Friday: Long Run on the whw

Time: 8.55am
Route: Milngavie to Balmaha
Distance: 19.02miles
Time Run: 3hr 07mins 33secs (9.52 pace)

I decided for my last long run before the Highland Fling to have a run on the whw. I was really keen to try and run the 19miles from Milngavie to Balmaha at around race pace.

So I set off from home at 7.30am and ran the 1.5miles or so to the train station in Paisley. Caught the train to Glasgow and then the train to Milngavie arriving 8.55am. Just as I arrived at Milngavie it started to rain so I decided to wear my jacket.

Milngavie to Drymen – 12.15miles in 1hr 51mins 08secs
Within a few minuties the rain stopped and it was fine for the rest of the run. After about 10mins I stopped to take my jacket off and it stayed in my bag for the rest of the run.

There were a good number of walkers setting out to walk the whw but after half an hour of walking I was past them and on my own.

My Fling schedule called for 1hr 45mins to Drymen and I wanted to have some mini-check points along the way to help me keep to that.

The path was very wet but it was great to be on the route and thinking ahead to 2 weeks tomorrow for the Fling.

After I ran along the road after Carbeth and then went to go right there was a surprise! They have built some new gates. Ther is one at the road and another where the stile over the wall is. Then further along at the top of the hill there is another. I took a picture of the third one as I thought others might be interested to see them!

I arrived at Beech tree a couple of minutes outside my schedule but feeling good. I have run every day since Sunday including the half marathon and a couple of hard club runs so was pleased with how my legs are responding.

Ian ran just before I arrived at the wooden steps just before you come onto the road before Gartness. Ian siad that if he’d got my text earlier he would have joined me for some of the run. But to be honest I was quite keen to do this run on my own. I normally love have company to run on the whw but today I was keen to really concentrate on my race pace and get an idea of where I want to be and when.

Just after I said goodbye to Ian having said I’m at the wooden steps there was another surprise!! They have built a pace so that we don’t have to go up the steps anymore. See …

This picture is looking back with the new path along the road. I reckon these changes will take off a good 30secs off our times!!

As I approached Drymen I realised I was going to be slower than my 1hr 45mins aim and I spent a few minutes thinking about how this makes me feel! Over the last 2 years I have always been able to get inside my schedule and this has reallyhelped my mental state. In 2007 I aimed for 11hrs and fi ished in 10hrs 36mins and in 2008 I aimed for 10hrs 15mins and was half an hour under that in 9hrs 44mins.

But if I aim for 9hrs 30mins there is absolutely no room for error. I am getting to the limit of my ability and I’m concerned that if I’m behind at Drymen I will be tempted to push the next section and do more damage. So I decided that I will work on a 9hr 45mins schedule and if I’m going well and can go sub 9hr 30mins that great but at least I have a chance of running to that schedule.

So that means I can aim for 1hr 50mins to Drymen and feel okay if I’m around that mark rather than aim for 1hr 45mins and be disappointed with 1hr 50mins. When I talked to Katrina about this she couldn’t really see the difference of 5mins but for me it’s makes a big difference being able to run inside my schedule. I suppose I could schedule 2hrs 15mins to Drymen and be well inside but where’s the fun in that!!

I didn’t stop at Drymen and carried on.

Drymen to Balmaha – 6.87miles in 1hr 16mins 29secs
For this section I had 1hr 15mins as my goal and set off to run nice and steady. Again I was pleased with how I was feeling and never really felt I was having to push too hard to stay within my goal pace. I passed a good number of walkers going both ways. It was a busy day on the whw route. I wondered whether I’d see any other runners but didn’t.
The weather was just right, cool but dry and I walked hard up Conic Hill passing some more walkers. The view from the top was great as always!
The path on the way down was very slippy and wet. Just as I went past yet more walkers I slipped and fell but thankfully it was on the grass and I didn’t do any damage!

I finished the section just over a minute slower than my plan so was very happy with that. Katrina was waiting for me at Balmaha Car Park.

As you can see from the picture I forgot to put plasters on my nipples!! I went into the visitor’s centre and had a quick wash down and got changed. We then went into the hotel and had a lovely lunch. I thought the least I could do was treat Katrina to a lunch having asked her to drive out to pick me up!!
We then went for a short walk before heading home. On the way back we stopped at a point near Beech Tree Inn and saw John Kennedy running by. He stopped for a chat and we worked out I must have been about 15mins ahead of him for most of the way from Beech Tree to Balmaha!

So that’s my last long run before the Fling. My plan is a 2 week taper with 35 easy miles next week and then 10-15 in the week before the Fling. I’m really looking forward to it!!

Remember to enter my ‘Guess my Time’ Competition. Click on the link top right for details. I have 2 entries so far.

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2 Responses to Friday: Long Run on the whw

  1. i’m sure on the day you can lift your self and run the times you want, just have a good rest and recharge your batteries!

  2. Hey JK.Sounds like a great run. Guess who’s been slapped for not treating me to lunch?I did Drymen to Milngavie and was totally shocked with the new gates. I can’t believe someone cut into those beautiful walls to replace them with ugly gates 😦

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