I wasn't exactly at my best for this run. After the Devil I took a bit of time out, only doing one 10 miler and a few shorter dog plods a couple of road cylces and a few visitis to the gym. I even managed to rid myself of any confidence I had by turning up at the Craigengower hill race... straight of the nightshift. How much can it hurt? it's only 2.5 miles!! Oh yes, that includes a vertical 1 mile. I did manage it but when your chasing down 8 yo kids and grinning like a maddy when you finaly catch one! well what can I say?
Barely managed 50 miles for the month. Somehow I just felt my racing year was over. None the less, I got all my stuff together packed the boot and the back seat thinking I had way too much. Thankfully I overpacked! Off to bed early. Got woke up within 30 mins by little neds and their crap boomy little motors using the road at my backdoor as a racetrack and the carpark for a bloody disco. Long story short, finaly got to sleep sometime after 3 and was back up at 5. One very unhappy grumpy bunny.
Tim arrives 6 on the dot, we get his gear in the car and off we go... road trip yiiippeee.
On arrival we erect huge tent I get registerd chat to folks get in the que for the medical stuff! urine sample, blood taken, electro's stuck on and taken off & I've got my wee arm band thing that is going to take note of all my vitals over the next 24hrs. I'll get a full report in a few weeks so I'm looking forward to reading it. What a really good opportunity for us less able athletes (ahhemm) to be involved in this sort of research.
Onto the race, what a great crowd of people, it's the first year this race has been run and it was a fairly small field between the 12hr and 24hr race. The organisers were brilliant and Andrew Murray was on hand for any medical requirements. I was still feeling pretty low and tired and grumped about it to anybody that would listen!! think Tim was pretty well fed up hearing how tired I was :)
The race started just after 12 noon, through the tents round a bend and immediatley up a hill. The loop was 4 miles long and I had wondered how I cope running like a hampster. It was not a problem at all. The loop was very scenic with a long long hill around the 2 mile mark, This was perfect for walking breaks. A long slope that would turn into a mountain as the hours and miles ticked by.
The first few laps were ok, my legs ached but I thought they would loosen off. When they didn't I started losing the will. I was convinced all my woes were down to my lack of sleep. The miles were getting slower the rain soaked me through (short & sharp). I had a stop to get changed out my wet clothes and ran with just my rain trousers and jacket on. It was still quite warm but my legs had numbed. Tim ran round a few laps with me. On one around the 30 mile mark I was dizzy and sat down, my legs were just too sore to carry me. Getting back towards the tents Tim ran on ahead to organise a massage for me. Normally I would not even contemplate this but as Debs was standing waiting on me I just got led to the table.
30 mins later dry shorts, socks and shoes and I was off again. I now had a new pair of legs! All the excess fluids had been drained? I was wondering where it was draining to. Tim explained later. My first lap on my new legs felt good as did my next. Tim went for Pizza.. yumm next lap all good then 'bonk' tired. Got back to the tent and Tim had gone to sleep. I was convinced I needed to sleep. It was just after 10pm and I thought I'd catch a couple of hours. An hour later I'm not sleeping. Well I can't be tired then can I? so get out and run! So I did. 20 miles later (now 60miles) I'm just soo tired. I knew if I didn't get some rest I would not be able to make it to 12 noon. I got out the wet clothes (it's around freezing) into dry one's and 2 sleeping bags. I set the alarm for 6. 1hr 45 sleep.
The alarm woke Tim up too who had slept the whole night!!! he had his own tired, run down issues after a busy week and lots of driving, all catching up with him.
After coffee and a breakfast of lentil soup we both set out. First lap I was a bit stiff but it all soon got better. Met Keith on the lap, he was out supporting Carrie (3rd lady) and eating a pot noodle! I had one in the tent, so again Tim scoots off toget it ready for me. We spend thenext lap running/stopping with a pot noodle.
I had set my target at 80 miles and had just over 5 hours to get my 20miles in. It would seem though that my wee nap had rejuvinated the auld legs and I was lapping about 7/10 minutes quicker. This gave me plenty time and I was really enjoying the morning. The sun was up it was lovely and warm and the views were stunning. Onto the last lap, I'd taken a punnit of strawberries and forgotten about them, so these were put into freezer bags and eaten as a treat. I struggled quite a bit on the last 2 miles, turned the corner saw the finish and I was like a wee gazelle.. ok maybe that wasn't visible to others but I felt great running toward the tents for the last time.
Thanks to Tim for looking after me, putting up with my moaning and as always knowing what I needed when I didn't! Oh and for driving home. I could not move a muscle!
What a great weekend. The event was very well organised. The marhals were in a class of there own, always happy cheering motivating, amazing at 3am in the middle of a freezing cold forest!! Thanks to all of you, if it's the people that make the event then this is a winner.