Thursday, 14 January 2010

Review> August

You know, last year was REAL busy for me! I Guess i kept busy to distract myslef from fact that Roger left me even though a few months later wanted me back
August started off with Jazz festival then Salsa then Cocktails, ended with Eddie Izzard, talk about a cocktail!
also took me into the unknown yet again with more mental races. Sherrifmuir challenge, tough wee race, 11 miles hills and more hills, felt like anyway!

Then there was Knockhill race, round a motorracing track, surreal and not flat like i expected from a racetrack! We had another fetchfest run round Arthurs seat and yet another drunken night with Susan! I ran round the pentlands a fair bit, slept a lot!Got annoyed with he amount of tourists in town for festival, wanted to keeel them all. Slept more, got cough, coughed, slept more, ran more,you get the gist...

Towards the end of the month it went crazy, last week in August, jeez, you couldn't make it up.....

Found out that Eddie Izzard would be in Edinburgh & planned to run up Arthurs Seat. Well i *had* to go, didn't i? I know he will be back here on Saturday but i'll be away doing the thingumy so i'll miss out.

Made it to pleasance in one piece but my nerves in tatters. Ice cream passed me on way in so i knew Eddie must be nearby. Got in, had donder around packed courtyard and went and bought bottle pear cider (pint) clever stuff. Had another donder then found 2nd courtyard and Eddies rickshaw Before too long them an himself appeare and was soon engulfed by cameras and reporters.

I hung around drinking my cider and watching, then wandered over to rickshaw to chat to few people who had running gear on, but didnt look like runners, ken? Anyway, Eddie came across shook my hand and asked me my name. errm fetcheveryone i said, yes, really. I then garbled on about not having a shirt on, shut up Sandra, shut up now please. Ok, perhaps pint cider not best idea after getting up at 4am, running to work then running up here....
think he thought i was a loonytune.Actually *i* was starting to think same thing.

So, Eddie had decided he wanted to take the hard route up Arthurs seat (there is no easy way really but there is a hard way!) Ie- vertical, rocks, trails, etc. Good rest for my thingumy then! So off we went, we passed a camera crew a wee bt down road and cameraman waved as if to say *oi, acknowledge me!* so i did the Santa/HappyG wave to him, which ended up on the BBC news, i kid ye not. Eddie kept saying *follow Sandra she can be our leader!* (gulp) We swapped places as we approached summit s eddie was leading the troops, it was pretty damn amazing watching him run up super steep hills knowing he'd completed 26 marathons! He really is awesome.

We got to the summit to be greeted by a pack of papparazzi, srsly! It's no mean feat getting
up there so fair play to them, there was also Eddies own camera crew. Zillions of pics later and we set back ff down, only to be stopped and told we had to run back up to be filmed, cause they're missed it last time! lol Luckily we werent far down. This time they got us coming up other side, After we set off again i got stopped and interviewed by Eddies film crew and interviewd before they all headed off for some rest...

Thought i'd tell wee bit about random stuff that he spoke about

I never touched on how mentally and physically strong he seems to me, i am in complete awe. In the interview they were asking me questions like *What do you think will happen to Eddies body as he has another 17 marathons to do* *how do you think he'll cope* etc

I was babbling a load of crap because i kept thinking back to the 10 in 10'ers and thinking OMG, how did they do that etc. I think he can manage it because he is stopping to talk to people a lot and do interviews and stuff. Actually racing hard does break your body down, i think anyway. But that's nt to take anything away from the amazing feat. Mental strength is way to go.
Sun guy asked if the last 6 miles were the worst (in any day) and Eddie said yes, at first, but now it's the first 6 miles. LOl i know *that* feeling! He is changin his shoes and clothes at regular intervals during the day too, says it helps mentally to get new set of gear on.

He kept shouting over to me when reporters were asking him about Arthurs seat saying *Sandra, tell them you cant run up all of it, it'll be a stagger right?* lol

I asked *why running, why not swimming , cycling etc* And he said it's cause it's primal. He said you can freewheel on a bike sometimes and running, well, you have to run! He said he runs when he is on tour at random times of night, and reckons it's a great way to see a strange city the *proper* way

He also said he'd carry on running after all this was all over When i mentioned the fetch shirt to him he did say he would'nt be allowed to wear it for Sportrelief thing which is understandable.

The show doesnt go out til March for those of you who want to know. Oh and if you get the chance to run with him, go do it, he really has inspired me.

So, i had a race to deal with on Saturday, a hill race, only 18 miles, easy huh? oh no, no, not easy at all....

I wouldn't talk about it as i was more nervous about this race than any other i've done. After speaking to (soapy) about it he waxed lyrical about waist deep bogs and too many unimaginable things that i was rendered mute. yes really.

He had already said in his blog that he wasn't doing it this year as it was much harder than a marathon and he didn't think he was fit enough for it. Alarm bells were ringing inside my head bigtime. And rightly so. This race in my mind was going to be tougher than any marathon and possible tougher than my Ultra. *gulp*

So, Flip arrived, tried in vain to show me map and all his post it notes whilst i stuck my head in sand. We headed off into town to pick up Ribenafacescabbyqueenloser (RFSQL)then set off for Stirling getting a bit lost on way (in edinburgh lol) i was too busy talking so much to take my mind of what was ahead to give directions...

We arrived and first of all found Lintie & Soph, big hug city and i calmed down a wee bit.Then it was time to hand over our contraband to Soapy which consisted of a can of tennents and a miniature of vodka & bottle irn bru. He was marshalling up on hill somewhere and that was something to keep me going at least...

Time for bus to start, off bus and we huddled around trying to keep warm before we were off. Immedietley it was into climbs, big climbs. The field took off into the distance, proper good fell runners at this race, not rookies like me. Mine & Flips plan was to just try and keep someone in our sights and follow them, That kinda worked for a while.

Oh my good god,before long we were properly into the hills of death.srsly. No pathways, no obvious signs, no markers, nothing. Thank god we did have maps, thank god Flip did study it. I stopped counting how many times i fell after about 15. I stopped trying to avoid bogs after the first 2. I actually thought i was going to break something i feel so often. One minute i'd be running along, over big fuck off lumps of god knows what (unrunable moslty) and suddenly i'd disapear down a hidden dip. Thats actually where i started to hate it, it's no fun thinking that any minute now you might snap your ankle, and thats how i felt for rest of race.
I swore more than a tourettes victim on acid. I ended up knee deep in so many bogs i cant remember how many. The grass at some points was up past my head, i'd just disapear, this was where i was falling lots too, there was just no way to avoid it. Rest of the grass was knee length and just pure boggy bogs and massive lumps of stuff. At one point my shoelace came undone and i couldn't see my foot to tie it, i kept putting onto these wee lump things and it disapeared ffs, took me about 10 mins to get it tied.

After about a hundred million hills we got to soapy's hill, i drank my vodka down in one and i loved Soapy more than i've loved anyone at that moment! We had to keep moving otherise we'd be timed out so off we ran on like runners possessed. I think we were just over halfway at this point, but dont quote me on that.

The rest actually just passed in a sweary muddy boggy bastard blur. The last hill was so steep towards the top i was on my hands and knees pulling myself up it, i was so tired, so demorolised and just wanted it to end.

Factor in some monster stiles, gale force winds, hailstones battering my face off and rain, it was all a joy, really

Off we went down this hill thne into the forest knowing the finish was aorund the corner, thank god. Suddenly we saw the Uni and i actually nearly cried, Flip very galantly let me finish before him thinking we were last (we werent) and when i saw Lintie , Soph,Jules, Jo and SQRFL i've never been so happy to see anyone in my life.

We finished in 5hrs 46 mins- 20.33 miles according to garmin.

the job is to cover 11 hills, all over 2000ft, 2 of them over 2500ft. Job done at least.

It took me 10 mins longer to do than my Ultra I was utterly dejected and demorolised and was thinking of chucking in idea of Highland Fling. How could i possible cover 53 mile when this nealry broke me in two? Lintie gave me a good talking too though (she & Soph were timed out! ) and made me realise it wasn't just me who found it tough. it was bloody awful. (sorry Andy, it was) Flip is going back next yr, he needs sectioned clearly. I wouldn't have got half way round if it wasn't for him and i reckon i kept him behind by at least an hour or so, we'll see next year i guess!

I will never darken the bogs of the Ochills ever again. never. ever.

finished race covered head to toe in mud, then realised i had no towel with me, Soph to the rescue along with Flip, 2 towels, on for hair, one for drying. sorted, Soph also provided me with shampoo and gel, what a star, She probably had the kitchen sink in her backpack too mind you...

Cleaned up then it was off to pub to wind down a bit, few drinks, hugs n goodbyes then back home via a visit to fatboarders for Flip to check on some building stuff he needed checked out. Found bottle brandy stashed down side pocket of phils car and started drinking it straight from bottle, yes, the race *had* been that bad! uurgh, handed it to RFSQL and he had swig too lol

i digress, we went to wrong door and a slightly bemused man opened door saying *i think you might have wrong address?* lol Got to FB's and he provided me & RFSQL with beer whilst Flip went off to investigate. All ok so off finished drink and off we went, dropping off RFSQL in meadows and heading home for chinese, Wine. Beer, vodka and veuve cliquot.

top work.
Plan was to Eddie hunt in morning, so that's what we did!

Drove all way out to ratho on route that was posted, n sign. Started drive back and decided to sotp off in Costorphine for a carvery lunch. Massooov plateful of food pls pint pear cider and we were waddling out pub heading back along route.

Of course we found Eddie about half hour later lol, typical! So we drove further on, parked car and ran back to meet him planning on doing a few miles at least, you know, loosen off the legs after the bastrd hil race from day before... Com160 was there and had spent entire day (and day before!) with Eddie, and WHW runner with Molly the dog was also there raaa, old friends! There was another blokey too. When i first arrived Eddie said *Hi Sandra, turned to blokey and said Sandra ran up Arthurs seat with me on thu, she is from fetch* blokey turned round to shake my hand and it was only friggin Frank skinner!

Frank and his g/f were running til Dalkeith as he had to get back and do his show in city centre that night. He was really nice bloke and made us laugh which was good, seeing as he is comedian and al that

Before we knew it we'd decided we were running til the end with Eddie, s much for afew miles! It was all uphill too, great, more hills, just what our legs needed after day before. But hey, *we* had'nt ran 27marathons prev, we'd only done one mental race so werent complaining. Neither was Eddie, he just gets on with it. truly amazing.

It started raining, it was windy and hills were bit relentless, not steep just very long. Eddie wasflagging the last few miles and it was such a relief when we saw the sport relief van wizz past and the ice cream van started playing the tune, the end was in sight! hoorah

His team held i little tape for him to run through and we all clapped and cheered as he completed his 29th marathon.

he hugged us all, thanked us all and made sure we had way of getting home we were literally in middle of road in middle of nowhere) The crew dropped us all off which was bloody marvellous of them and me & Flip stopped off at chippy on way home.

We were exhausted,and we'd only done the last 16 miles with him. god only knows how Eddie was/Is feeling, how he does it i have no idea. We spoke a lot about mental strength yesterday, this man has it in truckloads.

Go sponsor him, you know it makes sense...

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