Five days rest and I'm not dead or dying so all is good. Started back out with a couple of 4 milers, legs were aching and my mind was hurting twice as bad. 15 min miles and I just couldn't be arsed.
Happily the lurgy attacked me overnight and all thoughts of training were binned as I showed Bryan and all at work that us wimmin can do 'man flu' as good as anyone! no no I'm fine I whined between sneezes. I knew if I didn't work Friday there was no way I could run Saturday and if I ran Saturday there was no way I could take Sunday off cos I was ill. So it was a case of if you want to run a you are gonna have to knuckle down and TTFU, and I wanted to run.
So Saturday morning I'm driving, Bryan is backing me up along with Munro we pick up Dave at B&Q and drive to Strathyre. Quiet roads made for quick progress, till we hit the fog. We still arrived at the car park in plenty time. We got our numbers and just hung about waiting for the start. I was soon shivering but didn't want to put on too many layers, it was going to be a lovely day.. at some point.
The Tortoise Dream Team
I quite enjoy the start of races. Nerves, excitement, photos, chat. Soon were off.
This was Dave's first ultra, he ran his first marathon at Loch Ness. Unfortunately he has been injured since the Merrick hill run and been pool running for weeks so it was never going to be easy for him.
I was still surprised to see him slightly behind me after the start. There is not normally anyone behind me at the start! So from start to finish we jogged and chatted and put the world to right. The route was stunning and I don't think I have ever taken in so much of my surroundings in a race. I enjoyed the flat and loved the hilly woodland.
Dave & me
The Bouncy bridge
We too got confused by the upside down sign. Luckily there was a local walking her dogs. Dave's knee was hurting more on the downhills so we tended to walk these. After crossing the road on the return leg it just seemed to fly in. Coming off the cycle track I noticed the pace slipping a bit, 5 mile or so on tarmac a with a couple of hills thrown in for good measure. That wee road was fairly busy but what stunning houses and buildings, kept our eyes and minds busy. It seemed no time till we were upon the bouncy bridge... boak, I thought I was going to loose either my legs or tummy contents. Round the bend and finish. 30.5 miles I think, my garmin had died around the 28 mile mark. We went through marathon distance in 5hrs 33 so just under an hour for our last 4 miles. My first marathon ever was 5hrs 31 and I swore I would never ever ever do another... hmm!
I was using this race to experiment with gels. I normally don't touch them as my stomach goes into melt down. So logic is... buy a box of 24.. get used them cos your too miserable to throw them out. I took 3 during the run with a wee mini jam roll, couple of jelly babies and some liquorice allsorts. Stomach was fine. Even though I knew I shouldn't have ran the race I'm glad I did. The route, the weather, the people all made it a worth while trip. The lurgy didn't effect me too bad. I don't usually breath through my nose when I'm running anyway :-)
Quick drive along to the campsite and I went in all prepared with my wet wipes. Ada and couple of others were there, 20p for a hot shower.. guess who didn't have a penny! One of Ada's friends quickly supplied me with the much needed coinage, thank you so much, ultra runners are truly a different breed.
Then to the pub for my soup and lager. Initially I wasn't really wanting a beer, as it happens the beer went down a treat but Bryan had to finish my soup! Somehow I wasn't that hungry.
A huge thanks to Bill, Mike & co. Another brilliantly organised run with the ever happy marshalls and stunning route. The only down side was it didn't quite kill the lurgy and I had to crawl back to work Sunday afternoon whining between the snotting & sneezing.
Munro looking good
I've looked better
Sunday morning I rested, was great having a long lazy morning with Bryan and Munro catching up and we even watched a movie, Run Fat Boy Run.. total drivel but enjoyed it anyhow.
Today saw me start my marathon training. 3.1 miles at 10:45. Jog!! I think I was flat out. Next mile was more respectable having to stop with Munro on 3 occassions. Last mile and half and I concentrated on jogging comfortably. Finished it 2 mins too quick but I found it hard. I think I have a long way to go before I can call 10:45 a jog. I wore my heart rate monitor which showed my avg rate to be 170. Great but I have no idea if that is high, low good or bad. More research required I think. Tomorrow 5.6 miles at 9:46 comfortable... oh dear!