alone it'd have to be Chicken Jambalayah (New Orleans style and as cooked by my husband) with rice and lashings of hot sauce. Tipple, again if I had to, it'd be Ruinart Vintage 1996 champagne and treat? Best treat would probably be a desert island row with The Brownlees, YRG and JC and all my Fetch buddies invited to a massive party organised by me. As for food treats, I am a fan of The Double Decker but only if it's done really messily- a layer at a time.
halfpint asks: Of all the crazy (and non-crazy) races you've done which one are you the most proud to have completed and why?

Nywanda says: I think it's a tie between my first race - Glasgow Great Scottish Run 10K in Sept 2009 and the Florence Marathon in Nov 2010. Both races I was not 100% sure I would or could finish and I was so happy to step over the finish line in each. Maybe not proud but definitely most relieved. I have yet to feel a true Eureka moment and I know it will come when I reach the absolute limit of my aptitude. Not for a good few years yet I hope.
richmac asks: Congrats on MOTM, do you prefer broth or soup & whats the difference?

Nywanda says: Cheers. I prefer soup as it will not put hairs on your chest which apparently broth will do. Ladies are not so much down with owning a hairy chest. Broth is also said to "stick to your ribs" another thing I wouldnt want my hot savoury snack to do. Also, up North where my family hails from, if something is generally good, it's called "Good soup"...How was your race at the weekend? Response: Good soup. I know, it doesnt make much sense but hey ho! Souper dooper
Fat Dave asks: Well done you! What has been your favourite (non racing) run ever.

Nywanda says: Cheers. My favourite run which wasn't a race was probably a head-torch route in Kirkhill Forest which I did about 2 years ago. It was the first time I had managed to run the entire route and the adrenalin was pumping as I fully concentrated on puddle depths and roots and tree branches and just the sound of the night forest, squelching INOV8s and deep breathing fogging up my line of vision. Afterwards, I wanted to go again but I know that physically I probably couldn't. I must revisit that route. I really like night running too. Thanks for that!
MissChappo asks: Really well done! Where do you get your mojo? (and as an aside, am I a lost cause? ;-) )

Nywanda says: Cheers. I don't think I've found my mojo yet which is probably why I don't feel I've lost it. I feel my mojo lurking mid-run, when I'm not suffering or having to drill myself and when I'm not consciously thinking about anything much. I think this is the definition of mojo - enjoying running for runnings sake regardless of pace. I reckon CBAs could kick in if I didnt have a clear goal and a realistic path to it. Know thyself. Like I know that if I dont start cooking as soon as I get in the door tonight, I will probably just log on and order 2 for Tuesdays from Papa Johns pizzas. Sometimes I dont achieve the Avoid Pizza goal but there's always next Tuesday to try again and I DO win more than I lose.
You're definitely not a lost cause; a very busy one though..... for full Nywanda Low hanging fruit and other running Analysis send gold n jewels to my offshore account and I'll do you a reading in private.
Wazelle the Gazelle asks: Brilliant. Congratulations. What are your next goals?

Nywanda says: Cheers. Goals are to get thorugh this year without any injurys, enjoy my Italian Marathon in December, run on Xmas day and New Years day and start 2012 still sober, with fresh eyes, legs and heart. I got a good whack of races in this year and I can now probably take a stab at focussing on specific training for one or two distances and events. I'd love to try a tri! I have a feeling that the event will really test me and once I'm a bit more experienced, should play to my strengths rather than showcase my weaknesses.
My non-running goals are to keep working on my bodyfat, possibly another step change in weight and my non-health goals are to avoid working full-time and devote more energy to charity work, start playing one of my instruments again (toss up between violin and flute) and get my parents plus 2 of my other elderly relatives to move up North to be nearer to myself, sister and brother. Mater n step-pater are in progress!
Should be a realtively quiet year then!!
mad4it asks: Long, long time over due congratulations you so deserve this:-) What are your thoughts at the start off each race?

Nywanda says: Cheers and I'm happy you think so. I rarely have any real thoughts at the beginning of races and tend to just physically check laces, ignore the inner demons telling me I need the loo when I am fairly sure I've just been, then look around trying to soak up any unusual looking people, trainers, others pre-race rituals and the like. Nothing pivitol, motivational, inspiring. I don't really like to speak much which is why I think I am preferring races where I don't know anyone. Before amalgamating at the start line it's like the polar opposite, I want to mill around spotting folk, chatting and swapping stories. I prefer the calm before the storm and I like chatting to folk during a race (if I have the breath or they're really struggling) x
shanksi asks: Congrats Ny. HappyG stole my question but I think I know the answer because it looks damn like Bennachie to me, and Duckie hinted at my other question - when do we all get our share of the spoils? Real question - why the zebra obsession?

Nywanda says: Zebras are just a fantastic genetic anomaly- not a horse, not a donkey and they got the best coat when God was handing out the threads. The name is cool too....slightly miffed that in Lord Fetch's standards I skipped over zebra and went straight from Mongolian wildass to swordfish. I'm sure I'll get to be one on the way back down though.
Sunbed Athlete asks: Congrats! What's your earliest motivational words you remember being said to you?

Nywanda says: Cheers. I think my Mum motivated me with the "Get back out there and stick up for yourself" after I got bullied by a much bigger lassie when I was 3 or 4. And so began my life of ultra-violence....
Gingerpaw asks: Congratulations! signed photos are sure to follow I would assume!!

Nywanda says: Cheers! For you m'dear, I'll sign teeshirt, front cleavage and a scrap-book of all my blogs and race clippings. Now Run... RUN from the megalomaniac!
MikeR. asks: If sheep can’t sleep what do they count?

Nywanda says: The correct answer is they just pull the wool over their own eyes and dont need to count. Personally, I dont think sheep sleep and that's why they're always available all hours to insomniacs and caffeine-abusers. It's a ewe-niversal fact!
John66 asks: Well done - what's the best and worst thing about FE?

Nywanda says: Cheers. Best: the sense of belonging to a community and the knowledge and support from said group without having to join a club. Worst: there is no worst. The parts I dont enjoy are really important to others, so I'll remain firmly in Switzerland on that point.
Dogtanian asks: About time too! Very well deserved Ny. You have talked about going longer in 2012. Do you think you prefer the longer distances or the short, faster stuff? AND, have you remembered that Lakeland 50 entries open on Oct 1st ;-)

Nywanda says: Cheers. I find all distances very tough- longer (I'm overfat and underfit), steeper (gravity can be an enemy on both the up and the down), shorter (cos you have to run faster). I'm just looking for my pointbreak where my aspirations fall short of my persiprations and I'm assuming I'll find mine in the longer distances. No, I did not know about L50!! If I survive GO33 I suppose I'll have to keep upping the distances - maybe look for some races abroad. My target is to decrease the frequency of all racing though! The challenge for 2011 was to race over as many different distances and terrains as possible with the view of finding out what I enjoyed most and then focussing on that in future years. It'd be nice to actually train towards a goal race, laser gun rather than paintball splatter gun approach! Gotta keep on trying to find the Outer Limits though and I have definitely found longer, hillier races more satisfying. If I don't question my existence at least once during a race then I haven't tried hard enough! I think a few more years base training and I'll be able to go for some really destitute survivally stuff and that, I think, will make me very happy :-)(I swear I was completely sober when I wrote this!)
Yorkshire Lass asks: Congratulations! Who would be your ideal post-run masseur?

Nywanda says: Cheers. Well officially I've already got him at home and he is partially trained, especially in the Gluteus Medius area.
Unofficially, since I am usually in a lot of pain during sports massage, I'd go for someone I already dislike intensely (one of 3 ex bosses would do) and enjoy shouting obscentities at them during the rub-down.
Hills of Death (HOD) asks: Congrats N I would like your view on the following Chocolate, Chips and Chi Running x

Nywanda says: Cheers.
Chocolate is chemically just theobromine which is toxic in pure form and similar to caffeine in molecular make-up, therefore chocolate is evil. Chocolate is said to mimic sexual pleasure so everytime you eat a bar of chocolate you are denying pleasure to your partner because you are already satisfied without having got naked (and everyone knows a second mars bar doesnt taste as good as the first despite delivering the same ingredients), therefore chocolate is evil. If you eat plenty chocolates you get fat and overweight which makes for a slow tough race, therefore it is indeed evil. Evil+ evil +evil = more evil than Beelzebub /////

Chips are made from starch and fat and do not count towards your 5 a day, therefore they are satans work. The most evil echelons of chips are those provided by Burger King or McDonalds...the least satanic are the chips which are almost like baked potato wedges and have been baked in the oven. The only time that chips are not entirely the work of Lucifer is if eaten after a totally radge slow 12 miler on the Dyce railway, in the torrential rain /////

Chi running is something I profess to support but know not that much about, a bit like Christians and christianity on a whole, but I digress.....in principle it seems logical, biomechanically although I am not yet 100% certain of the energistic Ohmmming part; but I am geting there. My running form appears to have improved dramatically with just a little study of Chi principles itself and I will definitely get confused with POSE here, after copious studying of my end of race form, I find that relaxation brings good form and not vice versa. If my mood is good and I'm rested, I'm lighter on my feet, well balanced hips, foot behind or near CoG. When I'm strained I start heavy heel striking, arms flail and bad form ensues. I like the idea of it and it sounds fancy and it obviously works. I'd be interested in getting some more feedback from IanM who was kind enough to critique my morbidly bad posture and style back in the earlier days. Meanwhile, I am seeking clarity on how much of running performance is derived from your mental state; quite a lot I think.
Corrah asks: Many congratulations Ny. Totally deserved. Now for the random question (sorry I loved MD and Mike's ones - Why does mineral water that has trickled through mountains for centuries
have a use by date?

Nywanda says: Cheers. From a biogeochemical cycling point, as soon as the water is bottled, it ceases to be buffered and flitered by the source rock and therefore it's mineral composition starts to degrade. Without preservatives (which mineral water rarely has- additional Sulphites if anything) the minerals start to interact with the bottle, usually LDPE low density polyethylene or similar. Bottled water doesn't go off but it's taste can become tainted with time. Plus if something is sold for ingestion it has to have a use by date by law. On the same note, water cycling ie cloud to sea or reservoir is usually pretty fast but it can sit at reservoir level for a while....water adverts are generally misleading; especially the Evian babies...no babies could be *that* advanced in synchronised swimming. That was kinda sciency and boring but hey, I am a chemist after all....it's what I do!
FraserFud asks: This has kept me awake of late....What does Hank Marvin say when he is hungry?

Nywanda says: Cheers and very sorry to hear about your predicament. I think he probably rubs his belly, proclaims that he needs to "get his Jabba on" and rips open his shirt to reveal a Hungry Hippos teeshirt. I also like the phrase "getting your hog on" which I picked up in Louisiana where it is apparently essential to get your hog on at least 3 times a day (the couchon au lait, with a full sized roasted pig completely turned my stomach, although the alligator options wasn't much better!).
Hyperboy asks: Congratulations.After the big race is done how do you like to relax afterwards and why???

Nywanda says: Cheers. There have been a couple of long runs/ races where I've just gone straight to my bed after! The best way to relax. Mostly cos I'm knackered and I tend to get a rush of hot blood through the system then a rapid cool down so I am literally shaking after a long run. I usually manage to hang around and shout in the 5 or 6 folk who finish after me but then it's a hot shower n into my scratcher or pile on the layers and have a dirty crash (sometimes it's straight back in the car and a fairly long drive, but I still manage to grab some zeds). I always imagine I'll want to open a magnum of champagne and party but in reality I'm usually thinking about a sweet cup of milky tea within the last few miles and when I get it, it's The Best Cup Of Tea in the World.
Nywanda asks: What's the point of all this (looks around at the world)?

Nywanda says: Life is about knowing you'll never being able to answer this question but getting up every day expecting to get closer.
oldbiddynandi asks: Well done Nywanda. best diet/healthy eating lifesaver when the 24 hour choklit shop is calling ?

Nywanda says: Cheers. If you can- just go to yer kip. Sleeping uses up about 60% of awake calories, just keeping you breathing, dreaming n farting so if you feel the hunger pangs a-knocking, get yer jammys on and got to sleep. If you're at work when the choclit Kracken rears it's head, always have the following on hand - pickled onions or gherkins, crunchy green apples or bananas; you will feel very virtuous for having fruited your way out of a calorie fest. If you must have naughtiness but dont want to open the family sized Galaxy which has a one hour expiry date I think fig rolls are an acceptable sweet-treat. Also, see HODs question for some more unchoklity goodness.
Weekatiepea asks: Well done! If you were tied to someone for 24 hours who would it be and why?

Nywanda says: Cheers. I'm going to discount the obvious as I generally dont need to tie him to me to get him to hang out with me ;-) Well, my Fetch choice is a toughie but after mucho internal wrangling, it would have to be Swittle as he seems to do and see the most interesting and beautiful things and I think I would enjoy 24 hours in his company, which says a lot as I'm generally the only person I can put up with for more than 4 hours at a time. Not sure if he'd say the same mind! Fantasy tethering would probably be Eric Bana because he was originally a stand up comedian so would presumably have some original takes on life, has played the Hulk so we could talk Marvel comics and is generally a HPOA, so it would be a pleasant 24 hours from that stand point. Lets skate over the call of nature parts.
Homeless Kodo asks: Many congrats Nywanda! What is the depth of the mariana treanch and, if it were possible, would you like to travel down there?

Nywanda says: Cheers. The depth of the trench is estimated as 3 Jules Vernes, a Neutronazillion and a 1/3. I probably wouldnt get passed the Coelcanths (ancient scary looking fishy bazooka thing) but in theory travel to the depths of the Earths core is an exciting prospect, although firstly, I'd like to head North to the arctic ice cap to search for Supermans fortress of solitude. A good question though....you've actually been reading my blogs, haven't you? :-)
dave_m asks: Whoop - congrats Ny! What is your preferred race distance? Also, what is your best running related purchase?

Nywanda says: Cheers-whoopy. My preferred race distance will be 100 miles- once I can run that I'll be able to do the others no bother (winks). At the moment I'm hoping 10 miles. I've only run one 10 mile race but I think it's the ideal between all out push (10K) and having to pace (half mara). I also quite like the idea of a no-distance race...just get up that there hill to the tor, turn and get back down in whichever way is feasible or possible. I should probably take up orienteering.....
My best purchase would probably be my Gore Magnitude AS vests - light, 2 way zip, chafe free, with an internal and gel pockets and a handy strip to pin your number on, so you dont wreck it. Very comfortable. Get yours now half price online at achilles Heel, Glasgow. While I'm here I'll just say - bodyglide, oaty clif bar and cherry mules. Ah! That's better. Erm, dont eat the bodyglide.....
runnerbean asks: what's the naughtiest thing you've ever done? (even if you got arrested! :-O)did you share a cell ?

Nywanda says: Well, the naughtiest thing that I can print without implicating too many others, involves my childhood friend M. Years later when I was working as a chef, I got a call out of the blue...M had been beaten up and was delirious and could I come get her? OK, that's only 140 miles in a taxi(!) to my old home town. I got there and found M in a right old mess. Her BF had kicked her in and scarpered. Then I did the wrong thing- I called M's brother J and sort of wondered why she hadn't. Unbeknownst to me, J had become the local 'dealer' since I'd left school and was a proper hardman. Within the hour J had tracked down the BF and we both waited for him outside this bar. Well, he kicked the living sh*t out of the BF and eventually someone called the police. We all got lifted. I wasn't exactly on speaking terms with my mother (60miles away) or my father (1 mile away) so I called my Grandma (40 miles away) to come and get myself and M. She did and never asked any questions and never ever mentioned it to anyone else in the family. Grandma wasn't the most discrete women- she would flag down strangers and ask them for a lift instead of taking the bus, but she kept schtum on this occasion. So, I DID cell share but only for about 2 hours. They held onto J for a little longer ;-)
SpicedApple asks: Congrats! What would you tell someone about running who just wasn't getting why you do it? How would you relate to them what it's all about?

Nywanda says: Cheers. On any given day, I probably wouldn't bother trying to explain, it's my thing and their loss. If it's for them it won't go by them. The fact is, I don't really know why I run. I mean I 'took it up' as it were, to raise money for a charity I felt strongly about and I wanted to lose weight...but there are other ways to do both. I mean liposuction and teeth wiring would have cost less than what I've paid towards running (and not that I fancy it for myself but it woulda been faster) heheheheh. I do like being outside, with nature whatever the weather. If I was faced with running on a treadmill forever, I wouldn't enjoy it nearly as much but I'd probably still do it- not sure why. I also like being alone with my thoughts or sometimes, no actual thoughts at all - running in order NOT to think. But these are all just features of my personal running. I'm not someone who needs to convert everyone to my way of thinking- the opinion or motives are there but I understand my reasoning won't work for everyone. If I hear people "marvelling" at my recent exploits I tell them about how I thought a 10K was near impossible at one point and that if you train and want to succeed, you can do anything. If I hear people say that running is or seems boring, I tell them "each to their own".
mrs shanksi asks: Congrats Ny! Where did you get the name Nywanda from?

Nywanda says: Cheers. A couple of folk have asked me this and it's not that exciting. It's a mis-spelling of Nuwanda- a character from Dead Poets Society. Charlie Dalton (Gale Hansen) has an alter ego he calls Nuwanda, which apparently makes him feel 'potent'. I liked Charlies character as he wasn't quite a effed up as the others and just wanted to create anarchy and have a good time. Which sounds fine by me. I watched DPS around the time that someone close popped their own clogs (I say this lightly to cover the fact that I was completely anhiliated by the news for a long time). I guess I took to Charlie, as the character least likely to throw himself off a building...or shoot himself as the case of the film. This might sound morbid, but to me Nuwanda or in my incarnation, Nywanda is a positive fun-loving if not a little misguided, seeker of adventure, focussing on the silver linings of any nearby clouds. And that's me.
JaneyM asks: congratulations Nywanda - yep me too wants to know where Nywanda came from! and how did you get so damn slim since I first met you in Kilomathon????? :):):) you looked awesome in Glesga :):):)

Nywanda says: What?! Are you saying I was fat!!!!?! Heheheheh. I certainly was and still am, according to books, BMI, charts, how I feel when I run, the rear view of me in a dress but generally I'm pleased with how it's gone. I think I just kept on at the running no matter how slow or long it took me- my saddle bags have been gradually shrinking, muscles have developed, my need for Brigette Jones big pants has decreased. Unless you've been heavier, no one can really understand how tiring it can be lugging excess weight around and how much effort goes in to just Keep Up, however as the weight comes off, you can see the results reflected in the times and enjoyment. My main motivation (apart from wearing all my nice designer clobber again) has been to get up hills. Gravity is a cruel mistress and lighter is better. I originally planned to see what times I could get out of this weight (points to somewhat still wobbly bum n tum) and once I'd plateaued I'd push on for some more weight loss and see how I got on with that. It's like the song "You can get it if you really want, but you must try". However I'm now aiming to lose some more for the marathon in December. The weight loss thread that Max started and my diet buddys RFJ and MissChappo, really helped me stay on track. I recommend getting a diet buddy, for anyone who wants to lose or maintain.
Mrs Winkle asks: Ooh well done Ny! Favourite colour of running kit?

Nywanda says: Cheers Mrs. I'd say any colour except black. I'm not a fan of hot pink cos my face usually ends up that colour, so it's nae a good look on me and why the frik do sports manufacturers think that all women want pink? Grumble, grumble.... I have had to relent and buy some black stuff so as to not embarass my running buddies. I used to be head to foot in purple when I first started. Brooks did a deep purple and indigo colour combo and I pretty much bought the entire range in sales. So if I had to pick one it'd be purple. (I've given up finding the trainers to match though). I also like the Asics Ayami range and they do really bosking capris; the first Fetch mile I managed to fend off faster runners with the glare from my flowerpower leggings....the latest ones are cream with multi-coloured polka dots, much like a colour blindness test. Brighter the better- if I ever get run over when I'm out running I'll know it was intentional!
Night-owl asks: Congratulations Nywada.Well deserved. You are hosting a dinner party which 3 famous people (dead or alive) would you invite and why (obv they wouldn't be dead at the party)

Nywanda says: It's tempting to just name deceased family members so I could ask the couple of things that only They can answer. But for sake of playing the game I'll choose: Freddie Mercury, Jesus and Poppy Z Brite. Freddy n JC would totally hit it off; I think Sir F would admire JCs moustache and no-pants attitude. Poppy (being a member of the church of scientology) would start an absolute bun-fight but we'd all agree over just how good my home made custard is.
Enthusiastic! asks: Many congratulations to you :-) The great outdoors - What is it about it that floats your boat?

Nywanda says: Probably just having an instant toilet on hand! I think I particularly like it because it makes me feel like a child, innocent and untarnished and stressed by the responsibility of day to day life. When the wind is taking yourr breath away or the mud is trying to steal your shoes from your feet, there's nowt to worry about except breathing n keeping your footing. Plus natural beauty never ceases to amaze and I definitely run faster when distracted!
claramac asks: 3 things you would like to do with YRG? ;) Well done running buddy! x

Nywanda says: For goodness sakes wummin, it's a one track mind wi you! My first thought would be to get some one to one hill-training around Scolty, preferrably without having to use the Haglofs TP holder. Secondly there'd probably be some OMM mountain marathon 2 day eventing with a moonlit boil in the bag rice meal and a cosy wee bivvy bag for two....oh Jings, what am I saying??? (rushes off for tepid shower). Ahem. Thirdly I'd probably conduct a thorough interview asking all the most bizarre things that only I would have any interest in and in return I'd probably offer some tutilidge in soil science, crop rotation and land management. Please remember this is a motherly love and YRG is almost young enough to be my own flesh n blood. He is a local running legend and I thought so aaaaages ago and he is one of my inspirations for getting out onto the hills. HERO! PS did you see him checking out my skull leggings at the crathes Half ;-)
Cinnamon asks: Congrats! How long does it take for you to get in the 'zone' when you go for a run?

Nywanda says: If I'm on the treadmill it's almost instantaneous and I just go with the ipod and get through it with an almost 1000 yard stare. Most runs I'm feeling pants for the first 2 miles but after that I'm feeling the flow and things get a lot easier. I dont really like zoning out completely though- try to enjoy my surroundings cos that helps me get a decent run when my legs are flailing. I can readily zone for spin class and rowing though as they're a lot more monotonous. I hope that's what you meant by 'zone'.
Erin H asks: When am I staying at yours? xxx

Nywanda says: As soon as my Mum moves into her own place you will be more than welcome round for movie nights and fight the cat tournaments.
runningmumof3boys asks: Congrats...If you could PB at any distance at the moment what would it be and what time are you after???x

Nywanda says: Cheers. Well I think it would have to be the Marathon as it's my slowest paced distance at the moment and will be the toughest to improve my WAVA on. My current time is relatively slow for my age group, so unless something unforeseen happens, I *will* PB by the end of the year, however, ultimately I will be be looking for a sub 4 (isnt everyone?). I won't be ready for it this time but, depending on how things go next year, I could be looking at realistically ticking this one off before end of 2012. If the Fetch fairy wanted to just wave the wand and fast forward me to achieving that, without the pain and blisters then I know that I'd have achieved most of my other time goals along the way. Generally the shorter distances come first, don't they? I'm not too far away from some benchmark PBs so I wouldn't want to waste my free pass on them. Overall I'm happy with my progress this year and, as well as PBs have some happy memories of slower races where I've really worked hard. Conversely sometimes PBs come when you're not exactly expecting them!
Cabbey asks: Congratulations :-) Did you ever manage to get warm again after Florence?

Nywanda says: Cheers. To be honest, I really really struggled! I was so stiff afterwards I could barely walk so it took 40 mins in more rain, to walk that ten minute route to our basic hostel. No en suite so I managed to shake n shiver my way into a change of clothes but you know when your skin is so clammy and damp? I felt like a cadaver and the jitters were uncontrollable. I curled up in bed, still shaking and OH brought me tea and rolled me in the blankets. It took ages but eventually I slept. It wasn't a great experience all round. When I woke I paraded my medal in the local trattoria and ate for three people. I know better now and have plenty clothes ready at the end of races. I still can't believe I wouldn't have brought a long sleeve top to run in if you hand't told me about the weather beforehand. THANKS! It woulda been a lot worse if I was under dressed; I might no have finished at all :-(
Sarahwelshy asks: Congrats on a well deserved MOM lovely! ...... are you ever going to run a flat race?!!

Nywanda says: Cheers m;dear. Heheheheh. I've run plenty flattish races although you dont get many round these parts; the Romans never got as far as Aberdeen and there aren't many routes that dont have a few hills in them. I tried running a flat race last month and I wasn't any faster over it and it was pretty boring, so I'll stick to the hills as they're more interesting and scenic. I do have a bit of a spaz attack at the thought of running down the beach promenade.....cold, windy and they never close the prom for races so you'd have to dodge prams, dogs, people so any benefits that a so-called flat route gives is negated in my opinion. I'm going to have to embrace it soon (sigh) as our parkrun route is along the beach front! However, I recently did a PB run on really muddy winding route so I'm not actively seeking out flat routes for the sake of getting a better time. Enjoyment and scenery is where it's at!
Smout asks: More congratulations! When we next racing together when I'm no fluying by the seat of my pants so we can actually meet proper? Altho that's no my question - dream Fetch Mile time (Fetch says your current PB equates to a Sub 4:15 Mara with the right training :) :) )

Nywanda says: Cheers. I'm sure the Mighty Smout always flies during races heheheh. I believe we are both entered for the GO33; please turn up early as I doubt we'll be running at the same pace, so unless you're wanting to wait around for aaaages for me to finish, we can get a can of ginger beer and a porridge bar about 8am at Strathyre ;-)
Well, my mile time is due a 'revisit' shall we say and I'm sure I'll be a lot closer to 7 mins over the next few races. Not that that means *anything* when it comes to the jiggery pokery of other distances based on that time! It's pie in the sky to me and I haven't even managed to translate my current mile to a 5K. I'm a patient person believe it or not and I've still only been running for 2 years, so these things will come. The right training? Woah, yeah. All coachy tips welcome! I'll be happy with a sub 5 marathon this year and as near to 4.30 as I'm able on the day.
Labwalker asks: Well Done on being MOM. Keep us informed of any good events in Aberdeen. Love to meet up in the granite city for a run

Nywanda says: Cheers! Obviously the Aberdeen Fetch Mile should warrant a visit at some point...if you come up early on 22nd Oct you could do parkrun on sat and then the mile on Sunday 23rd ;-)
Drell asks: Brilliant. Training strategy -- lots of slow miles, quality speedwork, or what?

Nywanda says: Cheers. 3 quality sessions, 1 tempo, 1 LSR, 1 intervals and then any other cross training you fancy but 2 days off. Slack eh? I think quality over quantity. The LSR cant be too slow, especially if carrying weight (which I usually do, aye, a rucksack, not just my extra belly y'ken). The pace guide on Fetch works for me. The tempo and intervals are 6 miles total with 3-4 miles tempo and either 4 x 800m reps, 3 x 1 mile reps of 8-10 x 400m reps. It depends what race you're training for I guess. Unfortunately I'm in the position of training for a distance event at end of the year but cramming in lots of other races (1 mile to half mara and everything in between). I am having varied success with improvements/ PBs but that's very much balanced out by races where I'm not on form at all. It's all good though and we'll see if this works out for me in December at the Pisa marathon. NOTES: This interview will go out in January after the Pisa race so all this will be moot.
JimiG asks: Congrats Nywanda my question is HappyG(rrr) non question (see above). Where is that in your profile picture? Is it a special place to you?

Nywanda says: Hi Jimi, I've already answered that question below. It's not especially special to me for any one reason, but it is beautiful and a prime example of bouncy forest giving way to up and around and then up, up, up. It's ideal training territory but a little spooky in the dark even with friend, headtorches, guard dogs and nerves of steal. Certainly makes for a full on effort as you imagine that every branch and twig snap is " a crazy killer" or "mad axeman". Mind you, he'd have to be a decent hill runner to carry a weapon AND run those gradients. Erm, I seem to have deviated from the topic a little. Unlike me ;-)
becca7 asks: Congratulations. Which garment, in your view, is the worst offence against running fashion and which is the most stylish?

Nywanda says: I am not a fan of shorts which give you a VPL, y'know, with the inside liner. (starts own mini-poll do women ever run 'just' with the liner, me, I have to wear proper pants too or it just wouldnt be right). I like a co-ordinated outfit but not top to toe in the same brand, rather a mix-match...something which takes effort. Or a full on clash with as many colours as possible. I am drawn to other runners who have more than 4 colours going on. Not a big fan of peaked visors but everything else goes. I really like a layered shorts combo despite it apparently being a no-no. Oh but it's a huGE no to those running tights that look like actual ladies tights. I haven't worked out if they are indeed technical, but it just looks like someone put their 20 denier pretty pollys on and decided to run in em. Fashion Fail!
Thistle. asks: Hello... and well done! Fav race and why? I know boring..... So where do you get your organisational skills from?? :o)

Nywanda says: Cheers. I think my fave race keeps changing. So I'll go with 3 recommendations; Richey's Run (5 or 9 mile option). Really hilly, North of Helensburgh, a memorial race with excellent goody bag, tee-shirt, medal and tea n food, subsidised by the MOD. I was gutted to miss it this year (due to foot injury malarkey). Secondly, I have to recommend The Cape Wrath Challenge, especially the Round Durness run. These aren't PB races but the scenery, cameraderie and feeling of satisfaction afterwards is second to none: one for the bucket list and lastly I'll recommend the Crathes Half Marathon, nice gentle rolling course with plenty scenery, nice off-road bits, down-hill finish into the Castle grounds. Bound to be a regular on the race portfolio.

Organised? Barely....I have been in charge of the following dasterdly groups before which has given me plenty grey hairs and frown lines, but has helped me not freak out too much about everyday stuff: The Beavers group in Buckie (mini-terrorists, alluvem), 12 Arabic-only speaking Mauritanians, completing a Methanol bulk transfer (think 96000 Litres of of highly flammable, colourless flame liquid) at night and directing them with mini-flip charts, a group of Barklands cleaners of various ethnic groups but all usually drunk, stoned and/or late or absent. Ah, the fun! Sorting out a mile a couple of times a year doesn't seem that ardous now ;-)
DIGGER BYROM asks: congratulations, mosr embarrassing running moment please :-)

Nywanda says: Me? Embarrassed? Nope, you've got the wrong person.
OK, things that other people might find embarassing: being unaware of but being photographed in see-through top and bra and pic ending up on the sexy lassies thread (as if, purlease....), being caught short at Smokies 10M and having to squat in an open field (many polite people ignoring me in plain view, with drawers down), caught short during a XC and having to squat and not having the nouse to just "do it" and run the 3 minutes to the end, caught short at Harris Half and having to use moss for TP, caught short, cape wrath, someone's drive was soiled profusely, caught short etc etc. I think my uncontrollable bowel and my lack of real earnest to do anything about it, is the most embarrassing thing. For other people. It's more just an inconvenience and obviously drains the time from would-be PBs.
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