I set up this blog (Oct 06) to record my training and thoughts in preparing for the 2007 WHW Race – a 95 mile ultra race from Milngavie to Fort William.
I have now run 46 ultras over the past twelve years including the whw 6 times and you can read all about them, watch my race videos and lots more by using the tabs at the top of the blog.
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Next ultra race …Dragon's BackMay 20th, 201962 days to go.
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For my final long run before the whw race I decided to do 30miles from Balmaha to Inversnaid and back. Marco was able to take a day off and join me.
I left my bike at Marco’s house and we drove to Balmaha and we set off just after 9.30am in the sunshine.
Me ready to go!
We had a rough plan to run to Rowardennan in around 1hr 25mins and Inversnaid in 1hr 20mins so making aorund 5hrs 30mins all together plus stops.
We set off pretty comfortable and ran steady. I was feeling the effects of the Cateran race which was less than 2 weeks ago plus a full week of running. Marco would be looking at over 100 miles for the week so we were both happy to keep it easy.
Though Marco’s idea of easy and mine was slightly different and I definitely had to work the harder all day!
Marco had his heart rate monitor set to 145 and it went off a few times especially on the hills. I was happy to try and make sure I didn’t get pulled along faster than I wanted to go.
We spent the whole time chatting away about the race, our plans and all sorts of things. Last year I ran a lot with Marco on our training runs but this was our first run together so we had a lot to chat about!
We arrived at Rowardennan in 1hr 23mins so we were happy with that. We stopped for a couple of minutes to refill our water and away we went.
We met a number of walkers on the section to Inversnaid and some of them asked how far we were going. Marco was happy to tell them today’s plan but I couldn’t resist telling them about the race in three weeks time! As we were going out and back we saw them all again later and some wanted to know more and wished us all the best.
One couple kindly took a photo of us with the bluebells in the background!
Marco and me about 1.5miles from Inversnaid
Marco led the way which was the best plan as it meant I could run at my pace and Marco slowed down to wait for me if he got too far ahead.
We arrived at Inversnaid in 1hr 19mins (2hrs 45mins overall) so bang on target. We stopped for something to eat. Marco his custard pots and me some marzipan as suggested by my friend Graeme Obree!!
I also went in to the hotel to refill our water bottles. I always feel a bit guilty walking through to the toilet but no one told me off so I was okay!
Me at Inversnaid
After an 8min stop we were off again. As we set off I had a feeling that the return journey was going to be harder for me as I could feel my legs were sore. I suggested to Marco that if he wanted to push on he could but good friend that he is decided to stay and keep me company!
I was running okay but felt I wasn’t very comfortable. One of the reasons I wanted to do this run so close to the Cateran was to run feeling tired and get through it. So now I was here and needed to get my head down and find a rhythm.
Passing the walkers again helped and soon we were on the first downhill section and I was running fine. After another uphill we then had a long downhill back to Rowardennan.
We arrived in 1hr 22mins so we had been a bit slower coming back but no problems. Another quick stop to refill and we set off for the final 7.7miles back to Balmaha.
An hour earlier I suspected that this last section would be hard but whether some food kicked in or I knew it was the final section but I was running a lot stronger again and was right behind Marco for the majority of the way.
I know he could have pushed on if he wanted but it was good to feel I was keeping up with him and finishing strong. We chatted some more and the final hill came into view and we were almost back.
We arrived at Balmaha in 1hr 23mins which was the same time going out so that was encouraging. We had talked about going for a swim but we opted for an ice cream instead!
We headed back to Marco’s house for a shower and a cup of tea.
Thanks Marco for a great day.
In half an hour or so my support team are heading over for a chat about the support for the race.
30.21miles in 5hrs 43mins 50secs (11.23pace)