It all looks and feels so different 2 days later.
We didn't arrive in Peterhead till very early 0030 sat morning. Tried to get as much sleep as possible as I was shattered after the long drive. Back up earlyish, think about 7. Weetabix, gear on and had a banana on the drive to Aberdeen.
We arrived pretty late and I'm sure one of the last to register but I wasn't much fussed by that, felt nervous enough without adding extra worry. Met Shettleston Bob whilst hanging around the start area. Munro didn't behave well and I'll certainly not have him in such a large crowd again.
I only managed to get my trousers off when everyone started off up the hill for the race briefing. I joined in at the back. Met Anne & Bobby, 2 other Torts. A wee blether and good luck offered and we were off.
(Anne won the senior vet trophy, well done you were an inspiration as always)
I had my plan, to run slow and steady, hopeful of keeping all splits pretty even. I set my garmin to distance only so I couldn't check my pace. I was as usual one of the last out the park. Settled in chatting to the Legend that is Ray McCurdy, the first few miles flew by gossiping away and hearing his plans and past adventures. I soon had to stop for a pee.. and when I caught him back up he was wanting to walk so on I plodded.
Had 6 hours worth of perpetuem in my bottle although my thoughts were I would take around 6hrs 30. The only other food I was carrying was a bar of tablet just in case I needed a sugar rush. I usually have Nuun tablets in my water but decided to go without and hope the perpetuem would be all I needed. I was taking the smallest sip every mile as my garmin beeped. This as it turned out was probably too much too often as I ended up having to dilute what I had left at 27 miles.
I was not making much headway at all at catching people until about 11 miles, eventually slowly picking folks off and heating up (I was frozen in that wind), took my jacket off and gave it to Bryan at some point where he was waiting to shout me on. By the halfway point I was plodding on feeling not to bad at all and still gradually catching people. As always when you feel good, it doesn't last too long and soon felt the rub rub rub of my rucksack on my neck, oh it was sore, I've used it all winter, but always with a jacket or fleece etc, this was the first time with just a T shirt, shall have to do some major re jigging of the straps. Soon met Bryan a couple of miles after the turn and had to unload my bag. Tablet and all. Now left with the remains of my perpetuem and a bottle of water. Not comfortable to run with both hands full.
I was soon back into my pace but think this is where I went wrong. I had previously been feeling good, the miles were disappearing but I was starting to feel ill at ease, I wasn't hurting or trying.. back at the start of this race I state this is to be a training run, but I lost all confidence in myself and my belief that I was doing the right thing. I doubted my ability to continue the pace... no idea why.. started thinking all the negatives ... oh how am I going to manage 95 miles if I'm so slow over just 30.. yikes.. what the hell was I thinking about???
Anyway for the next few miles I pick up the pace, I'm feeling good and I now know I'm trying, then the bloody wheels start buckling about mile 24 and I have a whole load of new issues to contend with. Ahh the joys of ultra running.
On I plod noticeably slowing down and legs starting to ache.. never mind not too far.
Then some daft cow driving like a maniac on a wee back road (wheels spinning) almost gave me the fright of my life, well let me say I fair gave the back of her motor a whole load of abuse, then she stopped 40 yards up the road to turn into a house, has the cheek to tell me I shouldn't be on the road, f**ing stupid fat bint didn't know what pavement rage looked like.. you do not piss me off 20 odd miles into a run and expect to come off looking good. So not only did I give her a delicate little earful of who should be on the road I fumed for the next 2 or 3 bloody miles.
By the time I stopped ranting I think I was down to about 5 miles to go. Determined not to walk I plodded even slower than ever. Still somehow managing to catch folks. I kept going by a guy who was run/walking. I seemed to get in front at last with less than 3 miles to go when who should appear at my shoulder? Wullie fae Harmeny (again) and another guy from Millbank I think his team were. So we three together decided the last few miles would be ran together. I gave up, oh on yous go, but no they stayed, Wullie gave up, oh on yous go, but no, we stayed. The last mile we picked the pace up and I was more than surprised that after my slow plodding I was finding the faster pace easyish and quite doable. Note for future.. you only think your knackered.
A big thanks to the guys who got me to the end and to George Karen & all the marshalls.. a great race :)
Like I said it all looks different 2 days later... and recovered enough to get to the gym tonight!!