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


  1. Hope you're feeling better soon Sandra x

  2. Sorry it didn't happen for you on Saturday, you have no idea how teh thought of you waiting at the end spurred me on during those last few miles. Thanks again for a wonderful time. x

  3. Hope you get better soon and life gets less hectic for you. Nice to see you again on Saturday.

  4. Hope you get better soon, just a wee thought, I'm no medic but if you've not been eating properly could you be a bit anaemic? That will mess with your breathing. Take care, Fiona x

  5. well you know enough to know we are all so complex we can only guess but never really know the answers to a bad day. I should know. Still, you're not hurt and it's a bad day out the way ready for the one that matters. :-) x

  6. Hope you're feeling better, we get so use to our bodies just getting on with it it's a bit of a shock when they say enough's enough. take care. :-)x

  7. Hope you're feeling better now. You've got plenty of miles in the legs without having to finish the fling and Ellen will certainly have appreciated you then being there for her. I find it very difficult to run well when work, or studying, is crazy busy and sleep and eating are the first things to go, as I was reminded of in the last few weeks. Its highly unlikely I would have finished the Fling if I had been doing it on race day for the same reasons you struggled. Make sure you take days off before the big one, unfortunately I can't do that! X

  8. Strange how you can be surrounded by food and not eat. I remember that from my restaurant days

  9. Forget to eat!!!!!!!! That just never happens to me. I finish 1 meal and start planning the next. The only time I can't eat is when I am running.

  10. I'm just getting to read this now sandra, great post. I don't know how you can't eat though... I've got my food all prepared for me in the morning.. and sometimes have two breakfasts!! :-D Fuel to run I call it x Nice meeting you again at the 10k x



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