The run through the precinct was amazing, so many people cheering and shouting, so many people shouting my name i had no idea who it was. I was teary and smiley and excited.
I ran with Donald for first mile or 2 and he set off ahead, i knew I'd see him again at some point, i always do ;) I was trying to be very aware of not just following the pack after Ian's warnings of people taking wrong turns (including him!)and after a wee while i was running with Michelle who told me she'd been chasing me for a bit after starting off too slow. She was moaning about her headtorch being crap so i just said stay with me then and we'll be fine. We were chatting so much i hadn't even noticed Phil was just in front of me, we overtook him just after that and didn't see him again.
We chatted away and the miles just flew by, before too long we were at beech tree inn(1hr12) and first sighting of SuperSantacrew. Was such a boost to see them and i ran on with big smile on face. The first section is pretty easy (i never said that when i did that section in relay only 2yrs ago!)with mostly flats and fair amount of tarmac. I was still running with Michelle but managed to chat a
bit to Norry and to met Mark Cooper here too. Again those miles flew by and suddenly we were on the hill to Drymen. Said cheery hello to a Marshall before realising it was Ian lol!He told me i was doing great, Gave him quick kiss and ran on and over road where my crew were all in their Santa hats cheering me on and checking to see if i needed anything but i just wanted to keep going. &nb
sp;Got to Drymen 2.07 not far off target and bang on time we'd done the head torch run few weeks previous. Difference this time was i was feeling great.
Michelle had stopped for her crew but caught up with me heading up to forest section along with Norry.It was certainly a relief to not have to climb over trees like previous time we'd been there, although i knew they'd been cleared. Again time passed quickly and soon enough we were going through the gate and getting our first sighting of conic hill. As we passed a fair amount of tents i remarked to Michelle that whoever was inside must be wondering what hell was going on outside at 3am! It mustve been dark when the front runners came through there and i suspect anyone in a tent mustve been slightly freaked out!
Climb up Conic hill was wet, Michelle got to top and i think bounced down like a ball, as i couldn't even see her ahead. As much as i was taking it easy due to slippery conditions i overtook a few folk here. Nick had run out to see what i wanted at CP, was great to see him and he took off to get everything ready. I came out to find car park packed full and tons of folks cheering, another quick kiss from Ian and Susan led me to crew car. Arrived at car and had seat ready as i needed to change my socks, i was convinced i had stone in shoe or sock as my big toe was sore. They had Sclub7 blaring from ipod (my request, lol)and were all Santa'd up! Had wee pot rice and cup tea, change of socks and i was off again. I arrived there 3hr43 and left 3hr48 again i was bit behind schedule but i wasn't too worried about it, as long as i was enjoying race i was happy.
Changed my shirt and off i went towards Rowardennan with smile and spring in my step thanks to my super crew
Funny, the climbs never seemed so bad. I kept recalling what KeithH had said in the whw forums, saying "if you're not enjoying it, you're going too fast" I kept that thought firm in my head. Again Michelle caught me a mile or so down road and again we were together for fair few miles. I was enjoying this much more than I'd enjoyed the fling, but then i hadn't feel so i guess that helps! I was in my comfort zone too as I'm used to being awake and running at that time of day so i knew I'd got worst part over with and that I'd cope until end of race.
http://www.oak-tree-inn.co.uk/ had left a wee goody bag out for me. How sweet was that?
Cant wait to get back to Oak Tree to thank her personally. Love that place.
I knew that after leaving Rowardennan i wouldn't see my crew for a very long time but i was ok. I was around 30mins behind my schedule but i knew i was still running strong so i wasn't too concerned. I concentrated on moving forward.
My ankles had been giving me wee bit of grief and couldn't figure out why, never had ankle issues before, so i just assumed it was probably due to putting brakes on coming down conic hill. The hard work really starts after RowardennanInversnaid and we spoke about time expectations. I got to inversnaid to find lots of Happy helpful Marshall's and to find Michelle again. I quickly ate a pot of rice, refilled my bottle and off i went. Followed quickly by Michelle who said to me "fuck me, you re in and out checkpoints quicker than an F1 car!"
We ran for few miles again until the rock scrambling started and i lost her again. The rocks being so wet made for bit more dangerous climbing this time, i was being very careful around here so as not to end up head first in Loch. Something we'd been chatting about just recently after a training run. Got passed by couple of guys here who both said independently "I'm trying to convince myself i love loch lomondside!"
I felt i'd slowed down a fair bit here and my knee was really hurting, probably a consequence of my ankles? who knows. As i got through last gate and passed where i fell in Fling i knew i was only a mile away from CP. Gt to Beinglas and was delighted to see smiley Mags, and even more delighted to find Ian.Kiss from him and hug from Soph who sprayed me with stuff on my knee and off i went again. I felt strong again somehow and was even running up some of those hills out of there.
Seeing Ian had really given me a boost. And i knew i was on way to see my Super Crew again.
Well I ended my last blog with - London's Calling And calling it was. My first London Marathon, THE Marathon, the only one that matt...
After the disappointment of the Devil I had to re focus and get race head back on. Ian spotted a new race through by Castle Semple, Hessil...
Don't always come to fruition. I'm not sure i could've been more ready for this race, which makes this blog that bit more diff...
Since Spain I've been feeling great. At end of March Ian and I decided to head up to Fort William. He wanted to do a long run before de...