I just finished my two day report, tried to post and lost the second day!!! So I can’t face writing it again now so I’ll post day 1 and try again later! …
Summary of run …
Friday 16 May 2008
I was up early and made sure I had everything I needed for the two days. We left the house just after 7.45am. Katrina and Jo came with me. We were dropping Jo off at the Vale of Leven Hospital on the way and then Katrina was driving back. We picked up Neal outside his house in Linwood at 8am and we had an easy journey to Balmaha arriving at 8.45am. After waving Katrina off we saw Richard who was already at the car park waiting for us. We knew Ian and Alison weren’t arriving until 10am so we wandered over to the Hotel for a coffee.
We hadn’t met Richard before so we chatted about the race, our training, thoughts of the day etc – all the topics of conversation that come naturally to those who have entered this great race! Neal even showed me a few new ways of wearing my buff. Watch out for the video for a demonstration.
At 9.45 we headed back to the car park and got ready to run. Alison sent a text saying they would arrive about 10.15am. We decided that as Richard was planning to run a bit slower than us that it would make more sense for him to set off first. So at 9.53 he set off on what would be his longest run to date.
Ian and Alison arrived about 10.20am and it was just on 10.30am that we had the team photo and then we were off.
Section 1 – Balmaha to Rowardennan (7.72miles in 1hr 25mins 5secs + 6min 36sec stop)
I was determined to make sure we ran the whole day steady and to try and keep to a sub 21 overall schedule. Both Ian and Neal were also happy with that and we decided to run together as much as possible. If someone needed to stop for a wee we’d wait. Last year on this run that didn’t happen and we all had to work harder trying to catch up.
The weather was warm and really comfortable for running. We spent the time chatting away about all sorts but mainly about the race and how our training is going!
We arrived at Rowardennan 5mins ahead of schedule but feeling we’d ran a very sensible and steady pace. It was good to see Alison waiting for us with all we needed. Alison had offered to support us throughout the day and it made such a difference not having to carry everything …. and to see Alison every few hours!!
At Rowardennan I had my first pot of beans and took a handful of grapes to eat on the way.
Section 2 – Rowardennan to Inversnaid (7.11miles in 1hr 23mins 1 sec + 5min 52sec stop)
I took my back with a smoothie and rice pudding to eat at Inversnaid. Ian asked could he put a drink and rice pudding in the bag and volunteered to carry it part of the way. No problem said I but I don’t remember Ian offering to carry the bag again! Maybe it was because it was getting pretty hot by now and the bag would be full of my sweat!
Again another solid section. We walked most of the up hill but kept a good pace going on the slight inclines and the downhills. Ian did a video clip about the most pointless whw markers on the route. As we reached the point where the track goes into a single track I realised that we had run 12 miles so far which meant that I had reached 1,000 miles for the year. So that deserved a video clip and photo (courtesy of a passing walker).
We were running comfortably all together with Ian leading the way and Neal just behind me when Neal shouted out in pain. I best not print the actual words used but suffice to say he wasn’t happy as he’d gone over on his ankle. It was clear that it wasn’t good. He ran ahead and tried to run it off. He said it was getting a little easier but we were all concerned about how it would react. After a while it was clear he would continue to day but tomorrow was not looking good.
We arrived at Inversnaid right on schedule for that section. We popped into the hotel to refil our water bottles. It was getting very hot by now and we were all drinking plenty. I had my rice pudding and smoothie and then we were off again.
About 20mins before Inversnaid Richard had called to say he was leaving Inversnaid so we knew we were catching and I wondered whether we’d catch him by Beinglas Farm.
Section 3 – Inversnaid to Beinglas Farm (6.51miles in 1hr 32mins 34secs + 6min 54sec stop)
I was feeling really good and happy with the run so far. Neal seemed to be going a little easier but went over on the ankle a couple more times which didn’t help. I only heard Ian mention once he doesn’t like this section which is a big improvement on the several times he normally says it!!
We were all feeling the heat on this section and I was using my buff to soak it in the streams and keep as cool as possible. We all agreed it is good to get one of these hot runs in training as on 21 June it could be hot. There were a couple of times when I came out of the shade into the direct sun when I could feel the heat like going into a sauna!
We kept a good pace through the section and it was good to get through the worst of the terrain and be running again. I was accused of pushing the pace so eased off. In fact one of my mantras since last year is when I’m feeling good instead of pushing hard to say, ‘slow down and make it last longer.’ It is certainly helping.
Just before Beinglas we caught up with Richard. He was going well but looked very hot. He was wearing a long sleeved top and tracksters so he made me even hotter than I was just looking at him.
We ran into Beinglas Farm to find Alison waiting for us with our next load of food and supplies. I had another pot of beans and drank a fair amount of water and electrolyte drink. Plus Alison had some milk which was great. In fact I drank so much there wasn’t any left for Ian’s coffee. Sorry Ian! I set off with Richard and Ian and Neal were a minute or two after us.
Section 4 – Beinglas Farm to Auchtertyre (9.54miles in 1hrs 59mins 1sec + 5min 37sec stop)
I ran with Richard for the next half an hour or so and it was good to get to know him better and chat about the race and our plans.
Ian and Neal caught up and we ran together until Derrydaroch and then the underpass over the road. At some point along the way Richard decided were just a bit faster than he wanted to go so he dropped off and very sensibly ran his own pace.
Once we were up on the path above the A82 we settled into the good pace and ran most of the way up to the ‘nasty farm’. I asked Ian what the farm is called and he said ‘the nasty farm’ because it seems the farmer is not that happy having the whw route go past his farm so makes sure his cows churn up the path as much as possible!
As we made our way to the big gate before turning left into the forest Neal started to pull away just a bit. His ankle was still bothering him but he was going well. Once in the forest Neal pulled further ahead and I was chasing him with Ian behind me. After 10-15mins of this I knew I needed to make a decision! Either work hard to catch Neal or wait for Ian and run together.
I had thought all along that the key to this two run was being able to get to Kinlochleven on the second day still feeling good and able to run solidly into Fort William so I slowed down and waited for Ian. We then ran in together and arrived at Auchtertyre in a very respectable 1.59 for that section. As soon as we arrived Neal was ready to go having had an 8min stop. It was starting to get quite a bit colder and the clouds were looking like rain was on the way.
I had another rice pudding, a smoothie, some strawberries and took some more grapes with me.
Section 5 – Auchtertyre to Bridge of Orchy (9.22miles in 1hr 39mins 33secs)
Ian & I ran the few miles to Tyndrum feeling good but it was getting colder and we could tell rain was on its way.
We went through Tyndrum and as we walked up the hill the first spots of rain appeared. By the time we’d gone over the bridge it was raining really heavily. I was only wearing a short sleeved top and after half an hour of this rain I was feeling really cold. Maybe Richard did have the right gear on after all! I didn’t have a jacket with me but thankfully the rain eased off and we chatted all the way into Bridge of Orchy looking forward to a hot shower and some food!
Neal was waiting on the steps for us with a beach towel draped around him and a cup of coffee. He had ran the last section really quick and was about 15mins ahead of us. His ankle had been sore but he had kept it going. Tomorrow might be another story though!
I quickly registered and went off to the bunkhouse for a shower. I remember last year it took me ages to get a shower and I was really chilled. This year it was great as I was in the shower within 10mins of arriving!
Once I’d showered, put all my wet gear in the drying room I wandered back to the main hotel so see Richard coming in looking wet but content!
Total for Friday 40.43miles in 8hrs 24mins 13secs
Overnight at Bridge of Orchy Hotel
Neal and I went to the bar for a drink while we waited for Ian, Alison and Richard. We both had a pint of water and while I enjoyed orange and lemonade Neal really enjoyed his lager!
We couldn’t get a table until 8.45pm so we were all pretty hungry by the time we got our food about 9.45pm. I really enjoyed my Shepherd’s pie and chunks of bread. By the time we got to 10.30pm we were all ready for bed so while Neal, Richard and I headed for the bunkhouse Ian & Alison retired to their suite.
Saturday 17 May 2008
I slept well and woke about 6am. I got up and went for a shower. Everything felt good and I was really looking forward to the day. My plan of running conservatively on the Friday had been good and I was determined to run steadily today until Kinlochleven and depending on how I felt I wanted to be able to push it from there. I remember last year running with Ian to the top of the hill out of Kinlochleven and then watching him disappear along the path and not being able to respond. I was keen to be strong enough this year to stick with him.
As I came back into our room Neal was awake (I don’t think he’d slept too well). He showed me his ankle which was obviously swollen and he asked me what I thought. I suggested he put some weight on it and see. So he swung his feet out of bed and as soon as he put some weight on his ankle he had his answer! There was no way he could walk never mind run. I really felt for him as I know how much he was looking forward to completing the second day and getting his 100 miles for the week. We talked about it and both agreed that the race in 5 weeks is the priority so the only option is to rest today. At least it meant that he could have the full Scottish breakfast. Neal rang Peter, his father-in-law, to say he didn’t need to come. Caroline was coming as she wanted to run from Kinlochleven. Caroline is going to be Neal’s support runner for the last 14miles so was keen to run it.
Rest of report to come (when I can face writing it again – it was good as well!!!)
But before I go … let me send my congratulations to all those who ran the Bellahouston Women’s 10k today including my daughter Emma (left) and her friend Naomi. This was there first ever 10k and they did really well. Emma is not sure of her time but ran all the way and thinks she was about an hour.
Caroline ran a pb 10k in 47mins 50secs. Well done – so 14 miles on the whw yesterday and a pb today. What next? a sub 4.10 marathon next Sunday at Edinburgh.
Debbie was not quite so happy with her run but she has a more important date to concentrate on in less than 5 weeks!