After looking up place we were going to my phone reliably showed me a map and told me it was 1.2miles away. Cool, we'll walk says Ian. I had heels on but hey 1.2miles is nothing. If it was 1.2 miles that is. After walking for a couple of miles (i think) we asked directions only to be told we had another 15min walk :-o ffs. stupid stupid phone. My feet were getting sore and i wasn't feeling great, some heartburn thing going on, who knows.
We eventually arrived and found Jane, Soph & Alan in dining room having already eaten, we quickly ordered but i sat and picked away at my food not really feeling that hungry tbh.Thanks to Alan & Jane for buying us dinner :o) Great to catch up with everyone ,and we got a taxi back to hotel which seemed to take about 2.5mins lol
Straight to bed with alarm set for 6.30 for breakfast. Before too long it was time to go and we set off for start. Got into car park and Ian & Vicky parked in right next to us, quick hug to them and walking to register i heard a shout. It could only be Nick, my (pretend) Big bro, he pick me up and twirled me round before presenting me with a Sandra sized bottle of Champagne, bless him. He'd come all way from Lincoln for race and is part of super support crew for WHW Race.
Headed off to collect our numbers with both of us getting stopped every few mins by people we knew, this race was going to be a very social one! Huge hugs from George & Karen :o) Numbers acquired and after bit of to-ing and fro-ing it was almost time for start.
Off we walked to start where George gave us a brief briefing and off we went. Very much unplanned i ended up running as a group with Susan, Elena, Fionna & Lorna. We chatted about forthcoming races and the miles were flying by. I didn't once look at my garmin but realised i personally had gone off too fast. I was also bursting for pee, i ran on hoping it would go away but it didn't. I decided to slow down a bit and let the girls go on ahead, normally in Ultra's I'm at back for first 12miles then slowly pick my through the masses, this wasn't quite how i planned it.
By 9 miles i started to feel my legs getting tired, this alarmed me a lot. I decided to stop in wooded area for pee, ended up sitting on a tree trunk and getting twigs and all sort stuck to me. As i exited the woods Keith caught me and i ran with him whilst sticking my hand down my shorts every 2 mins pulling twigs out, not the most ladylike thing I've ever done it has to be said.
I actually was pulling things out for about 5 friggin miles, god knows what anyone behind me though ffs. Still felt tired but slogged on. Soph passed my few times on bike and asked how i was, i said i was tired lol What else could i say? I'd never felt this tired during a race, my thighs felt heavy and rest of legs felt filled with cement. Seeing the front runners flying past us took my mind off things and i tried to say well done to all, sang a queen song to Grant who was first and got high 5 off Scott who was chasing him not too far behind!
Managed to give Debs & Cairn a smile when i saw them too just as Marco came flying round corner. Great to see everyone doing so well, Ian passed me with about mile to go to halfway and l got a mile and a well done from him.
Soph had said to me "Ian looks a bit grumpy, is he always like that?" lol
Got to halfway point to find lots of smiley faced friends, and encouraging Marshall's. I think the smiles were because of the cheers and fact I'd actually made it halfway and i saw some familiar faces.
Susan was there refilling her bottle, i had quick drink then took off and was soon followed by Susan who overtook me pretty quickly. I was tad concerned for her knowing what's happened in past Ultra's for her but had to let her run her own race. Personally I'd love to have jumped in Jule's car when i saw him at halfway but i knew i had to dig deep and get on with it or i might as well forget plans for WHW race.
Had to keep giving myself a good talking to for those last 17miles. My legs were tired and they were fighting me every single step. I did however start picking people off after about 20miles. I caught Keith around mile 25 on that long drag which i was run/walking. Passed few folk here and tried to keep running where i could. I was getting bit despondent thinking I'd have to run/walk rest of way and started to see sub5 slipping away.
Something kicked in when i passed Robert around Marathon distance and i started on my countdown from there. 7 miles to go, 7 miles to, 6 miles to go, etc. Kept saying it over and over until garmin beeped to say another one down. Passed quite few more folk on this section.
Kept getting passed by guy who was doing run/walk and eventually he said to "5k to go, if you do it in 27min you'll get sub5, i wont, you go for it" I told him he'd probably catch me again and off i went with that 27mins playing heavy on my mind and more so on my damn tired concrete legs.
2 miles, 2 miles, beep, One mile, c'mon Sandra dig deep, one mile you can run one mile tired legs or not. Before too long i saw the park and I've never felt quite so relieved. Dodging prams, dogs and kids was no easy task but the cheer i got as i turned corner and Ian shouting at me spurned me to sprint that last wee bit til i fell into George's big bear hug.And got a MASSIVE superb unique medal :o)
Not entirely sure where i pulled it from feeling the way i did from mile9 onwards. Yes i got my target, yes i knocked off 7mins off last yrs time but i really really didn't enjoy it. I actually couldn't move when i crossed line, never in my life have i felt so sore after a race. How can 33 flat miles make me feel worse than 55 crazy ones over Fling/Cateran?
Ian said that's the way he feels after every race and clearly I've not been trying hard enough, lol.
Watched few folk come in and stayed to see Nick come in bang on his target of 5.27 :) Susan finished a stonking 3 mins ahead of me with no meltdown! woop, so happy for her to finally complete an Ultra without all the issues she's previously had.
We couldn't hang around for too long as had to go collect Ian's son so quick hugs all round and off we went in car. At least listening to the football took my mind off the pain in my legs for bit.
Arrived at Alison's and hobbled to her lovely warm kitchen for a one of best cups tea ever, i was lovely warm and settled and really didn't want to stand back up again! Thanks Ali, it went down an absolute treat.
Back to Edinburgh, Pizza ordered and champagne chilling i went off for bath whilst Ian & Gordon took Lucy out for walk. Felt bit better after food and champagne and was utterly exhausted. How i managed to stay up and watch match of day I've no idea.
Had worst nights sleep ever and was awake at 4am on and off til 7am when i was wide awake and gave in. once i was up i actually felt ok. wtf? After telling Ian there was more chance of Newcastle winning the premiership than me even getting dressed next day i decided to join him & Gordon for a run! lol
We headed up Craighlockheart hill and Gordon on his fresh young legs took off up hill putting us to shame. Was worth climb as it was a lovely spring day and views were panoramic. Legs felt fine and last mile was done sub9mm somehow.
So on reflection. I got my sub5.Result. I've had a bad Ultra, i needed that. I needed to know how i'll cope when things get bad during WHW race,I've learnt I've got something somewhere and that ican dig deep when things don't look so good. I do hope it's a good omen.
This is no reflection on the superb efforts of George who put on a bloody fantastic race, great organisation, fantastic Marshall's, superb medal and all round bloody top notch quite frankly.