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....


  1. Sounds like a great run, up to the fall anyway!
    Hope your knee makes a full recovery and we see you fit and raring to go in 3 weeks time. x

  2. Fantastic running Sandra. It's been awhile since I caught up with your blog and you've turned into uber-ultra-queen while I wasn't looking! :-D
    I hope the knee gets better quickly!

  3. Well done, Sandra. Think you need to invest in a crash helmet and knee pads though x

  4. Ah, the guys that never fall over just don't understand those of us that have a a more intimate communication with the trail from time to time. I'm sure they're missing out. See you in Milngavie.

  5. It was probably good for Paul to learn how to pace himself. But seriously give your poor knees some slack ;-)



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...