I was knackered all week too, having got up to start last weeks run at6am i thought I'd sleep forever on the Sunday but woke up at6am again and body was not for letting me go back to sleep. Ian was away down in Newcastle at football so i planned a proper lazycow day, not even planning on getting dressed. Which is why i ended up out doing a 3mile "recovery" run in the glorious sunshine of course.
Ian txtd me during week to ask if i fancied heading to Tyndrum on Friday and running to Fort William on Saturday. As i read the txt my legs, head and body were all screaming no. I wasn't exactly over enthusiastic but instead suggested heading to Glenshee and running on Cateran Trail. Ian said he'd work out logistics. Next mail was to say Hotel was booked and plan formulated to run 40miles. Gulp.
So the first thing i see when i pick up Metro>
I wasn't totally convinced I'd manage it and mentioned a couple of times to Ian who just kinda ignored me really. Think he knows me better than i know myself.
I was off on Good Friday so took opportunity to have proper rest. And proper rest i did! I woke up 11.30am after sleeping for over 12hours. Boy was my body screaming out for that. Understandably so i guess, having not had lie on over past weekend and getting up before 5am every morning and running to work, it tends to catch up on you.
Once i was up i set about cleaning house and making sure all washing done so that we would come back to clean house and no piles washing so had busy afternoon. I felt great and once again convinced i actually could manage the 40miles no problem. Sleep is an amazing healer.
Ian got back from "work" (golf) quite early so we set off for Glenshee by 5pm.Roads were totally clear with random bits of snow here here and there at side or road and on hills. I'd packed running gear for all weathers just in case. Dinner and a few drinks and bed quite early for second Friday in a row. Down for breakfast at 8am and Ian set off in car to drive to Bridge of Cally and leave it there so we could get back. He got bus back up, there, we had no option but to run there now. It was actually only 38miles to BoC, yeeehaa.
Weather was perfect, no wind, no rain. I had tshirt on but jacket and long sleeved top in bag in case i needed it. Gloves too as i hate my hands being cold more than anything. Ian reckoned it should take us around 8hrs so off we set. I'd forgotten just how beautiful the Cateran Trail was and i feel in love all over again with it. There was lots of the parts i could remember but loads that I'd totally forgotten.
When i ran the full race i remember nearly ALL the runners ran the wrong way, I'd started near back and when i saw Karen's sign pointing other way i was confused as to why every ran along deer fence instead of down into field. I shouted back to George & Keith who were tail running and he said i was heading right way. There were about 5 of us together that day, everyone else cheated :p
I remember arriving at 1st checkpoint (6miles in) and freaking out that i was nearly last but Karen assured me that everyone had gone off too fast (i passed rather a lot of them later on) Anyway, back to present day. I'd also forgotten how many hills there were, funny how you blank thing out isn't it. But i was struck on how silent and peaceful it was. We passed only 2 walkers the entire time, incredible. I didn't get lost at all in race but we nearly took wrong turns few times but soon realised our mistake and quick;y got back on track. Think with the cateran is that it's not always on established pathways. Sometimes you'll find yourself in middle of field or running up the side of a very steep one full of sheep.
The snow was nestling in the the paths on the higher ground, so we had mix of mud and snow but it was all still very runnable and easy to avoid by running at side of it. As we approached Glenisla we were running down road and suddenly were passed by dozens of cars all at once it seemed. As we rounded the corner we realised why, there was wedding on. We stopped and filled our water at tge village hall which was open for the wedding guests and they kindly let us use the toilets too.
This was another bit i couldn't remember (or conveniently chose to forget?)
We got a wee bit confused in Alyth and ran down wrong street, meant climb back up hill but also meant Ian could nip into pub and fill his bottle again. bumped into a Whw runner here (sorry cant remember name!) Ian said she'd done race about 6times though.
We got back on track and soon found Den of Alyth park and headed down there, theres a new park been built and i was tempted to stop and have shot of swings and zip wire but Ian said i wasn't allowed. Last yr we did the checkpoint here and people were coming in from both directions but at least they did find us.
We knew that after coming out the woods we had a bit of a climb on the road, the sun was appearing occasionally here so was quite warm. Heading to drimmie woods Ian was getting a bit tired and when we got to woods i said "i LOVE this place, we should take some pics" to be met with a grumpy "I'm too tired to take pics" oh dear. He also told me i should slow down, now normally its me struggling to chase after Ian and him slowing for me, not the other way around. This worried me somewhat. I shouldve of course realised it was just the usual Ultra dip that we all seem to get at some point.
After the crazy downhill into Blairgowrie he perked up again :o) 6miles to go from Blairgowrie, or was it? Because we'd ran from hotel and not from start of race and took couple wee wrong turns we calculated it was probably going to be 39miles. I'm glad Ian told me this because when i have a distance in my head then i don't want to do another step over that. Must be a mental thing but I'd prepared for 39miles by then so it was all ok.
The climbs out of Blairgowrie just seem to go on and on, I've done this section quite a lot now as that's where the Cateran 23 starts so i should be used to it. It was just a case of ticking off the miles now and we were both back in full swing and bouncing along quite happily. We arrived at Bridge Cally in 8hrs13, so Ian's prediction was bang on really, the extra coming from the extra mile.
Just short of 10 000 feet of climbing for 2nd week in row, the cateran is not flat but it's much more kind to feet than top half WHW.I felt i couldve went on and finished the whole route, so I'm kinda jealous of everyone running the race, I'll be there as Karen's dog that day kicking anyone who might need it. We nipped into the Bridge of Cally hotel where i had a well deserved Crabbies and Ian had a coffee before we set back off for Glenshee.
Took drinks back to room to have whilst getting ready. Bar was really busy that night and i think we mustve been one of few people there without a dog, its was DogsRus night lol. Great weekend all round. As we checked out in the morning we were delighted to find out that we'd got one night free just for being Cateran Race runners! I knew we got great deal on actual weekend of race but they offer stay one night get next night free policy if you're up there for training on Cateran too, brilliant or what?
Legs are totally fine today, in stark contrast to last week. crazy. Heading out for run in mo....