Report on whw training run

Sunday 3rd April 2011
Tyndrum to Fort William

The build up to this run was slightly different to my normal preparation for a long run. On Saturday night we were invited to Dave and Lee’s engagement party at the Village Hall in Tyndrum. It was a great night with Ceilidh dancing and a lovely curry.

We stayed at the Tyndrum Lodge Hotel which included a full breakfast. They didn’t start serving until 8am and we were aiming to start running for 9am so I wasn’t sure how much to eat … but I’d paid for the breakfast so was keen to eat it! I had cereal then scrambled egg on toast with a rash of bacon and some beans. Only time would tell if if was too much to close to the run!

I was running with Ross Moreland and Mark Caldwell. Ross had been to the party and had planned to sleep in his car but Katrina took pity on him and offered the spare bed in our room so he got a decent night’s sleep.

Mark was in his camper van with his family so we met up at 8.45am. Katrina was going for a run with Silke and Maya Lucas a bit later on. They were going to run from Bridge of Orchy to Kingshouse and where Thomas would meet them. Jan Lucas was driving to Kingshouse and then running back towards Bridge of Orchy to meet the girls and then run back to Kingshouse with them. I hope you’re following all that!

Anyway the three of us had our photo taken and set off at 8.50am ….

Tyndrum to Bridge of Orchy (6.64miles)

We set off in light rain but within 10mins it had stopped. I’d met Mark once of twice so it was good to chat and find out a bit more about his running and life. I love doing these long runs with people as the time flies by far quicker when you’re chatting.

I was keen to run a steady pace all day and try and hopefully finish feeling strong. Mark was running with heart rate monitor aiming to keep his heart rate at 150 for the entire run. He had a great run in the D33 recently and is obviously in good shape. Last year in the whw he was going really well until Bridge of Orchy but struggled from there so he’s keen to run the top section a few times to get his pacing right for the big one.

The temperature was just about right for running, not too cold (didn’t need gloves) and the wind was behind us for this first section.

Soon Bridge of Orchy came into view.

Leg: 6.64miles in 1hr 01min 07secs (9.13pace)

Bridge of Orchy to Glencoe Ski Lodge (10.73miles)
One of things I’ve been working hard on with these long monthly runs is my nutrition. So as we walked up the hill I ate my peanut butter and jam sandwich. It went down well as we pushed up the hill.

At the top I stopped for a photo and took a succeed tablet while Mark and Ross pushed on down the hill to Inveroran Hotel. They are stronger on the downhills than me, actually most people are faster on the downhills than me but we regrouped on the road and ran past Victoria bridge together and on to the climb up to Rannoch Moor.

As we climbed the hill I ate my mashed potato with cheese. Ross was experimenting with mashed potato with spring onions and offered me some but I didn’t want to mix my mashed potatos!!

On this section I asked Mark about his job as a fisheries inspector at Petershead. It was really interesting to learn about his previous job as a trawler fisherman and what he does now.

Once we got to the top of the hill Ross lead the way and the three of us ran nice and steady across the Rannoch Mor. With about 3miles to go to Glencoe Ski Lodge we saw Jan Lucas running towards us looking very relaxed and strong … despite not getting to bed until 3am!

I asked Jan to take a photo of us before he continued to his way to meet the girls.

A few minutes after seeing Jan it suddenly got really cold as the rain and sleet started in earnest. Very quickly I could feel myself getting colder and colder but as we weren’t far from the Car Park decided to keep running and put on my jacket there.

I was pleased to arrive and put my jacket on. Mark was already wearing his on carried on while Ross and I spent a couple of minutes getting our stuff on.

Leg: 10.73miles in 1hr 54min 10secs (10.36pace)
Overall: 17.73 in 2hrs 55mins 39secs (9.54pace)

Glencoe Ski Lodge to Kinlochleven (10.49miles)
It took me the next30mins or so to warm up and get back into a comfortable feeling. I was a little concerned that I felt a bit sluggish after only 3hrs but looking back it was probably a combination of getting too cold and my body switching from burning carbohydrates to fat. Well that’s my excuse anyway!

By the time we reached Altnafeadh we had caught Mark and the three of us powered up the Devil’s Staircase together.

As we climbed I ate my pot of beans which went down okay. I’m finding that I can eat more substantial food when I’m walking but not while running so I’ll need to work out where I’m going to eat carefully.

We paused for a photo at the top before setting off for the run down to Kinlochleven.

Within a few minutes Mark and Ross had opened up a gap on me so I decided to run my own pace and hopefully they’d wait for me at some point!

I also stopped to refill my water bottle and have a wee. As I looked down Mark was even further ahead as Ross had also stopped to refill his water. Ross and I joined up and that was the last we saw of Mark until Fort William.

I’m glad mark pushed on as he was running really well and was keen to run to his heart rate. He finished just over 30mins ahead of us. From this point on I would say that Ross was definitely running the strongest of the two of us but he very kindly stayed with me for the rest of the run.

It really helped me and made the rest of the run really enjoyable as we chatted and kept each other going. As we ran towards Kinlochleven it started to snow for a few minutes and then a bit later it was bright sunshine!

As we descended it got warmer and warmer and we decided to take off our jackets at Kinlochleven.

Leg: 10.49miles in 2hrs 00mins 14secs (11.28pace)
Overall: 27.86miles in 4hrs 57mins 52secs (10.42pace)

Kinlochleven to Lundavra (7.49miles)
I planned to eat my Muller rice and rink my milk shake on the way up the hill out of Kinlochleven but when I opened my bag discovered that the lid had split and half the contents had spilled out.

Fortunately I had inside a plastic bag so it didn’t go all over my bag! Ross and I climbed steadily out of Kinlochleven and made it up onto the Lairigmor. Another quite pause for a photo …

I’d said to Ross that he wanted to push on that’s fine but we actually stayed together and had a really good section. We walked the hills and ran everything. There was one section when we ran for over 10mins without stopping. I was counting my breaths and got to 5 lots of 50, then repeated it again.

By then we came to the last longer uphill which we walked. We had a good run into Lundavra.

Leg: 7.49miles in 1hr 34mins 52secs (12.40pace)
Overall: 35.35miles in 6hrs 37mins 26secs (11.15pace)

Lundavra to Fort William (5.58miles)
A mile or so from Lundavra we’d asked some walkers coming the way whether seen Mark ‘yes … he’s way ahead!’ and whether the whw path to FW is open – ‘no you’ll have to go down the road.’

I’ve never been down this road and wasn’t really looking forward to running on the road for 5-6miles. Plus it was a lot hillier than I hoped it would be. Again we stayed together, walking the uphills and running the rest.

Eventually Fort William came into view …

I rang Katrina to say we were about 15mins away. She said that Mark was already here and showered! We ran through the high street and arrived at the Leisure Centre from the town side rather than the normal way.

At first I thought it was wrong place as it’s had a complete make over with a fancy new entrance and new changing rooms.

Leg: 5.58miles in 1hr 06mins 14secs (11.53pace)
Overall: 40.93miles in 7hrs 43mins 40secs (11.20pace)

We arrived just as the Leisure Centre was closing. I asked whether we could have a shower but the guy said I’m sorry the attendants are washing down the changing rooms. I explained that we’d run from Tyndrum and would be really quick!

Thankfully he took pity on us and let us have a shower! The new changing rooms are very smart and the shower was great! Thanks.

Once we were changed we drove back to Tyndrum where we had fish and chips at the Real Food cafe and then headed back to Paisley. So a great day out.

Thanks to Ross and Mark for your company and to Katrina for picking us at Fort William. Katrina enjoyed her 12mile over the Rannoch Moor but got very cold!

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