Wednesday, 30 May 2012

2nd Day- Tyndrum to Fort Wiiliam?

Although i felt pretty damn good all day Friday despite the heat, i was glad to finish and actually tempted to walk back to river and go lie down in it.

Instead i went to room and lay down there as my legs started to stiffen up. Had cup tea and 15mins lie down then a lovely shower and off we went to Paddy's for food. My legs were stiff and sore i  said to Ian i couldn't imagine running 43miles next day, i know I've done it before but when the tiredness and pain kicks in the self doubt also does.

Ian told me the human body was a wonderful thing and I'd feel differently in the morning. After food we wandered back and sat in garden and had a drink but i was fading fast and ended up in bed by 8.30pm! Think heat of day finally got to me, i know how tired i feel after sunbathing all day, this time i was sunbathing for 8hours with a wee run thrown in for good measure ;)

I really didn't sleep well at all, i never do after a long run. Maybe the adrenalin is still pumping round body and confused at sudden rest and its fighting back? Who knows, maybe I'm just weird. Ok, yeah i know i am. 6.30 am and i was up and making tea and making sure Garmin was charged up Ian was of course right and my legs felt fine. .Sun was already bright in sky so i expected more of same except fact there would be very little shade in this section.

And this time i had company. Ian had mentioned to Paul Houston from my club about my double day and he mailed and asked if he could join me. I was hesitant for a couple of reasons. One being that Paul is a 2.40Marathon runner for starters. I warned him I'd be slow, be taking lots walking breaks and oh, that I'd be slow! Another reason is that i guess after last yr i wanted to mentally get through it myself.

Regular readers will recall the hell on earth that was last yrs double run, well the 2nd day anyway, i had everything except locusts thrown at me and i was throwing toys out pram by time Ian met me at Lundavra lol.

But i agreed anyway, and just hoped Poor Paul could put up with my dawdling. He appeared at 8am to meet me and before too long we set off into the sunshine sun creamed up to the max. I love the section from Tyndrum to BoO, i love the landscape ahead and windy path sneaking around the hillside, i think it's stunning, and it's runnable, well most of it is actually. I recall loving it  during the race last yr knowing I'd be picking Susan up to buddy me across Rannoch Moor. Little memories of last yrs race popped into my head throughout my 2day run, funnily enough all fond ones. First funny sight was  an abandoned pair of sandals, they were pointing towards the hill and it looked like someone had stepped out of them and decided to take off barefoot into the hills.

Either that or they were sick of getting stones rattling about inside, i think i prefer version we said though.

 We got to BoO to find a crowd on bridge enjoying the glorious weather and we stopped for couple pics before heading up hill. Cue first fall of day. Luckily it on the hillside into the mud and pain free, just muddy. Up we went and through the deer gate. I told Paul to remember and have a look back at the view, we can sometime forget to drink in the surroundings when we're in a race and it would be shame to miss all those glorious views.

As we skirted the hill Paul remarked there was a runner coming up behind us, i remarked that she better not be showing up by running up the hills when we were walking but she wasn't. Still, she did catch us soon enough though and it only tuned out to be Antonia. Quick chat revealed she'd just set off from BoO and was heading to Fort William too. I said we were also doing that but had came from Tyndrum and said we were out to take it nice and easy, all about time on feet. Antonia said this suited her fine so she fell in line with us and 2 stooges became 3 Amigos.

We hit the tarmac at bottom and it was here i realised i'd forgotten to fill my water bottle, fail. I had plenty juice with me but no water so popped into Inveronan hotel and they kindly filled it for me. Onwards towards Rannoch Moor, the dreaded Rannoch Moor.

As if it wasnt hot enough without being out there in that god forsaken place! Still it meant ot got show Antonia & Paul my future house, they were quite impressed, especially when they found out it also had servant quarters ;)

It was past the gates that Me & Susan had spotted a herd of Deer last month when we did this route, i guess they were staying well in shade today though, lucky them. We had the benefit of the trees for first mile or so then of course it opened up and its blistering heat time. It wasn't too long before Ian joined us which surprised me somewhat, i hadn't expected to see him till at least half way but he'd motored (on his feet that is) across from Glencoe.

So now 3 Amigos became 4 Mustketeers, or something. Rannoch Moor actually passed quite quickly with lots of us around and fair bit of chat to pasite place but i was glad to see the Glorious sight of kinghouse as skirted the corner. Ian had ran on ahead and was driving down to Kingshouse so we could restock.

Neither Antonia or Paul had been on this part of route so letting them know what lay ahead was also taking my mind of things too. We got to Kingshouse and Ian refilled our bottles and sun creamed me up. Antonia and i nipped in to loos then ran on not realising Paul was waiting at car for us, oops. Quick call to Ian and he was soon with us again and we headed towards the Devil's Staircase spotting this Deer just past Kingshouse.

Paul had ran from bottom of Devil but Antonia was new to it, there were tons of cars parked at bottom as usual and lots in car park opposite so we expected to see fair amount of walkers but actually only passed one couple. In fact we hardly saw a soul the entire day unless we got near a town, i think the heat was beating people to retreat. I certainly got fair few comments from walkers the previous day saying they were struggling to walk in that heat never mind run.

Think we made top in fairly good time and got wee bit breeze the higher we got which was welcome. We stopped for drink and few pics at top before heading down the never ending descent to fabled town of Kinlochleven. I'd warned Antonia that the town keeps popping up then disappearing then told her a few tales of when i supported Jen the first yr and i did this in the dark with 2 headtorches between 3 of us, and it was my first time ever wearing a head torch. Oh how we leaned that year! lol

Ian met us in Kinlochleven and we got some lovely cold cans juice in the pub, barmaid kept asking *diet or normal* was she trying to tell us something? haha i said you can tell we're athletes we're all going for full sugar ones.

Ian had said he didn't envy us running in this heat as he'd really felt it when he was running, I'm fairly lucky that it doesn't bother me so much, i think only difference is that i drink much more than normal. Said our goodbyes to Ian and off we headed to the rock face climb out of there. As we wandered along road drinking our cans we bumped into Lorna & David coming in opposite direction. Quick chat to find out their plans and i told them Ian was down road.  we set off again with a warning we only had cover for mile or so then it was brutal.

We cherished every slight breeze we got and i kept jumping in streams when i saw them urging P&A to do so too. A was nervous worrying she'd get blisters. P was throwing his cap in every one and chucking it on head and telling us stories about his crazies ultra runs in the Arizona desert, this weather was perfect for him, too cool perhaps!

Antonia was soon joining Paul with the hat thing and it wasn't too long before she was also jumping in the streams. The heat was really starting to get to us all i think. Both A&P were dubious about filling their water bottles from a a stream until i jumped down a bridge and filled mine up glugging the cold wonderful clear and beautiful water down like it was the best champagne ever. They tentatively started taking sips from their hands before realising it actually wasn't going to kill them haha

Actually it was after this that we all got a new lease of life, and after a bit of a lull and bit of quietness we were suddenly on the move again, running the uphills and fighting over every bit of water we spotted running through it splashing like kids do and laughing our heads off. It was bloody great, after a long slog up there we all had a new lease of life.

Onwards we went and about 2 miles out of Lundavra disaster struck. The new lease of life perhaps left us a bit reckless, we'd all nearly taken tumbles and i was surprised none of us had fallen. Suddenly i was flying through the air and landed with an almighty thud.

I lay there groaning and was picked up by A &P and i tried to put foot down but got pain shooting from knee.Antonia said she got a slow motion of it and could do nothing but watch me fly through air, i hobbled on a bit thinking it would ease like it did on first day. It didn't, it hurt to walk and the minute we got to downhill it hurt a lot. This didn't bear well for a stupid 3 mile downhill to Fort William and i made decision to stop at Lundavra. I tried to persuade Paul & Antonia to go on ahead and leave me to walk in and they could let Ian know i was on way but they wouldn't leave me bless them. Paul decided he stop here too as he had been out for time on feet and we'd had around 8 hrs by then so was happy with that.

We  (i) hobbled into Lundavra and i was relived to see Ian and bit panicked not to see car. I thought, omg, what if he decided to run here? I'd have been stranded, i wasn't though, car was there of course. We got in car and i the minute i sat down the pain hit quite badly. We set off on the windy road out of Lundavra and stopped at the vantage point over FW to look at view. Getting out car was bit of issue and started to feel sick and dizzy and thought i was going to throw up, i kept heaving thinking i was going to be sick but nothing came up. Could be fact that i;d actually ate nothing since my i had bowl porridge that morning then I'd taken some painkillers soon as i stopped. Ian said to me in car that "i' d have to rethink my strategy" as "i kept falling" !!  How do you rethink a strategy to not fall i wondered? I didn't trip or fall once during the entire whw race last yr, yet i still ended up with broken ankles. I fell 3 times over 2 days, twice i picked self up and got on with it, 3rd time unlucky and i didn't want to jeopardise my race my buggering knee up doing that downhill.

And  i'm glad i did. I did the Devil route only recently with Susan, it's not like I've not done that section many a time. I did 69+ miles over 2 days in apparently the hottest part of UK- mental. Took us 8hrs 40 the last 2 miles being very slow due to me hobbling along. 35.90 miles.

I'm ready to taper now, i need to properly rest in the lead up to this and wont same mistakes i did in lead up to Fling. I'm primed and ready as is my crew. My knee was agony on Saturday night and i barely slept as i really hurt whenever i turned over. But i was off Monday, slept for 13hrs and rested lots so I'm getting better every day.

Huge thanks to Paul and to Antonia for the company and for the fun we had jumping in rivers. Lets do it again sometime soon.

Ian was as ever superb support and i really couldnt do all this without him. xx

Ready now, well once I've rested for 3 weeks i will be....

Monday, 28 May 2012

Double Day Training run

After my disappointing effort at the Fling i really needed this double day to go well. I'd tried to get to bed fairly early when i could and wanted to be well rested. Got home on Thursday packed and waited on Ian finishing work. Once he was home and packed we headed off to the fabulous Oak Tree Inn.

Arrived to find it bathing in glorious sunshine and packed at all the outside tables. We quickly checked in headed to bar to fuel up. Normally we don't have starters here as i usually struggle to eat my main course but we were both starving so ordered starers and main courses of Haggis Pakora then Pizza, proper Athletes food.

Almost managed to finish, think only had 3 slices left and unlike last time had no Andy or George to clear my plate so i'm afraid they went to waste. Oak tree was as perfect as ever,love that place i do.

Ian had a whisky to finish off night and i had more wine, we went outside as it was still a beautiful night but soon realised that the Midge's had arrived earlier than usual and were in full brutal force. I've got many a bite to now prove that fact, little evil fuckers. So we retired back inside to try keep safe from them.

Had lovely lie in by not getting up til about 8am then headed off for breakfast I had one weetabix followed by scrambled eggs, toast, beans, haggis and a sausage :) and of course about 5 cups tea.I set off about half an hour later into the mist, Ian had said he'd meet me at some point but i didn't expect to see him til near BeinGlas farm and i was fine with that.

Within about a mile the mist cleared and the sun burst through the clouds clearing to a beautiful blue sky, this was to stay for the next 2 days as the temperature climbed upwards as did i. As i got to the beach i ran down by the water which was just lovely, i remember running along here during fling and stopping to walk, i knew at that point i wasn't going to finish the race if i was walking at that stage. I looked up to see Ian taking pics which was nice surprise, i skipped up beach and gave him quick kiss before running on.

My aim was to go out and and enjoy the day, take it back to hen i first started running on WHW and my first fling and soak up every bit and by god i did. I've never seen so many bluebells in my life, the way is awash with them and the smell, of wow it was like a was in bluebell heaven, just beautiful, All the bits of struggled on during fling were a breeze today, my mojo was back as was my love for the beauty around me which can be totally forgotten when you're having a rubbish run.

It was very hot though and i was drinking plenty fluids so made sure i filled my bottle at Rowaredennan, i also stopped here to put compeeds on as my shoes started giving me grief on the downhills towards there.

I ran walked all the hills to Inversnaid and passed lots of happy walkers who were all saying how impressive it was that i was running whilst they struggled to walk in that heat.

I was almost out of drinks by inversnaid  and bought 2 deliciously cold cans of irn bru and once again filled up my bottle of water. I drank one almost immediately and decanted other in drinks bottle. About 1/2 mile out of Inversnaid where the rock climbing starts i came across a family lifting a bug over a particularly big rock, i had to wait til they'd done that, climbed over the rock to find a grumpy looking woman (mustve been the mum) with her arms folded and a bright red face on that said "not moving another step" and 2 kids looking much same lol I slipped past them wishing them a good day.

Onwards and over and up and over and rocks and steps and more rocks and trees, you know the score. little running to be had on this section but i didn't care. i put my own advice i gave to Susan for this section when she found it a struggle and just looked on it as rest for my legs. Once i got to the clearing i passed 2 walkers then a big crowd down by the water who gave me a big cheer lol. Once i was back under cover and skirting the hillside i fell down like a sack of tatties! Clearly my legs mustve got a bit jellified with the scrambling and were shocked by running again. Luckily no major damage, just scrapes n bruises and a dent to my pride.

Onwards i happily went and as i got about nearer Dario's hill Ian appeared. Was good to see him and get a wee bit company again. We stopped and took couple pics at Dario's post, i know how emotional this is for Ian who was very close to Dario.

Once we got to beinglas i popped into the shop and bought an Ice lollies for us both  and more Irn bru and again topped my water up. Said my goodbyes to Ian and off i went again.Got phone call from work here which slowed me down a bit but once i finished my callypo i was off again. Spotted this on a fairly high tree on way to Derrydaroch, must be kamikaze sheep up there...

Ian appeared not to far from Derrydarroch and ran back in with me, he spotted i was getting bit red so left me there and met me again at underpass and slapped on more suncream, he said he was heading straight to Tyndrum to check in so i probably wouldn't see him til end. I headed up hill towards cow poo alley.
 Was amazed to not only not see a cow in sight nor to have to plough through gallons of mud/poo at the famous alley. First time for everything!   >>

As i approached Crianlarich i got a bit emotional, i'd struggled a bit between Bein Glas and Here last yr during WHW race and i recalled Nick appearing in front of me and i was instantly lifted. He found out what i needed and ran on to have it ready when i arrived at Bogle Glen, where he & Susan walked me up hill towards the picnic table with my requested cup of tea. Love my crew.

I stopped at picnic table and took couple pics before heading off knowing I'd kicked the bum off most of the day. Always seems to get a wee bit longer as you approach the road crossing here as you hear the traffic as you get close then have to climb another hill! Wasn't too long before i was indeed crossing that road though and heading towards the wigwams.

This made me think of my first fling where Jules had surprised me by meeting me here and running the last few miles in with me. All these happy memories were just adding to a perfect training run.

Came through wigwams knowing i had less than 3 miles left and ran happily on, didn't see another runner until a mile away from Tyndrum where i saw 3, 2 who said hello (girls, not together) and one who totally blanked me when i said good afternoon. Charmer.

Got the gates where Ian was once again waiting and we ran that last wee bit together. I finished day one in 7hrs54mins. 33.37 miles with a smile on my face in glorious sunshine. Loved it.

Bits n bobs and catching up

This might be a long blog,probably best get cuppa. I'd blog more if our PC didn't keep bloody crashing on us but hey ho.

Since the fling Ive ran bits n bobs here and there to & froing from work and whatnot. Also ran Glasgow Women's 10k. Weather had been rather lovely on Saturday but by Sunday we had rain, crazy winds and it was Baltic, what joy. Lucky I'm not a fair weather runner. Ian had been invited as VIP guests so we were lucky enough to be in a nice warm chandelier clad marquee before the race  drinking tea, wasn't too shabby ;) Did wee warm up to the start and jumped around keeping warm trying spot people. Bumped into Kerry from Strathearn who told me she "wasn't up for it" but sprinted off like a gazelle soon as we started. I had kept pretty quiet about doing this race as although I'd PB'd at 10k distance during my last 2 half marathons i still think I'm proper rubbish at actual short races.

In spite of dull weather (rain held off thankfully, just windy & cold) i loved this race. It's an incredibly well supported and superbly organised race, cant fault it.There was around 3 unofficial water stations and bands playing every km or so, brilliant.
 And to top it all, i got a PB coming in at 47.12, still work to be done on my speed but Ive never claimed to be a speed demon by any means! Back to Marquee afterwards which was right at finish line, brilliant. Rain started lashing down big time about ten mins after i finished so was glad to warm and inside by then. Saw presentations, had few glasses wine and avoided the delicious smelling buffet as we were heading out for lunch with Ian's Dad after. Had bit of chat with the lovely race winner Freya Murray, what a lovely lovey person she is. We compared heights as i thought i mightve found someone as small as me but turns out she is 1and 3/4 inch taller, very specific she was too ;)

 I've been trying to put a wee bit back in by marshalling too. First off all at Self-Transcendence 5k (Incorporating Scottish 5k road championship) we'd also Marshalled at this last year so i knew it would be chockablock full of very speedy runners and i wasn't wrong.

First duty was handing regristration then i was on Medal Duty. Certainly not much standing around here as Winner was in 14.35 and 135 others in before 20mins had passed! I was certainly kept busy and at one point i was standing with bodies of young men scattered at my feet, i kid you not! If my hands hadn't been so full of medals I'd have got pictorial evidence, it must've looked some sight.
Ian was on official duties handing out Trophies to winners then it was home time.

Next stint was for the Cateran. Oh what a weekend.
Ian picked me up straight from work & we headed up to Glenshee straight away. Arrived to find a buzz of activity and Karen looking relaxed with sidekick George never too far away. Jane was quickly getting into the wine reserves so i promised to join her once we'd dumped our bags.
After dropping stuff in room and came out to find Susan had also arrived so we settled down in corner and ordered food. Ian was being good boy and sticking to water, the girls were on the wine.

Ian went off to bed around 10ish as did Susan and most of the sensible runners. Not so much for the Marshall's who don't have to be quite so sensible, we managed to drink Hotel dry of white wine really quite quickly, i take no responsibility here and blame Karen for not warning them i was coming quite frankly.

Flip & Anna eventually arrived after long drive and we stayed up catching up on stuff until the staff started hoovering around us, i blame the roaring log fire, it was difficult to tear ourselves away, nothing to with the alcohol. Got to bed around 1.30am.

Ian was up around 5for his pre race breakfast which hotel put on early as usual, i stayed in bed til he got back then got up to go for wee run. I had planned on doing 3 out & back and even though it was a glorious morning i just couldn't be bothered and turned about 1.5miles in and got back in time for everyone climbing over style for start of race. Quick hug and good luck to Ian then Susan and i stood back and watched them all race off into the glorious scenic sunshine.

I ran a wee bit out with George & Sophie who managed to arrive just as everyone raced off lol. Went back to hotel for breakfast then got ready for marshalling duties. Jane was driving me down to Blairgowrie where i was marshaling with Keith & Bob. As we drove from Glenshee suddenly Jane shrieked and said she'd saw a wee lamb stuck in fence, i hadn't seen it but we managed to turnaround and go back. I climbed over barbed wire fence to get to wee lamb who look liked had got wrapped up in wire from fence. As i got to it and looked to unravel it i realised the poor wee lamb was actually impaled through its leg :( then into its side :( how on earth the poor thing wasn't crying out in pain I've no idea. I left it with a heavy heart and we went to nearest farm to report it then headed off to checkpoint.

Got to CP to find a Smiley Keith waiting all alone, Bob was en route with the drop bags.
Blairgowrie checkpoint. is at bottom of a steep hill and heads straight onto a busy road, i was lollipop girl for the day. Gavin is usually on this section and i got massive hug from him the yr i ran race.
Only had one incident with one wanker who wouldn't stop, and it just happened to be when Andy was coming through, i shouted expletives at him (the wanker, not Andy) and i would've ran after bloody car and kicked it had other runners not been coming through.

Other than that it was a superb day, Ian came through looking happy he had been suffering with cramp but managed to shake it off. Was good to see him looking comfortable as we'd had a bit of tough time there during our training run. Susan came in with Louise, Susan was hobbling and Louise was saying she'd had enough after a fall and feeling crap in general. Susan twisted her knee and decided to pull out :( She didn't want to jeopardise making it worse by trying to plough through it, wise choice as the rest of route is pretty damn hilly and on a dodgy knee it wouldn't have been clever. Lou was persuaded to go on and take each checkpoint at a time, she ended up finishing :)

Once we back at hotel i ran Susan a bubbly bath and headed off to watch, shout and cheer runners in. Susan will be back next yr to kick the races arse, and i might even join her. One of the reasons she pulled out was to preserve herself for WHW race ie crewing for me, between her & Joopsy i am so incredibly lucky that they are prioritising me above themselves, completely selfless and truly wonderful. lucky person i am.
Because of the downhill finish everyone comes bounding down the hill then down to Finish line with a big cheesy grin. Karen was there to congratulate each and every finisher.Ian came in under 12and half hours and was quite happy with that despite suffering with cramp, its been his longest run for about 2 years. I ran him a lovely hot bath and brought him a well earned pint to enjoy.

 I cant sell this race enough, the scenery is breathtaking, the race organistation is second to none and the Race Director and her sidekick are just the best hosts.

The evening was superb. This time we managed to stay up til 2.30 and found it big struggle to get up for breakfast, Ian was up and out for walk before i even got out of bed and he'd ran 55miles. Think i'm losing my touch!

Double training day blog to follow, this one has gone on too long!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Questions and Answers

And answering my own questions...

So on Saturday i lined up at 6am with excitement and anticipation of the 53miles ahead. I love the Fling route, i felt in great shape and intended on just going out to enjoy the day. That's the way i approached my First Fling 2 years ago and was stunned to come in just over 11hrs.

Somethings are just not meant to be. Or are they? Are we in charge of our own destiny or can we manipulate things? Do we accept our fate or do we fight on and try and change things? All a bit deep for me i reckon.

Looking back i reckon i had it within my power to perhaps change things, but some things were just out of my control. And some things i might not have changed given the choice. No more riddle talk. Last 2 weeks at work have been pretty hellish really. Anyone who has me on Facebook has probably seen me moaning about how late I've been there etc etc

That's not something i could've changed. Pressure is on to hit targets, to cut costs, to work work work. I've had my fair share of long days, I'm on my feet all day, well for 85% of it anyway and i'm up very early. I usually try and get to bed by 9pm at least once a week, but it's not been happening last few weeks. Ian has also been really busy at work (his first job) and has just been announced as Chairman of Scottish Athletics (2nd job) And is busy dealing with WHW Director stuff (3rd job) so i guess i cant complain only doing one measly job huh?

Thing is if he is going to be late home then i usually wait til he comes in til we eat, sometimes not eating til gone 8.30, later occasionally. Not good if you'd planned on an early night. Now that is something i could have changed but chose not to. I don't want to sacrifice spending quality time together by sloping off to bed half an hour after he gets home. Life is far too short and too precious.

Talking of nutrition mine is appalling. I really need to get a grip of this. I don't mean when I'm running, i can run 40miles on a bottle of lucozade quite happily. It's a the lead up to running that's important, one day last week i ran to work, work 11hours then ran home. Once i was home i realised all i eaten the entire day was a satsuma. I had some chicken on toast once i was home but more out of "oh my god i have eaten" than hunger. Which had gone by then. Stupid. Stupider leading up to a 53mile Ultra.

Not like I'm losing lots of weight, nor trying to for that matter. I've stabilised at 8st11 and makes no difference what i eat or drink, i go up or down few pounds after long runs but i usually spring back to that. I know i don't eat enough, Ian has long nagged me over it. I never eat breakfast and leave house at 5.30 to run to work, sometimes I'll pick at bits n bobs but i rarely actually sit down and eat anything. And in last 2 weeks I've been so busy and stressed that I've literally forgotten to most days. The easy answer is to pack my job in and become a lady of leisure, but lets face it that's not going to happen. I'll just have to find a plan B and is that a Plan P "plan Properly"

So that was my last 2 weeks. Spent Almost entire day last Friday at work yawning and saying to my staff "wish I'd taken day off" I got home(on bus) Sat down on sofa and promptly fell asleep for about 2hrs. I've always prided myself i being good at listening to my body yet her i was ignoring it on a daily basis. Silly girl.

My lovely friend Nick arrived after a long drive from Lincoln and we headed off to the pub for dinner. I ate as much as i could stuff into myself but it was all probably too little too late. Fast forward to 6am Saturday morning and I'm right back to start of blog. Nick was super excited, he's wanted to do Fling for few yrs now and we've done few training runs on route, so glad he finally made it here.

I Felt great on Saturday, the weather looked like it was going to be typical Fling weather. Fine with me. I ran the first leg probably a bit too fast but hadn't been looking at Garmin, i just wanted to tun how i felt. And i felt good. Until i reached Conic Hill. Crikey, it was like a got a punch in stomach. I've always rather liked Comic hill, its not as bad as people make out yet here i was practically crawling up. I could barely breathe, trying to catch a breath was quite scary. No idea how asthmatics feel but i can sympathise with them now. Got to top and still found it difficult but ran where i felt i could but i was getting out of breath on flat stuff? I'd already decided i was taking it VERY easy coming down and was happy to see people bound past me. I remembered what had happened to Sharon the yr before and wasn't planning going same way.

I got to bottom, grabbed my drink from drop bag and took off out of car park. I was 3/4 along path (flat as flat thing) and had to stop and walk. My legs felt fine, in fact i felt like i was flying when i did run but couldn't seem to hold pace without struggling to breathe. Just a bad patch, just a bad patch. You'll get through it, had it before, it'll go away. That's what i told myself everytime i stopped to walk. I was even walking some downhills. Soul destroying. But i knew it was just a bad patch.

Except it didn't go away, and for next 8 miles i wrestled with head telling myself i wasn't pulling out, then changing mind. Eventually i called Ian and left him a message saying i was pulling out at Rowardennan. I also called Susan as she was out supporting/doing long run and was meant ot meet me at bein Glas. I can tough things out, i proved that last yr in WHWrace but i wasn't risking my health for a race. A race that as much as i love wasn't that important. As it happens it all didn't matter in grand scheme of things because as i descended into Rowardennan i saw a runner sprawled awkwardly on hill before realising with horror it was Ellen. There was a girl with her on phone for help who I'd chatted to as she passed me, i told her to go on and that id stay with Ellen as i knew her and was pulling out anyway. I emptied my bag looking for stuff to keep Ellen warm. First putting extra top i had under her head and jacket over her. She was already getting cold as the ground was wet from all that rain and she couldn't move. Stan arrived about 20mins later and emptied his bag too, by this time more people were aware and help was on way. Ivan also arrived soon after, so i couldve left and carried on i guess but i had no desire. I felt fine when i wasn't running.

Red Cross and Rescue folk arrived separately but fairly quickly with more blankets, luckily enough for all of us as we were all shivering by then. Poor Ellen was in agony, i had tablets in my back which i got after my ankle injury but Red cross (quite rightly) said not to give her them. Luckily Silke appeared not long after and sanctioned giving them to her as there was still no sign of ambulance arriving.One eventually did arrive though and after some horrid bone crunching/arm moving they got Ellen safely onto Trolley and down hill after a bit of hilarity almost letting her go. Bill Heirs did his bit to help by passing by and patting Ellen on the shoulder! lol I'm sure she'll get him back for that...

About 2.5hrs after we almost arrived at Rowardenan we headed off to officially pull out of race. Ian arrived just in time to cart us all back after driving about million miles already. I kept nodding off in car on drive to Tyndrum, my tiredness was not for leaving me. Arrived and had bowl soup then then headed to finish to cheer everyone in. Fantastic to see so many incredibly happy faces after finishing what is an incredible race. Susan decided to stay at Bein Glas at meet Nick and run in with him. He had told me he would've been happy with 14hrs, i however predicted (without telling him) that he'd do between 12 and 12.30. He romped home in 12.21 and i was proud as punch :o)

Slept for 13hours that night. And still felt knackered all day. Lazy day Sunday followed by a luxurious day off work Monday was just what the doctor ordered. So what went wrong for me?
 Have i answered that myself or do i just need to toughen up even more?


***EDIT  Apologies. At least i'm ok, Ellen has a broken shoulder and Karen has a broken ankle. My rubbish run just pales into significance. Speedy Recovery girls x


This could be a long blog, but 100 miles is a long way. I've always had a pull to this race for various reasons. I've heard many g...